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Showing 1-10 of 55 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 78 reviews
on October 15, 2012
I am updating this review again after having it for a few years and being around the world with it. Along with sample images..

This is in response to bruce's request for a lens suggestion. I am going to add some of my experience shooting with the Canon 8-15mm F4L lens on multiple cameras (full frame, apc, and 4/3).

I bought the Canon 8-15mm F4 after testing many lenses. The 8-15 lens is the most amazing lens. It is optically excellent and it is also very practical If you want to use it for multiple situations like I do.
HAND HELD 360 PANOS
After a little bit of practice, you can shoot hand held 360x180 panos and the 8mm mode of the 8-15mm makes it easy. On full frame, normally 3-4x shot on one row tilted up slightly + one pointing down for the floor (nadir). Zenith not needed. I use my foot as the nodal pivot point. I will plan out my shots based on the shape of the room and the people in it so i can avoid having stitching lines cross major features like people or art. I use PT GUI Pro's masking feature to do it.
This was hand held in NASA's dark room. (5DMK3 With 8-15@8MM)
[...]
Handheld Trick photo as little planet: (5DMK3 With 8-15@8MM)
[...]
original 360 pano (5DMK3 With 8-15@8MM)
[...]
If you use a APC camera it helps to shoot portrait mode.

When i shoot hand-held 360s at night, i will go with wide aperture and high iso to prevent shake. Since the stitched images are bigger than i need them to be, reducing the size of the pano has the nice side effect of reducing the noise of the image.

TRIPOD 360 PANOS:
You can reduce the number of shots and get better faster stitching and better accuracy by using a pano head + tripod. This was taken with a tripod + nodal ninja pano head. (5dmk3 with 8-15@8mm in desert environment)
[...]
I have used this lens on a APC sensor, full frame sensor, and even a Sony Micro 4/3s camera and it really is very versatile and produces very sharp pictures on all cameras. It works great for a walk around lens since you can shoot panos really quick at 8MM then take subject pictures using the 15mm zoom and getting closer. Also if you need super resolution panos, you can zoom in and take take more pictures per row.
If I use it on a pano head, i will stop it down to F9 or so for better sharpness and low iso because the tripod keeps it steady.

HAND HELD NON PANOS + FLASH TIPS:
I have taken this to parties for and I have found this setup works great:
RIGHT HAND: Camera + 15MM. My previous Canon T3i APC camera had a master popup flash built in. for the 5D i am using the cheap Canon 90EX as an ETTL capable master trigger but radio or IR trigger would work too.
Left hand : Yongnuo YN-565 flash set to optical slave with stoffen diffuser.
Pocket: Lens Cap
When i am not taking pictures, I take the lens cap out of my pocket put it on the camera. And put the flash back in my pocket instead. Then I reach for a rum & diet.

sample photo (Canon T3I with 8-15mm at 15mm and flash)
[...]

Other notes: This lens focuses really fast. There is a adobe lens profile for the "8-15 on 7D" that is available for free download, that when used with Adobe light room's lens correction can turn the fisheye image to a non-fisheye if you need it. It works amazing for any APC sensor camera. I have tried it with the Full frame sensors, with ok results. I have found for web, you can seriously crop the image and still have great sharp results.

VIDEO TRICKS:
Here are some tips that people shooting video with this fisheye may enjoy:
Canon 5dmk3 + latest magic lantern can shoot square full frame video at 8MM. Amazing!!!! The built in video recorder button does crops the video to be 16:9 so you need to use the Magic Lantern hack if you want full frame video.

Some of the canon cameras (rebel series) can do a digital zoom that crops just the center of the image. This is a high quality digital zoom that just uses the center 1920x1080 pixels so there is no scaling. So its like having another zoom lens range that has pixel perfect quality! This is a great feature to have with this lens.

CONCLUSION:
I have found the 8-15 zoom is optically excellent and extremely practical in multiple real world situations. It works perfect when paired with a pano head, but it is the most fun to shoot 360s hand held. It allows me to get my camera places that a tripod would be impractical. I have so much fun with it and am confident of it when I want professional results. I hope you find my review and tips interesting.

Dr. Clement Shimizu
Director of Software Design
[...]
Immersive Projection Design

P.S. I am very passionate about this topic because I work with other peoples panoramic and 360 degree images and video all day for work.

>>>> OLD REVIEW

This is my favorite lens. I use it for 360 VR panos its very sharp compared to other fisheyes I have used. I also use it when I go to parties and want just an easy camera to take pictures of party situations when I'm shooting from the hip. I can just point the camera in the general direction of the action and I get everything. I love it.

UPDATE:

I am still loving this lens. I have had a chance to compare it to a prime fisheye lens by Sunex and the sharpness on this blows it out of the water. Its amazing that canon can make a zoom that is superior to a fixed lens.

A few tips for lightroom users:

1) I have noticed in Adobe Lightroom, you can download a lens profile to de-warp the images in the lens correction settings(you need to download it through adobes lens profile downloader). Under lens correction, it will "autodetect" the lens type and zoom settings, but only if you shoot in raw.
2) In lightroom if you choose to dewarp the image, people at the sides of the image circle will become extremely streched. For this reason, if I am un-warping an image, I usually don't do it completely, just a bit. Dewarping faces to one side or the other can be achieved by using "LensCorrection->Manual->Horizontal Offset" in combination with "LensCorrection->Profile->Distortion".
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on October 16, 2012
What a great joy to own and use this lens every day!

I almost ordered this lens last year when I saw it first listed on B&W website for pre-ordering. But I was hesitant at that time, wondering how useful this specialty novelty lens can be on daily shooting. After some time-consuming research, I finally went for it... It was in a pizzeria store in Las Vegas while I was waiting for my pizza that I first opened the Amazon package containing my brand new copy of the lens... Wow! As soon as I put it on my camera (5D3) and started to shoot with it, I was awed! I tried to shoot nearly everything and everybody with it, a lot of photos and videos. And it stayed on my camera for the rest of my Las Vegas trip (2+ days).

Here, I'm not writing a full review or anything close. I just want to point out a few things about the lens (or my copy of the lens).

== On my 7D ==

It won't give me a full circle image, not even something close. Instead, it becomes a super wide zoom lens with fisheye distortion. To me, the distortion is not more annoying than that from a regular super wide lens, and is typically as acceptable (or similarly unacceptable in the case I don't like the wide angle distortion).

== On my 5D ==

It offers a full circle image at 8mm, and a very interesting (somewhat bizarre) image at 15mm. I have almost only used this lens on my 5D, and typically at 15mm only. On my 5D, the lens is

1) super sharp: I think it's sharper than my 16-35mm/f2.8L, 24-105mm/f4L, and 70-200mm/f2.8L. And it looks like even sharper than my 24mm/f1.4L II.

2) it focuses super fast: nearly every time, instantly. Even in a dark environment, as soon as it can see a bit light, it can focus lock on it.

== Two things I don't like ==

One is the lens cover repeatedly falling off the hood. Yet, to prevent the lens from hitting any hard object while it's hanging on my shoulder, I still have to somehow protect the front glass that protrudes from the lens barrel. The coating on the lens glass seems very special that I can easily wipe dusts, water drops, or fingerprints off from it. But it's much easier to get hit, even with its hood on, than all other lenses I have.

The other is the color distortion on the circular edge of its circular image. But I think this is unavoidable. It's not much of a concern to me, though, for I don't shoot many circular images.

== My conclusion ==

This is a great walk around lens (to me), especially for shooting indoors or on busy streets. When and where I typically would go for my 16-35mm, I now would rather use this lens, except when I only want (relatively) distortion-free images.

In places where space is super tight, this is the about only go-to lens that can capture a most usable widest wide shot with a Canon DSLR camera.

This is a great lens for expressing an uplifting sense of humor. A great lens of choice for shooting active kids, playful pets, funny players, or for covering certain dancing or sports, or for capturing just about everything or anybody that you want to look happy, exciting, exaggerating, and so on.

=====

Hopefully my experience is helpful to someone who's considering the lens. Happy shooting!
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on March 24, 2017
Very specialized lens but excellent Canon L quality. This is definitely a "luxury" but is a wonderful lens to use on a full frame DSLR like the Canon 6D. With the new generation of chips, f/4 is the new 1.8. You really get a circular fisheye on a full frame and there are no centering issues as with the inexpensive lenses.
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on December 24, 2012
I guess it goes without saying that no one really NEEDS a fisheye lens. Now that that's out of the way, what about this one? It is a blast! If you're creatively stumped and looking for new ways to photograph people and the world inside and out, this lens will keep you busy for quite some time. It is sharp, obviously super wide angle, and totally fun, fun, fun. If you have young kids, shoot them with it and they will be just as entertained as you are. The list of possibilities is endless--this is a super high quality lens, very sharp, very accurate, great contrast at all apertures.

I recommend [...] for both the review of this lens and for how to post-process images to make maximum visual impact--I leave it to you to go there and see what I'm referring to.

I use this lens on a full frame 5D Mark III--don't know how it would be on the APS-C sensor cameras but now that I have this, I wouldn't be without it ever again.

Go for it! You'll be happy.
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on August 1, 2016
Love this Lens! If you can afford it - buy it. If not, Sigma has a great alternative. Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens for DSLR Cameras. Get it on Amazon! Also a learning curve - but will NOT disappoint.
Thinking about Nokinon? Save your money and purchase the Canon or Sigma.
Your reputation's on the line when you have to discuss poor quality or a re-shoot with a client. They won't care about the lens you used. They will care about your performance and your ability to deliver on future projects as promised.
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on March 20, 2013
FYI since I did not read anything about this item already having the lens hood included and i wasted an extra $50 bucks for one... I just took some pictures with it and on one instant I got some flower pollen on the lens, that's how close you can get and have a sharp image apparently... It's definitely one of the most fun lens I own, I would say this is more for landscapes or macro usage but the lens definitely can make people laugh with the distortion caricature like it gives them.
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on January 14, 2013
This is an excellent if odd lens. You cannot beat it for distortion (that's its thing) so if you want normality, this is NOT the lens for you. I have a specific application (panoramas) to which this lens is well suited. It works well with my full frame 5d mkii as well as smaller sensor Canon cameras. Lots of fringing (what do you expect when at 180 degrees field of view? Very useful for my purposes but a specialty item for sure. What it lacks is a lock at 8mm (it has one set up for smaller frame cameras). At 8mm on a full frame sensor, you get a full circle. To achieve this, the lens shade MUST be removed.

One REALLY ANNOYING thing is that the lens cap clip-on design does NOT work very well, it's very easy for it to fall off exposing the front element to everything.
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on February 9, 2014
If you have only full frame gear, you'll find the ability to do circular or rectalinear images wonderful, even with its limited true zoom range. And ALWAYS keep that hood in place or you WILL bump into things, at least until you get used to it. Great event lens, especially if you are willing to lie down and look up! Great landscape lens if you are willing to get get very close and really take advantage of its stopped down depth of field. And believe it or not, can be a great lens for whimsical portraits with practice. Remember, no filters, and no way you'll get a flash to fill the frame, and you might get to see your own feet occasionally, but overall, a truly fascinating lens to open new ways of seeing.
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on January 18, 2013
This lens is rock solid! I absolutely love it. I have owned a Nikon 10.2mm fisheye, and later a Rokinon 8mm. The Nikon fisheye's image quality held up really well, but the Rokinon not so much. This Canon 8-15 fisheye is the best one yet. The build quality is nothing less than what you would expect from "L" series lenses. It has an interesting "Limit" lever on the side that you can set for a cropped sensor. This essentially locks the lens to become a 10-15mm fisheye on cropped sensor cameras like my Canon 60d. Simply flip the switch back and the range is back to 8-15mm for my 5d MII. 5 stars indeed on the optics as well!
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on January 18, 2013
This is a worthy addition to the L lineup. I've previously used the Sigma 10mm fisheye and the Samyang/Rokinon 8mm, but wanted to add something for my full-frame cameras. This is sharper, focuses faster and works on any Canon body. It's also nice and compact. Fisheye lenses aren't for every situation and take some getting used to, but if you need one, this is the very best one available.

My one complaint is that the lens cover comes off quite easily. You might need to add some gaffer's tape to make the seal tigher.
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