Samyang Rokinon 8mm f2.8 Guy Swarbrick, April 2013

Samyang Rokinon 8mm f2.8 review

The Samyang Rokinon 8mm f2.8 is an affordable Fisheye lens that's designed exclusively for mirror-less cameras with an APS-C sensor - at the time of writing, Samyang offered three different fittings for Sony E-mount (NEX), Samsung NX and Fujifilm X (X-Pro1 and XE-1). Like other Samyang lenses, it's manual focus only and also requires manual exposures, but comes in at a considerably lower price point than similar lenses from the big camera companies. Note Samyang lenses are branded as Rokinon and Walimex in some regions.

Mounted on an APS-C camera, the Samyang 8mm f2.8 operates at an equivalent focal length of 12mm and delivers 180 degree Fisheye images which fill the frame. Like other Fisheye lenses, there's no attempt to correct the highly curved geometric distortion, and instead it's used as a deliberate extreme effect. That said, it's also ideal for generating panoramas and 360 degree virtual tours with the minimum of frames.

As with other Fisheye lenses, the depth of field is large even with the aperture wide open, and if you choose f8 with the lens focused to 1m you'll enjoy a massive range. As such while Samyang's reliance on manual focusing can be tricky with its longer focal length lenses, it's essentially a non-issue here - indeed you may rarely adjust the focusing in practice. Measuring 60x55.8mm (for Sony NEX) or 60x 48.3mm for Samsung NX and weighing 217g or 203g respectively, it's also sufficiently small and light to never be a burden. This coupled with the low price has already made it a popular choice for still and movie shooters and while I plan to expand this page into a full review I couldn't wait to share a selection of Samyang Rokinon 8mm f2.8 sample images with you sooner rather than later! We tested the X-mount version on an X-Pro1.

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See my Samyang Rokinon 8mm f2.8 Fisheye sample images!

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