For two weeks in May, I had the pleasure of shooting with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM. I was extremely excited to try this lens at this time because I knew that the Milky Way was due to appear. It meant I would be able to test the lens with one of my favourite subjects and shoot some astrophotography.

This Canon lens is an ultra-wide-angle optic with a fixed f/2.8 maximum aperture. Having a large maximum aperture is useful for astrophotography because it enables you to get much better images in low light. That’s because the lens allows more light to pass through to the sensor.

That’s especially helpful in dark condition as it means you don’t need to extend the exposure time or boost the ISO.

Key Specifications:

  • Full frame compatible
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Ultrasonic motor
  • Weight: 640g
  • Length: 4.4inches
  • Filter diameter: 82mm

Astrophotography with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

Astrophotography with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

I couldn’t believe how sharp the images were coming through my camera when I was using this lens. Normally, I use the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM for astrophotography and I noticed my images were much clearer when I used the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM.

I found myself dropping the exposure time to around 10seconds. Also, I didn’t need to go to the top end of my ISO range when shooting the night sky. 

I’m so glad that this lens part of the L-series as a part of ‘Canons best precision-designed EF optics’ because they got this completely right.

I found the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM incredibly easy to use for astrophotography. My advice if you’re trying it is to aim to match up the manual focus line to just left of the infinity line as best you can. If you do that, your images will be crystal clear.

If this wasn’t quite right I found that some aspects of my images were not as sharp as they should be. After aligning these markings properly, I eradicated the problem.

Conclusion

I think the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM is a fantastic piece of equipment for astrophotography. It’s a lens that any eager astrophotographer should have in their bag. In my view, it’s simply amazing!

The quality of the results is undeniable. Its great as an overall lens, not just for night sky imagery, it works just as well for daytime shots and group photos.

To summarise, would I buy it? YES!

Astrophotography with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

Follow this link to browse my full-resolution images shot using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

Matt Pinner’s Images From The Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8 L II USM

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Astrophotography with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
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Astrophotography with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
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Landscape photographer, Matt Pinner swapped his usual lens for the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM for a spot of astrophotography. Here's how he got on...
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Camera Jabber
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