The Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens
is a great idea. Featuring a highly desirable ultra-wide-angle focal length in an ultra-light, ultra-small body with an ultra-affordable price and very good image quality, the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens launched to the. I usually have an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with me, and until very recently, that lens had a 16-35mm focal length range. While I use the zoom lens’s entire range at times, I most frequently find the zoom ring set to the widest focal length available — 16mm. Additionally, a general-purpose zoom lens that includes about half of the ultra-wide-angle zoom lens’s focal length is frequently in my bag. You see where I’m going with this. What if you could take a compact prime lens to cover the widest angle needs with the general-purpose zoom lens handling the rest? The space, weight, and cost savings are enormous, and with an f/2.8 aperture, the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens gives up nothing in this regard relative to the fastest UWA zoom lenses. So was the RF 16 the lens to kick the ultra-wide-angle zoom lens out of the bag?
Approaching lens selection from another angle: Canon now has wide-aperture, consumer-grade 16mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm prime lenses available in the RF mount. This set of prime lenses creates a solid, lightweight, and affordable general-purpose kit.
Let’s dig into what the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens is all about.
The ultra-wide 16mm angle of view is the first reason to purchase this lens or select it for use. Focal length drives subject distance decisions for subject framing considerations, and the selected distance determines perspective. When moving back is not an option, 16mm may be a great choice. With even modestly longer focal lengths, you can’t move back far enough to fit everything in the frame that 16mm takes in. When you want a foreground subject emphasized, rendered large relative to other subjects in the frame, 16mm is probably a great choice.The 16mm focal length finds frequent use in architecture, real estate, landscape, and night sky applications.
Architecture subjects are frequently large, and fitting large subjects in the frame often requires an ultra-wide-angle focal length. THerefore, photographers chasing architecture will likely find it mandatory to have the 16mm focal length covered.
Real estate is also large, and in the real estate world, larger generally means increased value. With an ultra-wide-angle lens, you can make real estate appear larger, using perspective to push the background deeper in the composition, a technique that hopefully generates more walk-throughs that sell more properties. The latter point is what gets both realtors and photographers paid.