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Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

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Reviews Views Date of last review
9 35874 Jan 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $752.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.75
7.88
8.6
149_small_1_

Specifications:
Lens Construction: 11 Elements in 6 Groups
Angle of View: 180 degrees
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 6 Blades
Minimum Aperture: F22
Minimum Focusing Distance: 13.5cm/5.3 in.
Maximum Magnification: 1:4.6
Filter Size: Rear (Gelatin filter)
Dimensions Diameter: 73.5mm X Length 68.6mm
2.9 in. X 2.7 in.
Weight: 400g/14.0 oz


 


          
VVBali
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Registered: Jan 4, 2013
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 4, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $870.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very wide angle
Cons:

The Sigma 8mm f/3.5 is a very well constructed lens. accidentally, it drop 2 times out of my camera bag from 50cm on a wooden floor and continues to work great.

Being a circular fisheye, it shows vignetting on a cropped sensor camera and a full circular image on full frame sensors. On cropped sensor it has a horizontal fov of 180 degrees.

Sharpness is great between f/5.6 - f/11. Setting the focus manually at the 1 mtr mark gets everything in focus from ~30cm to infinity. When using the lens on autofocus, the resulting image gets soft at infinity on the focus scale of the lens.

Chromatic aberrations are visible, but are mostly removable during raw processing.

Used by me mostly for creation of 360 x 180 degree panoramic images with Nikon D300 camera.
Have a look at http://www.virtualvisitbali.com for several image examples and virtual tours created with this lens.


Jan 4, 2013
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garydavidjones
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Registered: Sep 20, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 447
Review Date: Oct 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Works well with my Canon 5D Mark II. Autofocus is great. Circular image shows off radial objects such as flower wonderfully
Cons:
None

Bought lens in March 2009 for my Canon

5D Mark II. Used extensively for close-up

of flowers and other objects with radial

symmetry. Well-built. love the circular

images.


Oct 26, 2010
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Todd Klassy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 290
Review Date: Oct 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Auto focus, colors, good quality lens for the money.
Cons:
Loud auto focus, average sharpness, not a rectilinear lens, image circle does not cover entire frame on APS-C sized sensors.

The Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye lens is a boutique lens that doesn't get a lot of use, but for the right shot it is invaluable. I have owned both this version of the Sigma 8mm lens and its predecessor, the 8mm f/4, and find it a good value for the money.

8mm is about the only option one has if you are shooting with a non-full frame dSLR. No, the image circle doesn't take up the entire frame of your image on cameras with a APS-C sized sensor, but it is is not a hassle to work around this flaw in post production. One can either crop the image or add a strong artificial vignette to cover the black corners. If you want to produce fisheye-looking images with a camera with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor, 8mm is the only way to go, and the Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye is the only option with auto focus.

Image quality is average. A little extra work in post production is necessary to sharpen images, but colors are good (maybe a tad too warm for my liking) and CA is very manageable.

Build quality is average to above average. Lens is heavy and seems sturdy, but the charcoal gray/black paint Sigma uses can tend to flake off over time...which obvious does not affect image quality.

Overall I would say this is a good buy for the money IF you want or need a fisheye look on a camera with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor...or a complete circular image on a full frame camera. If not, there are likely bigger needs in your camera bag.

Here are examples of images I have captured with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/54166091/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/28140024/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/28026331/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/81152808/


Oct 4, 2010
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redjelly39
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Its a lot of fun.
Cons:
I have to watch to keep my feet out of the photo shooting with FF.

I am having a great time with this lens. I recently shot a theme event called "Going Down the Rabbit Hole" and this lens was perfect. I got some incredible captures of all my costumed friends and would have them look up into the lens and shoot with their nose only a few inches away. Very trippy & fun. It is tricky using a flash because if its mounted on the camera, it may get into the shot and directional flash will not cover enough area but I did manage to get a couple shots bouncing it off the walls & ceiling. I move a lot to get the distance and more dramatic effect as even 1 foot difference is a big difference. I think Ernst Haas said something about "the most important lens is your legs" and this lens brings that quote to a whole new level.
I haven't had nearly the CA & lens flare I thought I would so I am impressed. The build quality is very good (I use mostly L glass) and I had heard about focusing issues but my lens has been auto-focusing pretty well although I would expect a bit of focusing issues with a 180 view. With the DOF f/8 + & lens set to infinity, it has produced very nice images. I have only had the lens for a month so I am still learning to think like the lens see's but it is a fun learning curve. $899 is a bit much but I am not regretting my decision.
Love in Light, Carlton


May 13, 2010
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brightondale
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Registered: Jan 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00

 
Pros:
Cons:

Anyone noticed the higher price tag on this lens lately? I saw the average price paid here was $633.50, but I didn't see it for sale anywhere for less than $700. I paid the B&H price because I didn't trust the lower price stores. I used to see them sell used for as little as $250 on ebay, now I never see them go for less than $600 on ebay.

I tried to first get it from Adorama (same price as B&H). After I placed the order, they sent me an email saying it was out of stock. If you order from Adorama, call to check for actual availability first since the website doesn't actually get this data. Or you could just go to B&H first where they will even tell you the exact day it would arrive before you place the order!

I haven't used the lens enough yet to give an evaluation.


Jan 3, 2010
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Kathy Li
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Registered: Nov 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 22
Review Date: Feb 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: It's an 8mm circular fisheye; CA control much better than f/4 version; no vignetting. Wide-wide angle of view. Can cover sphere with four shots handheld.
Cons:
Not the sharpest; inaccurate focus scale and autofocusing at infinity; expensive.

A good solid lens that does its job well, if not spectacularly. I bought this lens to replace my copy of the f/4 version for cubic panorama shooting, and I'm very glad I did.

The image circle will have a bluish border to it, but unlike the f/4 version of the lens, vignetting has been eliminated, and the CA is much better controlled. And while a shade sharper than the f/4 version, it's still difficult to get tack sharp with the lens. Live-view has gotten some pano shooters realizing that the focus scale is inaccurate. Focus to infinity actually happens about halfway between the 0.5m and 1m marks.

I use the lens on a Canon XT, and on a crop body, it becomes halfway between a circular and a diagonal. This is actually very useful. I merely need to crop (or in moments of insanity use a 1.4x tc) to fill the corners, and I get a much wider FoV for pano shooting. You can indeed cover an entire spherical view handheld with four shots. If, however, you plan on shooting panos with a tripod and panohead more often than handheld, a Nikkor 10.5 might be a sharper choice.


Feb 5, 2009
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burningheart
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Registered: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2463
Review Date: Apr 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent color, Great detail even at minimum aperature F3.5. Minumum focus distance is closer then advertised.
Cons:
Blue Vignette around the image circle. Occasionally the AF doesn't stop when shooting the picture

This is an excellent lens on the 5D. Colour and detail are excellent even at minimum aperature. The lens cap comes in two parts that you can use to advantage. Just take off the front cap and not the ring and you shoot a little less than 180 degrees. In this way you can block off the tripod leg, your feet etc. Watch out for stray light though as it will reflect off the ring cap. I found I could focus down to a couple of inches which is less than Sigma states. Fairly quick to auto focus but the odd time it continues to focus as the picture is being shot.


Here are some sample shots including Actual pixel crops.

http://www.robert-chisholm.com/Circular_Fisheye/index.htm


Apr 27, 2008
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KETCH ROSSI
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Registered: Sep 11, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 318
Review Date: Nov 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $667.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good built, Fast AF very fun lens
Cons:

This lens was purchase mostly to test the fun one can have with a distorted fisheye lens, and this Circular fisheye is the one I had chosen to do just that.

I like this lens a lot but it can not find space in my case as I would only use it in such a few situations that again it is not warted keeping.

But by no means this lens is not a keeper, infect I think is a great lens and would esitate in recomending it to any one I know that has a geographical, landscape or just need for a fun lens to shoot with.

I can not give a detailled review as I have use it so little (two times) but I like the images it produced and I would have loaded a simple one I just toucked for a fellow FM user that ask me to post in the buy/sale threads.

Buy it and have fun.
/Users/ketchrossi/Desktop/_MGL0922.jpg
Ciao,

KETCH ROSSI
www.KETCHFRAME.com


Nov 25, 2007
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Tony Rogers
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 299
Review Date: Jul 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: a full hemisphere in a circular image (on full-frame) - works well on Canon 5D
Cons:
learning to keep my feet out of the shot! Must switch off auto-focus to focus manually.

I haven't had this lens long - I will try to edit this review after I have more experience with it.

The lens feels solid and well made.

It has an unusual "lens-cap + ring" arrangement, because the front element has to protrude to be able to shoot a full 180 degree (horizontal and vertical) image. You can remove cap+ring together (it just tugs off)

It auto-focuses quite quickly and quietly. It does NOT have full-time manual focus - you must switch off auto-focus to use manual focus.

Although this lens can be used for scientific purposes, I intend to use it mostly for special effects. It's certainly not something you would use as a general purpose lens.



Jul 11, 2007
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Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
9 35874 Jan 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $752.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.75
7.88
8.6
149_small_1_