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Canon 11-24mm f/4L USM "Real World Review"

The Canon 11-24 F4L USM is one of the widest full frame lenses you will ever see on the market. This lens clocks in at $3,000 but if you’re a full time professional this is a must have lens in your bag.

In this “Real World Review” of the Canon 11-24 F4L USM lens I took it for a spin out at Independence Mall here in Philadelphia. Independence Mall is where the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are located. This area lends well to testing out camera gear and as many of you know, in my opinion the only way to truly test out gear is to use it in the “Real World”.


To download four sample RAW Files please click the link above (100 meg zip file). To see all the full res exports from this review please click here

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Canon’s widest zoom rectilinear (they have a 14mm 2.8 prime) prior to this lens was the 16-35 F2.8 II. This is a fantastic wide lens but many photographers including myself wanted/needed something wider. That’s why I love my Nikon 14-24 2.8, because it’s wide and fast.

Canon decided to go with an F4 aperture which to be honest is not a deal breaker when you are shooting so wide. If that lens was going to be a 2.8 could you imagine how much larger/heavier it would be as well as more expensive.


Who is this lens for? This is a photojournalists dream lens for shooting in tight spaces but wanting to maximize filling the frame with your subjects. Take shooting at the liberty bell for example. I was able to shoot down low on the ground with the bell out of focus and a edge to edge image of the people there to see it. One thing you have to be careful about is putting people on the edge of the frame at 11mm. Whatever is on the edge is going to bow out due to how these type of lenses are constructed. This is not a deal breaker, it’s simply something you have to be cognizant of when you’re shooting ultra wide.


You can’t forget about talking about this lens as it pertains to video. For establishing shots, this lens is fantastic with video. Wether you need those ultra wide panning shots or slightly tighter detail shots this lens can do it. It does not have IS or image stabilization which for shooting video does came in handy. Since it doesn’t have that you may want to shoot video on a tripod or another stabilizer.

Keep in mind this lens is not for everyone, it’s meant for the full time pros who can one afford it and two use it to it’s full potential. If I were a Canon shooter I would have ordered this lens day one to round out my Canon Hebrew Trinity.