Lens review

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM

8 October 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between different full frame ultra wide-angle zoom lenses with an apparent field of view wider than 110 degrees. As you can notice in this category there are a lot of differences. The Canon offers the widest angle of view but the Nikkor is faster, aperture-wise. The Sigma’s angles are almost as wide as those of the Canon but it is noticeably worse when it comes to the maximum relative aperture. It would make little sense to compare the weight and physical dimensions of those instruments but evidently the Canon is the heaviest and the biggest lens of this group. It is also worth mentioning that because of huge, bulbous front elements the usage of standard threaded front filters is precluded with any of these lenses.

In the photo below the tested lens is positioned next to the Canon EF 35 mm f/2.0 IS USM.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality

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The Canon EF 11–24 mm f/4L USM starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a slip-in rear gel filter holder. A rear element is 22 mm in diameter and it is positioned on the same level as the mount at 11 mm. When you pass to 24 mm it hides inside the tube about 3 cm deep, revealing a black and well-matted interior of the tube without any shiny parts or electronic components.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a small, immobile ring on which you can find a red dot, making the alignment with a camera easier. Further on you see a zoom ring, 19 mm wide, covered mostly by rubber ribbing under which there are focal length marks at 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 24 mm. The ring is comfortable to use but it moves with a noticeable resistance; it is especially felt in the 11-14 mm range.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality

The next part of the lens is a distance scale expressed in meters and feet behind a window. Nearby you can also find infrared marks for infinity at 11, 16 and 24 mm. On the right side of the scale (while looking at the lens from above) you see the basic parameters of the lens and, on the left, the focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF). On the side opposite to the distance scale there is also its serial number and information that the lens was produced in Japan.

Further on there is a manual focus ring covered by rubber armour with ribs. It is as wide as 15 mm, it moves smoothly and is properly damped across the whole range. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through an angle of about 110 degrees.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality

Behind the focus ring the lens gets suddenly wider as its tube turns smoothly into a built-in petal type hood. On the hood you can find a red stripe, meaning you deal here with the L series, the name and the parameters of the lens.

The front element is impressive indeed, very convex, with a diameter of almost 8.5 centimeters. It is the most extended at 11 mm and it hides the deepest into the casing near the 18 mm focal length.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 16 elements positioned in 12 groups. As many as four of them are aspherical; additionally you have two low dispersion glass elements (one made of UD and the second made of Super UD glass). Inside there is also an aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum. Apart from that the producer boasts of using special Subwavelength Coating (SWC).

Buyers get both caps and a soft pouch for the lens in the box.

Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM - Build quality