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

reviewer#8692 date: Feb-23-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:everything else
price paid:$259US
positive:very sharp at f/8
very inexpensive
lovely colour/contrast
great flare control
good, solid build
negative:none, once you get used to using a manual lens
comment:I use this fisheye lens regularly on my A500 and A200, and am always thrilled with the results, to say the least. This is a very sharp lens that is built like a rock, and looks good too!

Some people initially seem to struggle a bit with the logic behind focusing, but really it is oh so simple. Set the aperture ring to f/8 and leave it. Set the focus ring to about two feet and leave it. There, that's it! Everything from a foot to infinity will be razor sharp. I have more fun with this lens than all of the rest of my arsenal combined.

And if you ever start to tire of the fisheye look, just defish using the Fisheye Hemi plugin; it does a fantastic job of straightening things out without degrading the image at all.

All in all, an outstanding lens at a terrific price point. This Samyang lens goes by many names, such as Rokinon, Falcon, Opteka, Vivitar, Bower, Polar, to name just a few. They are all identical, so it is just a matter of getting the lowest priced one you can find. They can be found easily online for under $300US.

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