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Lens review

Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II

17 November 2011
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • excellent build quality,
  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • low longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • not very bothersome distortion on the APS-C sensor,
  • slight vignetting on the small sensor,
  • fast and noiseless autofocus.

Cons:

  • weak image quality on the edge of full frame in the wide range of apertures,
  • distinct lateral chromatic aberration even near frame centre,
  • noticeable distortion on full frame,
  • pronounced astigmatism,
  • visible coma in the corners of full frame,
  • high vignetting on full frame,
  • no possibility of using filters,
  • very weak possibilities/price ratio.

The Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II lens comes with a price tag of at least 8,000 PLN. The rival Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC is available for a bit more than 1,000 PLN. The difference in price is so huge that we can speak here about a clash between a Goliath and a David. Like in the Old Testament the underestimated David wins that clash. The Samyang provides a better resolution in the frame centre and on the edge of the frame, lower chromatic aberration, lower coma, astigmatism and vignetting. In the case of the work against bright light we have almost a draw although you still can find slight Samyang’s advantage there. The Canon is better in the category of distortion, autofocus and build quality. However, with such an enormous price disparity, those are not strong assets at all. The small focal length makes autofocus, by and large, redundant and the decisively better build quality is nothing important when for the price of one Canon you can have eight Samyangs; even more if you haggle about it. After all, buying eight lenses is almost a wholesale deal and every shop is going to give you a discount.

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To sum up, in the case of the Canon EF 14 MM F/2.8L USM II we deal with one of the worst price/quality ratio we’ve seen so far. With such optical properties this lens should have cost not more than half of its current price or even less. Especially that a device like the Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8 can also be cheaper than the Canon although it boasts a similar optical construction, demands the same amount of glass and mechanically, because of its zoom, is even more complex; besides it is not worse when it comes to optics and far more universal.


Sample shots

Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/125 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.26 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 6.45 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/80 s, ISO 800
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.22 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 11.97 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 11.28 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3200 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.72 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.54 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 10.5 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.1 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.68 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.31 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.01 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 10.43 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.59 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.47 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 9.57 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.17 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 8.61 MB
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Canon EF 14 mm f/2.8L USM II - Summary
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 7.78 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 11.43 MB
Camera: Canon 1Ds MkIII
Parameters: 14 mm, f/11.0, exp. 1/60 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 5616×3744 pix, 14.97 MB



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