Sigma 4.5mm F2.8 Fisheye EX DC HSM Circular A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 4   
reviewer#11622 date: Jan-19-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nothing really. The widest lens I own after this is a 24-135, and it's nothing like the fisheye. All I have to compare it with are flickr images.
price paid:549 USD (KEH: LN-)
positive:- Unique perspective
- Huge 180 degree FOV
- Stellar build
- HSM
- Plenty sharp
negative:- gel filters only
- two piece lens cap
- highly exposed front element
comment:This is an incredible lens. The hemispherical field of view coupled with the right scene can result in truly breathtaking images. The circular output is unique, and not something seen often, and in fact this is the *only* circular fisheye for any APS-C Sony rig.

The build quality is top notch, plenty of weight and a premium feel. The mount is stainless, the distance scale is behind a window, and the focus ring stays put during AF. Even the AF/MF HSM switch feels good, with a nice positive click when moved to either position. My only complaint with the design of the lens is the odd lens cap. It's two pieces... a circular "adapter ring" and a matching 72mm standard Sigma lens cap. This apparently leads to quite a few users leaving the adapter ring on, which significantly cuts down on the FOV, ruining the overall effect. Why Sigma didn't just make it all one piece, I don't know. The other negative is the super exposed front element. It has no hood petals or anything to protect it, so you've really got to watch it when you're shooting. And of course due to that same front element, filters are pretty much out of the question, except for cut gel filters behind the rear element, though sigma does include a nifty template for that purpose.

As far as image quality goes, my copy seems to be plenty sharp wide open, and even moreso stopped down. The colors are nice, and the distortion is, of course, plentiful. Though I have to admit, seeing the lens warp solid buildings and bend trees is really neat. The lens suffers most with flare control, with obvious purple rings at the edges of the frame when it contains the sun, and other flare blobs floating around depending on where the sun is in the frame exactly. It doesn't particularly bother me, but YMMV. Other than that, IQ is excellent.

I've been wanting to get this lens for a few years, but kind of lost interest in any kind of wide angle photography for awhile. My widest prime after this one is a Minolta 28/2.8, so the drastic change in both FOV and distortion has really gotten my creative juices flowing again, far more than I expected. It's definitely been a blast using this lens for the past couple of weeks. I say that if you can snag it for a good price, you can't go wrong.
reviewer#11016 date: Apr-6-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 16mm Fisheye
price paid:525€ new
positive:Build
Fun Lens
negative:Weight
comment:Okay, be prepares when you get this lens; it is a circular Fisheye, so you'll have a round pic; I use it for timelapse, so I don't care about flare, which is an issue during the day; with my A850 I have to crop the image but I can do it in the menu; I don't care about the distorsion because I want such an Fisheye, which will have distorsion by design; being careful with removing the cap and the distance ring you can great armslength-specials of you; I like it also because of the build. Have fun with it :)
reviewer#8658 date: Feb-14-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:This was my first fisheye lens so can't really be compared to anything about from a Google image search! I suppose I was considering getting the Sony 16mm fisheye at the time?
price paid:750 GBP?
positive:Certainly unique, true 180deg FoV fisheye for aps-c sensor.
F2.8, suitable for low light conditions.
13.5cm min focus distance
negative:Price.
Weight.
Flare issues, probably can't be helped due to extreme FoV!
comment:A very strange but wonderful lens to play with.

It was my first fisheye purchase and not something I regret. A unique perspective is an understatement on this one. The effects you can get with warping buildings, bridges and people - plus capturing those who think they've escaped - is remarkable.

All in all, I'm happy with the purchase I made (a couple of years back now I think). However I only recently learned that the ring on the end of the lens can be removed! Oh well...everything's a learning curve right?

Ok lets see, what about negatives. Well the first time I used the lens, my toes kept appearing on the bottom of the images! It took quite a while for me to get used to the lens enough to avoid that happening.

I haven't tried the lens out at night yet although it handles low light conditions really well on my a580. Used on a bright day, flare is a problem when the sun is not obscured by cloud.

It seems a little on the heavy side for a lens of its size, but not that much to be a serious issue. The 10mm version seems to feel a bit lighter.
reviewer#8202 date: Nov-7-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 1
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 15mm Fisheye, Sigma 12-24mm
price paid:457 GBP(As New)
positive:Quiet. Fisheye Effect.
negative:
missing
comment:I had been looking on and off for the full-frame 8mm Sigma Circular Fisheye, but found this on E-bay at a reasonable price & went for it.
Most definately a strange effect lens. You get a circular view - somewhat smaller than I expected on the Alpha sensor, as I suspect it was designed with the slightly smaller cannon 1.6 crop in mind.
One thing to be aware of is that the lenscap is in two parts - there is the cap which fits over the lens but there is also a ring which holds the cap that detatches. This is not easy to spot and the first shots I took I had left this on which made it visible.
This lens provides an almost unique view of the world, somewhat like looking down the barrel of a drainpipe.
Not something for everyday use, but great for a bit of fun and experimenting with.
reviews found: 4   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 4.38
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 3.75
  • flare control: 3.25
  • overall: 4.17

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