|The Canon 15mm f/2.8 fisheye.|
|A short and stubby lens.|
|The front element is bulging with well coated glass.|
|Just like Canon lenses from the 80's, this fisheye has decent build.|
|The lens cap is kind of a pain for this lens.|
The 15mm f/2.8 being an older lens, doesn't have a USM motor. The focus motor is the same as the one from the Canon 50mm f/1.8. It is not quiet but it's not obnoxiously loud either. The ring disengages when you have the focus mode set to auto. The ring does not rotate when the lens autofocuses so there's no danger of stripping the gears accidentally.
|Try capturing this with an ordinary ultra wide.|
The 15mm f/2.8 lens is a small lens. Mounted on a semi pro body such as the canon xx-d series cameras, the lens is pretty little compared to other lenses. This is an ef lens which means it is compatible with aps-c, aps-h, and full frame cameras. Although being a fisheye lens, I would only use this on a full frame body to get the maximum fisheye effect.
The image quality from this lens is absolutely phenomenal. The lens maximum aperture is f/2.8, although when shooting landscapes, it is always smart to close down the aperture a bit to get maximum depth of field. Although this lens is pretty good in the center at f/2.8, I've always used this lens stopped down at around f/5.6 or more. Around f/4 onward the sides of the frame becomes pretty sharp. This is pretty understandable as ultra wide angle lenses usually aren't really sharp on the sides unless you stop your aperture down. Auto focus works like a charm too...on a good day with good lighting, you can auto focus on a spot in less than half a second without the auto focus hunting back and forth.
The lens has a built in metal lens hood painted in black to resist reflections. It has a filter mount in the back of the lens just like the Canon 17-40mm f/4L. Reason for this is that you cannot really mount anything in the front element because of the way it is shaped...as is with any other fisheye lenses in the market. The filter mount has a guide for when you cut your own filters. The front element is protruding so you have to be extra careful with it. I accidentally keep on touching the front element when this is mounted to my camera body.
Here are the things I love about the lens:
Decent build quality
Price is reasonable
Pretty sharp at f/2.8, awesome when stopped down
Color saturation is on par with more expensive lenses
Very resistant to flare
Yes, the lens is ultra resistant to flare. Having an ultra large area of the element exposed to sunlight, the lens has a very good coating that resists flare. You can even shoot with the sun in your frame and still keep the contrast of your image. With some other lenses, the contrast just dies when the sunlight is in your frame. I would say this is probably the best feature of the lens.
|Shot with the sun in the frame...do you see flare?|
The one gripe I don't like about it it the lens front cap. I understand that this is a special lens but the lens cap just plainly stinks. It barely holds on to the lens and will drop once you put the lens in your camera bag, exposing the front element to scratches. There are a couple of fixes for this, I just plainly put a rubber band to keep it on the lens while in storage.
|With the 15mm fisheye, your imagination is the only limit.|