Canon EF11-24mm F4L USM
Haven't you ever wished if the lens were a little wider? However, unless you have a specific purpose, you would hesitate to bring an ultra-wide angle lens wider than 15mm because even fixed-focal lenses are bulky and hefty. The Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM is the world's widest wide-angle zoom lens whose wide-end is wider by as long as 5mm than what Canon offers in their genuine lineup. In the case of wide-angle lens, 1mm in focal length makes a big difference. So, unlike the previous version with the 16mm wide-end, getting this lens is like getting 5 additional ultra-wide angle lenses of 15mm, 14mm, 13mm, 12mm, and 11mm. Anyway, let's try it and see how differently it draws everyday scenes.
( Photography & Text : A.Inden )
Checking resolution. I waited for good waves standing at the edge of the breakwater and holding the camera as close as to the water surface. The perspective of 11mm emphasized the width of waves and the white lines look endless. I was also impressed by the texture rendition of the bubbles. The high resolution also makes me want to shoot this lens with the new 5Ds.
I stopped down to F8 at the 11mm wide-end. To check the edge-to-edge resolution, I often shoot bamboo forests because the shape of bamboo leaves is sharp. As you can see, the resolution of the long bamboo and their small leaves is stunning (click the three images below to see the 100% crop of the upper left, the center, and the bottom right part of the image).
Checking separation of in-focus and out-of-focus at F5.6. While the in-focus part is very sharp, the out-of-focus part has natural bokeh, maintaining the shape of the subject. In addition, I can utilize the corners actively because they are sharp. Plus, it wonderfully expressed the difference of tones and colors of the leaves (click to enlarge the upper right and bottom left parts).
Checking bokeh wide open. We don't expect bokeh taste from an ultra-wide angle lens, but we're also curious about it. Although I didn't think F4 is fast enough to draw the airy feel by bokeh, the hydrangea flowers blooming along the path is defocused gradually according to the distance while their shape is maintained to the far end.
If you don't like insects, I'm sorry. At 11mm, I can only shoot subjects that don't move even if I get close to them. It has some amount of bokeh front and back, but the corner bokeh seems to be bleeding at this close distance wide open.
Presence of subject felt by realistic texture rendition
As I was organizing images, I started to wonder if this lens could be best characterized by its wonderful texture rendition. Images shot with high-resolution lenses do look precise, but they tend to look hard as well. And, I believe this tendency becomes more noticeable with wide-angle lenses. But, this lens is different. It's so good at drawing the very sensation of touching the sharp leaves, weathered paint of the car, and thick rust. Honestly, I like this lens.
The light in the backstreet looks like a spotlight. The containers have a great contrast between vermilion and sky blue. The texture of the containers looks different by the frequency of use. The clothes and signboard in the shade make me want to touch them. This is the rendition I have been looking for.
Because of the realistic texture drawing, I wonder if the flowers should bounce back when I cover them with my hand and they should feel a little cold.
Because of the reflection on the water surface, the 3D quality of the wet hydrangea and the leaves on the basin, I can feel the depth of the water.
Shoot things you couldn't shoot before.
At Kenchoji-Temple in Kamakura, I could finally shoot the dragon on the ceiling and the colorful clothes hanging around it within one frame. I used to regret that I couldn't include all of them in one frame, but my long-cherished dream was finally realized. And, this ultra-wide angle lens shows my familiar scenes of Tokyo, Kamakura, and Shonan differently. Just don't get too serious about how to best utilize the inconceivable angle of view of 11mm. Instead, go to the location where you couldn't shoot before and look into the viewfinder. Then, you'll feel even funny to be able to see everything I need to see within a frame so easily and I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Another amazing thing about this lens is that it's free from common issues with wide-angle lens. I've heard that professional photographers make great effort to "make wide-angle shots don't look wide" and "show texture of subjects without exaggeration." With this lens, they don't have to work so hard anymore because of the minimum distortion, smooth falloff in the edges, and natural texture rendition.
( 03.07.2015 )