In this E-Mount Lens Review I’m going to go over the Rokinon f/3.5 8mm Fisheye lens using the Sony Nex-7 as the camera body. This lens is specifically designed for the APS-C crop factor cameras like the Sony Nex-7 used in this review.
The fish eye lens by nature seems to be a love or hate type of relationship I’ve noticed, and the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye is no different in this regard. The distortion is what causes a lot of people to say “what the??”, but it’s the distortion that I like and when used on a good “fisheye” subject the results are very good!
This Rokinon 8mm fisheye is a all manual lens, so you need to adjust both the focus and aperture on the lens itself. In addition to that, the Sony Nex-7 does not recognize that there is a lens attached due to the lens not having any electronics in it. So you will need to enable the feature to “shoot without a lens in the menu settings. I have a video on how to set-up the Nex-7 for lens adapters and it’s the same exact procedure for an all manual lens like the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.
The Rokinon 8mm lens is very well made and feels extremely solid and durable. The incredible low price of ~$250 US is what initially attracted me to it, and once I realized it was fully manual it made sense why it was so cheap considering the very solid build quality.
Once you have the Nex-7 all set-up the Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens is a breeze to use. Just set the focus and fire away, and because it’s an ultra wide angle the Depth of field is really deep making focus a breeze. It’s not so critical in other words like on a telephoto zoom where the slightest missed focus point results the sharpness being in the wrong spot. Just to let you know, the exif data was not captured during shooting as it relates to the lens, because there is no electronics in the lens. So the Aperture I used was not recorded into the metadata. However, I used an aperture of f/5.6 and f/8 for every image below unless otherwise specified in the Caption just below the image.
Moving on, let’s look at some sample pics from the Sony Nex-7 and the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye Lens!! I tried to take as many different real world sample pics as possible. Symmetry as you will see is very helpful when trying to find a cool composition when using fisheye lens! The distortion is so extreme that if there is no symmetry your eye gets sucked right out of the frame. If you have ever used a fisyeye lens, you know what I’m talking about 😉
Be sure to click on the images to see the true 100% crops
This first image is from the HDR and Nex-7 article. As you can see the symmetry makes this composition a perfect contender for the fisheye!! This image can be printed quite large if I want as the 24MP Nex-7 sensor has killer resolution. This image is made up of 4 exposures all combined and edited in Photomatix Pro 4, Lightroom, and Photoshop CS5 just to let you know.
Now keep in mind this is a Fully Edited HDR image so it will look a bit exaggerated when it comes to colors, contrast, and sharpness at 100%
This is my friend’s truck at work. Notice the corrected 100% crop below if your curious how the corners look slightly developed. I found -29 or so on the Chromatic Aberrations – red/cyan is pretty good for a quick fix 😉
This next image is an awesome Blue Angels retired fighter jet that is just down the road in a public park. It’s all fenced in unfortunately, but depending on the time of day the light offers many unique compositions and textures that can be taken advantage of. I took a few shots with the fisheye and also grabbed a few with the 24mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens!!
You’ll see this Plane in my reviews from time to time for sure and I highly recommend checking out one of the Blue Angel Air Shows before they are totally outlawed in the States!!
This next series of images are from a really nice town called Montgomery. Next to the fire house is this huge lawn filled with vintage tractors and other stuff that I took advantage of. You will certainly see this more of this place in my upcoming reviews as well! Note the lens flare on the last 100% crop image and also how sharp these images are.
This is another old fire house in the same town of Montgomery. Taken advantage of the squared off corner of a building is always fun with a fisheye lens!!
This building is located in the town of Goshen and I’ve always loved it ever since I first saw it when I was a little kid. The Rokinon 8mm fisheye can capture so much in incredible!! The guy walking down the street in the 100% crop came over to take a look at the photo. He was curious why I was so close to the building taking a photo, so I told him about the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens. He seemed impressed and was a very nice guy!
I also handheld almost all of these sample images only using the tripod for a few HDR shots.
This next image is an AutoHDR with the Nex-7 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens mounted to my tri-pod.
This composition reminded of the Globe in School.
These next two pics were taken back over in the Town of Montgomery. I really like the columns and sharp points on the architecture of this Church as it makes for great sample photos detail.
I also like how well the people maintain the bright white building and all it’s moldings etc.. The columns really show off the distortion nicely don’t ya think?
Well, that is all for now, but be sure to check out the other Nex-7 sample photo articles if you haven’t already!! So far I posted the Nex-7 using the Tamron E 18-200mm Lens, Sony E 18-200mm Lens, and the Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens. Still to come is the E 24 mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens, so keep an eye out for that in the upcoming days. I’m also closer to completed the Tamron 18-200mm vs the Sony 18-200mm review, but I still have a bit of video editing work to do in Final Cut Pro X. That program is incredible powerful and the learning curve is slowing me down a bit at them moment, but it will be much faster once I get it down! Have a great weekend and please feel free to fire away if you have any questions or concerns. Jay
Rokinon E-Mount 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens for ~$250 @ BHPhoto
Overall I would say this lens is very well made and a ton of fun to use for the incredibly affordable price point. The optical quality was overall very good as well. The sharpness in the center was excellent, but did fall off quite a bit in the corners. The lens also suffered from a significant amount of chromatic aberration in high contrast areas towards the edges of the lens. Build quality was really good overall, and the focus ring and aperture dial felt great.
Bang For The Buck90
Build Quality and Design85
Low Light Performance80
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Great build quality
A ton of fun to use
Manual Focus Only
A little soft in the corners
some chromatic aberrations in high contrast areas towards the corners