Upload & Sell: On
Bjorn Rorslett rates the f/3.5 a bit higher...
Bjorn Rorslett's Review of Fisheye Lenses
John Hinkey in Seattle introduced us all to this particular lens and gradually a number of us followed. In fact, I bought John's first copy of the lens. He subsequently bought two more which he has kept. Everyone who has used the lens has become a fan. There were only a bit less than 8,000 of the f/3.5 lenses made and of those a smaller number with the AI conversion suitable for modern DSLR cameras. The f/2.8 comes in close to thirty thousand lenses, and none of those...Show more →
+1 on what Curtis says.
I owned both the 16/3.5 AI and the 16/2.8 AIS. The f/3.5 is slightly better with flare/ghosting with the sun in the frame while the f/2.8 is slightly better with the sun just out of the frame.
The f/2.8 has slightly better sharpness in the center than the f/3.5 wide open (they become equal stopped down), but falls way behind the f/3.5 in sharpness significantly off-center. This was apparent on my D300 and D700, & I suspect would be even more so on my D800.
The 16/3.5 continues to be one of - if not THE - sharpest lenses I own, even on my D800.
Here's how this all started. Back in my D300 days I was looking for a compact WA and had read about this lens on Bjorn's site. I failed to win a bid for a 16/3.5 AI'd after searching for one for over a year. Six months or so later the exact same lens went up for sale on the local CL here in Seattle and I grabbed it - talk about fate! I since had moved on from the D300 to a D700 and the lens continued to amaze.
A few years later I had an opportunity to grab a 16/3.5 AI off of the FM B&S for a decent price so I did. I then sold my 16/3.5 AI'd to Curtis (it had a factory AI ring conversion, not a modified aperture ring). I then found another one locally that was in slightly better cosmetic shape (though identical in IQ) for a decent price so I grabbed that one as well.
As Curtis said I have the two now - mainly because I use mine a lot and I have this fear that I'll drop it someday and won't be able to find a replacement. I usually sell my lenses that don't get used much, but this is an exception.
It did take a while to learn how to effectively use this lens, but hopefully as I and certainly others have shown once you do learn to use it well it can produce stunning results if a FE is your thing. I particularly like what Jose and Georg have been doing lately with it. Monty is a master as well. Curtis doesn't use it as much as he should.
Time to get back to work.