Upload & Sell: On
Ronny _Olsson wrote:
Is Fisheye 16mm f3.5 AI better than the 16mm f2.8 AI ?
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 were pre-AI. I doubt you would lose a great deal by going with the f/2.8. The f/3.5 has become a bit of a holy grail for folks on this thread.
+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.
Awesome set John! Like I mentioned earlier, your shots were one of the main factors in me wanting to get this lens. It looks like the one I am getting was one of the last copies from that particular run. Mine is 276731 and the run ended with 276977, which means it was probably made somewhere in 1976. It's almost as old as I am!