Lens Review: Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L II

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The second lens that I rented for our Maine vacation was the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens (the first was the telephoto I wrote about in this article). I have nothing but positive things to say about this lens – probably because it felt and acted very similarly to my current go-to lens, my Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. I can’t say enough positive things about that lens, either!

One thing I noticed in particular about this lens is that edge distortion is practically nonexistant. You can see some slight curving at the extreme zoom range, but it’s really only noticeable if there are parallel lines present along the edges of the frame. In this shot below, you really can’t see any curving at all:


Shutter speed: 1/250. Aperture f/7.1. Focal Length: 16 mm. ISO Speed: 100.

Sharpness is present all the way through the focal range, assisted by the maximum f/2.8 aperture. Personally, I rarely use a wide angle lens in low light conditions, so it may not be entirely necessary to have such a fast lens for, say, outdoor daylight landscape shots. But I do like having the flexibility of such a fast lens just in case I need it. It’s better to have it and not have to use it, then need it and not have it, right?

Here is a demonstration of the focal range of the lens. These are two shots of Frenchman Bay in Acadia National Park in Maine. The first was taken at 35mm, the second at 16mm:


Exposure: 1/400. Aperture: f/10.0. Focal Length: 35 mm. ISO Speed: 200.


Exposure: 1/400. Aperture: f/9.0. Focal Length: 16 mm. ISO Speed: 200.

It’s a good walking-around lens, comfortable and not too heavy to lug around for long periods of time. With the somewhat limited focal range, I personally would choose my 17-55 over this particular lens, but individual tastes and requirements vary. This is a great, solid, dependable lens that would make an excellent replacement for a lower-quality kit lens.

For much more information on this lens, I highly recommend that you read The Digital Picture’s in-depth analysis and review of the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L II.

The most excellent folks at Pro Photo Rental provided the lenses for the purpose of this review. Their service has always been outstanding and I continue to highly recommend them to anyone with lens rental needs.(*)

Photo credits (in order of appearance):
- “21.1 MP of pure awesome” by tbisaacs on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Pemaquid Point Lighthouse”, “Frenchman Bay” and “Frenchman Bay Wide” by Tiffany Joyce.

*The Author received complimentary rentals in exchange for mentioning the Provider’s products and/or services on this website. Such compensation received did not and will never influence the content, topics or posts made on this website. We will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

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  • http://biswajitdey.com Biswajit Dey

    That’s an awesome piece of lens…..although I am a nikonian by heart, I could not resist to go through the review for such a lens….wish I too had one such masterpiece :)

  • http://biswajitdey.com Biswajit Dey

    That's an awesome piece of lens…..although I am a nikonian by heart, I could not resist to go through the review for such a lens….wish I too had one such masterpiece :)

  • http://allthingsrobin.wordpress.com Robin Kaspar

    It looks like a very sweet lens, but I can’t imagine a wide angle as a “walk-around” lens. I guess it depends where you’re walking LOL

  • http://allthingsrobin.wordpress.com Robin Kaspar

    It looks like a very sweet lens, but I can't imagine a wide angle as a “walk-around” lens. I guess it depends where you're walking LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/vtphotopro Richard D. Cole

    I own this lens and it is permanently mounted to my 1Ds. I too have nothing but great things to say about this lens and highly recommend it to any one wanting to do landscape photography. I also have the EF-S lens you mention and use it on a 50D, but the effect is not the same!