Canon's full-frame, wideangle-to-fisheye zoom lens attempts to offer more than just a one-trick effect. Mat Gallagher finds out whether this lens really should have a place in your kit bag
Although cheaper, lighter lenses are now designed purely for these smaller sensors, professional lenses are still designed for full-frame use. It is rare, however, that both formats are considered, as it is difficult to satisfy both from one lens without overly inflating the cost or sacrificing the quality.
The Canon 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, then, is unique in that, despite being a full-frame lens, the zoom range contains markings for APS-C and APS-H sensors, which correspond to the minimum focal length that can be used without vignetting.
Using this lens on a full-frame camera will provide a circular fisheye at its minimum and a full-frame wideangle image at its maximum, while on an APS-C or APS-H sensor it will produce a partial vignette at its widest point.
With this information it might be concluded that the lens is designed mainly for the full-frame user. After all, the L-series badging is usually for the realm of the professional or EOS 5D user. However, on an APS-C sensor this lens performs a similar function to a 12-24mm optic, which has always been a nice range for landscapes.