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Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-Eye Micro Four Thirds Lens Review Roundup

2012-08-15 02:51
8/14/2012: Add review by ePhotoZine.

The Samyang 7.5mm Ultra Wide Angle Fisheye Lens is the most affordable Fisheye Lens in the market for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It is directly competing with the Panasonic Lumix G Fish-Eye 8mm f/3.5 lens and is the first model from the new family of Samyang lenses developed specifically for Micro Four Thirds system.

The Samyang 7.5mm Ultra Wide Angle Fisheye Lens features an extremely wide field of view, it is small and compact, and its build quality and optical construction are superb. The lens is an ultra-wide-angle manual lens with 7.5 millimeter focal length and 1:3.5 aperture ratio, providing 180 degree angle of view. The lens exhibits exceptional sharpness and color rendition. Despite its small size, it successfully combines the best features of the popular model with 8 mm focal length offering highest quality optics closed in a compact and visually attractive casing.

The Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-Eye Lens is currently selling at around $299, via Here's the lens review roundup:

ePhotoZine, gave a rating of 4.5/5: "As is often par for the course with fisheye lenses, sharpness in the centre is very high at wide apertures. At f/3.5 sharpness is already excellent and good clarity is maintained towards the edges of the frame. Stopping down to f/5.6 results in the highest levels of sharpness in the centre and stopping down to f/8 results in near excellent sharpness across the frame. For a fisheye lens, chromatic aberrations are very well controlled. Fisheyes commonly suffer from high levels of fringing towards the edges of the frame, but as CAs never exceed one pixel width, they should not be an issue in most circumstances with this lens. Distortion is typical of a fisheye lens with straight line curving wildly when placed near the edges of the frame. However, this lens produces images with near stereographic projection, which results in more natural looking images than typically found with fisheye lenses that produce images with equal-area projection. This means objects placed near the edges of the frame don't look as squashed with the Samyang lens. Due to the extreme angle of view, it isn't possible to formally test falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame with fisheye lenses. In use, at f/3.5 and f/4 a slight falloff in brightness can be seen appearing gradually towards the corners, but this appears visually even by f/5.6. Flare and loss of contrast when shooting with bright light sources in the frame are bot well controlled. A little flare may be seen with a bright point light source in the frame when shooting at wide apertures, but this is reduced as the lens is stopped down.

Priced at around £240, this lens is easily the lowest priced dedicated diagonal fisheye lens available for Micro Four Thirds system cameras. Panasonic also produce an 8mm diagonal fisheye lens, which offers autofocus and costs around £565. Being priced so low at around £240, this diagonal fisheye from Samyang for Micro Four Thirds system cameras represents excellent value for money. It produces sharp images and has excellent build quality. With a fisheye lens, it is relatively easy to use manaul focus due to the huge depth of field provided."... [Source]

M43 Photography: "Being a fisheye lens, of course you are going to get a lot of distortion. Still, there have been some rumors online that this lens has a stereographic projection, rather than a spherical projection, the norm for fisheye lenses. The stereographic projection is less distorted. Comparing the distortion of the two fisheye lenses reveals that they are in fact quite similar. It is quite apparent that the Samyang lens is surprisingly sharp in the corner. There are virtually no chromatic aberration artifacts. On the other hand, the Lumix fisheye lens has some residual CAs, even after the in camera CA adjustments. The fisheye lenses cover a 180° diagonal field of view. So it can be quite difficult to avoid having the sun, or some other bight light source in the frame. Hence, the handling of flare is quite important.

The Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye lens has got impressively good optical properties. This makes it a good alternative to the Panasonic Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens, at a lower cost. You'll have to focus manually, though, which is quite easy for objects far away. When photographing close objects, though, it takes somewhat more effort to use the Samyang lens."... [Source]

PhotoZone, gave an optical quality rating of 4/5: "Testing a fisheye lens is a bit of an adventure rather than factory-style measurements. It's fairly easy to get meaningful values at the image center but the borders are already far out there so we had to use a quite non-standard setup here and it was really impossible to measure the extreme corners in a meaningful approach. Anyway, the center resolution is excellent straight from f/3.5 and even the borders are very good. Stopping down reduces the quality due to diffraction effects but it is still on a very good level up to f/11. Based on our field image we'd say that the extreme corners are also good. Fisheye lenses are extreme lenses and their edge projection characteristic isn't exactly an easy task for today's image sensors. Consequently there's quite an amount of lateral CAs (color shadows at the image borders) at wide open aperture of around 1.2px (width) at the image borders and some more in the extreme corners. However, CAs drop below 1px from f/5.6 onwards and this is hardly something to worry about compared to other fisheye lenses that we've tested so far.

The Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye is certainly a more than welcome addition to the Micro-Four-Thirds system. The near-stereographic projection doesn't look quite as extreme as in conventional fisheye lenses despite the similar field-of-view so its applications are in fact broader and even pretty suitable for movies as well. Furthermore, the lens is pretty sharp throughout the aperture range and this applies also to the image boarders. Lateral CA can be a little high at wide open aperture but this is hardly something to worry about from f/5.6 onwards. The build quality of the lens is very good and it's compact as well as light-weight design is perfectly suited for the Micro-Four-Thirds system. To date Samyang lenses are purely mechanical beings - they don't offer any AF nor a camera controlled aperture. This may be something to get used to: focusing is normally a non-issue with a fisheye lens anyway and using a working aperture on the lens is no rocket science either. Fisheye lenses are always fun and often useful but most users will usually not use them on a regular basis so investing big bucks is not an option for most. However, the dwarfish and very light-weight Samyang is not only a pretty good lens it is also a very affordable one and as such we can recommend it to all MFT ultra-wide angle enthusiasts out there!"... [Source]:

User review by Ken Walsh, gave a rating of 5/5: "Wow, this really is an amazingly good fisheye lens. At the price it is even more incredible. First, the image quality: At F/5.6 it is razor sharp all the way into the extreme corners, at F/3.5 (wide open) it is razor sharp across almost the entire frame and is showing just the tiniest bit of softness (only visible at 200% really) in the extreme corners. I have to say, when I opened my test shots in Lightroom my jaw just about dropped, I really did not expect performance this good. There is a bit of red/cyan lateral chromatic aberration. This was easily handled in Lightroom with the CA slider and any modern image editor should have a similar control. Second, the build: It is a well constructed lens. Most of the body is high quality plastic. The mount and base of lens is metal (the silver part of the black lens) as is the red ring. The rest of the lens body is plastic. The lens cap is an effective latching design that holds itself by the hood petals. This is nicer than a friction fit design, but it does require orienting the lens cap when attaching. It is a surprisingly small lens. Check online reviews to get a feel for the relative size. The focus ring is nicely damped. The aperture ring has a good feel and distinct clicks. It is a very small lens, so it does require some care to not bump one ring while adjusting the other. Third, the price: Fisheyes twice this price and twice the size often don't perform as well as this lens. Samyang/Rokinon has been making some impressive and reasonably priced lenses recently and this one should be near the top for value and performance. Finally, some hopefully helpful details and clarifications.

This is an equal area projection fisheye lens, like most every fisheye on the market. Samyang does make a 8mm APS-C fisheye which is unusual in that it uses a stereographic projection. There was some confusion on the web as to the projection of this new 7.5mm when it came out, but I've tested and measured it and it is a equal area projection. Check the Wikipedia article on "Fisheye lens" for details on the different kinds of fisheye projections (mappings). This is an entirely manual lens, manual aperture and manual focus. There are a number of such lenses appearing for the micro-four-thirds cameras, but if you are not familiar with using such a lens do your homework! Essentially you will control the aperture with a ring on the lens and you will always have to manual focus. On many cameras you'll have to enable a setting somewhere like "shoot without lens" to let the camera know you are using a lens that has no electrical connection to the camera. For a fisheye this is not a big deal, you rarely focus the lens as the depth of field is so large. Manual focus is also quite easy on most micro-four-thirds cameras as you can zoom in liveview to check focus. At the risk of stating the obvious - this is a 180 degree fisheye lens which makes it a "specialty" lens. You might find it odd to use and the novelty may wear off over time. However, there is another way to use this lens. Using software (both free and for purchase) you can "de-fish" the lens by applying a transform to the images you take with it. You can make it look like a 7.5mm recti-linear lens. As this lens is very sharp it actually works really well. You can find many examples of people doing this on the web. One issue, it becomes a bit hard to compose when doing this - a lot of what you see in the viewfinder will be clipped once you "de-fish" the image in post processing. Bottom line, if you've ever wanted a fisheye lens and you own a micro-four-thirds camera this is the lens to get!"... [Source]

Sample Photos from Flickr

Show full Press Release

Samyang announced pricing and availability of the new Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye for Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Kraków, September 5th 2011 - Delta company, the exclusive representative and distributor of Samyang Optics in Europe, is proud to report that the lens announced in March, Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT will be available from the middle of September this year. The lens will be available in two colour versions: silver and black. Estimated retail price is EUR 299.

Panoramic photography with Samyang fish-eye lens

Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT offers an exceptionally wide angle of view, up to 180 degrees diagonally, which makes it a very useful tool for making panoramic photographs. You can enjoy the example panoramic photos in the form of a virtual tour around Krakow on our specially created website: All these panoramic photographs were taken with Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 Fish-eye UMC MFT and PEN Olympus E-P1.

Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT is an ultra-wide-angle manual lens with 7.5 millimetre focal length and 1:3.5 aperture ratio, providing 180 degree angle of view. Despite its small size, the new Samyang successfully combines the best features of the popular model with 8 mm focal length offering highest quality optics closed in a compact and visually attractive casing. Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT is the first model from the new family of lenses developed specifically for Micro Four Thirds system.

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