October 14, 2009
The Nikon Fisheye-Nikkor 8mm f/2.8 AI is a circular fisheye, meaning that on a film based camera or a FX sized Dslr it produces a circular image. The 8mm Fisheye-Nikkor provides you with a 180° field of view in every direction, compared to 180° diagonally on the full frame fisheyes. On the AI Version of the Fisheye-Nikkor the production is estimated to have been about 2448 lenses. Production of the 8mm Fisheye-Nikkor started in 1977 and ended in 1982. I have to add here that this is not a complete review, I only had the chance to use this lens for a very limited time, and my thoughts are purely on the sample shots I got to take in less then perfect conditions.
|| 10 elements in 8 groups
|Minimum focus distance:
|| 0.3m / 1ft
||N/A Built inn filers (5)
||Front lens cap
Rear lens cap LF-1
Lens case CL11 ?
123 × 128mm
4.84 x 5.03in
||1000g / 35.27oz
|| 7 straight blades
- Circular Fisheye, something I miss in Nikon's current lens line-up
- Build quality, simply outstanding.
- Center performance, even wide open. Both contrast and sharpness looks to be amazing.
- Discontinued. Nikon no longer has a circular fisheye in their lens line-up. The last one they had was the AI-S version of this lens.
- Second-hand price, expect around $1500USD and up for one of these lenses in used condition
- Corner performance. You need to stop down to at least f/8 before the corner performance is good.
Fun fun fun, well for some of us I guess. Tricky lens to use, and as with other specialty lenses it's not something you would be carrying around every day. I bet I would if I had one though. It can definitely provide a photographer with some unique pictures, and I would love to own one of these, but I'm not ready to pay the second hand price of the Nikon 8mm Fisheye-Nikkor. The lens is beautifully crafted and comes with 5 built-in filters; skylight (L1BC). medium yellow (Y48), dark yellow (Y52), orange (056), and red (R60)
I really hope I have the chance borrow this lens again. Unfortunately I only had about 5 minutes to test it. I have tons of places I would love to use this lens, but unfortunately the owner of the lens wanted it back too soon, so I really didn't have the chance to try out the potential of this marvelous piece of optics. From the sample shots I took the optimum aperture for the lens is around f/8. The results of this review can largely be ignored, as all the shooting time I had was about 5 mins in really bad lighting condition. But if you must know, from the 5 minutes I did use the lens I scored it:
Purchasing items through these links helps me adding more content to this website. The links takes you to B&H's website, which is my recommended store to get equipment from. I've used B&H personally since 2005, and I get all my equipment from them these days. Thanks for your support, Fredrik.
Sigma Circular Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Price: $899.00 USD
Nikon AF 16mm Fisheye-Nikkor f/2.8D Price From: $889.95 USD
Sigma AF 15mm fisheye f/2.8 EX DG Price: $609.00 USD
Sigma Circular Fisheye 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Price: $999.00 USD
Bower 8mm f/3.5 FISHEYE Price: $349.00 USD
Vivitar 7mm f/3.5 Series 1 Fisheye Price: $359.95 USD
Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye. From: $654.95 USD
Tokina Fisheye 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX. From: $579.95 USD
*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from March 18, 2010
Images have been imported to photoshop CS4 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.