through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
home galleries articles links about contact

Samyang Fisheye 12mm f/2.8 FX review

December 31, 2015

Here it is! The full-frame sterographic fisheye I have been waiting for since early 2012, when I bought Samyang's 8mm DX fisheye. See my review of the Samyang Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 DX.

WalimexPro 12mm f/2.8 mounted on a Nikon Df. "Walimex" is one of the brand names of Samyang.

The FX lens is 110g heavier and 170 euros more expensive than the 8mm DX lens. On the other hand the 12mm FX fisheye is 2/3 stops faster, sharper and focusses closer (sample images below). If you own a full-frame camera, you should prefer the FX version!

Some users of the 8mm fisheye "shaved" the lens (sawing off the hood) for getting the full image circle on a full-frame sensor. The 12mm lens offers a removable hood! But why should one remove it - there is no camera with a larger sensor...

The hood is removable! That is helpful in some special setups like the one on the right (lens plus K1 ring).

If you want to go as close as possible you can put the PK-11A into service!

... but: the 12mm fisheye has a closest focus of only 20cm, which corresponds to a distance of less than 7cm between subject and front element! But you can go even closer! Combined with a Nikon PK-11A tube (8mm extension) and set to infinity, the focus is just a few mm in front of the front element. Thus, if you have some insects on your lens, you now know how to photograph them ;) If you do such things, you must remove the hood for getting as much light as possible onto your subject. A bit less extreme is the non-automatic Nikon K1 ring (5.8mm extension). The female mount of this thin tube is shifted off a bit. In order to avoid shading parts of the image you must remove the hood here, too.

Size comparison: 8mm DX and 12mm FX fisheye lenses.

The lens has an AI-P interface.




Sample images:

Nut. Nikon Df, F2.8.

Steel factory. Nikon Df, F11, filtered with Fisheye-Hemi 1.2.5 (full frame).
"Fisheye-Hemi" is a great tool if you are working with a fisheye lens, see 'links' section.

Furnace. Nikon Df, F11.

Former control. Nikon Df, F5.6, filtered with Fisheye-Hemi 1.2.5 (full frame).

Two times 16 megapixels:
on the left Nikon Df + 12mm FX at ISO 400, F16 and 1/400sec, on the right Nikon D5100 + 8mm DX at ISO 200, F11 and 1/400sec.
Both raw images were converted to jpegs with Nikon Capture NX2 without any additional processing.
The rectangles show the positions of the 100% crops below. The red arrow points to the sun.
In the crops below the red arrows point to ghosts (even very weak ones).

© 2015  All rights reserved.