Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 USM L Fisheye - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Here're some RAW-converted images taken with the EOS 5D II.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 8.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/50s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 15.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/60s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 15.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/80s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 15.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 14.0mm
Aperture: f/13.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 15.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/200s

Verdict

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 USM L Fisheye is a more than welcome addition to the Canon lens lineup. The combination of circular and full frame fish-eye in a single lens is a unique offering in the market. It is also capable of delivering technically decent results. This is especially true for the 8mm setting (thus the circular fish-eye view) where the center quality is just outstanding followed by very good borders. The border quality suffers somewhat at the 15mm (full frame) setting and combined with the high field curvature it makes sense to stop down to f/8 or f/11 here but then these are mainstream settings for such a lens anyway. An important aspect for such a lens with its immense field of view is the back light behavior - after all you will experience many outdoor situations where you cannot avoid direct sunlight for instance. The Canon lens does an excellent job here. You will, of course, notice some local decrease of contrast around e.g. light sources or extreme contrasts but the global contrast remains largely intact and ghostings are comparatively very well controlled. We've seen much worse behavior here from other ultra-wide lenses. Typical for a fish-eye lens you will have to live with some CAs in the corner regions - more so at 15mm than at 8mm. Some purple fringing will also be visible in extreme contrast situations but this issue is, again, lower than average for a lens in this class.

The build quality of the lens is excellent - just as you can expect it from a Canon L lens, of course. The most worrisome aspects is not the build quality of the lens body anyway but the vulnerable protruding front element - you just have to be extra careful here because protecting front filters are simply not possible by design. The USM AF is, of course, very fast and near-silent - this is not an issue for sure - but remember that you tend to loose quite some depth of field if you simply trust the AF system (because it tends to set to infinity focus) without thought in all situations.

Apart from the technical and mechanical aspects it is just a pure joy to play and also work with such a lens. We'll not give it the highest marks for its optical performance. However, we still feel that a "highly recommended" rating is appropriate regarding the unique capabilities of this Canon lens.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
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