Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens review

The itch for fisheye lens is over. I got a chance to try Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens on Canon 5d mark ii for about half an hour walk around. It wasn't my cup of tea.

I was worried that it might not work well on full frame. It doesn't fill the frame on full frame sensor (as seen in the pictures here). But it fills enough to be cropped, so it's not too bad. I didn't crop the pictures here to show how they are straight out of camera. They look like I added a black border.

Since it's very wide, the lens hood petal is visible in the frame. But later Rokinon fisheye lenses have removable hood so the petal won't be in the picture.

After Cropped

The hardest part about fisheye lens is the composition.  I just can't pre-visualize how I'll frame it or what I'll get out without putting it up to my eyes.  Even that, depending on the angle I tilt, the curvature of the whole scene changes.  I can't simply move left and right to get a better composition. Something else will get distorted. (See the first picture of watering jar. I tried many ways to de-center it, but it just doesn't work well to move it to off-center while maintaining the shape I want of the jar). It's definitely non-linear optics. LOL

Manual focus, manual aperture, both very easily adjustable. I put camera on aperture priority and it does the rest to work with manual aperture set on the ring.

It works best with lines since you can see how warped they get with fisheye.
I can't tell fisheye effect in straight merging lines. It looks just like a normal wide lens. 
Same scene with the bridge I'm leaning on included.  
Same position, same scene, different tilt.
Same position, same scene, different tilt

I can't think details with fisheye lens. My normal photography style looks for details, such as leaves, flowers etc. But with fisheye they don't turn out what I saw in my mind. So it's not for details. After all, it's super-duper wide angle lens, right? What was I thinking?


Couldn't be happier to get back to my 50mm lens right afterwards.
50mm view for comparison
I'm glad I got a chance to try it (thanks to a fellow Googler). Otherwise, I might keep coveting fisheye lenses. 

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