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Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens Review

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens
Price : £240
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Handing and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens

This 7.5mm fisheye lens provides a diagonal field of view of 180 degrees on a Micro Four Thirds camera and is available for around £240.

There is no electronic coupling between this lens and the camera, so metering is performed by stopping down the aperture and focusing is performed manually. As fisheye lenses provide expansive depth of field, this shouldn't be too much of a deterrent, especially with the low price taken into consideration.

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Handling and Features

The build quality of this 7.5mm fisheye lens from Samyang is excellent. It feels very solid, despite only weighing 197g. The lens mount is metal and the lens is also extremely compact, only protruding by 48.3mm from the camera body. This makes the lens a perfect companion for more compact Micro Four Thirds bodies and it is just about the perfect companion for the Olympus PEN EP-2 used for testing. However, the compact size does have one drawback. Due to the extreme angle of view, it can be very easy to accidentally have your fingers in the edges of the frame, so extra care needs to be taken to prevent this.

Aperture control and focusing are both completely manual, as the lens has no electronic interface with the camera. The aperture ring is divided into half stop intervals, and clicks firmly into place for each. The focusing ring is very, very well damped, and could almost be considered a little stiff to operate.

Focus distances from infinity to the closest focus distance of 9cm are marked on the ring, but no hyperfocal scale is provided. That 9cm closest focusing distance allows you to get the lens right on top of your subject, which can help with exploiting the distorted perspective that can be had when shooting from so close.

Taking images of anything over a metre or two away is straightforward, as the lens can simply be left set to infinity. For closer distances it is recommended to use the magnification feature of your camera to ensure sharp focus.

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Performance

As is often par for the course with fisheye lenses, sharpness in the centre is very high at wide apertures. At f/3.5 sharpness is already excellent and good clarity is maintained towards the edges of the frame. Stopping down to f/5.6 results in the highest levels of sharpness in the centre and stopping down to f/8 results in near excellent sharpness across the frame.

Resolution at 7.5mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on an Olympus PEN EP-2 using Imatest.

For a fisheye lens, chromatic aberrations are very well controlled. Fisheyes commonly suffer from high levels of fringing towards the edges of the frame, but as CAs never exceed one pixel width, they should not be an issue in most circumstances with this lens.

Chromatic aberration at 7.5mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on an Olympus PEN EP-2 using Imatest.

Distortion is typical of a fisheye lens with straight line curving wildly when placed near the edges of the frame. However, this lens produces images with near stereographic projection, which results in more natural looking images than typically found with fisheye lenses that produce images with equal-area projection. This means objects placed near the edges of the frame don't look as squashed with the Samyang lens.

Due to the extreme angle of view, it isn't possible to formally test falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame with fisheye lenses. In use, at f/3.5 and f/4 a slight falloff in brightness can be seen appearing gradually towards the corners, but this appears visually even by f/5.6.

Flare and loss of contrast when shooting with bright light sources in the frame are bot well controlled. A little flare may be seen with a bright point light source in the frame when shooting at wide apertures, but this is reduced as the lens is stopped down.

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens Sample Photos


Value for Money

Priced at around £240, this lens is easily the lowest priced dedicated diagonal fisheye lens available for Micro Four Thirds system cameras. Panasonic also produce an 8mm diagonal fisheye lens, which offers autofocus and costs around £565.

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Verdict

Being priced so low at around £240, this diagonal fisheye from Samyang for Micro Four Thirds system cameras represents excellent value for money.

It produces sharp images and has excellent build quality. With a fisheye lens, it is relatively easy to use manual focus due to the huge depth of field provided.
 
  The Samyang 7.5mm fisheye produces sharp images and has excellent build quality with excellent value for money.

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Pros

Excellent sharpness in the centre from maximum aperture
Very good build quality
Extremely compact
Low CA for a fisheye
Inexpensive
Stereographic projection

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Cons

Compact size may result in fingers creeping into the edges of the frame
Manual focusing ring is a little stiff.

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens Specifications

ManufacturerSamyang
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length7.5mm
Angle of View180
Max Aperturef/3.5
Min Aperturef/22
Filter SizeNo Data
35mm equivalent15mm
Internal focusingNo
Focusing
Min Focus9cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades6
Elements9
Groups7
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens, Lens cap front and rear, Soft Case
Dimensions
Weight197g
Height48.3mm

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Comments


Paul Morgan e2
13 15.6k 6 England
13 Aug 2012 3:35PM
These are available on Amazon under different names but are identical in every way to Samyang.

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oldblokeh 3 832 United Kingdom
13 Aug 2012 8:01PM
f/0.0 for the test images? Surely some mistake, unless the Koreans have invented a lens with infinite aperture. Grin
joshwa e2
4 603 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2012 10:24AM

Quote: F/0.0 for the test images? Surely some mistake, unless the Koreans have invented a lens with infinite aperture. Grin

As the lens is completely manual with no electrical contact with the camera, the EXIF information is recorded as 0.0.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.6k 6 England
14 Aug 2012 12:55PM
I`ve seen this lens being called the Walimex Pro Smile Smile
ChrisV 7 811 26 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2012 1:00PM
I've had Canon and Nikon mount versions of the 8mm APSC version [in fact the Nikon one came with an m4/3 adaptor - which was a simple affair because of the lack of contacts]. As has been noted you don't get any EXIF data out of them. Dead easy to focus though - in fact unless you want something VERY close in focus you can set it anywhere from a few metres to infinity and forget about it - even fully open!

I think the first copy I had was branded as a Falcon, but they are all Samyang made. Unless you have money to burn, I'd have no hesitation in recommending these. I frequently shoot using auto ISO, so they don't represent much in the way of additional work in terms of getting exposure right [although of course because they cover a very wide field of view you may want to dial in some exposure compensation if you're outdoors and want plenty of sky detail - but that would be no different for other fisheyes, I presume]. You may notice that in some of the test shots here that there's a lot of highlight clipping due to that issue - not really the fault of the lens and I'm not a fetishist for including tonal range that doesn't add much to the comp at the expense of underexposing the important bits of the image.

This is one of those instances where manual focus really isn't that much of an issue for general usage.
Next purchase!

Also "With a fisheye lens, it is relatively easy to use manaul focus due to the huge depth of field provided."

I like pointing out the spelling issues on this site! Smile
joshwa e2
4 603 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2012 3:55PM

Quote: Next purchase!

Also "With a fisheye lens, it is relatively easy to use manaul focus due to the huge depth of field provided."

I like pointing out the spelling issues on this site! Smile

Updated thanks.
Dann 1 195
29 Aug 2014 4:22PM
I have just taken delivery of mine for my E-PM2 and the review above states in the 'Cons' that "Manual focusing ring is a little stiff."

Incorrect. The focussing ring is superbly damped - and rightfully so given the nature of the lens.

This lens is a fabulous piece of engineering and equally superb optically. Opening up an image in DxO which automatically detects and corrects CA show almost no modification whatsoever. This lens is even better than my Nikkor 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye when it comes to overall performance.

BTW - it is available @ 159.00 'out there' if you look Wink
Dann 1 195
29 Aug 2014 5:29PM
Re the 159.00... try here: eGlobal Central UK Wink

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