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Lens review

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

4 December 2016
Szymon Starczewski

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

The tested lens practically didn’t have any problems with the longitudinal chromatic aberration. Even at the maximum relative aperture it would be difficult to notice any colouring of out-of-focus images.

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration

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A bit more problems occur in the case of lateral chromatic aberration. Below you can find graphs with the results on the edge of the APS-C sensor and on the edge of full frame.

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration


On the edge of full frame there are no reasons to complain. The aberration is low for shorter focal lengths; for 35 mm it approaches lower levels of average values. The edges of the smaller detector are worse, with good results only at the shortest focal length. You get a medium level in the middle of the focal range and at 35 mm the aberration gets near to high values.

It is a performance similar to that of the predecessor and the Tamron 15–30 mm; it is also better than the performance of the Tokina 16–28 mm and the Nikkor AF-S 16–35 mm f/4G ED VR. On the other hand the Canon EF 16–35 mm f/4L IS USM fared the best in this category as its aberration didn’t exceed 0.09% for any combination of aperture and focal length.

Canon 5D III, 16 mm, f/11 Canon 5D III, 35 mm, f/11
Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration



Spherical aberration

First photos of this chapter don’t feature any „focus shift” effect. Circles of light we got in front of and behind the focus aren’t identical but there are no huge differences between them either. A rim on the edge is visible in both cases anyway so you can’t talk about any noticeable problems with the spherical aberration.

Canon 5D III, 35 mm, f/2.8, in front of Canon 5D III, 35 mm, f/2.8, behind
Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM - Chromatic and spherical aberration