Samyang 8mm F3.5 Asph IF MC Fisheye CS A-mount lens review by filipescu1007

reviewer#9619 date: Nov-23-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-55mm, minolta 16mm fisheye
price paid:250 USD (new)
positive:APS-C dedicated
180° view
Unbeatable price
Flare control
Sharp especially at f/5.6-8
Nicely build
Great colors
negative:Fixed lens hood
Minimum focus distance of 30cm only
All Manual, but not really a negative point to me
comment:If you're reading reviews here, you probably already know about the "stereographic" feature of this lens so I won't bother you with technicalities.

This is a cheap lens but a very impressive one. With its 180° view on APS-C sensors, you're on for a lot of fun shooting. The distortion obtained is actually very harmonious and pleasing to the eye, you can work around it if you are careful about composition (place your subject right on the lens'"horizon" and you'll get distortions only on the sides, hence the "stereographic" bit mentioned above). It does need good light for color and contrast, I've been shooting with it for several months now and as you get used to the "whole manual" part of this fisheye, you'll manage to be positively surprised with the results pretty much all the time. I've took it for a spin on a night photography field trip and it works like a charm.

I leave it on f/8 and play with the focus ring depending on composition. It helped me being able to better evaluate distances, so that can't be bad.

There's no flare issues - nothing you can't control - and it's built like a tank.

The only thing that could be an issue is the ridiculous lens cap and the fixed lens hood. The lens cap looks like a cheap Pringles' cap and the hood is fixed and way too small. Better than nothing but because of that you should always try to walk around with the cap on, you never know if someone walks right by you and touches it, scratches it, etc.

Given the price and the quality you get, you shouldn't dismiss this lens before trying it out at least once. It's simply amazingly fun and good.

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