Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

Started Dec 19, 2011 | Discussions thread
hoof Senior Member • Posts: 1,904
Re: Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

The Samyang 8mm is a nice little fisheye. I bought it for the same reason you talk about, that I cannot justify Nikon 10.5mm prices for a lens I won't use that much.

As a fisheye, it's one of the better ones (IMO). The main reason for this is it's got a "proportional" projection, meaning that objects near the edge/corners look roughly "right". Other fisheyes tend to squash objects near the edge/corners, while rectilinear lenses (like the Sigma 8-16mm) tend to stretch objects. This means that if you ignore the sweeping curves of long straight lines in the view, things look "right".

I've used my 8mm as a pseudo-panoramic lens atop the Seattle Space Needle. It works pretty good, since buildings near the edge aren't distorted, as long as the horizon passes through the middle of the view.

One tip though, if you want corner to corner sharpness, you'll need to stop down to F/9 or so (although F/5.6 does a decent job for most of the view). Forget wide open (F/3.5), it's very soft.

Also, this lens is notorious for a miscalibrated focus ring. Fortunately, it's easy to fix. The following review has a section describing the fix, I've done this on mine, and it made things better. It also has a section on "zone focusing", which is the best way to focus this kind of lens (IMO):

http://www.versacorp.com/vlink/jcreview/sy8rv9jc.pdf

Oh, one final tip: Get the new AE version when it comes out. It comes with a chip, and thus will expose correctly on a D50 or other non-high-end body. It also lets you set the aperture in the body just like other lenses.

 hoof's gear list:hoof's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Olympus Tough TG-4 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +21 more
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