Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

By Jim Fisher

There are many cheap fish-eye lenses on the market, together with the Lensbaby Round Fisheye and the Samyang 12mm F2.8 ED AS NC Fish-eye. However there aren’t numerous zoom designs (Pentax and Tokina each promote a 10-17mm fish-eye for APS-C SLRs), and none different that change from a totally round subject of view to a extra conventional fish-eye look because the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM ($ 1,249) can. It additionally consists of autofocus, compatibility with full-body cameras, and the construct high quality and climate-sealing that you simply anticipate from an L-collection lens. The price could also be a turnoff for photographers out there for what’s an occasional-use, particular impact lens, however there is no arguing with the standard of the product.

The 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM is sized equally to different extremely-vast zooms. It measures 3.7 by 3.1 inches (HD) and weighs in at 1.2 kilos. The front aspect is bulbous, and there is no thread to accommodate lens filter use. In case you do need to use a filter, you possibly can add as much as three pre-minimize gel filters to the rear of the lens.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM : Sample Image

A removable lens hood is included, with a push-on lens cap. I discovered it simpler to go away the cap hooked up to the hood always, and easily take away the hood for capturing. It blocks the complete round area of view when utilizing it with a full-body camera just like the 6D, however is straightforward sufficient to take away and substitute. There is a button on the aspect of the hoodd to unlock it, and a bayonet mounting ring operating alongside the sting of the front of the lens.

The lens has a single management change, which is a toggle to vary between automated and guide focus. The zoom ring sits on the base of the lens and consists of markings for 8, 10, 12, 14, and 15mm. There are two further markings—C and H. Turning the notched mark on the zoom ring to both of these will set the lens to its widest subject of view the place the image covers everything of the body (with no remnants of its round subject of view) on APS-C and APS-H cameras, respectively.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM : Sample Image

A guide focus ring sits on the front of the lens, simply behind the rear factor. The minimal focus distance is 6.2 inches; that is measured from the image sensor, which suggests you can put the front component extraordinarily near a topic and lock focus. When you love distorted portraits with big noses filling a great portion of the body, the 8-15mm will make you cheerful.

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Usually I run Imatest to verify a lens for sharpness. With a fish-eye that is troublesome, as a normal SFRPlus check chart is not designed to offer correct readings with a particularly distorted body. I wasn’t capable of get any significant knowledge out of the lens at 8mm, however was capable of analyze a portion of the body when testing it at 15mm.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM : Sample Image

At f/4, the lens notches a mean rating of 2,217 strains per picture height at 15mm. That is higher than the 1,800 strains we search for in an image. Decision improves at f/5.6 (2,298 strains) and peaks at f/8 (2,463 strains), earlier than dropping barely at f/11 (2,357 strains). I am not going to be as choosy with edge numbers (Imatest was not capable of analyze these parts of the chart), and even knowledge from the mid-elements of the body, because the distorted view was definitely fuddling with its numbers. There’s some proof of colour fringing in high-distinction areas of the image at 8mm, however it’s one thing which you can take away in Lightroom with relative ease.

In the actual world, I’ve no main complaints with how the 8-15mm performs. Particulars are crisp, even when seen at full magnification, and the lens is extraordinarily immune to flare. Even when capturing instantly into the solar at 15mm f/8, particulars within the image under are crisp, and the solar itself shines above the scene with a starburst rendering.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM : Sample Image

I labored arduous to induce some flare across the fringe of the lens at 8mm. In a single shot I used to be capable of get a bit of bit of sunshine streaking into the black body that surrounds it, however I had to ensure the solar was positioned good, and I needed to shoot at f/4 to take action. For those who’re truly a fan of this impact, take a look at the Lensbaby Round Fisheye—you will need to crop pictures a bit in the event you shoot with a full-body system, and focus manually, however you will get brilliant halos round all of your shot, a advantage of a lens design that omits an internal baffle that is meant to take away this impact from lenses just like the 8-15mm.

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As you’d anticipate with any L lens, the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM delivers crisp photographs, focuses shortly, and is constructed to face up to the trials of actual-world images. It isn’t the one zooming fish-eye on the market, however it’s the one one that allows you to select between capturing a full round image (just like the Lensbaby Round Fisheye) or a extra conventional distorted perspective (like Samyang’s 12mm prime). Particulars are crisp, and whereas I did discover some colour fringing in high-distinction areas of the body when capturing at a wider aperture, these are actually solely a priority for giant prints and pixel peepers, and are simply eliminated with a couple of slider changes when processing pictures. The one actual sticking level is the price. $ 1,249 is not out of line for a lens of this caliber, nevertheless it’s rather a lot to pay for one that’s solely going to see occasional use. You might be higher off carrying a inexpensive fish-eye round. I am an enormous fan of Lensbaby’s cheap, guide focus Round Fisheye lens for that cause—it is robust to beat for its $ 300 price tag. However in case you do not thoughts spending a bit extra, the Canon EF 8-15mm is a fantastic performer with a singular optical design.

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