Ultra-wide and fish-eye lenses (7-11mm / 2,5-4mm)

Posted on 22 June 2012


I like the distortion of ultra-wide angles for video and I’d like to make miniworld 360 degrees pictures. A few options for lenses:

  • $ 350 Samyang 8mm T/3.8. Fisheye Cinelens. Nikon mount. Stereographic projection. There also is a canon version, with a declicked manual aperture ring. This one is for Canon EF mount and the specs state an Angle of View 180°. It’s  designed to give full frame coverage on APS-C sensor with a APS-C Picture Angle of 167°.
  • $ 300 Samyang, Rokinon or Bower 7.5 mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens. MFT mount. Equal area projection (here is a nice way to defish). Angle of view: 180 degrees. MFT picture angle: 180°. I’ve read the Bower and Rokinon are just rebranded Samyangs. The only difference could be the focus throw direction (nikon vs canon). Have not seen any reviews yet. Manual aperture control and focus. Built in lens-hood (why!?).
  • Samyang 8mm f/2.8. Sony E and Samsung MX mount.
  • $ 700 Canon FD S.S.C Fish Eye 7,5mm f/5.6
  • $ 800 Olympus 8mm f/3.5. FT mount.
  • $ 900 Panasonic 8mm f/3.5.  MFT mount.
Here are pictures of the Samyang canon and nikon version (look at the focus throw direction):

MFT zooms, see wide-angle lenses: $ 500 9-18 mm f4-5,6 olympus or $ 1000 7-14 mm f4 panasonic. See here a test of the real diagonal field of view of the fisheye compared to these zoom lenses: this is 180° for the Samyang 7.5mm, or 135° when defished, versus 114° for the Lumix 7mm lens.

And in ETC mode there is the 3.5mm f/1.6. Rainbow C-mount CCTV lens which will be like a 9mm MFT lens.

Here is a nice discussion on the differend kinds of projections (rectangular, panini etc). The main point is that there is a difference between horizontal, vertical and diagonal angle of view (the last one is also called: picture angle) between different lenses and different projections.


Posted in: Lenses