Lens review

Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye

12 May 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution of images produced by the lens has been measured on Nikon D200 RAW files. Measuring errors amount from 0.3 to 1.6 lpmm and mostly depend on the aperture used. The lens’ performance both in the center and at the corners of the frame is presented in the graph below.

Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye - Image resolution

What we can see, pleases the eye. At maximum aperture, a value of almost 34 lpmm is reached, which means the image is very much useful. It’s true that the faster Sigma 2.8/10 is even sharper (on a less pixel-packed Canon 20D’s matrix, it scored more than 36 lpmm) but we mustn’t forget it costs almost three times the price of Samyang. Stopping down a little allows Samyang to produce very crisp images and leaves nothing to complain about. Again, it fails to outscore the Sigma but the difference is really minute.

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What we find surprising is the side-of-the-frame performance. We haven’t got much experience in reviewing fisheyes but no other lens of this type produced results as excellent as those of Samyang.

Is such good performance caused by the projection used? It’s hard to say. We, ourselves, are surprised with the result acquired and our attempts to interpret it ended up with a stalemate. All because the fisheye specifics, which disallow the use of a flat test chart and force certain efforts. Possibly, these have more of an influence on the side-of-the-frame results than we have thought. It is particularly likely, as the comparison of photos taken with Sigma and Samyang doesn’t show such significant differences in favor of the latter, as it is suggested by the MTF50 graphs.

Resolution JPEG, D200
Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye - Image resolution Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye - Image resolution