Most helpful critical review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not high enough quality images; focus problem
on July 11, 2012
I had high hopes for this lens. It is beautiful--lots of thick, heavy, multicoated lenses--quite impressive looking and feeling. It does give a true 180 degree fisheye view. But thats where the goodness stops, at least with my camera system. I have a Canon s95 with a 37mm adaptor thread mounted on the front. The S95 is a beautiful camera, but it doesn't have the best macro in the world--I think it's close focus is about 6cm, which caused problem #1. Mounted directly on the camera with or without the included spacer ring, the camera cannot focus close enough for this lens to work. I have to hold the lens about 3 inches from the camera to get a focused picture. No problem, I thought, as I had recently purchased a 37mm closup filter set. It was either the 4x or the 10x lens that I could screw on the back of this to get a focused image. Now I have a working fisheye! Wait--I can clearly see the lens flare hood blocking about 10-20% of the frame. so I removed it for a wider angle and full frame effect.
Unfortunately, the quality is really poor for photos. The entire image is soft, and the outer third of the image is really poor quality--lots of chromatic aberration and really low detail. Granted, I am looking at an image through a 10 megapixel camera image. It's also possible that the closeup lens that I paired with the fisheye is deteriorating image quality a little, but I just don't think the fisheye has the resolution power I want. So I think that's why they market this for digital camcorders--the HD resolution is about the quality of a 1 megapixel image, I believe. So it's not falsely advertised, just know that the image quality is not good enough for most photo applications. I have a much cheaper opteka "semi-fisheye" that has much better image quality--basically, it's gives me the inner 2/3rds of the field of view of the full fisheye, with about the same quality and less weight and price. So buy this for your camcorder, and be aware that it appears you need a pretty good macro capability for this lens to work on its own, otherwise you'll need an additional lens.