View Full Version : should i get canon ef 16-35 f2.8 II ?

11-08-2017, 5:34pm
Hey guys, I am thinking of getting a 16-35 f2.8II second hand, it seems it has a good second hand value looking at the new price. It is a wide angle lens in which will replace my ef-s 10-22 (cousin lent this lens to me). This will be my main lens (90% of time) as it covers everything from landscape to a quick bokeh portrait shot. Also 16-35 seems in a good range since i am using 80d (aps-c) The mark III is way out of budget by the way. Was also considering on the wide angle 35mm f1.4 as it is cheaper but it would be much similar to my 50mm f1.4 (only advantage is that it is a wide angle lens on 35 mm but on aps-c i am not sure if that makes much different on visual with 50mm)
Any thought?

11-08-2017, 6:19pm
The 16-35 is a great lens, but the 10-22 is pretty good too.
The big question is do you want to take wide angle shots? B cause if so the 10-22 gives you an effective 16 mm at the wide end. The 16-35 gives you 26 mm (35 mm equivalent) due to the 1.6 crop factor.
I.e how wide do you want to go. 16 mm is very different to 26.
A quick google turned up this which, I haven't read in full, but looks to give the main point re EFS and EF.

11-08-2017, 6:48pm
^+/- what I was going to say. The 16mm end is NOT very wide at all. Better with the 10-20 for "wide".

Plays With Light
11-08-2017, 6:52pm
Probably not helping you here, but have you looked at the Tokina 11-16mm lens, it was my favourite APS-C lens, as I have a great love of the ultra-wide image in landscape and cityscapes. It can be gotten for about $480 brand new. With your spare change you could also pick up a new Canon 24-70mm f/4 lens. Two good lenses covering a far bigger range and for the same sort of price.

12-08-2017, 12:30am
Hi Ivan.

Short answer: no.

Longer answer. The 16-36/2.8 is a wonderful lens, but it is very expensive and designed for full frame cameras. You won't get anything like the full benefit of the lens from your current body. If you had a full frame body (which you don't) you'd probably be better off with the 16-35/4 anyway, which is cheaper, much smaller and lighter, even sharper, comes with IS, and has a standard-size 77mm filter thread instead of the weird size the f/2.8 uses. On an 80D, the wide-angle lens of choice is either the 10-22, or the smaller and cheaper 10-18 STM. I don't think there is a lot of point in having f/2.8 in an ultra-wide. (Warning: controversial opinion.) You can hand-hold am ultra-wide down to ridiculously low shutter speeds anyway, so the only real benefit of f/2.8 is for low-light work with moving subjects (e.g., a candlelit dinner) in which case you'd probably be better off with a prime lens anyway, such as a 50/1.8 or a 35/1.4.

But you don't have a general-purpose lens yet. Something like a 15-85 or a 17-50, even a 24-105 or 24-70 would usually be regarded as a good choice for a first lens, with either a wide zoom like a 10-22 or a telephoto like a 50-150 or 70-300 to add to it. (Plus your 50/1.4, of course.)

I suggest delaying the choice of a general-purpose lens for a little while. There are many, many different models, all with advantages and disadvantages. The right one for me is the wrong one for Ameerat, while the best one for PWL is different again. Speed, price, weight, focal length range, quality, versatility - you can't have them all in a single lens. Right now, you haven't been photographing long enough to know what your own style is going to be. Maybe you'd be better off with a 17-55/2.8 (fast, but expensive and limited focal length range). Then again, a 15-85 might be a better choice for you (medium price, fantastic focal length range, but slow).

One thing you might very sensibly do is buy an 18-55 STM. These are very cheap (from memory about $170 or so) but nice and sharp and pleasant to use. You will want to graduate to something more expensive and specialised after a year or so, but by then you will know what you want. You can sell the 18-55 for $100 or so and buy the one you want. This is much cheaper than (say) buying a $950 15-85 and then deciding that you really should have got a 24-70/2.8 and spending another couple of thousand to change your mind.

12-08-2017, 10:42pm
Thanks Tony, I havent bought anything yet, my cousin lent me the 10-22 and I dont want to borrow it too long so thought I;ll replace with something that I dont need to replace for a long long time. If I am to upgrade to full frame in the future, i think having an ef-s lens is not really a good idea as I will have to sell it later (hassle) the 18-55 stm was offered awhile ago as a package deal with the 80d but i didnt take it as it feels like I am taking pic with my phone (a bit better) plus the 10-22mm usm that my cousin loaned me is much sharper and better. I was actually thinking of offering some money to him for that lens as he doesnt use it anymore but then again it is an ef-s lens. So thought getting a second hand mark II 16-35 lens is probably good idea as market price is around 900-1200$ and it would probably stay there for the years to come (wont lose money) the f4 is indeed my alternative. You are right, we dont normally do f2.8 on landscape (wide angle) so whats the point having 2.8, but the idea of having a good portrait lens without having to change lens is pretty much inviting haha. I might stick to the 10-22, cousin still not saying anything lol

13-08-2017, 11:12am
Cheers Ivan.

You are considering many of the same questions I considered back when I had a crop camera. (It was a 20D back then.)

For wide angle, an EF-S lens is pretty much your only choice. 16mm is not very wide on an 80D. See this for yourself by setting the 10-22 to 16mm. Is that wide enough for you?

(a) NO: Then you need to consider something wider, such as a 10-22 or any of a number of alternatives which we might look at later.
(b) YES: Then you are going to be happy with a normal zoom. (A "normal zoom" is a lens covering the "normal" focal lengths. Typical examples on crop are 15-85, 18-55, 17-70. On full frame, examples of a normal zoom include 24-70, 24-105, and 28-70. Notice that the full frame normal zooms don't go wider than 24mm or so, which is not very wide at all on an 80D.)

Let's look at (a) first. The Canon 10-22 ($775) is an obvious choice and quite possibly the best choice. Although quite old now, it is very well made, has excellent optics, and quite reasonably priced these days. I owned one for more than ten years and only just sold it. (I plan to replace it with a 16-35/4, which is an exact equivalent for full frame.) There are several third-party near-equivalents including a couple of 10-20s (about $700), various 12-24s, the Canon EF-S 10-18 STM, and the Tamron 10-24. Of these, the Canon 10-22 strikes me as the best all-round choice for build quality, image quality, range, and price.

What about alternatives with something different? A 12mm lens is nowhere near as wide as a 10mm one. (Check this for yourself on the 10-22.) On the other hand, some of the 12-24s (not all!) are full frame compatible. This is a bonus, and 12mm on full frame is incredibly wide! On the gripping hand, they are decent optical performers, not fantastic, and can be quite expensive. (Think $900 to $1750, depending on the model.) There is the Tokina 12-28/4 at $700 (not very wide, crop camera only, can't see the point myself) and 11-16/2.8 ($788, not as wide as the 10mm ones, very short at the long end and thus rather limiting - as mentioned earlier, I reckon f/2.8 is a bit pointless in an ultra-wide). And there is the $900 Sigma 8-16 (crop only, of course, but super wide). Finally, there is the Canon EF 11-24/4, which is designed for full frame but works on crop. This lens is the perfect example of why it can be a mistake to buy a full frame lens for a crop camera. It is very large and heavy, has a bulbous front element that can't take filters, and costs $3950. For the same money, you could buy a 10-22, then give it away and buy a 16-35/4 for full frame instead, and still have nearly $2000 in the bank.

Let's move on to the normal lengths.

Essentially, you can have fast (something like a 17-55/2.8) or versatile (e.g., a 15-85/3.5-5.6) but not both. You can have full frame compatibility (something like a 24-70) or decently wide at the short end (e.g., a 17-70) but not both. Or you can buy a full frame wide (e.g., 17-40, 16-35) and mis-employ it as a crop sensor normal zoom. I'm not mad keen on this last strategy: the lens will be bigger and heavier than it needs to be, not very wide, and very short on the long end. I'm not saying don't do it, but think carefully first.

Most people choose a general-purpose zoom as their first lens. (I'm ignoring your 50/1.4 for now.) These fall into three classes:

(i) Fast normal zooms (Canon 17-55/2.8, Sigma and Tamron 17-50/2.8s) which are great for low light and shallow depth of field, but limiting because they are so short at the long end.
(ii) Wide-range normal zooms (notably the Canon 15-85/3.5-5.6) which offer brilliant versatility but are limited in low light and can't create shallow depths of field. One that straddles these two categories rather neatly is the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.
(iii) Full frame zooms mis-employed on crop. For example, 24-105/4, various 24-70s. These have a great long end but a very long short end, which can be frustrating unless you also have something like a 10-22.

I started with the old, cruddy 18-55 (the newer 18-55 STM is much improved, and not to be ignored), then upgraded to a two-lens kit: 10-22 and 24-105. That worked very well in many ways but I found that I was constantly mucking about swapping lenses, and wound up buying a second body to avoid that. (This was in the days before self-cleaning sensors, and I spend a lot of time in hot, dry, dusty places.) Eventually, I bought a 5D II, which effectively made my 24-105 (equivalent to 38-168 on crop) equivalent to a 15-85 on an 80D. I didn't miss the long end too much (because I had a 100-400) but I found the much wider short end really, really useful and used it a lot. This meant in turn that my beautiful old 10-22 spent most of its time in the camera bag. What a waste!

I reckon that you might find 15mm is wide enough for most things, and I'd put the excellent Canon EF-S 15-85 on the top of your to-be-considered list, alongside the Sigma 17-70, and an 18-55 STM. Note that with the 18-55, you wouldn't have to bother selling it if and when you upgrade: they are so cheap that you mightn't bother.

(Sorry for long post. Lens selection is a tricky business, and if you are not confused by it, you haven't understood the question! In the end, however, your equipment is 10% of your photography. The other 90% is your skill.)

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PS: I don't think you'd get much value out of the 16-35/2.8 for portrait work. Even on crop, it's a bit short. Your 50/1.4 would be the go-to lens for that task.

14-08-2017, 1:36pm
I think i am on the rebel side and cant resist to buy a mint 16-35 2.8 from a guy who offered me a price i cant resist. I ve been getting some nice crisp image so far and will post on flickers soon. I am keeping the 10-22 just for now if i need a wider angle but the 16-35 is an absolute gem, it does actually make a nice bokeh :) id stick with this one.

I dont think i will lose anything with this one as this is really a nice lens although i am using it on apsc camera i am actually pretty satisfied with the results and yes it is no where near as wide as the 10-22 but it gives a good coverage plus on the financial side, i wont lose anything even if i have to sell it later. I understand the benefits of ef s lens as you pointed out Tony, and maybe when my cousins wants it back i ll probably get the 10-18 stm. The 18-55 is also a good lens yes but if i cant sell it it is still money lost.

oh and also as 80d body is weather proof, i think it makes sense to have at least one l series lens as melbourne can be quite wet. The 80d is only weather proof if l series lens is used.

William W
06-09-2017, 12:56am
should i get canon ef 16-35 f2.8 II ?
I agree with Tony – short answer: no.
I also agree with mostly all of his rationale.


. . . oh and also as 80d body is weather proof, i think it makes sense to have at least one l series lens as melbourne can be quite wet. The 80d is only weather proof if l series lens is used.

Canon's "weather sealing" requires more than just the lens and the body to be compliant: also the designated sealed lens filter and the regular replacement of the seals on the lens and camera body.

It seems you want to get the EF 16 to 35 F/2.8L MkII USM - and if that is in your heart's desire and you can't resist it, then go for it: it is a very nice and a very useful lens, more useful on 135 Format, but still a good lens to use on APS-C and APS-H Formats.

My point being that the "weather sealing" and Melbourne's weather are, in my opinion, not part of any reasonable rationale to promote the purchase of the lens for what appears to be usage where you'd never choose to go out in rain and continue shooting in the downpour anyway - what I mean is there are really not many photographers who do that.


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Addendum – I didn’t notice that this part of the OP was addressed -

. . . Was also considering on the wide angle 35mm f1.4 as it is cheaper but it would be much similar to my 50mm f1.4 (only advantage is that it is a wide angle lens on 35 mm but on aps-c i am not sure if that makes much different on visual with 50mm) . . .

When you swap DSLR lenses between differing Camera Formats, then descriptor of purpose or how the lenses are designated by their Angle of View relative to the SENSOR SIZE might change.

> a 35mm lens when used on an APS-C camera acts as a “Normal” or “Standard” Lens
> a 50mm lens when used on an APS-C camera acts as a “Short Telephoto” Lens
> a 35mm lens when used on a 135 Format Camera (aka “Full Frame Camera”) acts as a (moderate) “Wide” or (moderate) “Wide Angle” Lens
> a 50mm lens when used on a 135 Format Camera acts as a “Normal” or “Standard” Lens

So yes there is a difference between 35mm and a 50mm lenses when they are used on an APS-C Camera, but not as much noticeable/practical difference as swapping between those two lenses on a 135 Format Camera, and that's because of differences in the Sensor size of the cameras, rather than the differences in Focal Lengths of the two Lenses.