Canon Specialty Lens Specs

Canon 11-24mm ƒ/4L Ultra Wide-Angle Zoom

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ultra wide-angle zoom lens has now been added to ProGear’s robust lineup of Canon zoom lenses, which includes the 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm, and 100-400 models.

We are considering this new 11-24mm as one of our “specialty lenses”, which joins the 8-15mm Fish-eye Zoom, Tilt / Shift (17mm, 24mm, 45mm, 90mm) and Macro lenses 100mm, 180mm, all listed below.

ProGear’s long time customer, photographer and critically observant friend (meant in a most complimentary way) Stu Nowlin has the 11-24mm and we asked him to give us his raw, first impression shots and thoughts of the new lens.

“The first time I get any new equipment in my hands (such as the Canon 11-24mm),” Stu says, “I take some very ‘off the wall, push it as far as I can’ images.  These images may not be pretty or they may even end up being funny, but the images tell me how far I can go in a run-and-gun shooting situation.” 

“It’s easy for me to set up an image, compose, focus and capture.  What tells you the lens’ worth is when you don’t have time to think and just act on your instincts and still get the hero shot on the fly.  Not having to worry about focus, sharpness and color casting based on the zoom of the lens is a true testament that Canon has created a winner.   The 11-24mm is a fabulous lens and it is far better than my 24mm ƒ/1.4 prime lens.” 


“This new Canon 11-24mm ƒ/4L is an amazing piece of glass.  Earliest shots posted here.  My  male Doberman is first.  He really did not like that  piece of glass only 13″ from his face.  The house was also shot at 11mm and only 16′ from the center part of the image.  Pretty rectilinear for a hand held shot!  The last is a branch at 24mm to get the background in as well.”  Above images © Stu Nowlin

Canon 8-15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye Zoom


Chicago’s own Architectural and Location photographer Charlie Mayer tested the Canon 8-15mm

ƒ/4L Fisheye Zoom with astonishing results.  Charlie was commissioned to photograph a private jet and because of the view needed, he elected to go with the 8-15. “The 8-15 Fisheye Zoom fit the shot perfectly.  I brought along the Canon 14mm and it just did not have the desired affect that I was looking to acheive.  I was so close in the cockpit and the 14mm did not cover the entirety of the space.  It’s a tight space to begin with and the final result shows in the sharpness and edge to edge clarity.  For the overall shot I could have used the 14mm but decided to continue with the look and feel of the two interior shots.  The client was extremely happy…as was I.”  Charlie Mayer

Canon Tilt / Shift Lenses

Photographers use Tilt / Shift (TS) lenses mainly for two purposes:  Perspective and Depth of Field (DoF) control.  Architecture shooters love the fact that when they photograph buildings using perspective control, the tops of the buildings do not coverge and the sides remain straight.  Product photographers use these lenses when shooting long items and need to increase depth of field while using the sharpest point of the lens (which is NOT ƒ/22) and not stopped all the way down.  Food photographers employ the opposite of product photographers DoF control and use the selective focus capability by keeping a very narrow plane of focus to help keep emphasis on a particular part of the image.

The main thing to keep in mind is the focal length needed and how much tilt (in degrees) or shift (in millimeters) of the lens you can use.  Typically architecture shooters use the wider 17mm TS, product shooter use the 45mm TS and food shooters use the 90mm TS.   Below is a chart to help calculate focus distances and the amount of TS allowed by each lens.

Tilt/Shift Specs TS-E17mm ƒ/4L TS-E24mm ƒ/3.5L II TS-E45mm ƒ/2.8 TS-E90mm ƒ/2.8
Focal Length Aperture 17mm f/4 24mm f/3.5 45mm f/2.8 90mm f/2.8
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/22 f/22 f/32
Minimum Focusing Distance 10″ 8″ 1.3′ 1.6′
Maximum Magnification .14x .34x .16x .29x
Angle of View – Diagonal 104° 84° 51° 27°
Angle of View – Vertical 70° 53° 30° 15° 11′
Angle of View – Horizontal 93° 74° 44° 22° 37′
Tilt Amount ±6.5° ±8.5° ±8° ±8°
Shift Amount ±12mm ±12mm ±11mm ±11mm
Tilt Scale Display 1° increments 1° increments 1° increments 1° increments
Shift Scale Display 1mm increments 1mm increments 1mm increments 1mm increments
Rotation Locks at –90°, 0° and +90°, clicks every 30° Locks at –90°, 0° and +90°, clicks every 30° Locks at –90°, 0° and +90°, clicks every 30° Locks at –90°, 0° and +90°, clicks every 30°
Tilt Shift Rotation Locks at right angle and parallel, clicks at 45° Locks at right angle and parallel, clicks at 45° Locks at right angle and parallel, clicks at 45° Locks at right angle and parallel, clicks at 45°

Canon Macro Lenses

A note about Macro lenses.  These are dedicated lenses that are designed with the necessary internal lens groupings for optimum macro photography.  Other lenses may indicate that they have a “macro” capability but that essentially means the lens can focus at a close distance and not capture a true 1.x magnification on the sensor.  The above mentioned lenses are in fact macro lenses and will acheive a true 1.x magnification.  The only lens from Canon that magnifies beyond 1.x is the Canon MP-E 65mm ƒ2.8 1-5x Macro Lens (see below).

EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS (1:1)

The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS lens is the world’s first camera lens featuring Canon’s Hybrid Image Stabilization (Hybrid IS) technology compensating for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake. The EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens is compatible with all EOS cameras be it full frame or cropped sensor size.  Do not confuse this lens with its predecessor EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro (note the non-L in the name and does not have IS built in).

Item to note: Although the lens has built-in Image Stabilization (IS) it is NOT RECOMMENDED to enable the IS feature when camera is mounted on a tripod.  Only engage IS when hand-holding the camera.  

EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM  (1:1)

The EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens is the longest focal length lens giving the user the power to really put the background out of focus.  The lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.6′ and the beauty of the longer focal length is this allows both the EF 1.4X II and EF 2X II Extender as well as the EF 12II and EF 25 II Extension Tubes.  Do not get the two confused.

With the use of the Extender

 MP-E 65mm f/2.8 Macro  (1:1 – 5:1)

The MP-E 65mm ƒ/2.8 Macro is Canon’s most robust lens for true Macro photography enabling the user up to 5x magnification.  Be aware that the mnimum aperture is ƒ/16 and the focus distance is 9.36 inches to 1.02 feet.

Macro Lenses At-A-Glance EF 100mm f/2.8L EF 180mm f/3.5L MP-E 65mm f/2.8
Focal Length / Max Aperture 100mm / ƒ2.8 180mm / ƒ3.5 65mm / ƒ2.8
Minimum Aperture ƒ32 ƒ32 ƒ16
Min. Focus Distance 1.0 foot 1.6 feet 100
Max. Magnification 1x 1x (1.4, 2.0 w/extender) 1x – 5x
Use with Extension TUBES No Yes No
Use with TELE Extender No Yes No