Photoshop 201
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Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
Name: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
Essential Sale 1-10
1 = I almost never use this thing.
10 = You had better own this, like yesterday.
Essential Scale: 6

Really wide-angle lens that's absolutely amazing. It's one of my phavorites.


A professional-grade wide angle lens, great for shooting in smaller spaces, landscapes, and low light shooting.

Technical Details

  • 16-35mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements produce superior image quality
  • Circular aperture produces natural background blur at wider apertures
  • Ring-type USM for fast and quiet autofocusing; internal focusing
  • Measures 3.5 inches in diameter and 4.4 inches long; 1-year warranty


The 16-35 f/2.8 is an ultra wide lens great for shooting in smaller spaces and low light. This lens is best utilized when paired with a full frame camera, such as the Canon 5D Mark II.

16mm is an extremely wide focal length and can be used to make smaller spaces seem larger and more open. This lens is not intended for close-up portraits, as the wide angle will distort their features in an unflattering manner even at 35mm.

Personal Experience

When shooting in an amazing location that requires me to be close to my subject, the 16-35mm is my go-to lens. It allows me to better show off the subjects surroundings. Shooting with a wide angle lens can be tricky because if you slightly change the position of your camera, it will drastically change your composition. Experiment until you find the shot that you want.

You can view my interview on the Lens Rentals blog about my experience using the Canon 16-35mm to shoot the image below.


Photo by Aaron Nace

Want to know how to make a flood crash down the stairs without ruining the woodwork? You can learn how here!

Who is this lens for?

  • Wedding photographers. When shooting in cramped hotel rooms and dark churches, you’ll want to be able to shoot at f/2.8 and capture entire scenes.
  • Music photographers. This is a great lens for shooting both live concerts and intense promotional images for bands.
  • Conceptual photographers. When you pick out a location that’s perfect for the idea you have but it’s not the biggest space, you’ll want to be able to shoot at a wide angle.
  • Landscape photographers. This is a no brainer. This lens will turn your backyard into a magical expanse of foliage.

Who isn’t this lens for?

  • Portrait photographers. You can take portraits with this lens, but if you’re going to be taking studio headshots your subject’s features will appear exaggerated and cartoonish.

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Random Tips

Want to shoot on a micro level but don’t think you have a lens for it? Take a wide angle lens 18mm or so and hold it to your camera backwards, get close to the subject and control focus with your distance. You will have no aperture control so work exposure with ISO and shutter, but you will be now shooting with a micro scope!