The Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Fisheye is a specialty lens that provides a complete 180° field of view circular fisheye lens on full frame Nikon DSLRs. Key features include:
- Circular Fisheye. If you’re looking for a full circular image shooting with a Nikon D4 / D800 / D800E / D610, this is the lens you want. When used on a DX-sensor camera like the Nikon D7100 / D5300 / D3200, it provides a partial circle. The image below gives a visual explanation.
- Specific Use. The Sigma 8mm gives interesting (bizarre, some say) effects and is sometimes used for scientific applications because it provides a consistent angle throughout its 180° field of view. OK, well it could be used for scientific purposes but mostly it’s used to give weird ’cow’s eye view’ scenics: think about it—you take a picture, turn around and take another picture, and now you’ve got a 360° panorama. This is not simply an ultra-wide angle lens. Circular fisheye means the image is a circle in the center of your frame, it does not cover the entire frame. If you’re not looking for a full-circular image, please don’t rent it. You’ll be unhappy.
- Please note: Screw on filters will not fit on this lens due to the curvature of the glass. Also, this item does not include a lens hood. The ring it ships with is for holding the lens cap in place.
Full disclosure here: I’m not a fan of the fisheye look, especially the full circle fisheye look (if you don’t understand what a full-circle fisheye is, it gives you a circular image in the center of your rectangular picture, with black edges all around it). But I will say this is a sharp lens with a huge depth of field. And the images are incredibly panoramic when ‘defished’ in software, which is what I do with them mostly. The depth of field makes autofocusing almost unnecessary, and the image is very sharp in the center (not so much on the edges, especially after software defishing if that’s what you choose to do). There’s some chromatic aberration and edge vignetting to deal with in software also.
I guess you can tell I’m not overly enthusiastic. To me, circular fisheye lenses are the asparagus of photography. Some people have acquired the taste. I’d rather go hungry.
We get asked a lot (and even worse, not asked by people who don’t know) what the different focal length fisheyes look like on different cameras. Here’s the short summary:
- 4.5mm – is a circular image in the center of your picture on a crop frame camera. A very, very small circle on a full frame.
- 8mm – is a circular image in the center of your picture on a full frame camera. Nearly, but not completely fills a crop frame.
- 10mm – is the classic, corner to corner fisheye look on a crop frame camera. Doesn’t fill a full frame image.
- 15mm – is the classic, corner to corner fisheye look on a full frame camera. Slightly fisheye look on a crop frame.
The image below should give you an idea of what you get with each type of camera.
- Filter Size
- NA (rear gel)
- 0.9 lb.
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 0.4 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (crop frame)
- 180 degrees, circular image
- Zoom method
- Image Stabilization
- Focusing System
- Internal, A/MF switch
- Aperture Blades
- 6 curved
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Nikon F
- DX, FX
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