The Cheap Sanyang Fisheye: Who would ever believe?

Started Feb 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
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camperbc Senior Member • Posts: 2,072
The Cheap Sanyang Fisheye: Who would ever believe?

It is a very rare occasion when the cheapest really just may be the best. I did a LOT of research prior to deciding upon the Rokinon (Samyang) 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens. There was hardly a negative comment anywhere on the Net, as most of the reviews were very positive indeed.

Well, we finally had a nice day yesterday, so I went out exploring with my A500 and fisheye in tow. Needless to say, I am pleased with the results. This manual lens is VERY sharp at f/8, and by keeping the distance set to about two feet, everything from a foot to infinity is razor sharp. And it renders the colours beautifully, reminding me of the old Minolta lenses. The images turn out very nice, even when pointing the camera directly into the sun, as you can see in the shots below.

I love that I have the option to distort things as much or as little as I choose, depending on how I frame the shot. It is a terrific lens for my Fogo Island landscapes, and even a very pricey ultra-wide angle lens would have a tough time covering this much real estate! (180 degrees diagonal)

I am equally thrilled with the Fisheye Hemi PS plugin. When you want to defish an image, it's just a matter of one click to straighten things out, with no notable degradation in IQ, even at the edges, unlike most other defishing software. By far, the best program of its kind that I have ever come across.

These images were captured close to my home, in the nearby towns of Fogo and Joe Batt's Arm (yup, that's the real name!) on Fogo Island, a one hour ferry ride off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

It is worth mentioning that this lens sells for under $300. It is manufactured in Korea by Samyang, and also branded as Rokinon, Polar, Falcon, Pro-Optic, Opteka, Vivitar, Bower, and probably a bunch more, though they are all identical. It's just a matter of finding the brand with the absolute lowest price; in my case $259.

(taken handheld with my A500 and Rokinon 8mm, ISO200, f/8 and 1/1,250th sec.)


Fogo Island Photography:
Fogo Island Journal:

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