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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Nov 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a tank - able to withstand almost any use. Sharp throughout it's range, though better above f/8
Cons:
Slight flaring at corners at widest apertures

I won't replicate all of the remarks about the optical quality - in my tests and field work it has been superb. What hasn't been said is that this lens, like most Canon lenses, is built to take an amazing amount of abuse. Recently I was quickly climing up a 45 degree angle rock face in order to catch some last rays before sunset. I didn't have time to go back for my pack, so I put lens securely in my pocket (or so I thought). Of course just as I got to the top of the 50 foot slab, I felt the lens slip out and turned to watch it bounce (and bounce and bounce) all the down the rock face and into a dry creek bed 15 feet below the edge. I figured the lens was toast, but when I climbed down and found it I was amazed that other that a small scatch there was nothing wrong with it. The glass was intact, auto- and manual focus worked fine, and all apertures functioned as before. I've continued to take photos with it since then, and the images are just as sharp as before. This is one tought piece of optics.