Samyang 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye as a first lens: big mistake or fun way to start?

Started May 1, 2013 | Questions thread
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Yann33
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Samyang 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye as a first lens: big mistake or fun way to start?
May 1, 2013

i bought the NEX F-3 with kit lens 18-55mm last year and i instantly fell in love, it being my first camera that wasn't a point and shoot.

a year later, i am now thinking about buying a new lens. basically i'm leaning towards the Samyang 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens, but if the cons outweigh the pros i would get the Sony SEL 35mm f/1.8

i am aware that you can't really compare a fisheye lens to others lenses, and that much of the decision to buy a fisheye will depend on whether you like the perspective it brings, but i'm still trying to weigh the pros and cons, and those two lenses are the ones that fit my budget - given the UK's import tax, the best i could find was the Samyang for £220 ($340) and the SEL35F18 for £330 ($513).

from reading a few reviews and user comments, this is what i have found so far:

Samyang pros:very well built, great depth of field, good quality pictures, sharp and great contrast, and its pretty cheap, so its great value for money + it looks kind of 'retro'

Samyang cons: nothing really, except that you eventually get tired of the fisheye perspective

SEL35F18 pros: very good low-light performance helped by OSS for long exposure shots, smooth bokeh, fast and accurate autofocus, great sharpness

SEL35F18 cons: at wide open, vignetting and chromatic aberrations not well controlled, more expensive

my use would primarily be for street photography and landscapes, day as well as night - i personally find the fisheye effect interesting, but i also enjoy shooting with focus on closer subjects and getting nice bokehs. i don't take that many portraits, so the fisheye wouldn't be that crippling.

would the 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye be able to do bokehs? and do you think getting a fisheye lens as a first step is a mistake, and that people usually get tired of the effect very fast? is autofocus and the move from f/2.8 to f/1.8 worth the $170 bump in price?

i read that it's fun to use, and i thought that being manual, it would also introduce me to setting the aperture right for the snaps i want to take...

any thoughts?

yann.

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