The little fish (NX 10mm f/3.5)

Started Oct 13, 2013 | User reviews thread
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Arn
Arn
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The little fish (NX 10mm f/3.5)
Oct 13, 2013

I've got the Samsung NX 10mm f/3.5 fisheye for a few days now and I'm presenting initial thoughts here. The first and most obvious thing about the lens is of course the size, which is incredible. Weight-performance ratio doesn't get any better than this. At 72g weight and 26mm length, the Samsung 10mm fish is the smallest AF fisheye lens available for interchangeable lens cameras at the moment (at least that I know of).

size comparison:

http://camerasize.com/compact/#318.387,472.4,482.4,333.158,380.166,ha,t

NX20+10mm, Panasonic 8mm fish on the micro 43 cameras, Sigma 10mm on the Rebel and Sigma 15mm on the 6D.

Long story short: the lens is sharp and AF works well. I did side by side test shooting of the NX20 + 10mm vs Canon 7D + Sigma 10mm f/2.8 HSM. It's hard to do direct comparison between lenses that are on two very different camera bodies. Differences between the images may be due to differences in white balance, sensor performance and internal image processing (even the RAW files of all cameras are processed, there are differences in contrast, sharpening, noise processing, etc).

Of course the FOV is wider on the 1.5 crop factor Samsung compared to the 1.6x of the Canon. The Samsung 10mm is a 180 degree diagonal (as a 10mm fish would be for example on a Nikon APS-C) compared to a 167 degrees of the Canon. The Samsung appears to be a little bit sharper at all apertures. Images from the Canon-Sigma combination appear at times to be a bit more saturated. The difference in favour of either combination may be due to the way the camera and sensor process the image and minor post processing (white balance, sharpening) is enough to make any apparent difference disappear. Samsung 10mm produces very little CA compared to the Sigma, but this is also easily removed in post processing. AF was more consistent on Samsung (that is, just about perfect).

f/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 100:

http://500px.com/photo/48969780

What I can say about the differences between the two combinations is this: I enjoyed shooting with the Samsung 10mm much more than I did with 7D + Sigma 10mm. Main reasons lie in the handling of the lens-body combination. First of all, there's a significant weight advantage for the Samsung NX20 + 10mm (487g) combination vs Canon 7D + Sigma 10mm (1454g). Yes, the Canon + Sigma produces a whopping tripple the weight of the Samsung combination, i.e. an extra kilo of weight in your hand. I really didn't feel like reaching for the heavier choise when I tried the Samsung first. Second, the tilt+swivel LCD really helps with composition, when not shooting at eye level and the camera held in landscape orientation. In this regard a 650D/700D etc might be better than a 7D, but with the lighter bodies the lens would make it more nose-heavy and possibly equally awkward to handle. Also the electronic level of the NX20 is easier to read than the the 7D electronic level, this was apparent to me many times while shooting outside - I didn't need to squint and stare at the screen while shooting with the NX20.

f/3.5, 1/8s, ISO 1600:

http://500px.com/photo/48818178

Now, the Samsung 10mm has it's quirks - because it's so thin (26mm long), you have to be careful not to get the fingers of your right hand in the frame! As to the negatives of the lens, the only thing that I can think of is the lens cap, which is a bit too easily budged off the lens, the attachment could be tighter. At f/3.5 the lens is of course a bit slower than for example the Sigma at f/2.8, but that is very understandable considering the weight and the size. As noted, I much rather choose the Samsung over the bulky Sigma. On the other hand, the Panasonic 8mm f/3.5 for micro four thirds weighs over 2x more than the Samsung 10mm and is also twice as long and of course in relation to sensor size is considered even slower. Well, ok, there is one more negative about the NX 10mm fish - there is no distance scale for manual focusing. I can live without it, as the AF works well, but there _should_ be a distance scale at least in the camera, when selecting manual focus. This could be added to the camera as a firmware update and doesn't neccessarily need to be on the lens (a lens this small couldn't have it anyway).

Sorry for presenting only two images this time, more to follow I'm sure.

 Arn's gear list:Arn's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D Samsung NX20 Sony Alpha 7 +19 more
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Samsung NX 10mm F3.5 Fisheye Samsung NX20 Sigma 10mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Diagonal Fisheye
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