Canon 8-15 mm vs 11-24 mm

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sami_palta|1, May 14, 2015.

  1. I have a Tamron 16-28 mm lens. Want to buy a wider one. Searched what is good and found out Canon 8-15 mm f/4 and 11-24 mm f/4.
    Both are L lenses. Both seems good. Both full frame lenses. 8-15 mm lens is wider fisheye but almost half price of 11-24 mm.
    I am very confused after reading the reviews of Ken Rockwell about both lenses.
    Rockwell says : " it's the world's widest ultrawide lens" for 11-24 mm. Isn't 8-15 mm wider than 11-24 mm?

    I see 8-15 mm is fisheye and 11-24 mm is ultrawide... why 11-24 is much more expensive?
  2. They are totally different lenses. One is a fishye, one is rectilinear. Either you want a fisheye or you don't. Fisheye lenses "distort". Every straight line in the image will be curved, except those that go through the center of the image. Rectilinear lenses also distort, but straight lines stay straight. The penalty for this is that objects towards the edges of the image are "stretched"
    The 8-15 has a wider angle of view. What Rockwell should have said (or maybe did say?) is the 11-24 is the widest rectilinear lens for 35mm full frame DSLRs. The 8-15 gives a circular image in the middle of the frame at 8mm, with a 180 degree angle of view.
    See for more information
  3. The 11-24mm is so expensive because correcting the distortion at ultra-wide angles requires a very complex lens combination to correct.
    A less expensive alternative is to buy a 15mm f/2.8 diagonal fisheye (used from Canon or new from Tamron) and de-fish the image, assuming that you prefer rectilinear. These lenses give a 180-degree diagonal field of view, which is surprisingly more than your 16-28mm. I use this setup and like it a lot. Of course, de-fishing cuts down on that angle of view.
    I use the ultra-wide view quite often and plan to buy the 11-24mm next year, once I'm past paying for my 500/f4 II, that put a big dent in this year's budget.
    Meanwhile, here's a de-fished 15mm diagonal fisheye shot for reference:
  4. Thank you for info.
    But I find 11-24 quite expensive for extra 5 mm wide difference...
  5. @ DavidStephens: Which filter(s) did you use at this picture ?
  6. As explained above, going wider and wider makes a lens a lot more complicated. So, yes, going from 16 to 11 does cost a lot. However, every single millimeter at these wide angles makes a lot more difference than it does between, for example, 28 and 29mm (which you will hardly notice). On a full frame camera, 11mm is really insanely wide.
    Using these lenses on an APS-C camera makes little sense - there are smaller, cheaper and wider options available specific for APS-C cameras that do make a better choice all in all.
  7. There is also the 12-24mm Sigma worthy of consideration. For myself, I consider the 11-24mm an expensive and rather specialized lens, but I suppose if one wants the extra 5mm over your 16mm for $3000 then you can get the behemoth. It is a big and heavy lens and I frequently read how Nikon users end up not taking out their 14-24mm because of its size, and the 11-24mm is bigger and heavier, so it will be important to look at it before ordering. To date, no filters can be fitted to it, which may or may not be important to you.
    The 8-15mm is both a circular and a full frame fisheye on a full frame camera, so it is also unique. I cannot think of a single time I would want a circular fisheye picture, but I enjoy a full frame fisheye pic very much, so half the capacity of the zoom would be wasted for me. This is why I have the Canon 15mm fisheye which is great: wider, very much smaller, and much much cheaper than either the 11-24 or 8-15mm. What is good for me, though, is not necessarily good for you etc. etc.
  8. new from Tamron​
    I think you mean new from Sigma.
  9. Samyang offers an affordable 14 mm. Alas, manual everything, no zoom and a rather peculiar distortion.
    The recilinear 11-24 lens seems to be very well corrected, which means expensive. With the 8-15 lens less efforts seem to have been made to correct all abberations, thus it goes from fisheye to rectilinear with less corrections than the 11-24. You get what you pay for.
  10. Sami Palta, asked:
    @ DavidStephens: Which filter(s) did you use at this picture ?​
    No filters my friend, just Colorado evening sun and sky. RAW conversion in DxO Optics Pro with geometric distortion correction.
  11. You may not think 5mm is very much but it is a lot. I recommend that you check out some field of view comparisons of wideangle lens focal lengths. The best website for this is not allowed to be linked to on I suggest googling "canon 11-24mm field of view comparison" and see what you find.
    I will try providing this link to another comparison which is also useful:
    I might be able to justify a used version of the 11-24 in a few years but until then I will likely go with a used Sigma 12-24 to go with my Canon 17 TS-E and Nikon 8mm circular fisheye. I enjoyed a 14mm f2.8 for many years.
  12. Thank you for info.
    But I find 11-24 quite expensive for extra 5 mm wide difference...

    As I tried to explain before, it's not expensive because of (or despite) a 5mm difference, it's expensive because it's a rectilinear lens, which is more complex and difficult to make.
  13. I am very confused after reading the reviews of Ken Rockwell about both lenses.​
    Don't worry, that's normal. If that buffoon told me it was Friday I'd have to check the calendar.

    The 11-24mm is so expensive because correcting the distortion at ultra-wide angles requires a very complex lens combination to correct.​
    ...yet Sigma can do it for a quarter of the price.
    The Canon 11-24mm is an outstanding lens with exceptional image quality. It is the overall quality that justifies the price for me. If the OP must have such a wide lens then the Sigma 12-24mm lens is by far the most economical solution. Just be prepared to play the usual Sigma lucky dip game i.e. buy 5 lenses and pick one good one.
  14. Compare the Canon and Sigma at
    If you don't see much difference, buy the Sigma.
  15. The Sigma is a pretty good lens. (The Canon is obviously much better.) Its lack of distortion is freakishly good. You have to stop it down a bit (e.g. f/8) for it to be at its sharpest. That said, I don't think you will find it (or the Canon 11-24) a very useful lens, except in very unusual situations. As with any UWA rectilinear lens, you will see a lot of stretching of 3D scenes in the edges and corners. Some people like that, particularly for clouds in landscape images. However, the stretching is so extreme as to be somewhat ridiculous. I find 16 or 17mm on a full frame camera to be just about all the wide I ordinarily want for photographing most subjects -- at least for any photograph I want to be pleasing to the eye. When using my Sigma, I usually don't use 12-15mm.
    FAIW, I've taken a lot more photos with my diagonal fisheye than with my Sigma 12-24. And my 17-40 also gets a lot more use. The Sigma mostly sits around waiting for those special situations when it, and only it, will shine.
  16. Since you mention checking the calendar...
    "Today is cancelled.
    There is no April 1st, in 2015. This is a leap year."
    I thought that was pretty good.

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