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Thread: Which Fisheye?

  1. #1
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Which Fisheye?

    I am in the market for a fisheye lens for use on my Canon 350D and have 99 per cent decided on the Samyang 8mm Fisheye Lens which has been recommended to me by a number of people both on quality and price, which is a big consideration for me. I have recently seen on the web the Lensbaby Scout which is also in the price range I am looking at, but it seems a bit fiddly and I can not find much about it from people who actually use it! If anyone has experience of the Lensbaby and/or the Samyang I would much appreciate your comments on both these lenses—a straight comparrison would be great! Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    John C's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    I have the Vivitar 7mm F3.5 Fish Eye lens, which is apparently the same exact lens as the Samyang 8mm despite the different declared focal length. Samyang sells the same lens under several other names as well. Keep this in mind when purchasing. You might be able to find a better deal with one of the other brands. I use the Vivitar lens on my Sony Alpha 350. There are a few things to keep in mind with this lens: It is a manual lens, so no autofocus. It has a manual focus ring and a manual aperture ring. Not having autofocus is not really an issue. At F8, the depth of field ranges from about 1 foot to infinity when the focus is set at 3 feet. Of course, if you want to use selective focus with limited depth of field, this is not the lens to use. On my Sony, I use the lens with the camera set in manual mode. I adjust the shutter speed and aperture while checking the meter response. Overall, its really simple to use, so dont worry about it being a manual lens.

    Here is a link to a review of this lens that might be helpful.
    http://kurtmunger.com/vivitar_7mm_f_...viewid166.html

    Sorry, I dont know anything about the Lensbaby.

  3. #3
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    Common names for this lens:
    • Samyang 8mm
    • Rokinon 8mm
    • Vivitar 7mm
    • Bower 8mm
    • Opteka 6.5mm

    It might also be rebranded as Phoenix or Pro-Optic. If this had been available when I first starting looking for an 8mm fisheye, I'd have grabbed it. Luckily, I ended up with the Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular fisheye instead, since I've moved on from a crop body to a full-frame.

    The Samyang is great from all the reviews I've seen, and definitely nicer optically than my older Sigma 8mm f/4 fisheye was. It's also diagonal on a crop and does stereographic projection, which is cool and unusual. The short-short focal length means that you're going to have a whopping amount of DoF no matter what aperture you use, so focusing won't be particularly critical unless you've got something centimeters away from the front element. But you do need to be aware that it's designed for a crop sensor, and is of limited use on a full-frame body.

    Samyang's really getting a good reputation for cheap manual focus alternatives, like this fisheye, the 14/2.8, 35/1.4, and 85/1.4.

  4. #4
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    Thanks for this Kathy, it is really helpful. I wonder why all the different names? It looks increasingly likely that I will get this one.
    Andrew

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedictine View Post
    Thanks for this Kathy, it is really helpful. I wonder why all the different names?
    The lens is manufactured by Samyang, but it's kind of a no-name generic that then gets picked up and rebranded by third parties. Why the varying reported focal lengths, though, I've got no idea.

    The best review I've seen is the one on lenstip, but as they're a Samyang dealer, take it with a grain of salt. The photozone.de review is probably a little less biased.

  6. #6
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    Thanks Inkista that explains the rebranding and thanks for the review links.

  7. #7
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Which Fisheye?

    Got the Samyang 8mm, arrived yesterday, see First with Fisheye Lens for first try. Like the lens, nice feel to it, solidly built.

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