Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM review

Reasonably priced for a Canon L-series lens, the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is also a top performer

(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

It’s not the brightest or sharpest lens you could buy, but the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM represents a superb balance of value and functionality. Providing a useful zoom range that’s especially good for landscapes, the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM bolsters these credentials with extensive weather sealing and a lightweight construction. It handles excellently, and its optical quality is bolstered by UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) elements and coatings designed for protection and enhanced light transmission. Provided you don’t specialise in low-light shooting and therefore require a wider maximum aperture, this is a superb buy for any landscape or cityscape photographer who will make the most of its wide zoom range.


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    Robust, weather-sealed build

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    Lightweight and portable


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    Maximum aperture only f/4

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    Sharpness fall-off at edges

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One thing that’s really special about the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is the value it represents. 

If you’re a photographer who’s generally working to a tight budget, you may have assumed that Canon’s premium L-series lenses, which are generally agreed to be among the best Canon lenses around, would always be out of your reach. Indeed, many of these pro-spec optics can and do come sporting price tags running into the multi-thousands. The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, however, can be picked up for much less. So, if you're a user of Canon DSLR cameras, is this still a premium lens that’s worthy of your time?

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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.