Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can One Millimeter Make a Difference In A Lens? You Bet!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Canon 14mm lens.
When it comes to super wide-angle lenses, most Canon pros I know shoot with two lenses: the Canon 14mm lens and the Canon 15mm lens. I took the photograph above with the 14mm lens. I took the photo below with the 15mm lens.

Buddhist temple, Kent NY. Canon 15mm lens.
Here are the major differences between the lenses:

The 14mm lens sells for about $2,250.00, while the 15mm lens sells for about $800.00.

The 15mm lens is a fish-eye lens, and gives you that fish-eye look (on a full-frame image sensor camera), while the 14mm lens is what's called a rectilinear lens, which offers little or no barrel or pincushion distortion.

The 14mm lens is larger and heavier than the 15mm lens because the 14mm lens has more glass.

Like my fellow pros, I choose a lens for the effect. For example, as with my Buddhist temple picture, I like the distortion in the image. It's up to you to embrace the distortion or to go for a more realistic image.

Also, both lenses let you work in confined spaces, as illustrated by the HDR image below.

All these images are HDR images. For more in HDR, see my iPad app: iHDR.

Los Osos, CA. Canon 15mm lens.
If you like fish-eye lenses and wide-angle photography, keep your eyes out for the release of the Canon EF 8-15mm Fish-eye Ultra-Wide Zoom. I sure am! You can take a tour here.

Canon EF 8-15mm lens.
Here's a tip when using fish-eye and extremely wide-angle lenses: make sure your feet and the feet of your tripod are not in the picture.

Yes, yes, yes! We can correct and create the fish-eye lens effect in Photoshop. I'll save that info for another post.

To see all my gear, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. We shoot at the Buddhist temple on my Croton Creative workshop.

1 comment:

Aloha said...

Thanks for this post, Rick! I've been looking for an ultra wide lens, and being careful not to be impulsive. Your image in the car with the gorgeous red upholstery has got me leaning toward the 8-15. Can't wait for the tutorial on how to fix the distortion!