Highlight Tech: Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
Next time you want to go wide, and I mean really wide, check out this 8-15mm f/4 L lens from Canon. By combining two distinct fisheye lens types – “full-frame,” which, while still distorting the image, covers the entire frame 180 degress diagonally, and “circular,” which creates the classic circular vignette – Canon has accomplished a first. The lens is relatively small with that classic L build quality. With the 24-year-old workhorse 15mm fisheye designed for full-frame (i.e. film cameras) showing its age, Canon introduced this last year to accomplish a huge variety of needs for such a niche lens.
This new lens acknowledges the vibrant presence of APS-C and APS-H Canon models. As Rudy Winston explains on his blog:
- At 8mm, this lens provides true Circular Fisheye coverage, if used with a full-frame camera (again, EOS 5D series, etc.)
- At about 10mm, it provides a genuine full-frame, ultra-wide fisheye “look” with a cropped-sensor camera like the EOS 7D or EOS 60D
- At about 12mm, you have the same ultra-wide, full-frame fisheye coverage with the APS-H sensor (1.3x “crop factor) on Canon’s EOS-1D models
- And at 15mm, you’re back to true full-frame fisheye coverage with a full-frame digital SLR, or with a traditional EOS film camera.
The Digital Picture blog also has a great review of the lens, with a lot of real world examples. I encourage you to check it out.