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8mm fisheye or 12mm?


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I just stumbled on this this topic - sorry to bring it out again...


I am faced with the same dilemma... I have the XF 16mm, which is currently the widest of my lenses... It's a great lens, but not wide enough on certain occasions (or so I feel), I am considering buying the Samyang 12mm. However, I am also considering getting the 8mm fisheye instead, as I am afraid that the 12mm won't make such a big difference to my existing XF16... 


As I've never owned a wider angle lens than my 16 before, I'd be happy to hear anyones input on this dilemma from this aspect. Would the 12mm make enough of a difference from the 16mm? I was considering the 10mm Samyang for this reason, but it's just too big and bulky... so now I'm thinking my kit would maybe be better complemented with the 8mm fisheye which, theoretically, I could defish and/or crop if needed and pretty much get the equivalent FOV of the 12mm?



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I think that you ought to be commended for not opening yet again, another thread if there is a thread already open on any subject.


I own the 8mm Samyang and the 12mm.


Before of that I had the 10-24mm. 


When I had the Fuji wideangle zoom I used it mostly at 10mm, but I decided to sell that lens and buy the 8mm and the 12mm, I also own the 18-55.


I don’t need anything in between although I might, one day, replace the 18-55 with a 16-55.


Yes, I think that the 16 will be too close to the 12.


Now for alternatives.


The 10mm Samyang could be a possible candidate.


This is a lens made for full frame cameras and its performance is very poor outside the center of the image where it is very good. If you use such a lens on a crop sensor you will cut out the worst part of it.


The con is that it is a very large lens compared to the 12mm and it has a stop less (not all that important) also you can’t use, easily, filters on it.


The 8mm is a great lens but , very much in a category of its own.


You can’t compare the performance of a fish eye to the one of ultra wideangles. Different kettle of fish.


In theory you can de-fish this lens , in practice it will be a lot easier to go for the 12 or the 10mm.

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Thanks for your reply and advice... you make a good point about de-fishing in practice, it's probably not as simple and practical as I thought. How much of a usable FOV compared to the 12mm can one get from the 8mm by just using the lightroom profile and cropping?


The 10mm is a logical choice, I agree, but it's just so much bulkier and heavier that it puts me off. I'd be thinking about selling the 16mm and replacing it with a 12mm and the 18-55 zoom, or only with the 10-24, but it's just too good of a lens...

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the only software (that I know of) that does justice to the use of a fisheye is Fisheye Hemi. With anything else you will crop so much that it is hardly worth using an 8mm.




I’ve  briefly considered this but in the end the fuss of going through each shot made me buy a fisheye ( for the fisheye look)  and a 12mm. Both lenses are relatively cheap new but even cheaper if you find them secondhand.


In my neck of the woods (the NL) there are always lots of them on offer because many people unwittingly buy super-wideangles and fisheyes but after some time they discover that the lens receives little use (I don’t care if I don’t use much a lens that I still want o own for that one time that I want to use it)  it turns out that they don’t know what to do with these lenses and re sell them at a loss.


As for the Fish eye I got yes the 8mm 2.8 but the cheaper version I (  Version II has a larger back element for purposes other than the use on a Aps-C) and I am very happy with it.


Both the 8 & the 12 are exceptionally light and small and practically autofocus if you put them on f8. Selective focus on lenses like this, I think, it is, for me, pointless.


The 10-24 is a great lens but I used it almost always on 10mm so I decided to sell it ( to a friend)  and take a small loss. With the money I’ve bought myself at least 3 other lenses, including my latest toy, the Petzval 85mm (also a very specialistic lens) which might be followed, if I find one cheap, from a Samyang 85mm.

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I wouldn't buy a fisheye if I were looking for an ultra wide lens. A fisheye is a very niche lens that does one thing well: it takes great close-up shots of strong, dynamic foreground subjects in the context of a background that helps tell the story of the action. It's an extreme lens for extreme subjects - hence its popularity with extreme sports photographers. The downside is the distortion. If your subject is strong enough, the distortion doesn't matter too much. It may even enhance the dynamic nature of your shot. But for landscapes, interiors and general purpose photography a fisheye is awful - everything looks bendy and weird.



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Edited by Warwick
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...Not necessarily so,


if you are shooting certain subjects in a certain way holding your camera straight and not including too many straight lines around the edges you will hardly notice the fish eye effect.


Both these shots were taken, and left uncorrected, with the 8mm. So you can obviously use this lens for landscapes ( I could have paid a bit better attention in making the second shot and the horizon would have been absolutely flat)

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Edited by milandro
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with respect, that too might be too broad a statement.


This is NOT my picture  ( it is a Tasmanian Photographer Alan X ....don’t know the surname) and yes, was taken with the 8mm fisheye and it has been corrected with the software (Fisheye Hemi)  that I mentioned above but you can use fisheyes and interiors ( with the appropriate  caveats, corrections or expert usage)



Edited by milandro
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So, I'm in the following dilemma.  Should I buy the Samyang/Rokinon 8mm or the 12mm lens?


I'd like to have a wide angle lens.  I might be going to Europe in September and having a very wide lens will be great to shoot historical buildings, inside churches, etc.


Now, I don't know if I should get the fisheye or the non fisheye.  I've read many reviews and both lenses are good, but if I get the fisheye, would it just sit in my bag once I come back?


Please help with your thoughts.  If you can also share images it would be nice.



Full disclosure:  I have both.    The fisheye is, indeed, likely to just sit in your bad.  I would not use it for a travel lens.  The way I use it is to put it on the camera body then go somewhere with no other lens.  Using a fisheye, at least for me, requires putting myself in a state of mind where I am looking exclusively for things to do with it.  I don't seem to do that well if the option of using an alternate exists.  The reason I think is that the fish does things no other lens can and you may not think of them unless forced to.  Like when stopped down the DoF is so great the tip of a leaf touching the lens is in focus.  Flare from the sun low in the sky is usually a bad thing, but wuith the fisheye you can sometimes find way to use it as a dominate compositional element.  Ect Ect

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