Review of the Sigma lense 8mm F3.5 EX DG Fisheye

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Reproduction autorisée par SIGMA

I had this goal for about a year ago about it several years (and then he disappeared, when the report of 26h of Paris , stolen with the second camera bag). But I have good memories (although very particular use). Why not have done before the test? er... good question. No particular reason, perhaps just a preference to others before testing.

Let's start with the usual features:
Features of the Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Fisheye
Parameters Values
Mount Type Sigma available in the following mounts : Sigma, Canon, Nikon
Category of the lens fixed focal length, Fisheye 180°
Focal 8mm (equivalent 24x36mm sensor)
Aperture Minimum F/3.5, maximum F/22
Optical stabilizer No
Autofocus Yes, Ultrasonic focusing (HSM)
Minimum distance of focus 13.5cm théorical, but 1.5cm practicaly
Lens coating 1 SLD (Super-Low Dispersion) lense
Diaphragm 6 slices
Filter diameter Gelatin filter insert (rear of lens)
Maximum size Ø73.5mm x 68.6mm
Weight 400g
Construction Plastic with polycarbonate coating, metal and glass

What could we do well with a lens having a viewing angle of 180° and a hemispherical distortion like that (the famous Fisheye effect)?
Already for portraits in close-up (very close) to give a nice effect and often funny face (enlargement of the nose, mouth, eye, and any part situated in the center of the lens). As example below (I was lent me the experience during a hike)
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Interesting portraits can thus be achieved, I unfortunately do not have time to approfondire more pictures of ideas with this aim. Other photos are also possible: with buildings (such as the Eiffel tower)
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Or even photos of landscapes. At night, use a fisheye can give very good visual results, as well as in time-lapse or videos. In a cramped place, this goal is simply the most suitable for making all the atmosphere without having to make several photos and then paste them together, rendering the fisheye provides a very intimate ambience in cramped places. It is also much closer to the subject.

The grip is quite easy, despite the 180 ° angle of view, we quickly learn to pay attention to framing and to avoid seeing his own feet or undesirable elements on the sides. The construction is pretty solid but beware! Because of the 180 ° angle, the front lens than on the front (and can get scratched very easily) and there is no part-sun (logical) so the possibility of flares is more important even if the lenses are processed. The rest of the body is pretty solid, the lens is well in hand, the focus ring is pretty fluid, though a little thin. And autofocus works very well. But a little problem (but I think that is found on all objectives): the edge of the image delivered by the objective of the chromatic fringes that may be important in some cases where the contrast and difference brightness is very important.
As can be seen on the test picture, the image delivered by the objective leaves black edges, this is due to the smallness of the focal (and take advantage of the 180 ° circle). So we let a lot of unused space on the sensor.

Some software can 'de-fisher' the photo, from a photo fisheye all round with a 180 ° angle to a rectangular fisheye photographs with always the angle of 180 °. Although the sudden you lose part of the effect, render the rectangular fisheye is very interesting too.

In the end, this can not be wrong for some types of photos. But considering the price (about € 1,000 at the time), and the little use that I've done, I think I will not repeat. I thought to use it more often, but there are not so many occasions that. However, the effect is really very interesting and, instead of a buy... why not try to make one? Maybe a future article.
For someone who plans to use a lot this end (even to film!), It can be in good investment. For someone who thinks only use it rarely, you better do lend or make one yourself (even if the quality will be lower), the target prices is not negligible.

This small test of the Sigma lens 8mm F3.5 EX DG Fisheye is now over and I hope it has been helpful.

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