The fisheye lens is a staple of anyone photographing skateboarding and BMX. Rokinon's latest lens—the 8mm T3.8 Cine Lens—should please DSLR videographers looking to get in on the action footage.
What Is It?
A $400 DSLR prime lens with a short focal length that produces an ultra-wide, exaggerated perspective.
Who's It For?
Photographers and videographers on a budget who plan to shoot a lot of close-up action.
The lens looks plenty nice. The red ring would make people think you are a pro who only uses Canon "L" glass. The exterior is plastic, but it feels solid and sturdy.
Fisheye lenses are just plain fun. The Rokinon's 180-degree field-of-view is a joy just to point at various things—it is almost impossible to miss the action in front you.
The Best Part
The manual aperture ring has a great feel—its smooth adjustments while shooting video make a difference compared to the abrupt clicks of most apertures.
The lens doesn't communicate at all with your camera. Precise focusing is difficult with this lens, so access to auto-focus would really come in handy, especially when shooting photos. But sadly, you are limited to full manual.
This Is Weird...
Occasionally, a Canon 7D didn't recognize the lens. The LCD said to make sure a lens is attached. It doesn't hinder shooting, but it is an alarming message.
• The Rokinon Fisheye was tested on a Canon 7D.
• The lens cap is a bit finicky. It has to be positioned vertically or it won't stay on. You might think you're losing your mind for about 10 minutes before figuring this out.
• You cannot mount threaded filters to this lens due to the protruding front element.
• The focus-depth is looong, and when you are shooting stopped all the way down, there is virtually no difference from one end of the focus ring to the other.
• If you are only shooting photos, and you don't care about the smooth aperture adjustment feature, or the focus ring teeth, Rokinon makes a similar lens for over $100 cheaper.
Should You Buy It?
Yeah, if you shoot this kind of distorted footage on a regular basis. It is a great option for the price. Think about it, a comparable fisheye made by Canon is over $1300, while Sigma's 8mm fisheye is $900. Face it: You aren't buying this to shoot magazine spreads or feature films. It is a budget lens, and within that context, the image quality is just fine.
Rokinon 8mm t/3.8 Fisheye Cine Lens
• Price: $399
• Max Aperture T/3.8
• Mount: Canon or Nikon versions available
• Field of View: 180 degrees
• Gizrank: 3.5