Zenit Zenitar 16mm F2.8 MC Fisheye A-mount lens review by H20boy

reviewer#2681 date: Sep-1-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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:Tamron 11-18
Minolta 17-35/3.5
price paid:$150 USD new
positive:- cheeeeeap!
- Decent wide angle on APS-c censors
- Makes a great 'point and shoot' with much better quality than a true P&S
- small, pocketsize
- I am supporting russia's export and economy
negative:- wide open it just blows, really, and not like to cool you off either
comment:I use my zenitar with a Jolos m42 adapter, and the adapter didn't require any work at all to make it go to infinity.

Ok, next - it's sharp, but only at f8 and down. I would've given it a better sharpness rating if not for that. Otherwise, i was very suprised to see the IQ when using smaller apertures. After all, at this size, I think that is what it was meant for. It is a dedicated landscape lens, and that's it!

See my sample images for a 100% crop at f9. you'll be impressed.

The colors on this are much better than the Tamron 11-18 I once owned. For some reason, the zenitar has more saturated colors, and i like that in a wide angle lens. your opinion may be different.

You can't take away points for a fisheye on distortion. Anybody who does, picked up the lens for the wrong reason. go find a rectilinear lens and deduct for distortion...am I right??

I docked off of the build rating for one reason...to use it on my 7D (and other minolta/sony cameras) you have to remove the aperture pin and spring from the lens. This requires disassembly of the rear mount, which actually isn't that hard once you get into it. I'd give someone a 5% chance of screwing it up. :) It's plastic, but very light. I like the idea of tossing it on my pocket or in a small pouch when I take out say... the 70-200, and if needed, its there. I don't even realize the extra weight.

Stopped down to F11 or so, and you don't even have to focus. Using it as a typical point and shoot, everyting from 4.5 feet and beyond is in focus.

Flare rating a 5, until it proves to me in the field to be an issue. sorry, haven't tested it yet.

Highly recommended for budget landscape, or P&S opportunities.

If you would like to see it's size compared to the 28/2 and the 17-35G, open these up -> http://matt.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p1061461545-5.jpg amd this one http://matt.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p757492568-5.jpg

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 4.12
  • color: 4.29
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 3.76
  • overall: 4.12
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