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Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Sony NEX Fisheye Lens Review

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Sony NEX Fisheye Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme tests the Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 fisheye lens, designed for use with Sony NEX mirrorless cameras.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Madoka 180
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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Yasuharai Madoka 180 7 3mm (3)

This lens is the first circular fisheye available for use with Sony NEX mirrorless cameras. The field of view is 180 degrees in all directions and the lens projects a circular image in the centre of the frame. Both focusing and exposure are completely manual as this lens has no electronic link with the camera.

A version that will be compatible with Micro Four Thirds system cameras should also be available in the near future. Whether or not it will be exactly the same, we will have to wait and see as the image circle projected by this lens will be clipped at the top and bottom on a Four Thirds sensor.

Yasuharai Madoka 180 7 3mm (5)

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Fisheye Lens Handling and features

This fairly basic lens is constructed from a mixture of high quality plastics and metal and feels very solid as a result. The lens is quite compact only protruding by one and a half inches from the lens mount, and is also quite lightweight, weighing around 200g. The size and weight make this lens a perfect companion for the NEX 3 body used for testing.

Focusing and aperture control are both completely manual, as the lens has no electronic interface with the camera. The aperture ring is divided by full stop intervals, and clicks firmly into place for each. A narrow focusing ring with distances between infinity and 10 centimetres has no damping and is easily knocked off focus by accident as a result.

Photographing anything over a metre away is straightforward, as the lens can simply be left at infinity. Setting one of the soft buttons to magnify the screen can be of real use when focusing closer, to ensure sharp focus.

Yasuharai Madoka 180 7 3mm (1)

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Fisheye Lens Performance

As is often the case with fisheye lenses, sharpness in the centre is outstanding wide open, but as you get closer to the edge of the image circle, clarity falls away to fair levels. Stopping down improves sharpness across the image circle with peak sharpness in the centre being achieved at f/8 and between f/11 and f/16 for maximum sharpness across the image circle.

Resolution at 7.3mm
Resolution at 7.3mm
 

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 a Sony NEX-3 using Imatest.

For a circular fisheye, chromatic aberrations are very well controlled. Although fringing covering 0.758 pixel width may begin to be visible along high contrast edges towards the edges of the image circle, this level isn't all that severe and is much lower than many other fisheye lenses we have tested so far.

Chromatic aberrations at 7.3mm
Chromatic aberrations at 7.3mm
 

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 a Sony NEX-3 using Imatest.

Distortion is as you might expect for a fisheye, with straight lines towards the edges of the image circle curving wildly. Projection is quite close to orthographic, with objects towards the edges of the frame appearing squished into a tiny space.

It is not possible to formally test light falloff with a circular fisheye. Visually, illumination is even across the image circle with the lens stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond.

Some flare, loss of contrast and internal reflections can be seen in images with a strong source of light in the frame. This only really causes issues in extreme circumstances though and contrast remains good.

Yasuhara Co Ltd Madoka 180 Sample Photos


Value for Money

As this is currently the only circular fisheye lens available for Sony NEX cameras, it's not easy drawing comparisons with other lenses. Priced at €249 (that works out at around £199 at the current exchange rate), it certainly isn't an expensive lens.

Samyang produce an 8mm diagonal fisheye lens for Sony NEX cameras, which retails for around £270, which is a little more expensive, but the lens provides frame filling fisheye images with a 180 degree field of view from corner to corner.

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Fisheye Lens Verdict

Those looking for a circular fisheye for their NEX camera, don't have any other choice but this lens currently. Luckily this lens is capable of producing sharp 180 degree images, is lightweight, compact, well built and reasonably priced.

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Fisheye Lens Pros

Outstanding sharpness in the centre.
Good build quality
Lightweight
Compact
Low CA for a fisheye
Reasonably priced

Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 Fisheye Lens Cons

Focusing ring is not damped at all
Basic manual design might not suit everyone

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Yasuhara Co Ltd Madoka 180 Specifications

ManufacturerYasuhara Co Ltd
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
  • Sony E Mount
Lens
Focal Length7.3mm
Angle of View180
Max Aperturef/4
Min Aperturef/22
Filter SizeNo Data
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus10cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades5
Elements7
Groups6
Box Contents
Box ContentsFront and rear lens cap.
Dimensions
Weight200g
Height43mm

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