Canon 6D – Canon 16-35mm L 2.8 II USM

A friend loaned me his L series 16-35mm lens. I was asking about any place in town that might carry old lenses. He’s more focused on mirrorless and modern, but does have a couple of lenses from his DSLR shooting days. I believe he uses them with an adapter on his Canon R series mirrorless cameras. Anyway, he offered to let me give this lens a try and since I’ve been curious about wider angle lenses on my 6D I took him up on the offer. I took the camera out to the park in front of the house and tried a few shots with it. It was odd standing sooo close and yet not being able to crop down to the shot I wanted. So most of the images I ended up cropping when I ran them onto the laptop to resize and watermark them.

This first pic is of a bloom on an ornamental bush across from my office window. I’ve tried to capture it several times with different cameras and lenses, but something’s always a bit off. This time I was surprised by the “bubble bokeh” background and the relatively sharp image of the blossom itself. It makes me wonder how this might turn out with a tripod or an image stabilized version of this lens.

Canon 6D – 16-35 2.8 L II USM – f/2.8 – S.S. 1/500 – ISO 100

Next up is this image of the trumpet flower (a relative of the nightshade). Same settings as on the blossom above, but as the blossoms are further from the lens and closer to the background, the background is just slightly out of focus, showing a greater depth of field than when the camera focused on the much closer blossom above.

Canon 6D – 16-35 2.8 L II USM – f/2.8 – S.S. 1/500 – ISO 100

Next up is this cluster of roses. You can see the rain drops but the depth of field is too shallow to give much detail of the inside of the bloom. As I couldn’t see well on the screen I didn’t realize I should have taken a few more shots with different f/stops and shutter speeds.

Canon 6D – 16-35 2.8 L II USM – f/2.8 – S.S. 1/1400 – ISO 100

This next shot shows the ability to produce pretty decent subject separation with this lens. Again, with a bit of time and a tripod I probably could have gotten the bud and the flower into focus, but I rather like this pic anyway.

Canon 6D – 16-35 2.8 L II USM – f/2.8 – S.S. 1/320 – ISO 100

And finally, here’s one shot at a “stopped down” f/5.6. Again, you can see the rain drops from the evening before. And again, the details of the inner part of the flower aren’t coming up clear. Still, not TOO bad for a hand held picture.

Canon 6D – 16-35 2.8 L II USM – f/5.6 – S.S. 1/400 – ISO 100

So, is the Canon 16-35 2.8 L II USM lens a nice lens? Yes, indeed! It’s the first time I’ve been able to more than heft an L series lens. So I’m quite grateful to my friend to give me the chance to play with this lens. Is it worth the price tag? Weeeeeelllllll….. for my use? Not really. $500-600 for the original “Mark I”, around $600-750 or so for the Mark II, and $1,100 or so for the Mark III. Yikes! I just don’t see spending that much for this lens – and that’s prices up in the US. Down here this lens sells in the neighborhood of $800 or more on the used market. BUT, I’m glad for the opportunity to try it out.

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