Canon is one of the largest camera manufacturers in the world. Especially when it comes to digital SLR cameras, they offer a colourful range of products from entry-level to professional cameras. Especially lenses for the APS-C sensor are often very cheap to get and are worthwhile for hobby photographers with a small wallet. The situation is different in the professional fraction with the full format sensors in the Canon EOS 6D, 5D and ascending. Lenses produced for the APS-C sensor are usually not compatible with the full-frame sensor due to the larger sensor area. All major manufacturers such as Canon itself, Sigma and Tamron offer a colourful product range for the full format EF bayonet. Here, too, there is a price difference between the high-quality lenses and the almost identical lenses for the EF-S bayonet.
An example is the popular Canon EF 14mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle lens which Canon sells for over 2000 €, Sigma as a slightly more light intensive version with an open aperture of 1.8 for 1500 € and Tamron with the SP 15 to 30 mm for almost 1000 €. A lot of money for a fixed focal length lens but exactly here attacks the manufacturer known for its flash units, YONGNUO, and offers the YN-14mm f/2.8 for 400 to 550 €. Visually it reminds very much of the Canon 14mm, so almost all options and labels are on one and the same position. This isn't the first time that YONGNUO has adapted its range of lenses to Canon if you take the very cheap 50mm and 35mm lens as an example. The difference between the two is in the price, which is about half as high, and the slightly lower image quality. The manufacturer's lenses have long been an insider's tip as the fixed focal lengths for the price range provide an outstanding image quality.
I received the YN-14mm f/2.8 from YONGNUO free of charge for this review and I would like to introduce it to you here.
Note: Due to the missing Canon lens we can't compare the YN-14mm f/2.8 to the YN-14mm f/2.8 but show the quality of the optics with our sample shots.
Appearance and workmanship
The lens is delivered in a white cardboard box that looks similar to other manufacturers. After unpacking, the similarity to the Canon lens can be seen as already described above. The processing is very good, there are no protruding edges, no missing imprints or scratches in the glass. This is often a problem of copy lenses of the very cheap manufacturers from China. This shows that YONGNUO already has some experience in manufacturing lenses. The optics fits perfectly to my Canon EOS 5D. Alternatively, this optic also works on cameras with an APS-C sensor. The YN-14mm has a multiple coating to prevent aberrations especially in direct sunlight or unfavourable light situations.
Focusing and aperture setting
All lenses from YONGNUO have a DC motor for the autofocus, can optionally be switched to manual with the slider on the lens. The autofocus on the YN-14mm is extremely fast and very quiet. Especially with the 50mm and 35mm lens this was a big problem, the autofocus was extremely loud and slow. To see how well this optic works I looked for several buildings in Berlin as a test subject and quickly refocused them one after the other to see if the YN14mm focused without visible blur. This happened without any problems even with different aperture settings that can only be adjusted by the camera itself. With an open aperture there is a slight blur in the details, from aperture 3.5 this blur is no longer present. At aperture 2.8, a slight vignetting is visible.
Shooting with different apertures:
The YONGNUO YN-14mm uses aspherical lens elements and special glasses with extremely low dispersion to prevent image errors such as chromatic aberrations. The image angle of this optic is 114 degrees and therefore sees more than the human eye. The special feature of ultra wide angle optics is the missing fisheye effect. Thus motifs appear extremely natural.
For the very favourable price range, the image quality of this lens is extremely good, as my example shots below show. Only in direct sunlight you can see a small color shift at the edges. However, this can be completely avoided with very few lenses.
Picture series Berlin:
Picture series Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn
Picture series Twilight and Darkness:
The YN-14mm has a USB port to conveniently install a new firmware that the manufacturer wants to make available via its website. The lens has a built-in sun visor, which is installed on most wide-angle lenses.
The YONGNUO YN-14mm f/2.8 is the perfect lens for photographers with a small wallet, especially considering that this lens costs a quarter of the price of the equivalent Canon lens, you don't have to think long about which lens to choose. YONGNUO is obviously making an effort to find a compromise between price and performance, which you always succeed in doing anew.