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

reviewer#8566 date: Jan-26-2011
sharpness: 2
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 1
overall: 2.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
price paid:$125USD
positive:cost (at the time)
negative:nowhere near sharp until f/5.6
substantial diffraction at f/22
very little contrast
must mod the lens to get it to work
flares like mad
comment:I am going to replace this lens. For a cheap fisheye I suppose it is Ok, but you do get what you pay for. I can't believe this lens is rated over a 4 overall. The lens has reasonable sharpness from 5.6 to 16, and a fisheye is generally not used wide open, so maybe this is acceptable (acceptable is 3 to me, but since this lens sucks below 5.6 I gave it a 2).

It is well known that you have to jury-rig this thing, correcting for infinity focus, removing the aperture pin, etc., so I didn't take anything off the score for that. Still, build is average at best (again a 3).

Flare is terrible and UGLY. I probably will get the Sony 16, and its flare looks much better to me in the sample images I have seen. That's a 1.

Distortion is about what you would expect from a fisheye, so I gave it a 4.

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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