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

EF8-15mmL
Review Date: Feb 5, 2014 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: More versatile than I originally imagined
Cons:
Lens hood, some chromatic aberration at the edge.

Here's (another) update after having used this lens for almost 2 1/2 years. This is one lens I always try to take with me just in case an opportunity presents itself. I have examples of this lens on a FF here:

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/fisheye

Shooting at 8 mm is pretty straightforward and it does take some practice to minimize distortion when shooting at 15mm, also keeping the horizon straight. I like being able to crop to the center part of an 8mm circular image to create some interesting perspectives.

Re: lens cap/hood, I just take the whole thing off and don't mess with the hood.


 
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

EF8-15mmL
Review Date: Nov 8, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,499.00

 
Pros: Another update with more images on FF camera
Cons:
Nothing more than previously mentioned

Here are links to a few more images showing what this can do at its widest zoom setting on a 5DMII:

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/139401105

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/139497138

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/139457079

A fun lens to play with. I now find myself looking for more opportunities to create some unique circular comps


 
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

EF8-15mmL
Review Date: Nov 1, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,499.00

 
Pros: This is an update from my first review. Still very impressed with the quality of the optics and build.
Cons:
The more I use this lens the less impressed I am with the lens cap and hood.

It's not a lens you will want to use all of the time, but the wide open FE on a FF camera is pretty impressive when you do want that effect. With 180degree FOV you really have to watch for stray elements getting into the image. I've caught my feet a couple of times when HH, and my head when doing a full sky on a tripod. Here's a link to an updated image, basically right out of the 5D except for re-sizing.

At 15 mm you can get a decent pano image with some image distortion at the left and right edges; the rest of the image looks great.

Here's another 8mm zoom on the 5DMII:

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/139279683


 
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

EF8-15mmL
Review Date: Aug 26, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fun lens to have in the bag. Lots of versatility. Zoom limiter is helpful but not really necessary.
Cons:
Price, some vignetting

A little better than what I expected from this lens. Zoom limiter is helpful but not really necessary. I bought it to capture whole sky images but can see that I'll be using it a bit more than that for some creative perspective shots.

This isn't the greatest image but does give an idea of wide open on a FF.

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/137560081


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

ef500mmf_4_1_
Review Date: May 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, autofocus speed, sharpness
Cons:
None that really matter

What a wonderful lens! I have had this lens for about a month and am really impressed with almost every aspect. This is a great lens for nature photography, especially for animals that are not easy to approach. I usually use this with a Canon 1.4x Teleconverter II and the sharpness holds up very nicely.

While heavy, it is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I have lugged it attached to a tripod over my shoulder recently on a 2 mile roundtrip hike and it was an o.k. experience, but something I won't probably do on a regular basis.

It is not point-and-shoot hand holdable (at least not for me), but I can get some decent shots if I support my left hand against my body or on my knee when crouched. I think the IS helps make any type of hand holding possible, but a monpod or tripod is required for more keeper shots. I use a Manfrotto 682B monopod with a Manfrotto 3232 tilt head and this set-up handles the weight of the lens/camera (30D) easily. I use a Gitzo 3530LSV tripod with a RRS BH-55 ballhead and a Wimberley Sidekick for a really stable tripod set-up.

The lens cover is a bit of overkill because the leather portion covers the entire lens hood. I would be o.k. with just having this only about and inch or so tall so that it just fits over the end of the lens hood.

The case does a good job of protecting the lens, but it would have been nice for some extra space to carry a camera body and perhaps a TC.

As others have commented about this lens, my only regret is that I did not buy this sooner.

Some recent shots taken with this lens and the 1.4x TC II:
http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/79713306
http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/79707097
http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/79658072


 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Dec 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Fast focus, quiet IS, great bokeh, zoom range
Cons:
Soft wide open, especially at longer focal lengths

I like the 100 - 400 zoom range for an all around lens, which is what drove me to purchase this lens. I had this lens for a few months but decided to sell it because I never was pleased with the sharpness. I know others have had great results withthis lens, but I honestly believe Canon has some quality variability with this particular lens.

I was a little hesitant to get this lens in the first place because of the push-pull zoom, but I actually found it very easy to use. And the weight didn't bother me at all, even on long walks/hikes. Another great aspect of this lens is the bokeh, which is really nice.

I wouldn't mind having a better quality unit in the future and wouldn't hesitate to buy one that I knew was sharp. Unfortunately, my recommendation is "buyer beware" because there are some lemons out there, regardless of what others may think.


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Nov 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, light weight, built-in lens hood, fast focus
Cons:
IS is a bit noisy

I sold a Canon EF100-400L for this lens and am absolutely happy I did. Whether alone or coupled with a 1.4xTC this lens blows away the 100-400.

This lens is very lightweight, considering this is an L series. I really like the built-in lens hood and which Canon made this standard on more of their lenses.

The only less-than-perfect comment I can make on this lens is that the IS is noisier than the 100-400 and the 70-200 2.8L. One of my first shots with this lens can be found here:

http://www.pbase.com/pegsam/image/70126286

Sam
Tucson, AZ