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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Sep 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,319.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great build and good balance
Cons:
Expensive!

I just received my lens a couple of days ago and immediately tested it. My usual lens testing goes like this: I shoot across my street at a house slightly to the right which has two columns of bricks. I tested the lens at 16mm, 24mm, and 35mm making one exposure from f2.8 thru f22 at each focal length. I then shoot indoors at a Dr. Tyding's lens chart (you've got to be ancient to remember this chart) at the same focal lengths and fstops I used in the outdoor shots. I then download the files into my computer and then take a small segment of the bricks to use for comparisons. Be aware that I'm taking only a very small segment of each file to blow up. These are my conclusions: The lens is not perfect. At 16mm @ f2.8 the sharpness and resolution are poor! Very soft. At f4 and f5.6 sharpness becomes good. At f5.6, f8, and f11 sharpness is excellent! At f16 and f22 there is a very small loss of sharpness but still good. At 24mm f2.8 and f4 the sharpness is good. At f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22 the sharpness is excellent! At 35mm, f2.8 is very good and from f4 through f22 sharpness is excellent. Some have claimed their 16-35 is sharp throughout. I wonder about their testing. I think the general consensus is that any lens wide open is not at sharp as it is closed down a few stops. That has been axiomatic in my experience over many years. One caveat is that my particular lens may not be up to par with others but I'm not too concernedl. Real life photography is what I love and not lens testing. This lens satisfies me even if it isn't razor sharp at all focal lengths and fstops.