Samyang 8mm F3.5 Asph IF MC Fisheye CS A-mount lens review by MediaArchivist

reviewer#10377 date: Jul-13-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
price paid:289 USD (new)
positive:Good, solid build
Excellent image quality
Low price
EXIF data missing from shots
Max f/3.5 (2.8 would be nice)
comment:This is an excellent lens. Don't let the all manual operation scare you off, set your camera to A (aperture) mode, and you will be fine. The projection of this lens is stereographic, whereas most fisheye lenses are equisolid. Pictures with this lens have a slightly more even balance in area between the center and edges when compared to other fisheye lenses with similar specs. The Wikipedia article on fisheye lenses has much more detail :)

I have found this lens superb for outdoor landscapes. In particular, a series of portrait oriented images makes stitching a panorama easy. I have made several sets of HDR images which were then stitched together and the results were breathtaking (I have been told).

I have been using the "HD" version, branded as a Samyang, with a removable hood. There is also a "Cine" model with a removable hood, aperture labeled in "T" stop (as opposed to f/stop), and geared control rings. I don't know if the optics for these versions are improved-- but the removable hood means it works on a FF camera! On my a99 I get almost a full circle image, which is, to say the least, pretty cool!

Highly recommended.

(Update: the text of my Dyxum review, verbatim, has been used by Samyang in their printed literature! There is a PDF on their website if you are curious. I could not be happier to help promote this lens, it really is a gem.)

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 38
  • sharpness: 4.53
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.71
  • distortion: 4.63
  • flare control: 4.34
  • overall: 4.54 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania