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Samyang 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye

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Review Date: Sep 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $233.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Most fun lens in my bag. I shoot full frame Canon 5D Mk II and have to be careful to keep my feet out of the frame.
Cons:
Manual focus/Aperture ring on lens.

I have Canon 5D Mk II and all L lenses. I bought the Sigma 8mm fisheye a few years back for $900 and it was a fine lens but a tad soft for that price. I eventually sold it and recently bought the Rokinon 8mm fisheye for $233. I wasn't expecting much at that price but it is sharp and produces great photos. The Sigma produces round images vs the Rokinon which have the top/bottom cut off. The Rokinon is also manual focus and you must set the aperture with the ring adjustment on the lens (not in camera). I have not found this to be nearly as bothersome as it reads as I have quickly adjusted to it. You want to keep the aperture at f/8 & above for best results - anything below gets a bit softer. Side by side the Sigma is better than the Rokinon but its not nearly the $650 price difference better and I am happy & content with this fun little lens. For those not familiar with fisheye photography, this lens will make you see the world very differently and from a fun & creative perspective. Buy this lens and I guarantee you will shoot with a big smile on your face and then smile again when you download/view them on your computer.

 
Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

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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