Samyang 7.5 mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT
3. Build quality
Instead of consulting the chart you can simply have a glance at the photo below – it will give you an idea what a small sensor of the Micro 4/3 system and lack of a mirror can mean.
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Both lenses, presented above, are fisheye lenses with almost the same parameters. What’s more, both have been produced by the same company. It is not difficult to notice that the Micro 4/3 lens is much smaller and physically lighter than its APS-C/DX equivalent. What’s more, the Samyang 7.5 mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT can’t be called big even among other system lenses - it can be clearly noticed looking at the photo below. Dimensions-wise it is closer to the Panasonic 1.7/20 pancake than to a basic 14-42 mm kit lens.
The lens is small enough to fit slight Micro 4/3 system bodies perfectly well. Its compact dimensions, combined with a huge field of view, can even cause untypical problems. Before I got used to working with the tested Samyang plus the Olympus E-PL1 set in many photos I managed to capture…my own fingers (you can find them in some of sample shots). A person with bigger hands can have a problem of keeping them off the frame. The miniaturization of manual lenses is not always a good thing. In my case turning accidentally two rings at the same time was a quite common issue. Most often, while changing the aperture, I changed also the focus.
The lens starts with a metal mount without any contacts so the body doesn’t receive any info about aperture or focal length values. A rear element is 11 millimeters in diameter and it changes its position with the whole optical system. It is situated on the same level as the rear part of the casing when the focus is set at infinity; it hides several millimeters inside when we pass to the minimum focus distance.
Already on the casing we find first a silvery metal ring on which there is a red dot - its task is to facilitate attaching the lens to a body. Next, there is an aperture ring. It is ribbed and 8 mm wide, well-damped, allowing you value changes every 0.5 EV stop. Compared to the Samyang 3.5/8 for APS-C/DX sensors its work was improved because here we have f/4.0 at our disposal, which can be set right after f/3.5.
The next fragment of the casing is a narrow, metal ring, painted in red, which divides the aperture ring and a manual focus ring. That latter is 13 mm wide and ribbed as well. On it you can find a distance scale expressed in feet and meters. You would look for a depth of field scale in vain, though, despite the fact that it would indeed come in handy. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through 120 degrees. The ring is well-damped, though, and its work - smooth and even.
The lens ends with a permanently attached petal type lens hood, made of plastics. Inside, you can find a black part of the casing with the name and parameters of the lens. It surrounds a convex front element, 33 mm in diameter.
When it comes to the mechanics and the build quality, the Samyang 7.5 mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT makes a better impression than the Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye, designed for bigger detectors.
The inner construction consists of 9 elements positioned in 7 groups. The producer mentions one aspherical and three low-dispersion ED glass elements. Inside you can also find an aperture with six diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22.
The buyer gets both caps and a soft pouch in the box.
It is worth mentioning that two colour versions of this lens are available on the market – silver and black.