A very strange lens which suffers from extreme field curvature but exhibits very little barrel distortion. Something quite amazing for a 12mm lens.
Very sharp centrally at 24mm and average at 12mm. Edge sharpness is similar and consistent at both ends of the zoom. CA is its biggest downfall at the 12mm end, but this is moderately recovered in software
Also, its a little slow with maximum aperture of f4.5, so not great for indoor use, unless you use flash or up the ISO.
Update using a 5D,
Although I’ve yet to retest on a 5D, I wanted to see how this lens performs on a FF dSLR.
So I set up the 5D in my garden and shot a number frames at various focal lengths. This lens is very soft (unuseable) at the edges of the frame at both 12mm and 24mm extremes.
However, I found that between the range of 14mm and 20mm, acceptable and consistent sharpness were achievable across FF.
This level of image sharpness was comparable to an EF 17-40L image, with the added benefit of much less distortion.
I am considering buying this lens for my 5D. I was concerned about your comment that the lens was soft (unuseable) at 12mm and 24mm. Could this be just this particular example? Would it be possible to send me some photo’s to see the edge softness?
Thank you for posting so much information for us all to use.
I’ve tried a few of these and I must admit that FF of the 5D really pushes this lens to the limit. Stop it down to f8 and use hyper-focal and it improves quite a bit.
I’ve used it for 8 shot full 360deg VR panos on the 5D and it’s ok if you overlap by >30% , but it’s still soft at the edges.
Drop me an email admin(at)eos-images.com and i’ll send you a couple of FF shots.
Please bear in mind what we are technically asking from a lens this wide. Canon’s own 17-40 is sharper at the edges but is extremely distorted by comparison and its not as wide.
Also, we must put the price in perspective. Canon’s closest wide lens is the EF14 mm and this is 3x the price.
My advice is to take your 5D into the dealer and bang off a few frames as some are better than others.
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