We’ve recently invested in one of these Opteka 6.5mm f3.5 fisheye lenses. It may not be Canon or a Nikon glass, but neither is it a £1000 out of our meagre budget. It’s apparently, identical to others sold by Samyang, Rokinon, Bower & Vivitar at various optical lengths (6.5-8mm). Ken Rockwell knows all about this stuff – http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/8mm-f35.htm – with the main difference it seems that the Opteka has removable petals. This may not be a big deal, but may well make it more useable with a full frame camera when I come to upgrade (SOON!)
It’s the cheapest of the various clone fisheye lenses, so we figured it’ll make little difference if we go for the cheapest! After all, it’s mainly going to be used for a few product and action shots (for action shots, read in the bar) and then predominantly for super wide night sky photography.
It’s a totally manual lens, which feels great to use. I’ve not had to spin the aperture on a lens for decades, and it’s a wonderful feeling to get your hands dirty with the manual side of the camera. You can whack the camera into aperture priority and it seems to work the exposure out for you anyway. You may need to manually focus, but everything that’s beyond arm’s length will be in focus with these lenses anyway.
The field of view is expansive, a claimed 180 degrees which isn’t quite true on a Canon cropped sensor due to the 1.6 crop ratio. You still get a generous 167 degrees, more than enough to photography the sky and your feet at the same time!
We’re not putting this down as a review – there are plenty of reviews out there by people who know lenses and adding lens reviews would not be what the site’s about – but it looks like a bargain bit of glass that does a lot more than those screw on lenses, but is still a £200 lens that’s perfect for the occasional web-bound fisheye shot for Mud and Routes.
Here are a few shots we’ve taken with it over the last week.