Canon 14mm f/2.8L II Review

On a recent trip around Central Europe I decided to rent Canon’s widest full-frame lens, the 14mm f2.8L. At £1800 this is definitely not a lens I would buy before trying it out properly first.

The lens itself is quite compact, especially for a 2.8. It’s build solidly, has a good rugged focus ring, but it weighs a fair bit compared to the other lenses in my bag. The front lens element is very bulbous and almost protrudes further than the built in lens hood. I was very worried about scratching, a problem I don’t seem to have with my other lenses.

The lens performs well, focussing is fast and accurate (testing on a 5d mk2). The distortion isn’t as bad as I expected, it’s sometimes noticeable but after a couple of days use I learnt a few composition methods to make it less obvious.

The lens is tack sharp in the middle of the frame when using a medium aperture, but loses it when wide open. The edges are always quite soft which is less than desirable.

Pros:

  • Widest non-fisheye Lens you can get for Canon full frame
  • Good build quality
  • f/2.8 Aperture

Cons:

  • Price
  • Corner sharpness
  • Vignette

Conclusion

This is almost a novelty lens, it’s so wide that it’s not suitable for a lot of situations, and in terms of commercial use, I wouldn’t use it enough to warrant the high price tag. If you want a fun lens and have money to burn, buy it. Otherwise just rent it on the rare occasions that you need a lens that wide

 

  • Johnls

    I borrowed a 14mm f2.8L from a friend during a trip to UK. I agree it is not an all-around lens and you will need to bring with you some more lenses. I still enjoyed it though.