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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 35 of 58

Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 35 of 58

Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Lesson Info

Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide

the ultra wide category. So we're going as wide as we can in a single focal length, lands 14 and 24. And I guess one of the things that's surprising about this group is that there are so few leads, is here. And to be honest with you, most of the really interesting and best options for ultra wide photography is with their zoom lenses. And so go back. Review the ultra wide zoom lenses because there was actually a lot, a lot more options. Here we have a very old old in camera, old and lens years, 20 millimeter lands and a relatively newer 14. That was which much more interesting before that, 11 to 24 came out. And so if you did need something small and very wide angle the 22.8, as I say, it's been around for a while. Small, lightweight, optically pretty good. It's not the best. And I think some of the zoom lenses might actually be better than him than this one. If you stop it down, it does show a lot of in getting what a lot of the users say about this one when you shoot it wide open. But...

to be honest with you, not many people are shooting a 20 millimeter lens wide open. Usually they're wanting to get a lot of depth of field in there. Shooting at F 8 11 and so forth. The 14 millimeter lands kind of a special case lands. This was their whitest lands for quite some time in their lineup. Maybe 30 years or so a zey went from their manual focus to their auto focus. Mount's very well built lands give all the L features that are nice to have on it. The weather ceiling, for instance, wide focusing. Ring the focusing scale. Look at this hyper focal scale on here, right below the focusing Weaken C 56 11 16 22. This is their best hyper focal scale, I think on any lens, except for maybe that one of their tilt shift lenses. But that's mainly because it's such an incredibly wide angle lens. And so I borrowed one of these lenses. I went down to the Southwest and I had us have We don't have time. I had a 17 to 40 and then I had the 14 and I did not find a lot of things to shoot with the 14 that I couldn't get with 17. And so I think there's just gonna be a few people who really want to use this lens now. This lens would work pretty well for that night photography star photography that I was just talking about because 14 millimeter lens that's really gonna reach up when you shoot a vertical and 2.8 not as fast as 1.4, but still pretty good for nighttime type work. And so this is, ah, highly specialized lands, and I think with the new 11 to 24 the 16 to 35 that are out on the market, I think a lot of people are getting zooms. And there's not that many people who are getting this great lands. It's just highly particular, and the zooms do a lot of what this does. And so that's are very small, ultra wide category. You are gonna pay a big premium for that 14. If you need to get down there Well, it is cheaper than the 11 to 24 it is in some very rare air. There are very few 14 millimeter lenses out there. So can I'm just a quick little check in, See if there's any questions about the normal or wide angle lenses that I can address. Well, John, um, thanks for asking. And this is a question that we've covered a little bit yesterday. But maybe for folks who weren't with us, or just like a summary of Is it true that prime lenses are sharper than zoom lenses? And this is from Willy Santiago from the Philippines? So just like give us that summary again. So, yes, a prime lens is almost always going to be sharper than a zoom lens. But here's the hell ity of the fact is that if you were to test him, se stopped down to F eight. Most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference. That's photographers hard to tell the difference. If I was to choose a prime and a zoom shoot, some sample images go out onto the street corner and ask people which ones were sharper. I would bet that not one person in 100 catella difference all right, this is one of those things where I think photographers just go a little nuts and pixel peeping on how how critical the sharpness is and people get obsessed by it. And they read a blogger from somebody who says This lens is not a sharp is this lens and oh, no, I'm not gonna be able to take pictures and they freak out. And it's not the case at all. I've seen people I would say is the terrible and I would never use this lands. And it's like this is a lens that the National Geographic photographers were shooting for 20 years, making covers on and somebody else. Some nerd on the Internet with a blogger has decided that they don't like that lens and they're gonna trash. And so it's a very minor issue. I I have very high standards when it comes to the mechanical workings and the use of a lance and May. This may sound bad, but I have relatively low standards when it comes to the image quality on the current lenses, there are very few next to zero lenses that I just won't use because it's not not enough to my quality, and so you can be a lens snob, which is perfectly fine, acceptable where all can do what we want, but I know for my photography that subtle little difference isn't going to show up in the way that I used my photographs. And so we all have to draw our own standards. And it's, I tell people, It's like driving down the freeway. You're driving down and you pass somebody and you're like God, what an idiot. That person is driving so slow and then somebody just zooms past That's so stupid, they're just crazy. We all are going to the perfect pace when we drive on the freeway, right? And everybody else is nuts and it's the same thing with lenses. It's like I have the right standards and everybody else who has a lower standard or higher standard is not sir crazy. And we all have to just kind of just settle in and say, This is where I'm happy This is my pace. And so, uh, yes, there is differences, but it is so small. I took, I took. Where is it I took? I took this lands here. This is $150 lands and I compared it against and I think it was like this lens right here, which is like a $2000 L lens. It's just a little 40 $150 lands. And I shot it at, like, 5.6, and I couldn't see the difference Auto. And so basically no difference at all. Now I'm actually comparing and l zoom versus a non l prime, and so there's kind of a mix of things going on there. But in general, the L lenses are much better constructed, much easier to use that much better feel to him, the focusing scales and all those other things, and they are typically a little bit better corrected. And I would say the factor that controls the quality of the lens more than anything else is how current the design of the lenses I think lenses the technology. The computer aided design has been increasing every 5 10 years by little jumps. And so if you take a lens that's 20 years old versus a brand new design, all those lens coatings go back to that Features and technology section, all that new technology they're throwing onto the lenses. I would probably take a bottom of the line brand new designed $100 lands than a professional lens from 25 years ago. Just cause the technology has changed so much, right? That's really, really important to know. Thank you. And then, as we head into moving to the next set of prime lenses, can you again explain for people just quickly the difference between a zoom lens and a telephoto lens before he hit into that? Okay, let me grab a couple examples over here. And so that's what we need. We're gonna take this one, this one. I love this. This is like going to the store and finding apples. One, this one and no, that one's got a bruise on it. And so do what you do. We'll do one more. All right, so if we can get a close up shot of these blends is here. Okay, so it's actually very simple, folks. Anything with the number over 50 is telephoto. Everything under 50 is wide angle. And so let's look at some lenses. So we have a 35. That's wide angle. Okay, It's pretty easy. 16 to 35. Well, that's all wide angle. But you know what? It's a zoom in, zooms back and forth, so we're zooming, but we're all in the wide angle category 24 to 70. Okay, well, that crosses that 50 millimeter lines. So that's a wide angle to telephoto zoom. We call that a standard zoom. Here's a 1 35 OK, that's that's just telephoto. And over here we have a 72 200. Well, that's a telephoto zoom, and so a zoom lens can be wide angle. It could be wide angle normal. It could be telephoto. And so zooming basically means there's a ring on there that you can change the focal length. And a lot of people think zooming in because you often zoom in on a subject means telephoto when in this case, Zoom doesn't mean telephoto at all, it just means that it changes shape what shape, but it changes focal length.

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system

John will cover the full range of Canon lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon Lens Design
  20. Canon Lens Composition
  21. Canon Lens Shape
  22. Canon Lens Coating
  23. Canon Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon Super Zooms
  30. Canon Wide Zooms
  31. Canon Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!