Samyang 8mm F3.5 Asph IF MC Fisheye CS A-mount lens review by KS56

reviewer#9168 date: Jun-22-2011
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:No comparison!
price paid:289 USD (new)
Well built
Easy to use
Great color
negative:Very poor Instruction Manual
comment:Just got the Rokinon brand version of this lens for my Sony A700 and Sony A77. What a fantastic lens!!!!!!!!!
This lens actually works in program 'P' mode, providing AUTOMATIC exposure control with the Sony cameras, contrary to what the Instruction Manual states.
Set the camera to 'release without lens' and the ISO to 'auto' and focus to 'manual'. Turn SSS off.
Set the aperture on the lens to f5.6 or f8 and the distance to about 2 feet and you are all set to get extremely sharp photos from inches away to infinity.
The camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed and ISO to suit the lighting conditions! Use -0.7 exposure compensation outdoors and +0.7 exposure compensation indoors to get spot on exposures.
Keep in mind that the exif data will not be correct since this lens is not chipped.
I initially bought this lens as an inexpensive 'gadget' lens expecting it to spend most of its time in the camera bag. Boy was I wrong!
This lens is slowly becoming my favorite lens and I am even using it as a portrait lens!
It is the sharpest lens that I own!
The 8mm Samyang is a special lens that produces "stereographic" images with the unique characteristics of Proportional projection that preserves the proportions of three dimensional objects in a two dimensional image space better than either an ultra-wide rectilinear lens or a fisheye lens.
Thus, a spherical object appears to remain spherical, not egg shaped or squashed, anywhere in the image, regardless of where it is located in the field of view.
As soon as you look through the viewfinder of a camera with this lens attached you will see how unique this lens is and undoubtedly become hooked!
It is indeed a rare occasion when the least expensive lens just may be the best!

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