Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

Started Dec 19, 2011 | Discussions
ozarktroutfisher Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

So my 15 year old daughter has been hounding me for a fisheye and frankly I don't want to drop the money for the Nikon 10.5mm since I know she won't use it that much. I bought her a Tamron 90mm macro last year. She used it a lot in the beginning, and not so much now. Good choice on that lens from my perspective based on the quality and amount of usage and I'm thinking along those same lines here.

She has a very creative eye and doesn't mind working harder to get good shots as opposed to a P&S mentality ....... But she's never worked in the full auto mode; so I'm curious as to your thoughts on this lens for a D5000 body. I have zero doubt that she will quickly learn to set aperture and I assume the focusing won't be an issue anyway based on DOF.

I've read a little here about the lens but there doesn't seem to be a lot of info on it. I'd appreciate any thoughts about it, especially if someone knows of an auto metering lens somewhere in that price range that I missed.

Thanks in advance.

Keith

Nikon D5000
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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.

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OP ozarktroutfisher Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

hoof wrote:

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.

Hmmmm..... so a chipped lens really is coming out, or just a rumor?? I'd be worth the wait unless it's a long way off. Remember..... 15 year old daughter and she's been telling me for about 3 weeks that she wants one. That's an eternity to her!

Keith

intruder61
intruder61 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Re: Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

ozarktroutfisher wrote:

hoof wrote:

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.

Hmmmm..... so a chipped lens really is coming out, or just a rumor?? I'd be worth the wait unless it's a long way off. Remember..... 15 year old daughter and she's been telling me for about 3 weeks that she wants one. That's an eternity to her!

Keith

chipped lens is already available http://www.foto-tip.pl/sklep/samyang_ae_8_mm_f_3_5_aspherical_if_mc_fish_eye_for_nikon-p-2224.html

images can be seen at nikoncafe for this lens. cheers.

M4cr0s
M4cr0s Senior Member • Posts: 1,015
Re: Bower / Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens

I second what others have said re the chipped version. It's confirmed and comming.

As to IQ this lens is a gem considering price. I've owned several rectilinear wide-angles costing 4-6 times more and the neat little Samyang does very well in comparision. Good colors, contrast and resolution (stopped down a little bit, but that goes with most if not allreally wide lenses). Center is okay already wide open. It's an F/8 and be there kind of lens. Haven't seen much of the sun since I got it so can't say anyting about flare. Oh, it also corrects pretty well with the FIsheye-Hemi plugin in many cases.

Mac

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OP ozarktroutfisher Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Thanks All

Thanks to those of you letting me know about the chipped version. No doubt my daughter, and frankly myself also I'm sure, would be better served with that lens.

Ok so any links to the proposed lens, especially related to when it will be available and a possible place to purchase it?

Oh and thanks for the information regarding your individual usages. All comments were informative and very much appreciated.

Keith

gregp701 Contributing Member • Posts: 639
Re: Thanks All

Keith, I purchased the Rokinon branded version (chipped) from B&H. They have it in stock now if you want one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822797-REG/Rokinon_FE8MAFN_8mm_Ultra_Wide_Angle.html

Basically the lens is fully functional except for autofocus. Lightroom even recognizes it. This lens is a lot of fun.
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OP ozarktroutfisher Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Double Thanks!

gregp701 wrote:

Keith, I purchased the Rokinon branded version (chipped) from B&H.

Thanks Greg! You know I had searched Samyang and Bower and for some reason didn't try the Rokinon brand name. And I had just placed an order with BH yesterday.

All's well now though because I just ordered it and I'm sure my daughter will be thrilled.

Again thanks to all who replied. I feel very good about this purchase based on your feedback.

Keith

Robert Riley
Robert Riley Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Double Thanks!

Followed the thread and have just placed order with B&H as well pays to snoop a bit.

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