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Canon announces EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM  
Monday, September 24, 2001 | by
Alongside the EOS-1D, Canon today announced the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, a replacement for the EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM. It features closer focusing, a new optical design that adds ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass elements and a street price that's expected to be about the same as the wide angle zoom it replaces.

Canon EF 16-35mm
f/2.8L USM (Zoom)

Canon EF 16-35mm
f/2.8L USM mounted
on an EOS-1D (Zoom)

Other improvements include a new aperture blade design that produces virtually circular out-of-focus highlights at f/2.8 through f/5.6.

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM - EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM Quick Comparison
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM
Dimensions (length x max. diameter) 3.3" x 4.1" 3.3" x 3.8"
Weight 21.2 ounces 19.1 ounces
Filter Size 77mm 77mm
Optical Construction
Elements/Groups 14/10 15/10
Number of Aspherical Elements 3 2
Number of UD Glass Elements 2 0
"Floating" Optical System? Yes Yes
Internal Focusing? Yes Yes
Aperture Range f/2.8 - f/22 f/2.8 - f/22
Type of AF motor Ring-Type USM Ring-Type USM
Full-time Manual Focusing? Yes Yes
Focus Ring Moves During AF? No No
Maximum Macro Magnification 0.22x 0.11x
Closest Focus Distance 11 inches/28cm 1.4 feet/42cm
Accessory Compatibility
EF Tele Extenders No No
EF Extension Tubes Yes Yes
77mm Close-Up Lens 500D Yes Yes
Lens Hood EW-83E EW-83C

In the last 12 years, the following four wide angle zooms have graced my camera bag:

  • Canon EF 20-35mm f/2.8L
  • Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM
  • AF Nikkor 20-35mm f/2.8D IF
  • AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF

In each case, I've found the Nikon zoom optically superior to its Canon counterpart at wider focal lengths and large apertures. So, while a wider Canon wide angle zoom has appeal, I'm less interested in the 1 mm of additional focal length and more interested to see if two UD elements, plus an additional aspherical element, add up to better image clarity and contrast.

The list price for the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L is US$2400. Canon also re-established the list price for the Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM at US$8900. Latest estimates from Canon indicate a ship date of early November on the new 400mm lens.

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