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Thread: Fisheye zooms

  1. #1
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    Fisheye zooms

    A long time ago in a thread far, far away, this conversation began:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin
    Canon's fisheye zoom is a sad joke of a thing. What were they thinking?
    Quote Originally Posted by William W
    Why, specifically?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin
    That's maybe a bit far off-topic for this thread, William, though I'd be happy to discuss it elsewhere. Suffice to say that the design is brain-dead and if you gave me one I wouldn't find room in my bag for it.
    Hence this new thread devoted to the Canon 8-15/4 fisheye zoom.

    On full-frame, its "zoom" range is 1mm. Yes, 1mm - from 14mm to 15mm. You might as well have a cheaper, lighter prime instead. It also acts as a circular fisheye if you set it to 8mm, which you can count as a bonus if you like. (I wouldn't.) Between 8mm and 14mm it is very badly vignetted and unusable.

    On APS-H, it has a usable focal length range of 12-15mm, with the 8-12mm range not usable.

    Only on APS-C does it become a practical, useful lens, with an effective range of 10-15mm.

    It should never have been given the red L Series ring as it only works (almost) properly on APS-C - and on APS-C you'd obviously prefer the Tokina 10-17, which is:

    • fully usable through the entire 10-17mm focal length range without the need to crop out vignetting;
    • barely more than one third of the price;
    • not much over half the weight.


    You can also use the Tokina on APS-H with a slight reduction in focal length range to around 12-17mm (the Canon is 12-15mm on the same format).

    On full frame, neither product is a lot of use; the Tokina has a range of 14.5-17mm, the Canon 14-15mm). In either case, you might as well have a prime instead. Canon and Sigma both make fisheye primes, which I know little about, doubtless there are some others around also. Strikes me that the Tokina 10-17 is one of the best reasons for still keeping an APS-C camera in your kit. As for the Canon 8-15, probably only its mother could love it. Kudos to Canon for trying something different, What a shame they didn't try for different and useful.

    </rant>
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

  2. #2
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    I've a dual format kit (135 and APS-C) and I have used both those zoom lenses and also the EF15/2.8 Fisheye.

    The Canon Zoom I used was sharper at the edges than the Tokina and also sharper all over than the 15/2.8 Fish and also it can focus closer than the 15/2.8 - not sure about the Tokina as I can't remember but it could be looked up in the stats.

    The 'bonuses' of the Canon I do count as bonuses, for example the 8mm 180 degrees on a 5D Series is nice and quite applicable for some on my uses.

    And I do find the 8mm to 14mm range, not 'useless' on a 5D Series.

    If I only had APS-C then the Tokina would be very good value for money for me and I probably would consider it, because a Fisheye tends to be one of the last lenses to buy and certainly one which is not used often so the return on investment is very poor, but although not used often the Canon 8 to 15 is certainly a useful bit of gear in my Dual Format Kit - it is a bloody sharp lens and well exceeds the 15/2.8 as "a 15mm fisheye".

    I have however not sold my 15/2.8 Fish as it is lighter and shorter than the 8 to 15 zoom and as it has already been paid for many years ago it is more valuable to me, to keep, than to sell.

    That's was a nice rant, Tony, but we all are different and have different uses and mostly the rant was directed at the design and birth of the beasty 8 to 15L compared to your use (and I suspect your already ownership of the Tokina, before the 8 to15L was born).

    Certainly I understand that you like the Tokina and that is why you keep your 50D (not just for that reason alone - I had 50D's and 5D's and that was a great kit), but I think you are tad overzealous ripping into the 8 to 15L.

    As well as her Mother, one of her adopted Dads loves her too. . . and if I travel down in Ballarat I shall bring her down and you can have a play with her. Never know - you might change you mind, understand you still mightn't buy one, but maybe you won't be as terse about her.

    </rebuff>

    WW


    Addendum ... My Fishbowl ... well one of them anyway...



    Image#539832_My_Noisy_Fishbowl
    EOS 5D; EF8~15F/4L Fisheye Zoom @ 8mm;
    1/80s @ F4 @ ISO800; Manual; HH; Available Light; AWB
    Last edited by William W; 07-05-2014 at 4:55pm. Reason: Added Pickie

  3. #3
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    <red herring>
    Going on the shot above, maybe they could be considered as a "room lens"
    </red herring>
    CC, Image editing OK.

  4. #4
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    Definitely this thread is working on a multiplicity of levels.

    </aside comment>

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 07-05-2014 at 5:52pm.

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    Cheers William. I would love a full-frame fisheye zoom, and the reason I dislike the ridiculous Canon thing is that it pretty much guarantees that there will never be one. At least not while that model remains current. Zoom is so important in a fish as any fish is already a highly specialised lens and restricting it to a single focal length makes it a specialisation on a specialisation - i.e., very difficult to get much use from. The Canon doesn't deliver on that; though they bill it as a zoom, it's practical and useful working range is fixed on 135, almost fixed on APS-H, and only remotely "zoom-like" on APS-C. As for it being sharper than the other two you mention .... well, at $1450 plus GST and ten or twenty years newer, it would want to be!

    On my 7D (or the old 50D), as you say, I'm sure that I would find it very nice indeed, But that only makes me want a proper full-frame fisheye zoom all the more, to capture that wonderful richness of scene that fisheye lenses do so well.

    PS: as regards your example shot, I regard that as excellent evidence in favour of my original post! Your Worship, the prosecution rests its case.


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    Yes, thanks it is a nice shot.

    Mind you, ranting without using, is a bit like being an 'armchair critic'

    WW

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    Err .. on your last point, William ... it would be equally fair to say that defending the 8-15 without having used a real fisheye zoom with an actual zoom range is armchair stuff. (Obviously, I won't dignify the ridiculous 1mm usable "zoom" of the 8-15 with the term "range".) Why couldn't they have made something useful, such as (say) a 15-28/4 with no vignetting? It is certainly possible - the Tokina 10-17 zoom designed for crop cameras is apparently a scaled-down version of the original Pentax fisheye zoom made for 35mm film cameras back in the day. (It's now long out of production, of course.)

  8. #8
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    Err.. on that point, Tony ... it actually would be fair to say that there's not any similarity.

    The fact is this thread is:
    devoted to the Canon 8-15/4 fisheye zoom.
    The point which was being made was - about half of the commentary thus far in the thread is forwarded without use of the lens and the other half is predicted from use of the lens.

    The former can be fairly described as an "armchair commentary" and the latter is, in fact, "based upon first hand experience" of the lens.

    WW

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    I would love to hear a lot more about this from anyone that has used this or any other fish-eye zooms. In fact any knowledgeable thoughts on this style of lens in the Canon world. I am currently in the market, hoping to make a purchase in the next few weeks. (From one of your sponsors of course Rick)

    Going back to interweb for more research

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