Search For An Article Here:


Entries in lens for camera (1)


Canon Announces The Release of The EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Ultra Wide Zoom Lens


New  Canon EF 8-15mm Fisheye lens.
photo by dirkjankraan on Flickr Commons

The much talked about addition to Canon's L Series line is almost here. It is reported that Canon is just days away from shipping their new fisheye lens, the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Ultra Wide Zoom Lens. B&H; Photo is currently offering a "Notify When in Stock" feature on this product. You can sign up here!

I. What is a Fisheye Lense?
II. Full Frame Fisheye
III. Circular Fisheye
IV. The Old and the New
What is a Fisheye Lens?

A Fisheye Lens is a wide to ultra wide angle lens that captures images with a hemispherical distortion.

The best way to understand this lens is by knowing these two key facts:

1) It is an ultra wide lens which allows you to do all of the following:
   a) Create near-to-far distortion
   b) Get into the middle of your image right up close while still capturing everything
   c) Make your subject big (only if able to get very close to subject)
   d) Get a lot in your image

Wide angle lenses are simply those with a short focal length capable of capturing more in the frame. Contrary to what some believe to be true, being ultra wide doesn't necessarily mean the lens is intended to be used for landscape photography. In fact, in many cases, the opposite would be true.

Below is an example of a standard, wide angle photo (not a fisheye). Notice the nose is very large? The lens would have to be within inches of the cow's nose to capture this image. As a result, the body size compared to the nose size is quite distorted. It almost looks like the nose is as big as the body. This is a great example of one proper use of a wide angle lens.

Photo by Rady One on Flickr Creative Commons

2) The Fisheye Lens is considered by many to be a special effect lens due to the hemispherical distortion that it creates. This means that the appearance of the fisheye effect is essentially a rounding of the corners in one of two different styles. These are:

   a) Full Frame Fisheye - The full frame fisheye look is probably the most common of the two and is typically used in similar fashion to the ultra wide angle lens mentioned in #1 above. This 8-15mm lens, when used on a camera with a full frame sensor like the Canon 5D series or the Canon 1DS series, produces this type of fisheye image at 15mm. If using a camera with an APS-C sensor, the same look can be achieved at roughly 10mm and if using a camera with an APS-H sensor, at roughly 12mm.

Full Frame Sensor: 15mm
APS-H Sensor: 12mm
APS-C Sensor: 10mm

Full Frame Fisheye Example:

Photo by Ian Sane on Flickr Creative Commons

   b) Circular Fisheye - This 8-15mm lens, when used on a camera with a full frame sensor like the Canon 5D series or the Canon 1DS series, produces this type of fisheye image at 8mm. It cannot be achieved using any other sensor size.

Full Frame Sensor: 8mm

Circular Fisheye Example:

Photo by digitizedchaos on Flickr Creative Commons

This new lens really brings a lot to the table. Designed for use on all size sensors, this lens can be used by all level of Canon photographers. Whether you own a Mark IV 1D or a Rebel series Canon body, this lens is built for you.

The Old and the New

Zoom - The new fisheye is an 8-15mm zoom lens while the old is a 15mm fixed focal length. The benefit of the zoom in the new model is the capability of being used on multiple sensor sizes and the capability or producing two different fisheye styles if using a camera with a full frame sensor.
L Series Optics - learn more about L series lenses in our article titled, "Canon's Luxury Line of Lenses - L Series
Focus Distance - the minimum focusing distance on this lens has been reduced from 0.7' to 0.52'.
F-stop range - 15mm Fisheye: f/2.8 - f/22; 8-15mm Fisheye: f/4 - f/22
Filter Holder - accepts up to 3 pre-cut gel filters

Groups/Elements - 15mm Fisheye: 7/8; 8-15mm Fisheye: 11/14. The wider the focal length of a lens, the more elments are needed to combat optical aberrations that likely to occur at the edge of the image. The jump in lens elements combined with the L series build are likely the reason for the steep increase in price which I presume is what caused Canon to build an f/4 model instead of adding more glass for an f/2.8 model like it's predecessor. The upside is what will likely be a massive increase in quality around the edges/corners.
Size & Weight - The new lens is roughly 50% heavier and longer.
Hood - A hood is included with the new model but not built into the lens as in the 15mm lens.

The 8-15mm lens looks to be a really superb lens. However, the price-point will certainly be an obstacle for some. If a Fisheye Lens is something that you're in the market for, something you might consider is how the market for older model lenses will sweeten now. In this case, the 15mm Fisheye is likely to be in short supply with retailers and since a new model will be hitting the market soon, retailers will be looking to unload their stock quickly to make room. Also, photographers and videographers looking to upgrade will be selling their used 15mm models at great prices presenting a real buying opportunity for others.

Old Canon Fisheye

For more information on this lens, visit Canon's Digital Learning Center or Canon's Fisheye Product Page.

Subscribe to Sensory Escape Images via RSS
Connect with FacebookFollow SensoryEscape on Twitter