Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM III review

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM III ‘trinity’ zoom is a major overhaul

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM III
(Image: © Canon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Holding up the wide-angle end of Canon’s trinity f/2.8 zooms for DSLRs (or mirrorless EOS R-series cameras via a mount adapter), the third and latest edition of this lens represents an extensive revamp. Corner-sharpness is much improved, compared with previous editions, and build quality is up to Canon’s typically excellent L-series standards. Even so, the Mark III still struggles to hold its own against less expensive competition from Sigma and Tamron.


  • +

    L-series build quality

  • +

    Advanced coatings

  • +

    Fast and constant aperture


  • -

    Not the widest-angle in class

  • -

    No image stabilization

  • -

    Pretty pricey to buy

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The third in its series, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM III joins the latest EF 24-70mm and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms, as the wide-angle lens in the ‘trinity’ collection. As such, it’s not as ultra-wide as the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM zoom, but is an f/stop faster. The maximum viewing angle is slightly less than from the competing Sigma 14-24mm and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 zooms, equating to 108 degrees compared with 114 or 110 degrees. Even so, it delivers plenty of creative potential.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.