Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye (Sony NEX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Sample Images

The following sample images were taken with the NEX-5 (straight JPEGs).

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure 1/1000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure 1/640s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure 1/60s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure 1/500s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure 1/320s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 8mm
Aperture: f/11
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

The Samyang 8mm f/3.5 CS Fisheye is certainly a more than welcome addition to the Sony NEX system. The near-stereographic projection doesn't look quite as extreme as in conventional fisheye lenses despite the similar field-of-view so its applications are in fact broader. It is also a pretty sharp lens if you stop down a little. Lateral CA can be a little high at times but this aberration is correctable during image post-processing. A typical fisheye problem is purple fringing - we've seems some of these artifacts in our field images but the problem seems less pronounced compared to other lenses in this class. The Samyang is also surprisingly resistant in backlighting conditions. The bokeh is a bit on the rough side but that's not really a primary aspect for such a lens anyway.

The build quality of the lens is very high. Unlike most modern lenses the lens body is not made of more or less cheap plastic but metal and it's a joy to use the damped focus ring. You may perhaps criticize the rather big size and comparatively high weight - it's basically a DSLR design which has been adapted to the NEX mount. To date Samyang lenses are purely mechanical beings - they don't offer any AF nor a camera controlled aperture. This may be something to get used but focusing is normally a non-issue with a fisheye lens anyway and using a working aperture on the lens is no rocket science either.

Fisheye lenses are always fun and often useful but most users will usually not use them on a regular basis so investing big bucks is not an option for most. However, the Samyang is not only a pretty good lens it is also a very affordable one and as such we can recommend it to all ultra-wide angle enthusiasts out there!

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