As soon as I became aware that there was a fisheye lens available for the X-Pro1 I just had to try it, and my friends at London Camera Exchange in Southampton were very quick to respond by getting me one in just 2 days (thanks Adrian!). This little gem from Samyang, the Korean manufacturer with a growing reputation, tuned out to be beautifully engineered and really looks the part. It has a built in lens hood and comes complete with a carrying pouch and front and rear caps.
Fisheye lenses normally come into types, those which give a circular image, and those which give you a full-frame image. This is of the latter variety and has a focusing ring and manual aperture ring. The lens is fully manual if used on a Fujifilm X-series camera, but that is no real problem because the depth of field on this lens is such that everything from about 30cm (1 ft.) to infinity is in focus at f8! The angle of view is 180 degrees so just watch you don’t get your feet in (or, as in my case, your stomach!!) I simply had to change the small focus switch on the front of the camera to ‘M’ for manual focus and set the lens to a suitable focus distance to have everything sharp from very near to very far. I set the camera to ten feet at f8.
To start shooting you can either set the shutter speed to give you a correct exposure or, as I did, just set the speed dial to ‘A’ for automatic and let the brilliant brain in the camera sort itself out.
This is a test shot from just outside the LCE store:
As you can clearly see the barrel distortion is exactly what you would expect but the image is nice and sharp, and exposure is surprisingly even across the frame. I took the image into Lightroom 4 and had a little play in lens profile panel, and discovered that the profile for the Nikon 10.5 mm f2.8 fisheye (under the Lens Correction > Profile tab) did a surprisingly good job of sorting things out (now, I just wonder … no, it couldn’t be could it?) I then did a little more adjustment under ‘Manual’ part of the Lens Profile tab and the result is pretty acceptable with a few quick adjustments:
Ok, it’s not perfect but it is very acceptable. With a little more fiddling, or maybe some work in Photoshop, it would be even better. To my mind this lens is an absolute winner at around the £275 mark in the UK, and will be a very useful addition to my camera bag!