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572
4.5 out of 5 stars
Rokinon FE8M-S 8mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens for Sony Alpha (Black)
Style Name: Sony AlphaChange
Price:$239.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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395 of 408 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2011
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
Fisheye lenses are very fun - they give a totally different perspective compared to just about any lens out there. The most common type seem to be the "circle" type, which product a big circle in the center of your image (with the fisheye image inside of that). On digital cameras with a crop-factor (like the Canon Rebel series, XXD series and even 7D), this can sometimes result in what looks like a circle with the top and bottom cut off.. not the most enjoyable image.

That's where this one comes in - the Rokinon produced a rectangular fisheye image - there is no "circle" as with other types of fisheye lenses, but you still get that great fisheye look (distortions and all).

You might see other similar looking (and priced) Fisheye lenses available out there.. Bower, Pro-Optic, Samyang, Rokinon, Vivitar, Falcon. These are ALL THE SAME LENS - Samyang, the manufacturer, simply re-brands it and changes the colors a bit (For example, look at: Vivitar - Fisheye lens - 7 mm - f/3.5 - Canon EF Pro-Optic 8mm f/3.5 Manual Focus, Fish Eye Lens with Canon EOS Mount ). With that said, be sure to check out the others to find the most affordable. The Rokinon is often 50-75 dollars less than the Vivitar.

The lens is a Canon EF mount (I only mention this because it's not listed in the description, only that it's "For Canon" - I wasn't sure if it was EF or FD mount before ordering). It WILL fit onto any EF Mount (meaning it will work on a 5D) but because it's SO WIDE, the hood will show up in images on a fullframe camera (it will not show up on images on a 1.6x crop camera like the Rebels, 7D or XXD line). The hood is not removable, but some people actually cut it off to use with full-frame cameras like the 5D.

The lens is rounded like a traditional fisheye, so you cannot use lens filter in front of this.

The angle is VERY WIDE - probably 180 degrees.. I have the lenscap on a leash (capkeeper) and it shows up in images if I don't move it. Things right to the side of the lens will appear in the photo.. it's hard to hide from it!

The low price comes because the lens does NOT make electrical contact with the camera. It's a MANUAL LENS - there is no autofocus, and the camera will not recognize it as a lens. You change the aperture by turning the manual aperture ring on the lens itself. You focus using the larger ring. Since the lens is so wide, if you set it to infinity (on the focus scale), then bring it back to just before that mark, most of your image will be in focus. It's actually tougher to get stuff out of focus than in focus (great for those like me who can't manual focus at all)

If you set your camera to AV mode (haven't tried the others) it will automatically determine exposure for you (I was worried about this, figuring a manual lens had to be set manually (including exposure)) - You can, of course, still set it manually. And while it does meter, it's not always perfect so be sure to review your images once in a while to make sure everything is turning out. One of the problems is that with such a wide angle of view, there can often be very different lighting conditions. Taking a photo indoors, for example, will often result in a darkened room and very bright light sources wherever windows are. You almost need to "HDR" these to get usable images. Outdoors or in even lighting conditions, it works great.

The price is much less than other wide angle lenses (because those have name-brands behind them and features like autofocus and probably better optics). The only cheaper alternative are the poor screw-on fisheye filters that attach on top of an existing lens, but these will often produce near unusable photos. The photos from the Rokinon are surprisingly sharp.

The downside to it is that quality control on the distance-scale can be poor - a number of people are reporting getting this lens (or the other rebranded variations) with a distance scale that is "off" - meaning that the 2 foot mark might actually be "Infinity", but I think it is something you can learn to deal with after a few uses. It doesn't make the lens unusable by any means.

The other negative is that this lens is about 300 bucks for a manual-only lens made by Rokinon (or Samyang, etc..) - that's almost the same as you'd pay for a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens (or similar). With that said though, I still really enjoy it and would re-buy it again if I had to make the choice again.
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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
Well what can I tell you, this lens is awesome, I've testes it and let me tell you some of the results I noticed:

- The amount of flare (even pointing the lens towards the sun) is minimal, it really surprised me in a very positive way.
- It doesn't darkens the corners or produce vignetting effect AT ALL!
- The quality in the final pictures is superb, the pictures are crisp sharp even in the edges!
- Unlinke the peleng lens, the rokinon does fill the entire frame of the picture with no empty corners.
- It does not have the annoying lock ring of the peleng.
- When you handle the lens it feels great, the build quality is great and the rubber grip in the focus ring is awesome, its heaviness makes it feel like a solid rock and well built pice of glass; and, unlike the peleng, it does look modern!
- The colors look nice and saturated in the final pictures.

I loved this one, and I can truely say that this lens will exceed your expectations, the best bang for the buck!

Note for the buyers: this lens is also sold under other brands such as: opteka, samyang, falcon; but it's the same glass
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113 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2011
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
I bought this lens after reading several reviews. I got it this morning and used it on my lunch break for about 30 minutes and it seems great so far. The image quality is good, but you can see that for yourself in the customer images. So, here are a few things you can't tell from the customer images. Things I knew going into this purchase - these are not complaints - just a few notes that you may not have been aware of:

1. First, it is a great lens for the price; very solid, feels nice, looks good. Definitely worth it if your want to give fisheye a try without breaking the bank.

2. You can not use filters with this lens.

3. This len (for Canon cropped cameras) has a viewing angle of 167 degrees NOT 180. It is however 180 degrees for cropped Nikon, Sony, etc. Not a big deal, the lens definitely has a great fisheye effect.

3. There is definitely some CA (chromatic abberation), but that can easily be fixed in your favorite photo editing software.

4. This is a fully MANUAL lens. You have to manually set the aperature and focus on the lens - NOT through the camera. The lens does not actually communicate with the camera body. If you are confused by this, read you camera's manual or look for a free tutorial online by Googling "Photography for Beginners". There are a ton of free tutorials that will help you learn. That's how I got started.

5. The aperature ring shows six values of 3.5, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. However, when you rotate the aperature ring, it clicks 9 times from 3.5 to 22 - just something to keep in mind. Not a big deal since a lens of this nature is going to have a pretty wide depth of field most of the time anyway.

If you just want a quick "how-to" for this lens, then:

1. Set the aperature (on the lens) to f5.6 or up (f8, f11, etc)
2. Set your camera's ISO to AUTO
3. Finally, set the focus ring (again, on the lens) to the infinity symbol.

Now, as long as you are at least 2 feet away from you subject, your pictures will be in focus without doing anything else to the lens. If this seems complicated, don't be afraid! It's actually quite simple! Again if you are confused, search the Internet for the following terms:

Aperature
Depth of field

Well, that should get you started. If you are ok with the things I listed above, then go get this lens! You won't regret it!
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
If you are reading the review for this lens, you are looking at a highly underrated lens. The performance of this lens has surprised a lot of critics including Ken Rockwell and photozone. If you are out there shooting with fisheye, you definitely should not mind about manual focus and manual aperture. Otherwise, go ahead and spend 3 times as much of your hard earned money on Sigma or at least 4 times as much on the new Canon 8-16mm L which hasn't been shipped yet. BTW the price of this Samyang fisheye has dropped to $263. Hello? How much does the plasticy Canon kit lens cost? For the quality of its optics and build (metal), the Samyang is a real bargain. The first thing I did with this lens was to shoot toward the sun and confirmed that flares were very well controlled. You get a nice single streak of flares and they are not all over the place. Just be realistic with laws of physics, you cannot expect no flare at all with such wide angle even with nano or whatever coating. This Samyang is arguably the best choice for APC DSLRs with all factors considered. And it 's made in Korea too unlike some N company with cheap Chinese made lenses.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2011
Style Name: Nikon
This is a great little lens, versatile and super-sharp. It's surprisingly small and light for such a wide angle lens. I've seen lots of comments about the focusing ring's being mis-calibrated. Ken Rockwell's review says that the sharpest infinity focus happens when you set the ring to 1.5 feet. If you want to extend the depth of field as close as possible, set it to 1 foot, the minimum; then, at f/11, things only 4 inches away will be sharp (and the mountains on the horizon will look sharp); at f/16, DOF extends to 3 inches, and at f/22 to 2 inches from the lens! The sharpness at f/3.5 isn't good (but that's typical); at f/5.6 it's good, and at f/8 it's super; you have to pixel-peep--not at 100% but at 200% or 400%!--to see the slight fall-off in sharpness as you go to smaller apertures. The contrast the lens delivers is excellent, like the sharpness at the various apertures, and the color is rich and true with no color cast at all. There's no noticeable chromatic aberration, and flare is minimal for so wide a lens as long as you keep the sun out of the picture.

This lens gives you wonderful converging lines that you can exaggerate or minimize by tilting your camera, and the corners of the image are realistic and better than the high-end fisheyes (see Rockwell's review, of the "ProOptic 8mm," which is just another branding of this lens). If you want "straight" wide-angle shots, the sharpness of this lens produces detail fine enough so that you can straighten the converging lines in your image editor without that adjustment showing in the final picture.

The built-in lens shade works, and it also protects the bulging front element, but keeping the lens cap on when you're not shooting is a good idea to protect the lens from smudges. You can't use filters on this lens without making your own filter-holder, and then there'd be some vignetting of the image, but the color fidelity and contrast of the lens makes filters unnecessary.

Autofocus would be redundant with this lens: for landscapes, use the 1.5-feet setting, and for close-in shots use 1 foot (but don't worry if you forget). The manual exposure is no problem, either: take a test shot when light conditions change, check your LCD and adjust the shutter speed, and that's it. If you keep your aperture at f/8 or f/11 and have the focus ring set at 1 foot, your biggest problems will be to keep your own feet out of your pictures, and then to decide which of your images you like best.

This lens is an amazing bargain, first-rate optical quality and remarkable ease-of-use at a truly affordable price.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2010
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
I agree with positive reviews of construction and image quality. However, for non-pros, toting a dedicated fisheye lens on vacation or nature hikes may not make a lot of sense. Watch out for the temptation to leave it on the camera and starting to see everything in fisheye mode. I just went on vacation to Rome with one of these and my one camera body. I don't like to keep my companions waiting, so I don't swap lenses unless it's a killer shot. I got stuck in fisheye mode quite a lot. I am pretty happy with a lot of my fisheye cityscapes and interior architectural shots, but I missed out for sure. A zoom would have been a lot better, and I'm putting a low-end wide zoom on my wish list.

I considered some of those cheapo wide angle converters that screw onto the filter threads. The ability to use the zoom and to put it off/on without exposing the camera insides to the elements make these attractive, but image quality would suffer, and I'd need a tripod indoors for sure (not allowed anywhere interesting).

Fisheye distortion is not for everyone, but on the bright side, there are ways to keep it to a minimum if you're not shooting a closeup of a puppy. Be aware of parallel and straight elements -- especially the horizon. Keeping things symmetrical helps. You'll probably want to spend some time with Photoshop. Unfortunately Photoshop cannot de-fish an image completely. You can buy $20 software that might work. Photo stitching software may not reliably stitch 8mm fisheye images unless they are very simple. Put the horizon in the middle and look for a simple foreground and sky. This lens will force you to be creative if nothing else.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
I have a Canon T2i I recently purchased and I love this camera. After "playing" with it, I knew that my next investments would involve getting my lens game up. After reading a review on EyeNorth.com, I figured this was a modestly priced lens that would give me what I wanted. The Rokinon fisheye did not disappoint. The images I've captured so far with this lens (still and video) has been GREAT! Pairing this lens with my kit lens, a 50mm, and a good telephoto is ideal (looking for a good telephoto now) and I think I'm good to go.

The lens take excellent, super-wide shots and I love the distortion it gives when you're within inches of an object. Works great with the music video work I do and even give my documentary footage a special flair. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this lens.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
Style Name: Sony AlphaVerified Purchase
I bought the Rokinon 8mm fisheye to use with my Sony Alpha 55 camera. I am very pleased with this lens. It is surprisingly sharp and generates no chromatic aberraton to speak of. It is fun to be forced to do everything manually, and its fisheye characteristics provide an interesting new way to perceive the world. Remember that the camera will not recognize this lens unless you go into the menu settings and Enable the Release w/o Lens option (most commonly used for attaching the camera to an astronomical telescope). Highly recommended!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2010
Style Name: CanonVerified Purchase
If you're curious about fisheye or are just interested in getting a super wide angle lens this is the one to get. Sure there are probably better lenses out there, faster, better built, more expensive, ect. And if you have the money and are a photo perfectionist then go ahead and invest in one of those. But, if you're cheap, like me, and are okay with handling a manual lens, then this one will give you great results. Yes, it has no electronic parts and it won't auto-focus, but at 8mm focus is hardly an issue.

Now if you're really really cheap you could also get one of those fisheyes that screws onto the front of a normal lens, but I assure you the results you get from that will pale in comparison to a real DSLR fisheye lens.

So in between the cheap fisheye attachments and the super expensive professional grade ones out there, this is an excellent balance between quality and affordability.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
Style Name: Canon
This a diagonal fisheye lens for cameras with crop (APS-C, DX) sensor, so on crop sensor cameras will cover the whole frame, with no black areas (a characteristic of circular fishseyes).

The most important feature, which is unique to this lens, is that it distorts the image differently, in a way which looks more natural than images made by other fisheye lenses. I already have another diagonal fisheye lens, and bought this one solely for this feature.

Pros of this lens -

* Price: this is one of the cheapest lenses in the market.

* Image quality: almost no ghosting & flare (a common problem with other ultra-wide lenses), and very little vignetting.

* Wide angle of view, and natural looking images (at least in comparison to other fishsyes).

* Can be mounted on a full frame (FF, FX) camera, producing an image with greater field of view. There would be black area surrounding it, but it could be cropped with any image editing software.

Note: you could cut the hood to get an even bigger image, but be warned - this would invalidate the warranty, and require some McGyvering to attach the cap!

Cons -

* Fully manual lens: you would have to focus the lens manually & set the aperture by turning rings on the lens. As it's a very wide lens, it's easy to focus it. There's a version of this lens with electronic contacts for Nikon bodies, allowing it to work in P mode. On Canon bodies, rotate the mode dial to Av to get the same result.

* Chromatic aberation: the lens has more chromatic aberations (= green & purple halos where a dark object is set against bright background, or vice versa).

* The lens can't be fitted with filters, as the front element is bulging, and there's no frame at the back for gel filters.

* Designed for Nikon's DX sensor: as Canon's crop sensor is a bit smaller than Nikon's DX sensor, the resulting field of view will be 167 degrees, rather than 180.

____________________ Note, Dec 31st 2012 ____________________

Samyang now makes this lens with a detachable hood.
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