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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

1 rating: 3.0
Camera & Photo

To meet the growing demand of digital SLR owners, this ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a broader view, fast aperture, and closer focusing down to 11 in. (.28m). The first EF wide-angle zoom to combine three Aspherical elements and Canon’s UD glass, … see full wiki

1 review about Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM Ultra Wide Angle...

Not what I expected...

  • Apr 15, 2006
I shoot with a Canon 20D and have used the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens as my wide angle option. When preparing for an extended stay in Budapest, I decided it was time to invest in a faster, better quality wide angle lens. I reviewed the lens lineup at the Canon website and decided on the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L. As an L lens owner, I was confident this lens would be a great addition to my lens lineup.

Being an L lens, this lens is meant for serious photographers. The sturdy construction consists of three aspherical elements and Canon's UD glass which largely eliminate the secondary spectrum. Weather-resistant construction at lens mount, zoom & focus rings and switch panel helps protect the lens from the elements. This lens is not compatible with the 1.4x II and 2x II extenders. The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens weighs in at about 1.3 lbs/600g, and accepts 77mm filters or holds gel filters. Be sure to get a good quality UV haze filter to protect the front lens element. Not only do I see this as a good practice, Canon recommends doing so on their site as well.

The focus type is the standard twist zoom, and permits for auto or manual focus depending on how the switch is set. In addition, the lens has a USM drive mechanism for optimum AF performance.

Included with this lens are the front and rear lens caps, lens hood, soft storage case, and a US one year warranty. The case is a pull string soft case (LZ1319) that can also be purchased separately. The EW83E Lens Hood is used to reduce lens flare and can protect the front element in certain situations.

I have to admit I was disappointed by this lens while in Budapest. I found that for wide angle scenes with the focused subject at a distance, the images were soft. This is precisely the type of images I wanted to use this lens for. Just because this is a fast lens, it doesn't mean I shoot everything at f/2.8 either as some may claim. I have a good understanding of exposure and know how to use the aperture setting to my advantage. It didn't matter what aperture I used, distant subjects were soft in my eyes.

I wondered if the lens needed adjusting or calibrating after hearing all the great things people say. I lent the lens to a friend who loved the quality and sharpness while taking close up shots. I then began to wonder if I was doing something wrong. After testing the lens, I've concluded that this is not the lens for distant wide angle shots like suggested on the Canon website. When the subject matter is much closer, like the other side of a room or several feet away, this is an awesomely sharp lens.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens is too different to compare to the Canon EF 28-135mm. The clarity and sharpness is incredible on close-up shots, and the auto-focus is quiet and quick. Even though this lens didn't fit my original purpose, it has found a place in my lens collection. I don't foresee this lens being one of my most used options though. The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L comes at a price, but it is worth every penny when used for its strengths.

Incredible clarity and sharpness on close-up shots
Quiet and quick auto-focus

Heavy and bulky (This should be expected with these types of lenses)
Distant subjects come out soft.

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