Need a Wide-Angle Prime Lens? Check Out This Budget-Friendly Option

January 2, 2018

By Theano Nikitas

If you’re looking for an ultra-wide angle prime lens for your Canon DSLR and don’t have $2,100 dollars to spring for Canon's 14mm f/2.8L II USM, Yongnuo’s new YN 14mm, f/2.8 lens may be the easy-on-the-pocket glass you’re looking for.

Known for its affordable lenses, flashes and other photo gear, Yongnuo's recently announced 14mm, f/2.8 prime lens that seems to mimic some of Canon’s 14mm, f/2.8 specs such as size and weight and minimum focusing distance. For the Yongnuo that’s 3.4 x 4.1 inches (just slightly larger than Canon), a weight of 1.72 pounds and minimum focusing distance of 7.9 inches.

The two lenses look very similar, too and both offer AF and manual focus.

Image courtesy of Yongnuo.

But if Yongnuo follows its usual pricing pattern, the lens will cost at least 50-60 percent less than the Canon model. Of course, there are some notable differences between the two. While the Canon model is constructed of 14 elements in 11 groups, the Yongnuo counts 12 elements in 9 groups. Perhaps more importantly, the Canon’s USM motor is going to be quieter than the Yongnuo’s DC motor. (You can do a more in-depth comparison via the Canon and Yongnuo’s sites.)

To Yongnuo’s credit, the lens has two aspherical glass lenses, one of which is an ULD lens along with 7 aperture blades. There’s multilayer coating and a metal mount. Interestingly, the lens comes with a USB port for firmware updates.

Image courtesy of Yongnuo

Will the quality of the two lenses be exactly the same? Of course not, but if you look at reviews and comparisons of Yongnuo’s past lenses, you will be surprised at how well some of them can perform. Sure, there may be more corner softness or chromatic aberration than a Canon or Nikon equivalent lens; and you may have to stop the lens down to get the most from this third party lens but if you’re on a tight budget, those compromises may be easy to make