Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye (MFT) - Review / Lens Test
Lens Reviews -
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Review by Sebastian Milczanowski, published February 2012
During recent years fisheye lenses have seen quite a renaissance. However, they tend to be rather expensive beings - just take e.g. the Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 as an example (~650EUR) - and most users will be shy of investing big money on such a niche lens. There is an interesting exception to the rule though - the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye is offered for an incredibly low price of under 300EUR.
The Samyang 7.5mm is the first model of a new family of lenses developed specifically for the Micro-Four-Thirds system.
Samyang lenses typically don't feature any electronics so while you will be able to mount this fisheye lens without an adapter you'll have to live without AF, a camera-controlled aperture and EXIF data. The Samyang is a fisheye lens with an exceptionally wide angle of view up to 180 degrees diagonally so one of the obstacles of using this lens is to avoid that your feet will be part of your scene.
At the first glance, the build quality of the lens is very good as it is assembled with very tight tolerances. The small body is made of high quality plastics based on a metal mount. The fluted focus ring operates smoothly and it's even dampened just like in the old days. The aperture ring feels a bit less sturdy but it works reliably with distinctive "clicks". Furthermore, the physical length of the lens remains constant throughout the focus range. Not to mention, the slightly bulb-like front element makes it impossible to mount filters but that's just normal for fisheye lenses.
The following figure shows the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye and the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH. OIS - just to give you an idea of the size.
The lack of AF is basically a non-issue due to the immense depth-of-field provided by such a lens - for most scenes just set the focus distance to 2m and then be happy ever after. If in doubt (e.g. in very close focus situations) you can, of course, use magnified Live-View to fine-tune the focus manually. However, setting the working aperture directly on the lens may also be something to get used to but it's really an acceptable compromise here.
|Equiv. focal length||15 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||9 elements in 7 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||6|
|min. focus distance||0.09 m|
|Dimensions (L x W)||48.3 x 60 mm|