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Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:10 pm
by Thomas
A quick overview of this full-frame fish-eye (manual focus only!) can be found here.


It sports 12 lenses in 9 groups and has nanocrystal anti-reflection coating. This should be very welcome as with fisheyes you normally cannot avoid to have lots of bright sky or even the sun in the image which makes any shot prone to flare and ghosting.
Another nifty feature of this lens is that you can remove the lens-shade. That makes it easier to clean the front-lens.

Pricing availability is still open, the person at the booth mumbled something about 500 EUR "but don't quote me on this". Availability was said to be end of year. That resonates with the copy at Photokina being dubbed a preproduction model. So any shots done with that lens could be viewed with some skepticism. And they only had the version with Canon mount at their booth.
Samyang also sells under the Rokinon and Walimex brands.

One thing confuses me a bit: all sample images show a full-frame image (as opposed to a circular image) and Samyang says the angle of view is 180° in the diagonal. Quote: "It offers the image area in 24 x 36mm format and the diagonal angle of view of 180 degrees". The non-circular lens-shade also indicates that the lens does not produce a circular image.
Nikon's own full-frame fish-eye has 16mm focal length and its 10.5mm fisheye produces a circular image. So I'm wondering what a 12mm focal length will really produce on a 24x36mm sensor.
With the missing Nikon-mount version i could not bring a test-shot with me but the personell at the booth confirmed the image to fill the entire full frame. but no explanation was given as to why Nikon produces a 16mm fish-eye that fill the full frame while Samyang can do this with 12mm focal length...//www

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - announced

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:27 pm
by Thomas
Here's a shot from the Photokina booth with same additional fact:

Samyang 12f2-8 full-frame fish-eye 70531 by Thomas, on Flickr

As I said before: No version with Nikon mount available to do some test-shots.

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - announced

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:26 pm
by Thomas
There's an internet-shop listing the lens at 450 GBP / 575 EUR. Availability is "EXPECTED EARLY 2015".
So at least we have some idea of pricing.

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - available

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 pm
by Thomas
The lens has hit the streets. Price around 550 EUR (incl. 19% VAT).
Hope to get my copy in a few days. It comes under the Walimex brand.

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:39 pm
by Thomas
Mine arrived today. It's a pretty small lens. The lens-cap sits on the "wings" of the lens-hood and is arrested there with a spring-loaded mechanism: very neat!
the lens-hood is detachable which is a brilliant idea that should be copied for all lenses with bulbous front-elements - like Nikon's 14-24/2.8. The front-element is so much easier to clean with the lens-hood detached.
Here's a first shot from a room at f4.5:

Samyang_12f2-8_fisheye_f4-5_74307 by Thomas, on Flickr
if you click through the image you have access to the full 36MP original.

First observations:
- pretty sharp
- have to be on the look-out for lateral CA
- Manual focus with the focus-indicator of the D810 can lead to unusable results. I looked at the distance scale after focusing this way and found out that I was way beyond infinity that way. No wonder the first shots looked blurred. Well, that's a pity, as a lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8 does have a limited depth of field - even at only 12mm focal length.

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:38 pm
by popo
That place looks like the opposite of mine. I've ran out of places for "stuff" :)

Regarding the lens itself, I saw comment elsewhere the focus scale might not be accurate. Might be worth verifying that if you might want to rely on it later.

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:54 pm
by Thomas
The focus indicator of my D810 is just going nuts with this lens so I really have to find out how to focus well with this lens under some real-life situations.
Btw. that room is in "transition". Once I'm settled all places will get stuffed to the max :wink:

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:41 pm
by Thomas
Other observations:
- the aperture ring has 1/2 stops...
- ...but no lock at f22, which may lead to the FEE error-message if you inadvertently move the aperture ring to any other position. All other lenses with aperture ring can be locked at the minimum aperture position to avoid this.
- The maximum magnification is around 1:10 at a minimum focus distance of 18 cm which gives you a working distance of about 5cm from the lens-hood. This is not much and may lead to the lens shadowing your subject. The 1:10 magnification is naturally only obtained in the center of the image as the fish-eye construction leads to diminishing magnifications towards the edge of the image:

Samyang_12f2-8_fish-eye_74420 by Thomas, on Flickr

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:42 pm
by Thomas
I've added quite considerably to my collection of images here.
Some observations from today's shooting:
- the combo of is lens with my D810 tends to underexpose: I switched to a constant +1/3 EV early on, later to +2/3 EV and still often added another +1/3 EV in post-processing. As is always the case with ultra wide-angle lenses there's a bright patch of something (sky, windows) in almost any shot. The D810 seems to be very conservative to retain the highlights.
- The dof-indicators on this lens are B.S.: according to those the lens should produce sharp shots at f2.8 from 1m to infinity. Not so - at least not on a D810! This aggravates the problem of manually focusing which I still find pretty hard, as the focus indicator in my D810 is almost useless with this lens. Live-view is the best way to really get well-focused shots with this lens. And in live-view at maximum magnification and f2.8 you can easily see how focus changes when you just turn the focus-ring a little.
- The lens is pretty unimpressed by strong light-sources in the image. Very good!

Re: Samyang 12/2.8 fish-eye - official thread - testing

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:55 pm
by Thomas
Here's a comparison with the Nikon 10.5/2.8 DX, resized to fit the full-frame image from the Samyang:

Samyang_12fs-8_vs_Nikon_10-5f2-8 by Thomas, on Flickr

As you can see: the Nikon produces stranger curves than the Samyang. Look at the roof on the left or the shadow of the fence at the bottom right.
The Nikon also captures less of the view - at least on a DX sensor.
Looking at images from both lenses at 100% reveals that the Nikon is pretty sharp right into the corner even at f2.8 while the Samyang has some strong field-curvature which requires to focus closer in the corners than in the middle of the frame. So at f2.8 the corners are much less sharp than the center, but at f5.6 the corners have almost caught up.