Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 USM L - Review / Lens Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2015


It was probably a bit of a hard task for the Canon engineers to find an unfilled gap in their lens lineup. They had to explore the extremes once more and this time they found something at the extreme wide end resulting in the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 USM L. It is the widest, fully corrected full format zoom lens in existence - outside of labs at least. Needless to say but there's a slight entry hurdle here ... 3000 US$/EUR. However, at least you are getting something for your money - this thing is a brick and also about as heavy (1180g) so if you have been waiting for such a beast better book some extra sessions in your favorite gym.

Now to make the game a little bit more challenging, the Canon lens was now also the first lens tested on our new test bed using the Canon EOS 5Ds R (50mp). I can assure you already that the easy times are over now ...

The build quality of this lens is superb just as you would expect it from a Canon L lens in this price class. There's no wobbling whatsoever and the control rings operate smoothly. The lens is also designed to survive in harsh conditions with a sealing against dust and moisture. Fluorine coatings on the (immense) front and rear elements have been applied for reducing smears and fingerprints. The outer length of the lens remains constant thanks to the fixed lens hood although the inner lens tube moves a little according to the zoom setting. The front element does not rotate during focusing or zooming operations but this won't help you with filters because the (vulnerable) bulb-like front element just doesn't allow this. Conventional (front-)lens caps don't work either so the lens cap is attached to the lens hood. Honestly we would have wished for something more posh than a plastic front cap here but it does the job, of course.

The lens has a ring-type USM drive based on a front-focusing system resulting in an extremely fast AF speed. Typical for ring-type USM lenses full-time manual focusing is always possible in one-shot AF mode.

Optical construction16 elements in 11 groups inc 2x CaF2, 1x SUD, 1x UD and 4x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades9 (circular)
min. focus distance0.28m @ 24mm (max. magnification ratio 1:6.5)
Filter size-
Hoodpetal-shaped, fixed
Other featuresweather sealing, Subwavelength Coating (SWC), Air Sphere Coating (ASC)