Zenitar MC 16mm F2.8 Fisheye A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 21   
reviewer#29682 date: Aug-30-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 is first fish eye lens
price paid:290
positive:Very Sharp
Funy
Cheap
No too long
Flare!!
negative:manual focus
comment:Very funny Lens
Sharp F2,8
Very sharp F8 ---22
Good flare and NO CA
reviewer#26566 date: Apr-25-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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:Other fish eyes.
price paid:$120
positive:Cheap!
Easy to get.
Easy to learn with.
negative:Manual
Can take some getting used to.
comment:I bought this for a trip to Italy and I was on the fence about getting this vs a more expensive fish eye. A few members pushed me in this direction and I am glad they did. I love it and really appreciate the lens now. Get one if you want to try fish eye photography out!
reviewer#12082 date: Jan-7-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:
missing
price paid:175 EUR new
positive:Dead cheap, very sharp across the entire frame at F16 (hence sharpness 5)
negative:Very plasticky. Aperture ring does not move gently over the aperture clicks. Not sharp wide open, corners need F16 for best results but that is no issue for me.
comment:I use it only at F16 with DIY ND10 rear mounted filter (it doesn't take front filters obviously). At F16 it is an optical marvel, at F2.8 it is not, so no Milkyway photography with this one! I have a M42 version which is awkward as alignment of the lens is critical to avoid vignetting in the corners and turning the aperture ring causes the lens to rotate from the correct position. Needs a fixed Alpha mount for convenience IMO.
reviewer#8825 date: Mar-23-2011
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:
missing
price paid:150 CAD (Used)
positive:Small and Lightweight
Cheap, cheapest fisheye you can buy
Sharp stopped down past F5.6
(If the M42 version) it can be adapted to be used on almost every camera brand
negative:VERY soft wide open
Manual focus only (not really a negative... Its to be expected)
Poor flare resistance
comment:This is the most cost effective fisheye you can buy, because most people aren't ever to sure how much they'll use a fisheye if they had one so why spend over $600 on one when you can buy a pretty good one for less then $200. The Zenitar 16mm F2.8 fisheye can be found in several different mounts, mine is an M42 mount which can be adapted to be used on Alpha cameras. The lens is very wide (to be expected for a fisheye), and along with the fisheye effect it gives things a very unique perspective. This lens is very soft when shot wide open, though it turns into a very sharp lens when stopped down. One issue with this lens is how prone to flaring it is, and because of the extremely wide angle of view no impromptu hood/shade will help as odds are it will be in the shot. Even stopped down to F16-22 this lens produces sharp results even in the extreme corners. The build quality of this lens is very high, higher then most lenses these days, with tis metal construction it's build like tank, like the older Minolta lenses.

Overall this is a great lens for the price, and is something you should consider buying even if you don't think you'll use it often since they are somewhat hard to find now and (if its the M42 version) can be adapted to almost every camera. Its a fun lens to use when you want to see the world differently.
reviewer#8597 date: Jan-30-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Peleng 8mm f/3.5
price paid:200 USD (new)
positive:sharp
contrast
colour
inexpensive
negative:No preset aperture
comment:I am very happy with my copy of this lens. Somewhat soft wide open, really sharp already at f/4 (looking at 100% crop). Nice colour and contrast. Beautiful fisheye distortion on 35mm film, mild curves on a cropped sensor. Preset aperture would be nice to have, just like on Peleng. My copy didn't need any modifications or adjustments, it was properly focusing at infinity right out of the box and focusing ring was not bumping into the hood. Purchased from Ukraine - DVDTechnik (h_o_h_o_l). Minolta mount version, not M42 + adapter.
reviewer#8566 date: Jan-26-2011
sharpness: 2
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 1
overall: 2.6
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:
missing
price paid:$125USD
positive:cost (at the time)
negative:nowhere near sharp until f/5.6
substantial diffraction at f/22
very little contrast
must mod the lens to get it to work
flares like mad
comment:I am going to replace this lens. For a cheap fisheye I suppose it is Ok, but you do get what you pay for. I can't believe this lens is rated over a 4 overall. The lens has reasonable sharpness from 5.6 to 16, and a fisheye is generally not used wide open, so maybe this is acceptable (acceptable is 3 to me, but since this lens sucks below 5.6 I gave it a 2).

It is well known that you have to jury-rig this thing, correcting for infinity focus, removing the aperture pin, etc., so I didn't take anything off the score for that. Still, build is average at best (again a 3).

Flare is terrible and UGLY. I probably will get the Sony 16, and its flare looks much better to me in the sample images I have seen. That's a 1.

Distortion is about what you would expect from a fisheye, so I gave it a 4.
reviewer#6383 date: Nov-13-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Nothing to compare
price paid:€140
positive:Cheap, Sharp, nice colors
negative:Nothing for that price
comment:Funny lens. Take a day off from everyday photography and get one fun day with pretty different view.
Most Zenitars are "automatic", so first you must remove aperture strings and tap. Pretty easy job....
reviewer#4904 date: Feb-24-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Sony 20/2.8
Sony 18-70
Tokina 20-35 II
Minolta 24-85 new
price paid:120 USD (new)
positive:Very sharp at f/8
Cheap
Compact size
3 additional rear color filters
negative:Soft wide open
Not so fish on APS-C
Unique front cap
Manual focus
comment:My copy is very, very sharp at f/8 (Sony A700), aceptable at f/5.6, soft at f/4. On f/2.8 too soft and unusable for landscapes. Good color, metal build.

I've got M42 version with chip adapter, but focus confirm is useless for this lens, so I replace it to usual one.

Note that rear tansparent or color filter is a part of optical scheme.
reviewer#4902 date: Feb-24-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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:M 24/2.8 O, KM 17-35/2.8-4 D.
price paid:140 Euro Like new
positive:Really nice FOV on analogue Dynax 7, wide FOV.
negative:Not very fishy on 7D/A700, no AF ;).
comment:Nice lens to play with, not to dear for your wallet.
Looks great on film.
reviewer#4775 date: Jan-31-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 2.9
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:- cheap
- smooth manual focus
- aperture click stops work fine
- fun lens to use, well worth the price
- very compact
- easy to dissemble
negative:- flare control
- initial soft focus problem - easily fixable, though
- difficult to focus manually at close range
- unique front cap - so better don't lose
comment:The Zenitar is a nice wide angle lens and will give a respectable amount of fisheye effect on an APS-C digital camera. You can invest thousands into super-sharp optics and the results of such lenses may be stunning, however, this cheap Russian fisheye lens produces images that cause similar "Aahs" and "Oohs" from your audience plus lots of smiles without emptying your bank. Used at larger apertures it is soft, therefore should be stopped down to improve the ability to reach perfect focus, reduce aberrations and internal reflections.
Initially my lens copy had a soft focus problem - when focused at infinity, the lens elements aren't extended to their furthest amount and hence the result is unsharp. It's a bit frustrating that these kind of adjustments are required in first place, but it's quite easy to do - just loosen the three screws under the focus rubber grip and align the outer focus ring properly to the internal focusing mechanism. Since the focus is tweaked I’ve been very satisfied with the results, flare aside. And yes, of course there is some chromatic aberration in the corners, but it’s not too bad.
Bottom line is that the manual Zenitar lens works well on A-mount bodies and if you just want to experience what it is like to use a fisheye lens then the Zenitar 16mm F2.8 Fisheye definitely is the way to go for.
reviewer#4257 date: Oct-19-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:
missing
price paid:140 USD (new)
positive:-Very sharp at F8 and above
-Cheap Fun!
negative:- May need to make minor adjustment to focus to infinity (see below)
-Soft wide open
-Need to add 1-2 EV to avoid a dark image
-Takes several weeks to order via manufacturer
comment:Fun lens! Not so fishy on the Alpha 700, but very much so on my Alpha 900 with the full frame image sensor. Before you judge this lens, you need to read this and make sure you sample will focus to infinity. Mine would not focus on infinity probably due to the additional distance created by the M42 adapter to Sony Alpha mount. I made a small adjustment that I learned about here and now it is perfect at infinity:

http://etischer.com/zenitar/zenitar16mm.html

Like others have said, it is soft but usable at F2.8 and really sharp at F8+. If you want to take it a step further and turn your images into a super wide angle and remove the fishy effect, try the Image Trends Inc. Fisheye Hemi-3 on Alpha 700 images and Fisheye Hemi-2 on Alpha 900 images. This program is $29, works perfectly in Photoshop and can be downloaded here from Image Trends:

http://www.imagetrendsinc.com/ITIASP/download/download.aspx

I will post an Alpha 900 image before and after using the Fisheye Hemi-2 filter in Photoshop.

There is some CA evident around the edges where there are high contrast objects, but not too bad considering this lens is under $200 and the Sony 16mm is $799.

You may need to add 1-2 stops to get a well exposed image and focus can be a challenge with a fully manual lens if your subject is closer than 2m. I just ordered the adapter that will provide focus confirmation and will update when I try it:

http://eadpt.cn/eadpen.htm

It might be interesting to compare the Sigma 12-24mm EX DG Aspherical Ultra Wide that arrives next week to the Zenitar with the Fisheye Hemi-2 filter in Photoshop.

Don’t forget to put your camera in Manual mode to avoid shutter lockup and “No Lens” warning.

This is my first sub 24mm lens and so far I am having a lot of fun with it!
reviewer#3995 date: Aug-23-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:
missing
price paid:175 USD LNIB
positive:- Very sharp wide-open WITH REAR FILTER
- Really small and pretty light
- Fast
- High-quality super-wide at an affordable price
- Being a fisheye, you're not missing much by having it MF-only
negative:- Mediocre build quality; good construction but occasional printing and glass misalignments
- Not an A-mount lens
- Prone to flare due to angle
- Can't put filters on it, lens cap can be tricky
- Necessary rear filters are easy to lose, and don't always come with the item when buying used
comment:This lens is extremely sharp at f/2.8 _when the rear filter is attached_! It is not just plain glass, it has a magnification ratio to it. Without it, of course, the lens is hopelessly soft until f/16; try seeing how well any of your lenses fare with an element missing :P

It's a fisheye, so distortion and flare are almost irrelevant. All fisheyes can have lots of both depending on what you're shooting.

The build quality is great for the price, I mean, it's very solid, mostly metal. However, the plastic lens cap just rubs me the wrong way. Needing rear filters to obtain sharp pictures can make this item worthless used if not paired with them. Lens elements can focus "past infinity" on some copies, a sign of poor quality control.

Other than that, it's wonderful! A full-frame fisheye for 2 bennies. It's very small and has excellent quality as long as it has the rear filters.
reviewer#3885 date: Jul-25-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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:
missing
price paid:169 USD New
positive:Sharp
Cheap
negative:Slight flare
Not electronic
comment:
Wide open is terrible. Not a good idea. But one stop down and it is amazingly sharp, and another and the corners are sharp. I almost crapped myself when I looked at the test photos I took outside and I could count the grain indents on the fence. Not that much of a fisheye on the Sony A100 since it isn't a full frame, but it's unmistakably a fisheye. Be prepared for full manual. Aperture and focus. Have to focus wide open and then stop down accordingly. I have my exposure on my camera all the way to the left (-2EV) and it gives perfect exposures. However every now and then (I'm guessing under certain circumstances) I have to bring it up around -.3EV because it's too dark. I think that has to do with the aperture mainly because the last time I had it on F11 I had to do that, but I mainly shoot constantly around F8. Sharp and decent shutter speed for me. MUCH sharper if you're coming from just the kit lens. Focusing for me is hard, seems focused in the viewfinder but zooming in on the picture it's kinda OOF. I think I need to get used to the metric system =/
reviewer#3547 date: May-3-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:Min 24RS, 18-70
price paid:99EUR (used)
positive:Cheap, Wide, Good Quality
negative:No AF, No auto diaphram
comment:MC Zenitar-M2,8/16

(Being the M42 version of the Zenitar lens, which requires a bit of surgery to remove the ‘stop-down’ pin before it can be used in ‘manual’ mode)

This is a nice, compact little lens, with a huge area of glass on the front.

On a full-frame body it gives the full ‘fishy’ experience, on APS-C, you get heavy distortions towards the edge of the frame, but it is much less extreme. Giving any mark for distortion is a bit meaningless – It certainly has distortions and should be avoided by anyone who needs straight lines at the edges of the frame.

Multiplying 16 up by 1.5 should give you a 24mm lens, but with the uncorrected fish-eye that is not the case – it is much wider. My tests involving comparing the angle of view of the Zenitar on an APS-C body with the 18-70 kit lens on a film body suggests that the FoV across the centre of the frame (where it is at its smallest) is equivalent to that of a 20mm lens.

The Zenitar has its own special lens cap (60mm across) that clips into the built-in lens hood, so losing the cap could be a bit of a blow, particularly considering the vulnerability of that curve of glass to knocks in transit.

The lens hood itself is adjustable to allow for fine adjustment depending on how the lens aligns on your adapter – typically for m42 lenses the centre line of the lens is slightly off – If, like me you are using an adapter that has been sanded down to allow infinity focus, the centre mark is well off. Alignment of the hood for APS-C is not critical due to the crop, but mis-alignment on a full-frame camera will leave you with vignetting.

Exposure: Setting the camera to aperture priority and stopping the lens down to the required f-stop gives you an automatic option – this copes very well but sometimes gives a little under-exposure (possibly because any picture includes a lot of sky), so setting for .7 stop of overexposure is sometimes required.. If you are really not sure, you can always set exposure bracketing on…

Diaphragm: In use the lack of automatic diaphragm is not too debilitating, stopped down to f8.0 the screen of a 5D is still quite bright enough to compose; judging focus could be an issue but…

Focus: Stopped down to f8.0 and adjusting the focus to a roughly hyperfocal position (where the DoF marked on the lens for f8.0 goes to - or if you are not so sure of your adapter, past infinity) - gives you pretty much the entire world from 1 meter to infinity in really quite good focus.

In use the lack of a need to focus makes this great for ‘grab’ shots – the wide frame also makes shooting ‘from the hip’ a very practical covert option for street photography (although it wasn’t covert enough to stop me getting detained by the police at one point).

AS:
I started off turning off AS when using the Zenitar, but ended up forgetting after a while – I’ve not noticed any problems.

Just to add, after using this lens for 6 months it is still a little diamond - I use it with a chipped James Lao adapter, which gives you AS, focus confirmation at f5.6 or brighter (as if it was needed this wide) and seems to improve the exposure situation.
reviewer#3522 date: Apr-27-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Sony 18-70
price paid:60€ used
positive:- great price value
- sharp at f5.6
- mine comes with an minolta AF mount
negative:- manual focus (but that's nothing to me at all...)
comment:I've bought this lens on ebay and thought it comes with a m42 mount, but there was an Minolta AF mount on it, which dissappointed me a little bit.

The "foucs-to-infinity-mark" is a little bit misplaced, but with a bit practice you know where to focus! :-)

I really like it, especially for the price value!
reviewer#2681 date: Sep-1-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:Tamron 11-18
Minolta 17-35/3.5
price paid:$150 USD new
positive:- cheeeeeap!
- Decent wide angle on APS-c censors
- Makes a great 'point and shoot' with much better quality than a true P&S
- small, pocketsize
- I am supporting russia's export and economy
negative:- wide open it just blows, really, and not like to cool you off either
comment:I use my zenitar with a Jolos m42 adapter, and the adapter didn't require any work at all to make it go to infinity.

Ok, next - it's sharp, but only at f8 and down. I would've given it a better sharpness rating if not for that. Otherwise, i was very suprised to see the IQ when using smaller apertures. After all, at this size, I think that is what it was meant for. It is a dedicated landscape lens, and that's it!

See my sample images for a 100% crop at f9. you'll be impressed.

The colors on this are much better than the Tamron 11-18 I once owned. For some reason, the zenitar has more saturated colors, and i like that in a wide angle lens. your opinion may be different.

You can't take away points for a fisheye on distortion. Anybody who does, picked up the lens for the wrong reason. go find a rectilinear lens and deduct for distortion...am I right??

I docked off of the build rating for one reason...to use it on my 7D (and other minolta/sony cameras) you have to remove the aperture pin and spring from the lens. This requires disassembly of the rear mount, which actually isn't that hard once you get into it. I'd give someone a 5% chance of screwing it up. :) It's plastic, but very light. I like the idea of tossing it on my pocket or in a small pouch when I take out say... the 70-200, and if needed, its there. I don't even realize the extra weight.

Stopped down to F11 or so, and you don't even have to focus. Using it as a typical point and shoot, everyting from 4.5 feet and beyond is in focus.
_________________________________________________________________

Flare rating a 5, until it proves to me in the field to be an issue. sorry, haven't tested it yet.
__________________________________________________________________

Highly recommended for budget landscape, or P&S opportunities.

If you would like to see it's size compared to the 28/2 and the 17-35G, open these up -> http://matt.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p1061461545-5.jpg amd this one http://matt.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p757492568-5.jpg
reviewer#2338 date: May-22-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:peleng 8mm
KM 17-35
price paid:140 usd new
positive:* cheap: around 140 USD.
* reasonable sharp stepped down a bit.
* very wide angle.
* I like the colors (but that is personal).
* the modding/fixing is very easy. Just need a small screwdriver that fits.
* sanding a M42 adaptor is fun if your beer is stored in the garage where you sand.
* did i mention cheap?
negative:* not very sharp until F 5.6 or higer
* metering from my 7D is acting usually rather "erratic" (under exposing 1 to 2 ev) when stepped down - so need to check shots.
* not really a fisheye "effect" on a 1.5 crop
* you might need to "fix" the focus ring yourself on some lensens to be able to reach infinity. ( How to is in the same post as the next "mod".) Do this *before* sanding your M42 adaptor. This may also be needed on Zenitars with a "direct" A-mount.
* with the M42 adaptor you need "mod" the lens a bit as seen here otherwise you cannot change the aperture - it stay's at 2.8 then.
comment:more info and sample pictures (comparing with peleng and KM 17-35) are found here
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13566
reviewer#2266 date: May-6-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:Minolta - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 D; Tokina - AT-X 17 AF PRO F3.5
price paid:150 USD (new)
positive:Cheap, built "like a tank", sharp-sharp-sharp...
negative:
missing
comment:Best 150 USD I've ever spent. This lens is just outstanding, considering the price. Slight CA and lack of AF and aperture automation, but other than that... you just have to love it! Color rendition and sharpness are just amazing. Flare was never an issue for me.
reviewer#2242 date: May-1-2007
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
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 10-20mm
price paid:80 EUR (new)
positive:- Fisheye.
- Cheap.
negative:- Not so wide on APS-C.
- Not so fishy on APS-C.
- Difficult to focus.
comment:I'm not sure how useful a full-frame fisheye lens is on an APS-C camera, but the price is right with this one at least. Quite soft wide open, but does what it's supposed to when stopped down. Prone to flare, however, and there's no possibility to attach any additional lens hood (no front thread + would vignette).

For just wide-angle (without fishy effects), the Sigma 10-20mm is obviously better on an APS-C camera, but in a different price range altogether. I recommend this primarily for the fisheye effect, but not for de-fishing in software.
reviewer#2141 date: Apr-12-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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:Tokina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5
price paid:110 USD (old)
positive:Cheap. sharp. Ultra wide with acceptable distortion for APSC DSLR. Easy to focus if you can take advantage of the very deep DOF.
negative:Underexposure for 1EV.
Cannot put filter on front element.
Russian lens, so no guarantee for the quality.
comment:I bought this nice lens for USD110 only from a local photography forum friend. It had been modified to A mount already and it worked perfectly with my D5D except it would underexposure for 1EV. I usually took advantage of the deep DOF of this fish eye and set the aperture to F8 with +1 EV in A mode, then you could almost treat this as a point and shot. My results were very nice.
reviewer#2130 date: Apr-9-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
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:kit lens
price paid:135 USD (new)
positive:- sharp below F5.6, good working aperture for a super wide
- built like a tank
- really wide!
- not so bendy on APS-C
- manual focus is not an issue because of deep DOF, you can set it to infinity and forget
- very good with flare when stopped down
negative:- noticably soft at F2.8
- gives random underexposure around 1 or 1.5 stops
- mount has slight play
- mine came without rear cap
- lens stops down as you rotate the aperture ring, giving a dark viewfinder, this turned out to be a non issue though
- special lens cap can't be replaced with generic ones
comment:Very small, discrete, built great and sharp at F5.6. All in a $135 package! this is a great bargain in my opinion.

i rated distortion 5 becuase its distortion charactheristics are just as expected. barrel distortion is no fault for a fisheye.

sharpness is 3,5 for the hazy wideopen performance. Stopped down however, it resolves plenty of details, and such a wideangle is most likely to be stopped down, so practically this lens is sharp indeed.

build rating got 4 for the slight play in the lens mount, otherwise the build quality is level 5 or even beyond that. It feels like a tank!

Note: when you mount this lens, don't forget to dial in +1 stop compensation at least.

Verdict: Highly recomended!
reviews found: 21   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 4.12
  • color: 4.29
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 3.76
  • overall: 4.12

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Find us on Google+