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

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For shooting on the ultra-wide side, Canon has announced the Canon EF 8–15mm/4L Fisheye USM, a rather unique lens in the sense that the wide end of its zoom range produces a circular 180-degree true fisheye image when used on a full-frame DSLR, and a  full-field rectangular 180-degree fisheye image when used on a compact (APS-C format) DSLR.


The Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is expected to be available in January, 2011, for an approximate retail price of $1,400. The new fisheye zoom is also a Canon 'L'-series lens, which along with pro-quality barrel construction and weatherproofing, contains 14 UD glass elements in 11 groups with Subwavelength and Fluorine coatings to minimize chromatic aberrations, flare and ghosting, and USM motors for quick, responsive focusing. The new zoom also features an AF/M switch to allow easy back-and-forth operation between manual and autofocus.

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  Cool lens. But does this mean that at 8mm on a full-frame camera, the image will be vignetted? But then at 15mm it's not?  

Branden wrote:

  Cool lens. But does this mean that at 8mm on a full-frame camera, the image will be vignetted? But then at 15mm it's not?  

Yep.

There is an actual use for this kind of lens in the CG industry:

People doing CG create images like you will see at 8mm and use them to help accurately light CG enviroments for use in movies, tv and video games.

Dovie Eisner wrote:

Branden wrote:

  Cool lens. But does this mean that at 8mm on a full-frame camera, the image will be vignetted? But then at 15mm it's not?  

Yep.

Branden wrote:

  Cool lens. But does this mean that at 8mm on a full-frame camera, the image will be vignetted? But then at 15mm it's not?  

According to the somewhat limited info afforded by Canon on this new lens, at 8mm you have what old-timers would call a traditional, circular 180-degree fisheye pic surrounded by a field of black pixels.

On a compact (APS-C) DSLR, the 8mm setting produces a 'full-field', rectangular fisheye image.

Branden wrote:

  Cool lens. But does this mean that at 8mm on a full-frame camera, the image will be vignetted? But then at 15mm it's not?  

full frame. shouldnt be but maybe some noise

I've been waiting for Canon to produce an 8mm to use for Qicktime panoramas. Great News.

The most interesting of all of Canon's new offerings!

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.  also any idea what the price might be (even a ballpark guess would be appreciated)

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.  also any idea what the price might be (even a ballpark guess would be appreciated)

The estimated MAP for this lens is reported to be somewhare in the neighborhood of $1400.

If you are asking if the lens is rectilinear, we believe so, but some of the details about this lens are still sketchy at this time, but we fully intend to shoot a hands-on test with this interesting lens as soon as one becomes available.

Stay tuned...

Allan Weitz wrote:

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.

If you are asking if the lens is rectilinear, we believe so, but some of the details about this lens are still sketchy at this time, but we fully intend to shoot a hands-on test with this interesting lens as soon as one becomes available.

Stay tuned...

AW - how is it possible for a fisheye to be rectilinear? That's an oxymoron!

John MacLean Photography wrote:

Allan Weitz wrote:

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.

If you are asking if the lens is rectilinear, we believe so, but some of the details about this lens are still sketchy at this time, but we fully intend to shoot a hands-on test with this interesting lens as soon as one becomes available.

Stay tuned...

AW - how is it possible for a fisheye to be rectilinear? That's an oxymoron!

Cut the poor guy a break... he says he 'believes so' and the details are still sketchy.

And FYI, if you fit a 14mm/f2.8 Canon rectilinear ultra-wide angle lens onto a medium-format camera the image you'll get is a circular fisheye image because the image circle is too small for medium-format, even though it's rectilinear when used on a 35mm camera.

Perhaps the same is going on here when you go from full-frame to APS-C format?

But we don't yet do we? So let's all sit tight until more info and/or a few samples of the lens start showing up for testing on this and other websites.

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.  also any idea what the price might be (even a ballpark guess would be appreciated)

uh, reading comprehension fail

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.  also any idea what the price might be (even a ballpark guess would be appreciated)

$1200-1500

Nathaniel Weir wrote:

Anonymous wrote:

will the image at 15mm be corrected for perspective.  also any idea what the price might be (even a ballpark guess would be appreciated)

$1200-1500

Perspective correction is not a feature of any fisheye lens.

Canon's widest correct perspective lens (rectilinear) is the 14mm 2.8.

Rectilinear means a shape, be it square or rectangular, will be a square or rectangle in the finished image as long as the object and image plane in the camera are not tilted in respect of each other. Point one of these lenses up or down to get a subject framed and the result is parallelogram distortion.

And although the rendering is rectilinear if you have an object too close to the lens the result does not look natural.

Sigma isn't the only one making circular fisheyes now.  I wonder if it makes any difference, my local dealer says almost no one has asked about the circular fisheyes.  Maybe some of that is hesitancy over a Sigma lens, but if that's the only one available, then it's trying if you want that.

The vignetting is the only way you can get a good 180 degree continuous field of view, you get an image that's a circle.

 An interesting addition. I use my existing Canon 15mm fisheye a lot, but only on my 5D II. This new lens will allow me to get a decent fisheye effect on my APS-C 7D. Also, a full circle on the full-frame sensor will be nice extra. This one is definitely going on my list. I just hope the image quality is as good as the current 15mm fisheye prime. (Even if it isn't, I'll probably still get it!)

Here's an article on DP Review. No sample images yet. They say that on full frame sensors, it's circular to rectangular depending on setting. On small sensor cameras, apparently you can lock it to the range where there's no vignetting.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10082616canon8mm15mm.asp

Bill.Antalek wrote:

Here's an article on DP Review. No sample images yet. They say that on full frame sensors, it's circular to rectangular depending on setting. On small sensor cameras, apparently you can lock it to the range where there's no vignetting.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10082616canon8mm15mm.asp

Note - DP Review's 'article' is simply Canon's initial press release & spec sheet, which is all that's currently available at this time.

This is really interesting. I currently use a Sigma 8mm for spherical HDRI's and a Canon 14mm for really wide "normal" shots but it would be nice to be able to do it all with one lens instead of two.

Jim Andrada wrote:
This is really interesting. I currently use a Sigma 8mm for spherical HDRI's and a Canon 14mm for really wide "normal" shots but it would be nice to be able to do it all with one lens instead of two.

The excellent 14mm Canon is a rectilinear lens, with an angle of view around 114 degrees diagonal across a full frame from memory.

The 15mm Fisheye is not at all rectilinear and covers close to 180 degrees across the same diagonal.

So if you want rectilinear results the new Fisheye will not work unless you use software the remove fisheye distortion. (and end up with a widescreen format image).

It could replace the 15mm Fisheye and give you the option to make images like your 8mm lens at the other end of its range.

 The fish eye look was over-done 10 years ago.  Come on!  Improve the wide zooms and get them to near the quality of Nikon's wide zooms.

Anonymous wrote:

 The fish eye look was over-done 10 years ago.  Come on!  Improve the wide zooms and get them to near the quality of Nikon's wide zooms.

The lenses HAVE been improved, but they only will be released with one small improvement at a time to extract the greatest amount of money from the consumer.

All lenses produce circular images but in the case of most lenses the circle is way larger then the chip or film it is imaging on. With this lens at 8 mm on a full frame (larger chip) the entire circle fits into the sensor area. On a smaller sensor the circle is outside the recording area.

A vignette occurs when something blocks the light (image) entering the lens causing darker corners. These are two different phenomena and saying that the image is vignetted in this case is incorrect. 

Pricing and availability

The EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye should arrive in January 2011 for $1400, the 70-300mm in October for $1500, the 300mm in December for $7000 and the 400mm is scheduled to arrive in December for $11,000.

Finally, after years Canon slept for so long since they producted superb Canon FD 8mm fisheye was last prime lens. Good thing, I have not purchase lousy and overpriced Sigma circular fisheye lens.

This new Canon fisheye zoom from circular to full-frame (8-15mm) is a real winner. But wonder if this lens will provide sharp image over EF 15mm and FD 8mm? Just pray it will provide excellent image!

My concern is what kind of price will they release for this lens? Hopefully, it can be affordable.

I strongly believe this lens designed for full-frame sensor or film based EOS. But anyone who use APC-H or APC-C sensor will increase focal length (1.3x and 1.6x). It may not give a full circular if use other than full-frame sensor/film. Your best bet to go for a full-frame EOS with this lens will advantage full 8mm circular and true fisheye. If you want to have a true circular fisheye for APC-C then go for Sigma lens. For 15mm focal length then it will give you a full-frame only on full-frame sensor only. For APC-H, you will get 19.5mm or for APC-C then you will get 24mm. It means the lens will give you only ultra wide-angle or super wide-angle not fisheye.

That is why, I use a full-frame EOS digital and film cameras.

Good luck!

Interesting idea and I think Canon "gets it" making a lens that has value on full frame cameras AND 1.6 or 1.3 crop chips units. They know many of their pro and serious non-pro shooters are going to go full frame some day (soon?). I think a lens with feet in both camps is darn smart and I applaude them for the attempt. But with a $1400 price; that may keep me at bay for a while.   

 As far as I know, until now only Tokina makes a fisheye zoom. I have been considering it, but have read some less than acceptable reviews. But the price is right. Does anyone have experience with the Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom?

I'd be interested if it was f/2.8 or faster... I don't really have any use/need for a variable fisheye lens... I'd get more out of the 14mm f/2.8L II USM...

With the Giga Pan, that could let you make a large panorama without taking tons of shots, and everything would be crystal clear... I'm looking to test/purchase a Giga Pan soon... I'll need to get the EPIC Pro since I would use it with my 1Ds MK III body... The 10 pound weight limit on it could be trouble though... :/

OK I want one, But How much???????? Could it be more that the 30mm Hassy???????

The Sigma lens is complete garbage, like shooting through a pipe on full frame cameras, no just vignetted, way worse.  I enjoy the 15mm fisheye currently but there are shots for our industry where the 8mm will be better suited and having some adjustment as opposed to a fixed 15mm is going to be sweet.  I would wager this will come in around a $800 or less hopefully, at an F4 it should be.

There is an actual use for this kind of lens in the CG industry:

People doing CG create images like you will see at 8mm and use them to help accurately light CG enviroments for use in movies, tv and video games.

The fisheye look is essential for extreme sports, this lens is important for those with 1.3x sensors, all they have so far is the tokina 10-17mm which wont compare for a full frame equivalency. a fisheye by definition means distortion, if one buys a fisheye then corrects it in post, you are crazy and wasting time.   They should have built a lens hood to protect that huge peice of glass.

There is also the Carl Zeiss 16 mm F-Distagon, full frame 180 degree diagonal, that can be used on Canon. I use mine surprisingly often. The widest fully rectangular I am aware is the Zeiss 21 mm Distagon (CY or ZE fitting), and you can straighten a ruler using this lens. 

Gel filter holder on the 8-15 mm is interesting, but wonder how useful it is in practice. Most often gels is use for color balance, or in B&W for changing grey value of certain colors. Given that one can do color balance in camera, and greyscale work in photoshop, what's the point of a gel filter? You add problems with non-flat surfaces and reflection +++ and resulting image deterioration. Center filter would be interesting to control light fall-off, but impossible to make one for a zoom, so you need a stack of them. They are not cheap, and as far as I know only available in glass. Have some for my LF WA lenses. Pol filter is also problematic, as most (all?) gel pols are linear-pols, and pol filter on a UWA lens is also tricky at best. And there does not seem to be a rotation possibility. No problem for circular fisheye, but for anything longer you run into issues.

Last but not least, it is a zoom, so cannot produce the image quality of primes. I file this one under interesting, but of no personal consequence.

 How does it compare just to the prime lens like EF14mm f2.8 I or II? Just curious. 

Thanks for sharing the information. 

-Kel

kel619 wrote:

 How does it compare just to the prime lens like EF14mm f2.8 I or II? Just curious. 

Thanks for sharing the information. 

-Kel

For me im considering actually selling the 5d mki and going to the crop 50d in order to afford this lens, and an extra say 85mm 1.8 for other areas!

would the 15mm part of the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM be about 30mm on a crop then? wouldnt this offer a pretty decent alternative to owning multiple lenses then? 8mm would be about 16 or near fish 15mm would be about 30mm which would be near the awesome 35mm 1.4? if not shows how much i know about well anything.