Canon Rumors reports that the existence of the EF 11-24 f/4L has been confirmed and several retailers have been provided with info about the lens.
Expected to set you back $2899 ($3100 in Canada), Canon’s new ultra wide angle will be the widest rectilinear lens ever produced for DSLRs.
Despite a maximum aperture of f/4, will this lens put an end to Canon shooters jumping ship in favor of Nikon’s legendary 14-24?
Sigma has been doing an amazing job lately with their new Art series, but while they focus on primes, their 12-24mm lens is about to lose its title as the world’s widest angle rectilinear lens available in Canon, Nikon or Sony mounts.
While breaking a record is definitely a great achievement Canon’s main goal was most likely to try and outdo Nikon’s 14-24mm, and they have done so by a whopping 3mm. That might sound like an oxymoron, and telephoto shooters won’t understand the fuss, but at the wide end of photography 3mm is a whole new world.
On the other hand, many people will be disappointed by the lack of an f/2.8 aperture.
One could argue that cameras today are able to shoot at very high ISO settings and that will make up for the loss of one stop of light compared to the Nikon. One could also say that such a lens will often be used for architecture photography, where no photographer will be caught shooting wide open anyway.
True as that may be, astrophotographers will sorely miss that extra stop and so will some landscape photographers who shoot wide open. Admittedly most landscape photography is done with an aperture smaller than f/2.8, but with a lens as sharp as the 14-24 it can definitely be done. For those who use UWA lenses for the great perspective they offer, this most likely won’t be a deal breaker.
Another gripe from landscape fans will be the bulbous front element of the lens. This is no surprise, though, has the narrower 14-24mm suffers from the same design. The bulging lens prevents the use of screw-on filters and makes your several-thousands-of-Dollars investment very susceptible to scratches, bashes etc. This means you will have to lay out some serious cash for a big, expensive and complicated filter system that you will have to lug around, instead of carrying a small filter or two in your bag or pocket.
Speaking of money, the $3k price tag is sure to amass complaints and criticism. Is $3000 a lot of money? Absolutely!
But is $3000 a lot of money for the world’s widest lens you will be able to mount on your full frame DSLR? Probably not. This is especially true when you take into account that this lens will most likely be weather sealed, and more importantly, was probably designed with the expected 53MP sensors in mind.
Another issue that is sure to arise is the lens’s lack of image stabilization. To those of you asking about this, please refer to the previous complaint about cost. There is also not much need for IS in such a wide lens, and adding it would most definitely complicate the design of the lens.
It will be interesting to see if Canon users will keep switching to Nikon (or use an adapter) for the larger aperture, or will Nikon shooters start crossing over for the wider angle?
Another compelling alternative will be Tamron’s expected 15-30mm f/2.8, which is rumored to cost just $1500 – $500 cheaper than the Nikon and 50% cheaper than the Canon.
Of course for the same price as the Canon you could buy two or more excellent primes to cover the focal lengths most important to you, and enjoy an f/2.8 aperture as well.
Assuming the lens will be released as rumored, which option would you go for?
[via Canon Rumors]