Do You Want a Fisheye Lens

Salt Flats, Bolivia. Olympus EM5 with Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye.
Salt Flats, Bolivia. Olympus EM5 with Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye.

I noticed the other day that Olympus has a new 8mm fisheye lens about to launch. Ordinarily I am a huge fan of Olympus equipment and especially there lenses. But this one, I’m not even interested in. The reason is the price. I’m sorry but £799 for a fisheye lens is way overpriced. It’s not as though this will be a main lens. It will have very limited application and could end up sat in your camera bag without ever being used.

If you use micro 43 cameras and are interested in buying a fisheye, take a look at the Samyang 7.5mm. This is a really well built lens for around a quarter of the price. It feels solid and is a joy to use. It’s almost the same focal length and gives 180 degree view just like the Olympus. The key difference (other than price) is that this is a manual focus lens but don’t let that stop you. At f/2.8 you will get depth of field from 30cm to infinity. Basically just stop down to f/5.0, focus on infinity and shoot away without focusing.

The other aspect of the Samyang that some might find unusual is that you don’t set the aperture using the camera. The camera will report the aperture as 0.0 as if there isn’t a lens attached. Instead you set the aperture on an aperture ring around the outside of the lens. Personally I really like this although I admit it might not be to everyone’s taste.

In short, this is a great lens and an excellent price. If you want a fisheye then I would recommend taking a look at the Samyang.

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