I was talking to a few of my photography buddies the other day and the subject of “dud lenses” came up. Well, I say dud lenses but actually mean lenses that seemed a great idea before buying it but soon became a total waste of money. At the time I couldn’t think of anything however once I got home and started looking through my lens bag one particular lens jumped out at me, and that was my Canon 8 – 15 F4L fish eye lens.
I like wide angle photography and when I saw the 8mm wide end of the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens I wanted one. I knew the Canon 8 – 15 F4L lens was two fish eye lenses in one and captured full circular and diagonal fish eye photos, when attached to my full frame Canon 6D of course. Even though the Canon fish eye lens was damn expensive it still worked out cheaper than buying a fixed focal length diagonal fish eye lens and fixed focal length circular fish eye lens.
The other feature that persuaded me to buy the Canon 8mm – 15mm fish eye lens was the fact that it was an L series lens. L series lenses are professional grade lenses which means they are made from the best materials, they contain the best optics and they are weather sealed. L series lenses are tough, durable and will provide years of trouble free service. Canon L series lenses are pure quality and well worth spending extra money on.
Before I bought the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens I read a few reviews, although I already knew the build quality would be awesome and the image quality stunning, and I looked at hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of sample images online. I loved the fish eye look (both circular and diagonal photos), I loved the vibrancy of the colors and I loved the depth of field, even when used at f4. I wanted to take extreme wide angle and fish eye photos and the only way I could do it was to buy a Canon 8 – 15 F4L fish eye lens, which is what I did.
As soon as I got the fish eye lens I went straight outside to take a few sample images, and when I viewed them in the computer I was disappointed with the results. The image quality was spot on, the colors were bright and vibrant straight out of the camera and the depth of field was awesome. The thing that let the photos down was the framing, and only I could do something about that.
There is a massive learning curve in getting great photos using the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens, and it is something I still can’t consistently do. I have managed to capture some cracking shots using the Canon fish eye lens but the ratio of keeper photos is very, very low. I take loads of photos in a session and if there are five that are keepers I am over the moon. Typically there are only two or three keepers, and no matter what I do I just can’t seem to work out how to get the most from the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens.
Not being able to capture great photos, after spending several hours experimenting, researching and then applying those tips and tricks, taking more photos, doing more research and then taking even more photos kind of kills it for me, and I stopped using the Canon fish eye lens. I have used it once or twice over the last few months but, in all honesty, I haven’t used it enough to justify the cost.
I have looked in to selling the Canon fish eye lens but the money they are making is rubbish at the moment, and I am not prepared to take such a huge hit. I know I am going to make a bit of a loss, but the lens is in mint condition and it has had very little use so I refuse to give it away. I did put the lens up for sale on Gumtree but I got plagued by time wasters and idiots offering me a couple of hundred quid! Hmmmm……….. I did think about part exchanging the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens but the trade in price was also low and the shop where I went to part exchange it (being Warehouse Express) had a used Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens for sale in the same condition as mine for £200 more than I was offered for mine. Warehouse Express made a profit when they sold me the lens in the first instance, and I’ll be damned if they are going to make another £200 out of me for doing nothing! Consequently, the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye is currently sat in my lens bag unused.
I know there are some people out there who think I am mad not to sell the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens now as the money I’ll get for it will only go down, and selling now will maximize how much I get for it. The thing is, I know there will come a time in the future when I will want a fish eye lens, and if I sell the Canon 8 – 15 now, I will be kicking myself in the future when the time comes. As such I have decided to keep the fish eye lens and leave it in my lens bag. The lens is paid for (I did not buy it on credit) so it is a sunk cost.
Even though I am keeping the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens I have to admit that I do regret buying it and if I had my time again I wouldn’t have. That said, who knows what the future holds? There may come a day when I dust off the Canon 8 – 15 fish eye lens put it on my camera and everything will fall in to place, and I will start getting consistently great shots every time. Here’s hoping hey.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.