Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II E-mount lens review by Miranda F

reviewer#46898 date: Nov-9-2022
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Meike 12mm f2 E
Sony 10-18mm E OSS
Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 A-mount
Lots of add-on fisheye lenses
price paid:195 UKP s/h
positive:180-degree diagonal fisheye
Covers whole APS-C frame
very low 'unwanted' distortion
very low CA
large DOF even wide open makes focus non-critical
Compact and lightweight lens ideal for the smaller E-mount cameras.
negative:Some softness at edges
Focus peaking is unusable
Front element protrudes and needs careful protection.
comment:What a brilliant lens! Unlike most other fisheye lenses (and all the fisheye adapters I've tried), this one preserves detail right to the edges.
Samyang have used a stereographic projection (see wikipedia article) which preserves angles rather than areas, and produces a much more gradual change of area and shape away from the centre, and thus avoids the usual unusable and unrecognisable mess near the edges.
As a consequence, the full width of the (APS0C) frame is usable with only the desired distortion, despite the 180 degree field of view.
The bending of straight lines is cute until you tire of it, but show it some modern architecture with curves and the results can be both spectacular and surprisingly agreeable. Trees and natural scenes can also work well.
Snags? Really only two. The enormous DOF even at full aperture makes focus peaking completely unusable, but guessing the old-fashioned way works well.
The lens is very sharp indeed in the centre but if you pixel-peep the sides can look soft, often mostly because the focus is different.
Christopher Frost's U-tube reviews of this lens (and the earlier version) are worth seeing.
Results can be good indoors, with either careful shooting and cropping (or de-fishing, though I haven't tried that) producing realistic results. For best realism a non-fisheye UW would be better, of course, but the 8mm fish produces images of interiors which are recognisably distorted but less upsetting than other fisheyes.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.55 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania