The New 2017 Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM Lens Review

The Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II has been one of the most popular contact contacts amongst scenery photography lovers for a fairly very long time. The famous sunstar was one of the most important selling points of the lens and it was one of the most important features that really divided the Cannon lens from the rest of the field.

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM lens review
Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM lens review

When we first heard that Canon was going to release an latest form of the lens we were really thrilled. The Mark II was a fantastic piece of glass, but fought in terms of corner sharpness and control of chromatic aberration along the sides and in the sides of the structure. The improved form of the Canon lens guaranteed to correct a number of those issues while still holding onto some of you will of the previous edition that made it so attracting scenery photography lovers around the world.

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Headline Features

  • Fully weather sealed construction
  • F2.8 highest possible aperture
  • 16-35mm central range
  • Sub-wavelength Coverings (SWC) and Air Area Coverings (ASC) to get rid of lens area and ghosting
  • Two large-diameter double-surface GMo contacts plus a floor aspherical lens to help reduce distortions, curve of field and astigmatism
  • Two UD contacts help to reduce chromatic aberration

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM Performance

The modified Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III USM offers a pretty amazing efficiency update from its forerunner. All of the most important problems that affected the past version of the lens such as coma and horizontal CA, and particularly sharpness both open up and ceased down, have been resolved. Lateral chromatic aberration was a significant problem in the past form of this lens, to the level that it decreased sharpness. The new lens considerably fixes these sharpness and CA problems, especially at 16mm.

Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III Lens Comparison
Canon 5D Mk IV, 16mm, F2.8, 1.6 sec, ISO 100 Photo By Azis Photography

At 16mm the lens seems to perform the best when shot start at F2.8, to the point that you notice the effects of diffraction as early as F5.6. The sharpness and overall picture top quality is downright impressive at the extensive end and the lens provides exceptional overall efficiency that exceeds the previous iteration in nearly every category.

If you’re considering a contact for astrophotography as opposed to a fast prime, the lens handles coma very well and provides incredible sharpness and efficiency start. The variations between the latest edition of the lens and its forerunner in terms of coma are really all the time. This means that picture top quality and detail when shooting evening sky or dimly lighted scenes will really only be impacted by the efficiency of the sensor in the camera and not by the efficiency of the lens, especially at 16mm.

Real World Tests

When comparing the modified 16-35mm F2.8L III to its predecessor the images really speak for themselves. The largest improvements can be seen when the lens is taken set up at nearly every central length, especially in the corners. Even when the first edition of the lens is ceased down to F11, it still can’t contend with the new edition in conditions of area sharpness. Centrally the first edition works best when the lens is ceased down to around F5.6 where the new edition works extremely well set up at 16mm. The new edition of the lens works so well that you can actually start observing the effects of diffraction by F8 at 16mm.

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM lens review
Canon 5D Mk IV, 16mm, F10, 1/125 sec, ISO 100 Photo By Azis Photography

At the longer end the modified Canon lens still outperforms the first edition set up. Even once the Mk II is ceased down to F11, it still can’t quite contend with the Mk III set up in conditions of central sharpness. Unfortunately, at Negatives area sharpness begins to fall off quite a bit (although not nearly as much as the Indicate II) and you have to end the Indicate III down to around F8 to regain it. The past edition of the lens never really sharpens up, even when ceased down to F11

In conditions of lateral chromatic aberration (CA) the new edition of the lens is extremely well behaved, even when taken set up along the sides of the structure. As you quit the modified lens down you do sometimes see a slight increase in CA, but it’s still far better controlled than the first edition of the lens. The Indicate II and the new edition of the lens handle distortions similarly on the extensive end, but the Indicate III has a bit less distortions on the tele end.

Unlike the first edition of this lens, the new edition handles field curvature extremely well, especially at 16mm, and we see very little difference when concentrating centrally versus concentrating in a area of the structure. At central measures beyond 30mm you do start to see some conditioning, but the differences in sharpness really are negligible. In the first iteration; concentrating on a single area would sharpen the lens up in that location, while conditioning the image centrally. This has been largely eliminated in the new edition of this lens.


At 16mm the lens works very well start up, so much so that we start to see the negative effects of diffraction by F5.6. As you shift through the main measures there’s a stop by overall lens sharpness, especially extensive open; the most severe of which can be seen at 28mm where you have to stop the lens down to F5.6 to have the best outcome. Area sharpness experiences as you shift toward the longer end of the lens. By Negatives the best overall outcome is at F5.6, with a smaller cost to main sharpness.


In terms of vignetting the lens recognizes a two and one-third quit loss of the sides at 16mm when taken open up. This enhances by F5.6, but is never entirely removed. As you move through the central range you do see enterprise overall vignetting and it all be vanishes one you quit the lens down to F5.6 at central measures beyond 24mm.


At 16mm the lens is suffering from a reasonable quantity of gun barrel distortion; especially in the sides. By 24mm this gun barrel distortions vanishes and the lens has a small quantity of pincushion distortions at central measures at and beyond 24mm

Transmission (T-Stop)

The lens’ F-number is a theoretical value, and the actual mild transmitting value, known as the T-stop, is always fractionally lower due to mild failures within the lens. Contacts with more elements, like a complicated zoom capability, tend to be a little bit more impacted. The calculated T-stop for this lens is F3.1 which means the lens is allowing through a bit less mild than the F2.8 ranking indicates.

Chromatic Aberration

The modified Cannon lens does a very good job with regard to the managing of CA across nearly the whole central variety. At 16mm you do see a bit of CA in the sides start up, which continues as you stop the lens down, but overall the lens is very well were.


With an comparative central duration of 25.6-56mm and an comparative aperture of F4.5 there are better wide-angle APS-C choices on the industry such as the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Lens or the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM that can really make use of a quick aperture for a portion of the cost. For this purpose we’re not going to consider this lens for use on the APS-C system in this evaluation.

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM Specification

Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon 16-35mm F.28L III USM
MSRP $1599.00 $2199.00
Lens Type Wide-Angle Zoom Wide-Angle Zoom
Focal Length 16-35mm 16-35mm
Filter Thread 82.0mm 82.0mm
Image Stabilization No No
Lens Mount Canon EF Canon EF
Aperture Ring No No
Maximum Aperture F2.8 F2.8
Minimum Aperture F22 F22
Minimum Focus 0.28m (11.02″) 0.28m (11.02″)
Diaphragm Blades 7 (rounded) 9 (rounded)
Elements 16 16
Groups 12 11
Special Elements/Coatings 2-Ultra-low dispersion glass lenses, 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements; ground, replica and GMo, Super Spectra lens coatings 2 large-diameter double-surface GMo lenses and a ground aspherical lens, Sub-wavelength Coatings (SWC) and Air Sphere Coatings (ASC)
Autofocus Yes Yes
Motor Type Ring-type Ultrasonic Ring-type Ultrasonic
Full Time Manual Yes Yes
Focus Method Internal Internal
Distance Scale Yes Yes
DoF Scale No No
Full Weather Sealing Yes Yes
Zoom method Rotary (internal) Rotary (internal)
Weight 635 g (1.4 lb) 790 g (1.74 lb)
Dimensions 111.6mm (4.39″) x 88.5mm (3.48″) 128 mm (5.02″) x 89 mm (3.48″)
Hood Included (EW-88D) Included (EW-88D)