19th January 2019
Ultrawide lenses are like buses, you wait for ages and then 2 come along at once.
I hadn’t bought an SLR lens in about 10yrs but despite this I’d always fancied a fisheye. I usually use wide angles more than short telephotos so another desire had been a 10-20mm-ish short zoom. Fisheyes tend to be silly money and are a bit of a niche lens although ideal for close up skateboarding photos. Ultra wide short zooms are more reasonable but the cheapest tend to be around the £250 mark. It so happens that I’ve been casting my eye over Facebook Marketplace recently and it’s bit like Ebay was originally. There are some real bargains to be had if you look.
This Vivitar branded Samyang 8mm fisheye popped up a week ago. Also branded by Bower, Rokinon and a few others. True it’s an old purely manual lens. Manual focusing, manual aperture setting and no camera metering. So it means guessing exposure or using a lightmeter, of course you can shoot a frame or two and use the camera histogram function as a guide. Luckily I have an old but functional cheapo Jessop lightmeter. The lens has had some good reviews and at £65 it was too cheap to say no to. On an APS-C sensor size camera this lens gives near 180 degree angle of view but fills the frame with no vignetting. A full frame sensor I believe would give a circular image but on my old D90 it works perfectly.
Fisheyes have bulbous front glass to get the near 180 degree angle of view and need a lens hood as the glass is easy to damage.
Tamron SP 10-24mm
Like buses all arriving at once, a week later a 10-24mm ultra wide short zoom turned up on Marketplace too. Also a bargain price at £140 from a seller upgrading to a full frame camera. Despite having already spent this months disposable money I couldn’t refuse it, sorry Mr bank manager. It’s a bit soft in the corners of the frame wide open but it’s ok when stopped down to F6.3 or smaller. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this. That sets me up for ultrawide lenses as I already have a prime 15mm Sigma as well.