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Gear Rumors

Canon Working On a New 16-35mm F/2.8 Replacement?

By Anthony Thurston on March 30th 2015

The need for a super high quality ultrawide for the EF mount has always been strong in the Canon system. It’s not that what Canon currently offers is terrible or anything, but there is definite room for improvement based on what their competitors offer.


Well, those of you wanting a better F/2.8 ultrawide option may be getting your wish. According to a new report over on Canon Rumors, Canon is working on a new replacement for the 16-35mm F/2.8L. It may also get a focal length upgrade, going to 16-35mm to 15-35mm, with optical performance upgrades as well.

This will be music to the ears of event and landscape photographers in need of fast aperture and wide angle zooms. The 16-35mm F/4 is a great option as well for those who are not in need of the fast F/2.8 aperture.

Sadly, while Canon may be working on the idea, CR says that it could still be quite a ways off, pointing to the manufacturing demands of the new 100-400mm and 11-24mm lenses.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to see an update for the 16-35mm F/2.8L in the near future? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Marlin Woodruff

    as I have said on so many occasions, options are great the more the better…

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  2. satnam singh

    lets see what happens!!
    canon will do something that we cant imagine with this lens too !!

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  3. Matthew Saville

    This lens is going to have a pretty steep uphill battle.

    The Tamron 15-30 has stabilization, is literally flawlessly sharp, and costs $1200. It’s only down-side compared to a new Canon L 16-35 might be its added weight, the lack of front filters, and the potential for Tamron build quality to be a long-term issue versus the Canon. (Then again, the existing Canon 16-35 has one of the worst reputations ever for horrible, un-usable decentering that basically turns the lens into a tilt-shift, so there’s that…)

    The Nikon 14-24 is also flawlessly sharp, can be found for about $1400-$1500 used nowadays, and has one of the best reputations of any ultra-wide ever for NOT de-centering over the years. (Although its one drawback is the vulnerability of its rear mount casing, which can pinch the zoom ring if impacted hard enough…)

    The Rokinon 14mm is, of course, 1mm wider, also quite sharp, and just $250-$350.

    Tokina is always on a roll with new ultra-wides, and Sigma has actually stated that they’re interested in making an ultra-wide Art lens sooner or later.

    Canon will probably make this lens as sharp as they can, which hopefully is as sharp as the 11-24 and the 16-35 f/4 IS, and do it with less vignetting, coma, and other IQ nit-picks compared to its competition.

    …The problem is, if/when Canon does accomplish this, WE will find ourselves staring down the barrel of another $2,399 lens that doesn’t offer much that the layman can’t get for about half the price.

    It seems that $2.4K is the new $1.4-5K… (The Nikon 17-35 and Canon 16-35 mk1 debut MSRP, circa 2001)

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    • adam sanford

      The presumption that all Canon f/2.8 zooms are $2300 is not a bad guess, given the 70-200 2.8 IS II and 24-70 2.8 II started out in that neighborhood. That’s roughly *twice* what the Tamron is asking for, btw, and it has IS (VC, whatever) and I’m strongly guessing this new Canon 16-35 won’t have it.

      But for that money, that lens had better do my taxes for me. Unless it’s sharper than the Tamron (a legitimately tall order), I can’t see weather sealing and a front-filter ring justifying that kind of markup.

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    • Matthew Saville

      No, weather sealing and filter threads alone wouldn’t do the trick, but what if, say, in ~6 months time we get a general consensus that Tamron has QC or de-centering issues with the 15-30? That could put a serious dent in their sales…

      All in all, I’m suspecting that it won’t exactly beat the Tamron for sharpness, nor the Nikon 14-24: they’re already splitting hairs, and unless they can claim the lens is significantly more ready for 50 MP, it’s not going to be that much of a difference.

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  4. adam sanford

    The UWA lens train keeps on chugging away. Canon just recently released two killer UWA zooms already:

    11-24 f/4L covers the architecture folks (and those poor souls with ultra-ultrawide sickness)
    16-35 f/4L IS roundly and comprehensively covered the landscapers (we were so long in waiting for that one!)

    So my money’s on this new lens to be dedicated to event/sports use (and possibly astro), so a 16-35 f/2.8L *III* would appear to be what’s coming. They will need to really deliver in the corners as Tamron has already trumped the current 16-35 f/2.8L II with their new 15-30 f/2.8 VC (for only $1,199!).

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  5. Jeremy Huynh

    Just got the 16-35 f/2.8 V2 on last October. Definitely a lens I adore. Just lacks of the stab (shooting handheld still landscapes in the darkness would be a bit simplier), and maybe too much flares.
    Would be great that they update those features.
    But not a lens I would buy now, as the upgrade would cost me too much.

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  6. Michael Burnham

    A type-II version of this lens will also mean a serious bump-up in price for it. Quite frankly I would like to see an update 50mm f/1.8 lens with STM, metal mount plate and 9 bladed circular aperture first.

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