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Can't decide on a fisheye, Please help!

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  • Can't decide on a fisheye, Please help!

    Well, I recently decided to get my first dslr which is the canon 500d (t1i). And I still have a lot to learn about using it. But I am having trouble trying to decide on a fisheye lens to start out with it. I currently have a NN3 and am interested in doing spherical panos with it. If price was no object, I know I probably would want to get a sigma 8mm or 4.5mm, but unfortunately I am on a budget right now. I was looking at the Opteka 6.5mm, Vivitar 7mm, Peleng 8mm, and the Rokinon 8mm. Does anyone know if these lenses can be used with filters? Also, having only one focal length means that you can't zoom right? Is there an affordable lens that lets you do both?

  • #2
    The only possibility for an affordable zoom fisheye is the Tokina 10-17mm, though that may not be quite affordable enough for you.



    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, yeah I was looking for one in the $300-$400 price range. I may go with the Rokinon, since it seems to have decent reviews. But I was wondering if it is better to have a full frame lens for panos than a circular one. Also is there at least a lens that can use filters within that price range?


      • #4

        Rockinson = Samyang = etc is a good choice. I personally prefer this lens to Sigma 8mm/f3.5.

        Because of very curved front lens elements most fisheye lenses can't be used with filters. A few of them have the possibility to add a filter to the back of the lens like Nikkor 16mm/f2.8 and Sigma 8mm/f3.5. Lee Filter has created a front system for Nikkor 14-24, high price and big. Just have a look to the Lee filter website.



        • #5
          Well, thanks for the info. If these are all the same brand, would it be better to have the Opteka 6.5mm than the Rokinon 8mm, or would you just stick with an 8mm lens?


          • #6

            I have a Samyang 8mm/f3.5 which I tested on Nikon FX and DX bodies. Stitching in PTGui you will realize it comes closer to a 9 mm lens because of lens construction. The optical quality is very good. A lot of us use the Samyang ~whatever name. A perfect lens in this "low cost department".

            I do not know the Opekta 6.5 mm lens by myself, I have read reviews, may be you have to google.

            Some answers on Samyang lens:


            Lenstip and are always a good address for basic info.

            As being a Canonian, this might be your favorite address:

            And at least a good result of the old british empire besides John Houghton, pioneer of Panos, very experienced, always a helping hand on special problems on several forums without stating himself as the "one and only" - thx John - and Andrew, the top UK distributor of NN products and specialist in Samyang lenses and Pentax cameras, this is an address in good old Cambridge tradition:

            For real basic information:

            To cut it short Ian:

            I would go for the Samyang 8 mm, a lot of comments about this lens, very good ones, try and test, find your settings, and get on the road for shooting. When you step over to full frame, just shave the lens and on you go. Simple as that.

            Actually it is more the basics about photography with all the secrets, so we should understand what we do with our equipment and have the felling for the moment. A picture shot in the right moment with a "click clack camera" might be much better than a bad shot with D3x.

            I give you "FIVE", take a decision and step forward working with your equipment and get on the road to send nice panos.

            Last edited by hindenhaag; 06-23-2011, 01:50 PM.


            • #7
              Well, thanks a lot for your help man, I probably will go with that lens. I would be quite nervous about shaving anything off a lens after I just bought it :s How are people shaving that whole hood off, with a metal file, or a rough sander? Also, after you do shave off the hood, you could probably epoxy glue a step up ring on the upper part of the barrel so you could place adapters, filters, etc. onto it.

              I mainly want to be able to use special purpose filters with the lens such as UV/IR filters. I think it would be nice, since most fisheye lenses have curved glass, if you could find some sort of curved filter, that follows the curvature of the glass on the lens, and would fit perfect on the lens.


              • #8
                Here you can see how to shave a lens:

                Samyang lens is easier, you can take off the front element:

                May be you can adapt it?

                Last edited by hindenhaag; 06-23-2011, 10:01 PM.


                • #9
                  Here's examples of both the Samyang 8mm for APS-C sensor cameras and Samyang 14mm for full frame sensors: