Canon Wide Angle 11-24 mm F4 L

I was privileged to review the 11-24mm F4 L lens. The sample lens was the same one many of you that attended the recent Canon Road Shows had the chance to see for the first time. Currently it is the world’s widest rectilinear wide-angle zoom lens available. (It is corrected as much as possible, so that straight lines in the subject appear straight in the image)

Click on the images for a link to a small gallery of images:




The first comment any people made when handling the lens, was how ‘heavy’ it is. Weighing in at 1.180kg it is nearly the same weight as my old 70-200F2.8L MK I. I like to use the word stable to describe it and for me this is a plus, as I often like to shoot out of hand and grab without having time to setup my tripod. I seem to be able to get a steadier shooting stance than I do with my current wide angle.

Some of the questions ask by the technical photographers including the following and I have added my opinion to the answer.

  • Corner to corner sharpness – pretty spectacular and detail is great in the wide-open landscape scenes I did shoot and the images are crisp sharp and clear.
  • Vignette – At F 8 it was visible but with a simple lens correction in DPP 4 it was an easy fix without loss of IQ.
  • As it is a rectilinear lens, shooting with a level camera becomes more important with landscapes. One can either shoot from a high vantage point or just keep the horizon just off centre. If you want to be creative, the convergence effect when shooting up or down can add some unique qualities
  • Filters – The lens can take a gel filter in the rear but as always, leading filter manufactures are working on a large kit and adapter for this beast and I am sure will have a working solution for those photographer who enjoy shooting those single exposures. For those that use extensive blending techniques in post processing, the results of the image quality will further add to your image quality and overall output image.
Canon Listed Specifications and Features
  • L-series ultra-wide zoom lens with an 11mm starting focal length
  • New optical design and the use of one Super UD element and one UD lens element helps significantly reduce chromatic aberration.
  • Four aspheric lens elements help minimize distortion from the centre of the image to the periphery and across the entire zoom range.
  • Sub wavelength Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) help to significantly reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Highly resistant to dust and water.
  • Inner focusing, ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms.
  • Circular aperture (9 blades) helps deliver beautiful, soft backgrounds.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 11 in./0.28m (at 24mm) is ideal for shooting in tight spaces.
  • Full-time manual focus allows manual focus adjustment while in AF Mode.
  • Fluorine coating on front and rear lens surfaces helps reduce smears and fingerprints.

There are many well-versed technical reviews out there on this lens as it now beginnings to find its way into the bags of many photographers worldwide. In South Africa, it is in high demand and currently still on back order for a few weeks. Is it worth the wait of you enjoying shooting wide? All I can say is with out a shadow of doubt. Click on this image for a link to a small gallery of sample images captured with my trusty 5D MK III

Keep shooting with peace and light always –  AA