Canon has made a bold statement with its latest L-series lens, but is the world’s widest-angle rectilinear zoom lens all it’s made out to be? Michael Topham puts the f/4L USM to the test

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Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

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Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM review

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£2,799.99

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Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM – Build and handling

Given the price of this lens, you’d expect exceptional build quality and that’s exactly what you get. In true Canon L-series fashion, the construction and overall finish are sublime, while the size of the lens and its enormous, bulbous front element really make it feel as though you’re holding onto something special.

The space between the zoom ring and focus ring is home to the lens’s focal distance indicator and AF/MF switch, with the latter being positioned off to the side of the barrel and ever so slightly pronounced to make it easier to locate from behind the camera. The zoom and focus rings offer an almost identical level of fluidity as they’re rotated, with the zoom ring operating across its range in just under a quarter of a turn.

Canon-EF-11-24mm-f4L-USMTo keep the lens protected from knocks and scrapes, the design incorporates a fixed petal-shaped hood that’s made from strengthened moulded plastic. In use, this hood took quite a battering, helping to shield the glass from accidental impacts that could have otherwise resulted in a costly repair bill for the front element. When not in use, the bespoke lens cap adds further protection, but as we’ll come to shortly, a UV filter cannot be fixed to the lens as an extra precautionary measure.

In similar fashion to some of Canon’s other wideangle zooms, the lens’s design accepts rear-insert-type gelatin filters, which can be cut to size and inserted behind the rear lens element. Attaching filters to the front element is not as straightforward, however, with the bulbous front element declining the screw-in type of filter. Regrettably, no filter adapter was available at the time of testing, but Canon has disclosed to AP that they’re in talks with Lee Filters, which one presumes will lead to a filter holder kit being created for the lens. If the filter holder is anything like the SW150 filter holder for Nikon’s 14-24mm lens, it will accept 150 x 150mm and 150 x 170mm filters, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s currently no polariser or Big Stopper filter made to these dimensions.

  1. 1. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM - Introduction
  2. 2. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM - Build and handling
  3. 3. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM - Image quality
  4. 4. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM - Our verdict
  5. 5. Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Review – Hands-on First Look
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  • IH8RDCLMSLMS

    Canon has come a long way in the last 10 years on the wide angle front. Canon FF shooters need no longer buy Nikon 12-24mm AF lenses or old primes to get decent wide angle images. This lens continues that.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I’d like to see the f2.8 version.

  • Rich Mack

    A tad too expensive, why? Yes, some of you will say…and some will justify the amount of glass gone into this…but really, there are comparisons out there that will do the job. Time to get real..!