If you want to capture an extremely wide field of view, you are going to require one of the greatest fisheye lenses available. Fisheye lenses are far more wide-angle than even the most wide-angle lenses. These lenses were first developed to assist meteorologists in monitoring the weather, but they quickly became popular with creative photographers.
Fisheye lenses, due to their curved nature, create high barrel distortion, which gives images a striking and distinctive appearance. Regular wide-angle lenses, on the other hand, have a rectilinear design that seeks to minimize the amount of image distortion produced.
In today’s world, fisheye lenses have become increasingly popular for a variety of photographic applications, including shooting underwater, extreme sports, astronomy, and even the creation of virtual environments.
But which fisheye lenses are the best? The first thing you have to keep in mind is that there are primarily two different kinds of fisheye lenses… circular fisheyes and full-field diagonal fisheyes are also available.
The image circle produced by diagonal fisheye lenses, which are sometimes often confusingly referred to as “full-frame” fisheye lenses, is large enough to fill the entirety of the image sensor. The final image always has a normal, full-sized rectangular form, regardless of whether it was developed for a camera with a full-frame or crop sensor. However. When measured on the horizontal plane of the frame, the viewing angle that it offers is merely 180 degrees.
Fisheye lenses that are circular provide an image with a smaller circle that is nevertheless able to fit inside the confines of the image sensor. In this scenario, you will end up with a smaller picture that is circular in shape, but the viewing angle will be much more expansive, reaching an equivalent of 180 degrees in both the vertical and horizontal planes.
The great majority of fisheye lenses are fixed focal length (prime) lenses; but, as you’ll see from our guide, Canon and Nikon provide important exceptions in the form of zoom lenses that deliver circular or diagonal fisheye effects at either end of the range of the zoom lens’ focal length range.
Getting a mount that is compatible with your DSLR or mirrorless camera is, of course, the second most crucial factor. However, it is also important (for those shooting with Canon or Nikon cameras) to select a lens that is compatible with the sensor size of the camera.
10 Best Fisheye Lenses
1. Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
The architecture of the lens includes two ultra-low dispersion, or ULD, components, which work together to eliminate chromatic aberrations. In addition to that, the construction of the lens incorporates a sub-wavelength coating as well as a fluorine coating. The lens is protected from smudges, fingerprints, grime, and dust by a fluorine coating.
When the focal length is between 14 and 15 millimeters, the full-frame fisheye effect is created. At 8 millimeters, the lens will have a field of view equivalent to that of a full-frame fisheye.
2. Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye
If you choose to install this lens on a full-frame camera, the lens will provide you with a view that is circular in the center of the frame.
It is important to keep in mind that this lens is manual, meaning there are no technological connections between the camera and the lens. You will need to manually meter the scene and focus the lens before taking the picture.
3. Opteka 6.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye
A circular fisheye view may be achieved at a minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches.
The structure of the lens is made up of one aspherical element, which is responsible for reducing spherical aberrations. In addition to that, the lens has a multi-layer coating that eliminates lens flare and ghosting, which may detract from the quality of an image.
A physical aperture ring is housed within the lens barrel, which makes it much simpler to change the aperture whenever it’s necessary.
Keep in mind that this is a lens with manual focusing. Therefore, you will not be able to use the autofocus feature with this lens.
4. Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye
In addition, the lens has a high-quality nanocrystal anti-reflection coating and a UMC coating applied to it. These treatments ensure that the lens does not produce any ghosting or flares even when it is being used in challenging lighting circumstances.
The lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, making it a wide aperture. At this point in time. When attached to full-frame DSLR cameras, the lens provides a field of vision that encompasses 180 degrees.
Please be aware that this lens requires manual focusing. Therefore, the features of autofocusing will not operate. You are going to have to judge the focus and the depth of field using your eyes. A depth-of-field indication has also been written on the lens barrel for your convenience, in addition to the manual aperture ring that has been given to you.
5. Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fisheye
There are a total of 12 elements that go into the creation of the lens, and they are grouped into 8 different groups. These components consist of two aspherical lens elements and three low-dispersion ED glass elements, which work together to remove any and all distortions and aberrations.
The quality of the construction is satisfactory overall. Plastics have been utilized extensively, and these particular plastics are of an acceptable grade. The lens clocks in at a little under 500 grams in terms of its total mass.
This lens, like the two that came before it, relies on the user to manually adjust the focus. With the exception of the mechanical mount, the lens and the camera do not have any further connections to one another. Having said that, the lens includes markings on it that indicate the focusing distances, which comes in helpful when one is attempting to get the greatest possible depth of field (DoF).
Even when using the lens at its widest aperture setting, there is no significant loss in sharpness, particularly in the central portion of the picture. The corners have been rounded off. You will note that the corner sharpness has increased if you set the lens down to around one stop, which is equivalent to an aperture of f/4. And the sharpness of the core also matters.
6. Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye
Because this lens is equipped with Tokina’s autofocusing mechanism, you won’t need to rely on focusing by eyeball or by enlarging the picture on the LCD screen on the back of the camera.
The structure of the lens is made up of ten individual components that are organized into eight distinct groups. This consists of one element that has a Super-Low Dispersion (SD). This helps to minimize chromatic aberration and eliminates the need for extra lens elements, which might cause the overall design to be cumbersome and heavy.
A Water Resistant (WR) coating has also been included in the front element of the lens. This coating helps to avoid the production of water spots, smudges, and other types of prints. In addition to that, it guarantees that the front element is simple to clean.
7. Meike MK-8mm f/3.5 Fisheye
The lens will provide a circular fisheye view with full-frame camera systems. When used with smaller APS-C cameras, however, it will span the whole frame and produce a pronounced curved impression.
The construction of the type lens consists of 11 elements that are organized into 8 groups. In addition to this, the lens has a multi-layer nano-coating that prevents flares and ghosting from detracting from the quality of photos captured by the camera.
You should be aware that this lens has a manual focusing mechanism, which means that you will need to manually adjust the focus using the distance assistance that is built into the lens. In addition, the lens possesses a ring for manually adjusting the aperture.
When it comes to performance, the lens is remarkably crisp, especially when shot with the aperture wide open, and particularly in the center. When the aperture is stopped, sharpness improves not just in the center of the lens but also in the corners. The lens appears to have an exceptional level of sharpness at the f/5.6 and f/8 aperture settings, respectively.
8. Samyang 8mm f/3.5 HD Fisheye
The construction of the lens consists of 10 different components that are organized into seven different groups. One of these elements is high-definition aspherical optics, which help to reduce spherical aberrations. In addition to that, the lens includes a multi-layer coating that prevents lens flares and ghosting, which helps to guarantee that the lens’s performance is not negatively impacted.
In terms of optics and design, it is important to note that the sizable hood in the shape of a petal that is located in front of the lens does, in fact, obscure the view, and this is especially true when the lens is attached to full-frame camera systems. Some photographers have attempted to create a more circular picture by experimenting with removing the lens hood that is in the shape of petals. However, doing so comes at a cost, since the lens cap will no longer be able to fit on the front of the camera when the modification is made. The result of this is that there is no way to protect the front element of the lens from being scratched or dented in any manner.
When it comes to performance, this manual-focus lens has a bit of a lackluster showing when shooting with the aperture wide open at f/3.5. However, similar to how stopping down any other lens increases the overall sharpness of the lens, stopping down this lens by one or two stops does the same thing. Between f/3.5 and f/5.6, the sharpness of the center is superior to the sharpness of the corners. After that, when you stop down the lens, you’ll see a significant improvement in the clarity of the corners.
9. Meike MK-6-11mm f/3.5 Fisheye
Canon camera system. The lens provides a field of vision that is 180 degrees when seen from a minimum working distance of 15 centimeters.
Eleven different components are categorized into eight distinct groups to form the lens’s architecture. As a result of the use of aspherical components, the lens will be able to better control spherical aberrations. When operating in challenging lighting circumstances, the lens has a multi-layer coating to guarantee that it can combat lens flare and ghosting. This coating also ensures that the lens can produce clear images.
However, in terms of its structure, the lens is composed of metal and has a substantial weight to it when held. Approximately 540 grams make up the lens’s total mass.
Because it maintains a constant aperture of f/3.5 throughout its nearly twofold optical zoom, this lens is able to collect sufficient light in a wide variety of lighting conditions.