I tried the 8-15mm f/4L out using a rental lens from LensRentals.com (terrific place to try gear). Although my schedule precluded using it extensively, I learned what I wanted to know: it’s a lens that I want in my bag. I have some particular images in mind that I’d like to make in the White Mountains, especially some night shots with the ancient bristlecones on a starry night.
I’ll be doing a full report on the new Canon 8-15mm f/4L fisheye just as soon as I can get one— I have one on order at B&H Photo.
Most intriguing to me is that it can be used as a regular 15mm fisheye covering the entire frame on a full-frame camera, but can also be used for a full circular image.
On Canon’s 1.3X-crop DSLRs such as the 1D Mark IV, it still provides the fisheye effect simply by zooming in, and on Canon’s APS-C sensors it still yields a fisheye image at 8mm. There are “C” and “H” markings on the lens at which photos can be created without vignetting for APS-C and APS-H image sensors (for infinity focus). There is also a zoom limiter switch for use with APS-C sensor cameras.
Since the 8-15mm f/4L as a full 180° field of view, it’s not easy getting a shot without one’s feet!
Initial impressions are of a very contrasty lens with outstanding color saturation.
Canon describes the 8-15mm f/4L as follows:
For filmmakers and photographers who want the look and feel only possible with extreme wide angle and fisheye photography, the new Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM is a world-class choice.
With its unique focal length range, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world's widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180° diagonal angle of view images for all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C, and provides 180° circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS models.
It features UD glass for suppression of chromatic aberration, a Subwavelength coating for reduced ghosting, a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, has full-time manual focus for instant switching from AF to Manual operation, and is built to the standards of the amazing Canon L-series of lenses. This means the finest optics, the best construction and the best performance available, all in a lens designed to stimulate creativity and deliver stunning images every time.
• For all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C
Delivers 180° diagonal angle of view.
• Provides 180° circular fisheye images for full-frame cameras as well as full frame images when using the longer part of the zoom.
• Zoom-lock mechanism on the lens body allows the range to be limited to the focal length that ensures the best possible full-frame view without vignetting for APS-C or APS-H sensors.
• Rear gel holder holds up to 3 pre-cut filters.
• Focus adjustment is via inner focusing and focus cam plus floating mechanism.
• Features UD glass for suppression of chromatic aberration, a Subwavelength coating for reduced ghosting, a Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum.
• Full-time manual focus for instant switching from AF to Manual operation.
|Canon 8-15mm f/4L specifications|
|Focal Length||8 - 15 mm|
|Aperture range||Maximum: f/4, Minimum: f/22|
|Camera Mount Type||Canon EF|
|Format Compatibility||full-frame, APS-C, APS-H|
|Angle of View||180°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||6.2" (15.75cm)|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||1:2.56|
|Dimensions||3.1 X 3.7 inches / 7.87 X 9.4 cm|
|Weight||1.19 pound / 540g (nominal)|
On a full-frame camera, focal lengths wider than 15mm require removing the lens hood, and there will be some vignetting. Also, a fisheye is never a rectilinear lens, so close-range shooting will result in fun-house rendition. Image below is at 12mm, showing how the image circle projected by the lens shrinks as the focal length is shortened.