Consider this review a great example of what kind of images you’ll be able to get out of the Canon 16-35mm f4L IS but imagine the images being a bit sharper, especially along the edges and corners. If you’re still looking for a lens in this range that is faster like for those that shoot astrophotography, then the current model 16-35mm f2.8 will suit you well.
Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II Review
I’ve recently adopted the use of Ultra Wide angle lenses after strictly using the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 for the last few years.
There are two ultra-wide-angle lenses I picked up. This one, the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM and the Samyang 14mm f2.8. So far they are both really nice. Compared to the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 the 16-35mm f2.8L II seems much sharper all around and it zooms out significantly wider.
I picked up the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM for about $1,600 on Amazon. You can check the link below for current prices:
Amazon: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II
The Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II Experience
Now that I’ve had this lens a while I’ve noticed it can really open up my scenes and make them look larger than life. The Canon 24-70mm f2.8L is a nice lens but its focal range just doesn’t allow you to expand the world the same way as an ultra-wide can.
4 Things I Love About This Lens
1. Small And Light
It’s not small for a lens, but it’s small for a full-frame ultra-wide zoom. And it’s pretty light as well.
I’m used to the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II. The lens is much smaller and lighter in comparison.
I’ve used the lens for a few years now. It’s been dropped, banged, covered in rain, water, and dust, and is still good as new. Except for some dust inside from not using a front UV filter.
Older lenses had issues with the lens mount being held in with plastic mounts. This is not the case with this lens. Mine is metal. Although the lens itself is high-quality plastic.
Sharpness is great in the center. Falls off a bit toward the edges. Also, the lens is much sharper at the wide end from the tele which is how I use it.
4. Screw On Filters
It’s nice being able to screw on filters on an ultrawide zoom. A rare quality.
I like to use ND filters and this makes it very easy.
3 Things I Don’t Like About This Lens
1. Soft Edges
I wish the lens stayed sharp but the edges get a bit softer.
2. Chromatic Aberrations
They actually aren’t bad at all with this lens, but they are there. To be expected from a zoom lens. But for those high-quality fine art prints, you might want to consider using primes.
3. Weather Sealing Isn’t Great
Make sure to use a front UV filter to seal the lens. Mine has a lot of dust inside now from now doing this. It doesn’t hurt image quality unless i shoot at extremely high apertures.
Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II VS Samyang 14mm
It’s kind of comparing apples to oranges but both lenses are similar in a way.
The Samyang at 14mm it’s not as sharp in the corners or in the center, but I feel it is a bit sharper all around. This is to be expected when comparing any zoom to prime.
The Samyang is also relatively free from chromatic aberrations compared to the Canon.
What Lens Do I Like More?
It’s hard to say what I like more. I think for shooting at 14mm or strictly ultra-wide, I’ll stick with the Samyang 14mm. But when traveling and when I need versatility I always make sure I have my 16-35mm.
If the 16-35mm is too pricey for you and you’re looking for a landscape HDR beast then check out the Samyang 14mm f2.8. I love it.
Other Ultra Wide Zoom Lens Options
There are only two other options out there I would consider in this range besides the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II.
The first is the Tokina AT-X Pro FX 16-28mm f/2.8 for Canon. It’s a few hundred cheaper and slightly sharper.
The other is the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM . It’s sometimes even cheaper than the Tokina, not quite as sharp or as fast, but when shooting high aperture scenes such as landscape photography, the draw backs become irrelevant.
Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II Sample Photos
If you have any questions about the Canon 16-35 f2.8L II Review or the Sample Photos, please leave a comment.
Which lens would you rather have, The Canon 16-35mm F4 or the 2.8?