Robert Huber reviews the Canon 16-35 L II Lens

Filter Size: 82mm
f/Stop Range:
2.8-22
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9′ (28cm)
Magnification: 1:4.5
Zoom/Focus Control: Two-touch
Angle of View: 108-63°
Groups/Elements: 12/16
Length: 4Posts.4″ (112mm)
Maximum Diameter: 3.5″ (88mm)
Weight: 1.4 lb (635g)

The canon 16-35mm L II lens is considered by many to be one of the most important lenses in the L-series lineup. It replaced the original 16-35mm L in 2007. As one would expect, it carries the classic build quality of all Canon’s L-series lenses. It uses an 82mm filter thread up front- a first for Canon. A UV filter is recommended to fully weather seal this lens, and if using a full-frame camera one may want to pick up a slim-framed version to avoid slight vignetting at 16mm. The ring USM in this lens focuses very quickly and accurately, and very close to the lens at all focal lengths. I measured about 7 inches or so. Distortion is evident in the wider focal length range of the lens, which is something that should be expected from a lens this wide, and it will be particularly more evident on a full-frame camera. The focus and zoom rings are very well placed, and have an excellent feel to them.

© Robert Huber

© Robert Huber

I used this lens to photograph some promotional shots for a band “Future Future” that I have been photographing for some time now. After working with them for a while, they expressed to me the desire to be photographed with a wider angle lens in order to make them appear “bigger”. I used the lens on a crop-sensored camera, and found it very effective in the field. We shot at dusk with some off-camera lighting, on a tripod to get some nice dark blue skies. The lens autofocused perfectly, even in the rapidly depleting available light I was given. The lens had a much higher resistance to flare than I expected, which allowed me to place my lights very close to the edge of the frame, even aiming directly towards the camera to back-light.

In conclusion, this lens is an extremely well-built lens that is designed primarily for the professional market. It would work extremely well in the hands of a photojournalist or travel photographer, but is undoubtedly a welcome addition to any camera bag.

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