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Canon’s Extreme Wide-angle for Cinematographers

The new Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM may look like a lens for stills, but it also works for video.

The EF 11-24mm f/4L USM is Canon’s widest ever full-frame ultra-wide zoom lens, and apparently the widest available in the world at the moment.  Photographers have a special interest in this lens, but cinematographers may be surprised with the results the lens offers.

Featuring the widest angle of view (126°05′ diagonal) ever achieved for a rectilinear full-frame Digital SLR lens (in January 2015, excluding fisheye lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras, meaning SLR and compact-system cameras), and a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (at 24mm), this new lens is ideal for professionals who want the ultimate in creative image expression with sharp, crisp detail whether shooting entire buildings from a close position, entire stadium shots from a high-vantage point, large group photos at a scenic wedding or even astrophotography.

Fully compatible with all EOS cameras, this new L-series lens features newly developed optics comprised of 16 elements in 11 groups with a three group zoom system and rear focus. The new optical design utilizes four aspherical lens elements to help minimize distortion from the center of the image to the periphery, across the entire zoom range. This new optical array provides straight lines with minimal curve throughout the zoom range, ideal for architectural, event, and forensic photography. The lens also features one Super UD element and one UD lens element to help significantly reduce chromatic aberration and deliver sharp images with high resolution. Canon’s advanced lens coating technologies are also liberally employed to help minimize ghosting and flare, while simultaneously enhancing accurate color balance and maximum light transmission efficiency.

“Canon is very proud of its optical heritage. The creation of this new lens continues our tradition of providing photographers with unique image-making solutions that are not only thoughtfully designed but precisely engineered and manufactured,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The new Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ultra wide-angle zoom lens features newly developed optics and an unprecedented combination of Canon optical technologies. We are very eager to see the beautiful images that photographers will create using this new lens with Canon EOS DSLR and Cinema EOS cameras.”

Although most of the references point to photographers, the truth is that this lens is also a valuable asset for cinematography and video, as the example published with this article shows. The small movie “Spectacle” was shot using the zoom lens EF 11-24mmf/4L USM and is a good example of the lens put to good use. In fact, while the information available states that “the new lens accurately reproduces straight lines in the subject with minimal distortion, ideal for architectural and landscape photographers looking to create images with tremendous depth and strong perspective”, again pointing to photographers, these characteristics make the lens a good choice for video, especially for cinematographers needing a wide field of view. The lens’ ability to retain straight lines will, no doubt, impress cinematographers.

Wide-angle lenses are especially prone to flare and ghosting. To help reduce these effects, the new Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens features Canon’s proprietary Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC). SWC is applied to the rear surface of the first and second aspheric lens elements, while ASC is used on the front of the fourth element. The SWC coatings are particularly effective for combatting flare and ghosting caused by light rays entering the lens at a large angle of incidence, while the ASC coating helps mitigate the same problems for light rays entering the center of the lens. The new lens also employs Canon’s Super Spectra Coating (SSC) to enhance light transmission while at the same time optimizing color reproduction accuracy.

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens features a meticulously designed inner focusing system and zoom ring, as well as a built-in petal type lens hood with light-shielding grooves. Along with a high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms, this lens enables fast and accurate autofocusing, while its full-time manual focus feature allows manual focus adjustment even in AF mode. As with all L-series lenses, this durable new lens is highly resistant to dust and water – ideal for outdoor photography even when conditions are harsh. In addition, a fluorine coating on the front and rear surfaces of the lens helps reduce smears and fingerprints and makes the lens easier to clean.

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ultra wide-angle zoom lens is scheduled to be available in late February 2015 for an estimated retail price of $2,999.00.

 

 


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…
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