Canon Fisheye Lens Review

The word “distortion” typically has a negative connotation, however, in the world of fisheye lenses, distortion is intentional and used purposefully to create an illusion of extreme depth. Why do people use fisheye lenses? Because there’s not a better way to showcase the world from a spherical standpoint. Learn the ins and outs of ultra wide-angle photography by reading my Canon fisheye lens review.

Canon Fisheye Lens Review - Fisheye Lens Cap

What Is A Fisheye Lens?


A fisheye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces visual distortion. Due to the shape of the lens, the photos appear panoramic or hemispherical. Standard camera lenses have a 50° angle of view, whereas, a 15mm wide angle lens, or fisheye, has a 180° angle of view.

Because of this angle, everything you see in front of the lens will be visible in the image.  Much of the distortion occurs at the edges of the photo, making the objects in the center appear unusually large. This creates the distorted perspective unique to fisheye lenses.

Features:

Brand: Canon Focal Length & Maximum Aperature: 15 mm / 4.0
Lens: Wide Angle Focal Length & Minimum Aperature: 8 mm / 22
Dimensions: 3.27 x 3.11 x 3.11″ Compatible Mountings: Canon EF
Weight: 1.19 pounds Lens Description: 15 millimetres
Diagonal Angle of View: 180° Max Focal Length: 15 millimeters
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.16m/6.2″ Drive System: Ring USM
Filter Size: Rear gel holder Lens Construction: 14 elements in 11 groups

The beauty of extreme wide-angle lenses is that straight lines are no longer straight, they become warped and curved. This allows you to get some amazing compositions, whether you’re shooting cityscapes, architecture, or landscapes. When used strategically, the distortion created by a fisheye lens can be used to draw the viewer into the image, making it an effective tool in creating engaging visual stories.

Wide-angle lenses can also be used judiciously to take some interesting selfies and portraits. Keep in mind that distortions can occur in terms of head size or make the subject look heavier than they are. Fisheyes are great for comically distorting facial features for fun caricatures.

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Fisheye Lens Effect


The following are some examples of photos taken with an ultra-wide fisheye lens. I love the circular effect below:

beach with palm trees

This shot is cool too:

fisheye view of city

Love this skyline! Fisheyes lenses are particularly useful for shooting from low angles:

cityscape at night

Distortion can be dreamy:

green glow in woods at night

I love how the buildings on either side of the canal appear to be bending inwards:

canal with buildings on side

Here’s another image shot from a low angle:

city scape form ground view

This photo certainly conveys a mood:

snow covered pine trees at night

Canon Fisheye Lens


As you can see, fisheye lenses make it possible to capture unique shots that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. They most definitely up the interest factor! There’s no end to the spectacular effects you can create with ultra wide-angle lenses.

My favorite fisheye lens is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 ultra wide zoom lens. It works on cropped sensors, but is made for full-frame cameras in order to get a complete 180° field of view along it’s diagonal. This is the only fisheye zoom lens that goes from full circular to extra wide, producing both circular and diagonal fisheye images. The autofocus is fast, ensuring laser-sharp images.

Pros

  • Performs well in low-light
  • Advanced optics for professional imaging
  • Fast autofocus
  • World’s widest fisheye lens
  • 180° circular fisheye images on full-frame EOS models
  • Subwavelength coating to reduce ghosting
  • Innovative fluorine coating to prevent fingerprints
  • Full-time manual focus for changing from manual to AF
  • Accepts up to 3 gel filters (pre-cut)
  • Comes with a lens hood

Canon Fisheye Lens Review - Fisheye Lens

Cons

  • Smallest aperature is f/4.0, which is to be expected on zoom lenses
  • Will work on a cropped sensor but without the full-circular effect
  • This lens is fairly pricey

The Canon 8-15mm fisheye performs well in low-light, and at night, which is a significant bonus because ultra wide-angle lenses are especially fantastic at capturing beautifully lit cityscapes in the evening.

The 8-15mm fisheye is hands down one of the highest-quality professional Canon wide-angle lenses for full-frame sensors. It’s also one of the best multi-purpose fisheye lenses because of its wide zoom range.

With a 4 1/2 star review – it’s unanimous – this lens is a winner. It’s not exactly inexpensive, but then again not many Canon lenses are, and considering how incredible it performs, it’s well worth the price.

Canon Fisheye Lens Review - 4 1/2 Star Review Buttons

Key Points


Fisheye lenses incorporate intentional distortion to create unparalleled shots that would be impossible using a regular wide-angle or portrait lens. I love them because they provide limitless creative potential.

I know fixed lenses are fast, with wide aperatures, and I have a couple favorites that I use regularly, but I mostly prefer using zoom lenses. If I’m in a hurry or distracted during a photo session. I hate taking the time to switch lenses. If you’re in the market for a fisheye, definitely check out this little beauty by Canon. It may just be your new favorite toy…

Do you have a fisheye lens? Let me know in the comments:)

 

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

$1,249.00
9.8

Overall Quality

9.8/10

Features

9.8/10

Functionality

9.8/10

Pros

  • Superior construction & optics
  • Performs well in low-light
  • 180° circular fisheye images on full-frame EOS models
  • Innovative fluorine coating to prevent fingerprints
  • Fast autofocus

Cons

  • Will work on a cropped sensor but without the full-circular effect
  • This lens is fairly pricey

6 thoughts on “Canon Fisheye Lens Review”

  1. I love taking these sort of panoramic shots on my phone, but by reading your article I learned that they are normally taken with a fisheye lens.

    I want to try taking the photo’s from low to high as you have demonstrated, as I haven’t tried that yet and they look stunning.

    Reading this made me miss my Canon camera which I sold because it was cumbersome and I thought I could just take pics with my phone, but it isn’t quite the same quality, unfortunately.

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading Michel. Panoramic shots are fun, aren’t they? I like experimenting with different angles, especially shooting from a low angle with fisheye lenses. You can get some really unique shots!

      Reply
  2. I am a lover of photography and I love taking pictures of landscapes and I believe this Canon fisheye lens will be a great lens to bring greater artistic expression, drama and even humor to my images. I like that it has the ability to focus close to a subject, and get a large depth of the field. Great review! Keep it up.

    Reply
    • Thanks for you comment. I love landscape photography also. Fisheye lenses are great for cityscapes, landscapes, and architectural photography. They’re even pretty fun for portraits and selfies! The depth of field and distortion is amazing!

      Reply
  3. I have always been interested in learning photography, but the timing just never seemed right to continue learning, due to the many other responsibilities, including work. I am glad that you have provided information here on the basics of fisheye lens/ photography. And oh by the way, your photos are so amazing, makes me feel like I am actually there seeing the view right in front of me.

    Reply
    • Photography is awesome and so fun to learn about. I understand though that learning takes time, and other responsibilities get in the way. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Reply

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