Canon has today announced a brand new lens for their EF lineup, the 8-15 f4 L lens. Of all of the rumors I read in the run up to these announcements I think this is the one lens that nobody was expecting. Until this point, the only Canon fisheye was the 15mm f2.8 but this was an old design that pre-dated digital crop sensors and Canon never released a lens that was wide enough to be a full 180mm fisheye on either of their crop sensor formats. This lens aims to address that problem by providing a circular 8mm fisheye at one end, zooming to a 15mm fish at the other end. In between these extremities lies points in the focal length that will provide a full 180 degrees of view on both 1.6 and 1.3 crop cameras and of course at the 15mm end, the same view on a full frame camera as is currently available with the 15mm prime lens. Additionally, going wider than a horizontal 180 view will produce a circular fisheye type image that vignettes in the corners but provides a full circular view. Something which no Canon lens has ever done before. This is a niche look to images, but it can be fun and Sigma has been making lenses that do this for sometime with some success. Cleverly then Canon has, with this lens, answered a lot of requests. Nikon users have long had the brilliant little 10mm fish for their crop cameras and now Canon users have something of their own. In the past few years the Tokina 10-17 had proved to be very popular amongst many people that I know as the only way to get a full 180 degree fisheye view on a 1.3 crop 1 series camera so presumably Canon wanted to address this too.
The Canon EF 8-15 F4 L fisheye lens is one highly anticipated piece of glass ! First announced back in Autumn 2010 this is not a replacement of any existing lens, but an all new design with unique potential. Canon originally started with the 15mm f2.8 fisheye which was designed before the digital days. This lens provided a full 180 degree field of view on a full frame camera but users of 1.6 or 1.3 crop cameras were left with slightly less fishy look to their images. On the Nikon side of things, Nikkor released a beautiful 10.5mm fisheye for