Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 USM L II (full format) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2009

Special thanks to Michael Becker for providing this lens!


Launched back in spring 2007 the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 USM L II is the latest ultra-wide zoom lens made by Canon. Regarding its rather steep pricing of around 1400€/US$ it's primarily targeting the professional market segment. Compared to its predecessor Canon claims to have "improved the peripheral image quality at the wide-angle end". Certainly an interesting aspect regarding the rather mediocre full format performance of its little cousin (EF 17-40mm f/4L) here. Well, we'll see whether this statement survives our test procedure.

The build quality of this lens is basically identical to the EF 17-40mm f/4L - it's exceptionally high just as you would expect it from a Canon L lens. No wobbling whatsoever and smooth controls - almost perfect. The lens is also designed to survive in harsh conditions with a sealing against dust and moisture. The outer length of the lens remains constant although the inner lens tube moves a little according to the zoom setting. Needless to say - the front element does not rotate during focusing or zooming operations.

The lens has a ring-type USM drive based on a front-focusing system resulting in an extremely fast AF speed. AF accuracy was also not an issue during the field tests. Typical for ring-type USM lenses full-time manual focusing is always possible in one-shot AF mode.

Optical construction16 elements in 12 groups inc. 3x aspherical and 2x UD elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.28 m (max. magnification ratio ~1:4.5 @ 35mm)
Dimensions89 x 112 mm
Weight640 g
Filter size82 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodincluded, petal-shaped
Other featuresgel filter slot (rear), sealing

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