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Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
17 141340 Oct 4, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,571.43
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.67
6.50
7.4
ef14mmf_28l_1_

Specifications:
This ultra-wide-angle lens has the shortest focal length in the L-series. Element 2 is an aspherical lens to correct distortion. Other aberrations such as astigmatism are also corrected, resulting in ideal image quality. The lens has a fixed, petal-type hood and a gelatin filter holder at the rear.


 


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Todd Klassy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 290
Review Date: Oct 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wonderful wide lens, unique angles, good color rendition, fun lens.
Cons:
Softer in the corners, some chromatic aberration, non-detachable hood.

The first generation of the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM is a fun lens. Some would call it a boutique lens (or niche lens), but it is a nice lens to have for large, sweeping landscape photographs and unique angles of view. Having this lens in my camera bag allows me to take photographs that few other photographers have, making my photographs more unique, and as a result, more marketable.

Image quality is very good, but not super exceptional...but that's only because images tend to be a tad soft in the corners, especially when it is mated to a camera with a very large sensor, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The front element of this lens is very large and bulbous, and it protrudes forward, which means you need to take great care when using this lens. Front filters are not an option.

This lens was already very pricey before it was replaced by the more more pricey Mark II version. I'm confident that the image quality of the Mark II version is a substantial leap forward, but so too is the price.

Overall I like this lens and I am very happy have it.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2997118707/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2332708636/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2816999467/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/3075204229/


Oct 4, 2010
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edwardzeltser
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Registered: Jul 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, amazingly sharp from f3.2 on 5D
Cons:
A bit pricey


Sharp, fast, excellent build quality.
Noticeable edge distortion (what would you expect from this focal length?)

To see some samples on 5D please go to http://edzeltserphoto.com , Clients, Lenses, Canon 14mm



Jul 22, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Mar 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great rectilinear wide angle and fun to use.
Cons:
Bulbous front element, prone to flare, rear element very exposed and high cost.

Honestly $2000 is hard to justify on this lens. Don't get me wrong, it a very nice lens and IQ is definitely very good among its class.

Here are some sample shots taken with a 5D (take note to some comparison shots between the MkII version and this lens, interesting finds with flare and soft edges):
Sample Photos

-Roy


Mar 12, 2008
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neridah
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Registered: Jul 16, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 970
Review Date: Mar 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp-image quality-Build
Cons:
Nil

Outstanding lens despite the Version II release this still packs serious punch....

Mar 6, 2008
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S Zozgornik
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Registered: Oct 17, 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 9
Review Date: Nov 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Well build, low distorsion, quite sharp even at 2.8,
Cons:
strongest CA I have ever seen, very soft in the edges, flare!

It is not as bad as often told, but its far from excellent...
Better as most of the other 14mm Lenses, but it cant compare with the new one.


Nov 29, 2007
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pascal03
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Registered: Jan 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4148
Review Date: Sep 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build quality, optically very good, quick AF (although not necessary), rectilinear lens works very well on full frame or crop body. Widest rectilinear prime lens available for a full frame Canon EF Mount
Cons:
Can get a bit pricey, front element is exposed as are most such lenses. No ability to use filters (again, common to such lenses)

I was skeptical before I purchased this lens. In addition to the extreme cost, almost all reviews on just about every forum/article indicated that this lens was lacking optically. I decided to go ahead and buy this lens anyway as my other options were the Sigma 14mm f2.8 or the Tamron 14mm f2.8 or the Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6. I have owned the Sigma 14mm f2.8 as well as the Sigma 12-24mm. The Sigma lenses are not in the same league as the Canon 14L they simply are worlds apart.

Contrast is very good and the colors are wonderful. Distortions are well controlled. For indoor shots or for a really wide angle perspective, this is the only lens I would pick.

If you use or have used a 16-35mm or 17-35mm, the extra 2-3mm does add to the wide angle perspective significantly. The 14L is/was sharper than the Canon 16-35L Mk 1 at 16mm and has less distortion while providing the extra perspective.

The lens is sharp at the center/mid-corners wide open at f2.8. However, as most might agree, one seldom shoots extreme wide angle at a large aperture. For depth of field, I use this lens mostly at f5.6-f11.0. This lens hits its sweetspot - sharp in the corners as well as at the center at f5.6 - f8.0.

The Sigma 12-24mm has very good distortion control. The converted Zeiss 17-35mm has the best overall image quality. The 14L has a little bit of both and some qualities of its own that make it an essential part of any WA kit. Try it out and you will be addicted Smile


Sep 28, 2007
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Duncan Butcher
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Registered: May 12, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 15
Review Date: May 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Ultra sharp through all apertures. Minimal distortion on the corners unlike the 16-35L Mk i.Amazing rendition of colours, especially blues.
Cons:
Very expensive. A real niche lens, always seems to be on the camera when you need reach :)

A super super sharp prime. A real niche though because of the ultra (ULTRA!) wide qualities. An unreal interior lens, especially if you love wide interior shots. Renders colours beautifully, especially blues and reds and oranges.Has none of the distortion, well minimal distortion, unlike the 16-35L Mk i in the corners.

Price is ridiculous for it though.Money better probably spent on a 16-35L Mk ii unless you are a UWA freak like me.


May 28, 2007
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Ludo Monchat
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Registered: Jan 28, 2007
Location: France
Posts: 12
Review Date: May 4, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Really wide, very small and light, acceptable distorsion, fast focusing, f2,8
Cons:
Way too expensive, really soft corners even stopped, CA, and a huge amount of flare and ghosting.

Linear Ultra Wide Angle Zoom, the 14L is the easiest way to go on FF and to play with the image. This lens is fun, really fun to use and some shots can be quite good but beware of the CA, of the corners if you plan to use them and *beware* of the flare and ghosting. Each and every light creates reflexions of different colors and because of the front protruding element, it's impossible to get rid of them. All in all an average lens that I sold after 9 months when I bought a Leitz Super-Elmar 15mm f3,5 slower but night and day better.

May 4, 2007
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manoel
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Registered: Jan 25, 2007
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

good lens for FF

Mar 16, 2007
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manoel
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Registered: Jan 25, 2007
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, focus, contrast...good for 5D, excelent at f5,6-f11
Cons:
no good at f2,8



Mar 16, 2007
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perbo
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Registered: May 30, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp.. (from f2.8!)
Cons:
price a little bit too high

I also own the 300 F4 L non-IS, the 100 2.8 macro USM, the 50 1.8 mk2, a very good copy of the 17-85 IS, and the zenitar 16 mm fisheye.
The 14mm is the sharpest of all, even wide open.
It is sharper than the medium format carl zeiss biometar 80mm 2.8 MC (with adapter of course) stopped down Smile
On my 20D is a 22mm, wonderful for panoramas, indoor, low-light handheld shooting. I've tried it on a film EOS and the 114 FOV is amazing..
too bad for the price, but it is "the" L series wide angle lens after all Smile


Nov 27, 2005
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normski
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Registered: Oct 24, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 414
Review Date: Sep 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: well made, well corrected, low barrelling
Cons:
cost, sample variations

can't complain apart from price. my first copy was a dog (how many are out there?). never really sharp at any aperture and went really soft in the centre of the image from f8 - f16 while the surrounding stayed relatively ok. came back from canon repair exactly the same - unuseable. second copy - amazing - sharp at f2.8 and all the other stops to f16. talk about a night and day difference. BUT this should not be the case for a low volume high end lens. my conclusion is that canon qc leaves something to be desired. however based on my second copy of this lens i can recommend it.

Sep 4, 2005
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Review Date: May 14, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Any Canon L lens is sturdy and well built compare to the non L
Cons:
Too much flares is the weekest link for such a superwide angle lens. The Chromatic Aberration (CA) can be fixed but not the edge softness of this lens. The contrast and saturation is not as strong as the Carl Zeiss optics.



May 14, 2005
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The Image
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2979
Review Date: Mar 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great build,
Cons:

i bought this lens originally to give me wide angle ability with my 1.6 crop d60. its a great lens. although now i have a canon 15mm and its noticeably sharper. in fact i rarely use the 14mm anymore instead using my 15mm.which delivers incredible image quality. although when i do eventually purchase a full frame camera i think i'll start using the 14mm on it being that its well corrected and minimizes distortion on the sides.
my advice if you own a 1.6 crop camera get the 15mm instead of this ...it will give you the same field of view(actually a tad wider) and it will give you better image quality at a third of the 14mm's price


Mar 4, 2005
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Kris K
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Registered: May 6, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 172
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Excellent wide angle perspective, good color, excellent build.
Cons:
Expense; good, but not great sharpness, especially on a full-frame. Vignetting wide open

Great perspective on a 1.3 or 1.6x digital. Sharp enough to be quite useable, but a little too expensive for what you get. Surprisingly fast focus for an ultra-wide angle lens. Rear filter mount a necessity, but a pain. Fairly prominent CA and flare in the "wrong" photographic circumstances.

I purchased this for my original D30 and it performed quite well. In retrospect, the 15mm/2.8 fisheye would probably have been a cheaper and better choice (especially with all the great perspective correcting programs that are now available).


Mar 15, 2004
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mark1958
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Registered: Jan 27, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 8294
Review Date: Apr 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Very wide --- sturdy build
Cons:
Some CA sharpness lacking on the edges

I think if you need a really wide angle lens this would be it. However, I found the 16-35 to be equally as sharp and the colors and contrast to be very similar at 16mm. The trade offs are the zoom vs extra 2mm. For me the zoom was much more valuable. I suspect if i was shooting interiors often I would have kept this lens but in the end, I sold it.

Apr 2, 2003
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Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
17 141340 Oct 4, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,571.43
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.67
6.50
7.4
ef14mmf_28l_1_


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