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  1. #1

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    Canon FD fisheyes, Sigma?

    I'm looking to get a FD 16mm fisheye lens. I've noticed the Sigma FD's are significantly cheaper priced compared to the Canon FD fisheye. I know the Canon is going to be the BEST quality lens, but how do the Sigmas compare? I'm not a huge quality freak, and it seems to me with a fisheye lens any quality issues would be less noticeable.

  2. #2

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    I've never had any 16mm lens but a Canon NFD 17mm F4 for some time, and I have to tell you that it was an okay lens; the lightfall off was severe and the corners were very soft, etc. So, I had to close down to F8 or more to make it useful. In other words, to me, it was a good lens for landscape shots with some "dramatic" effects, but a pretty shitty lens for people shots like indoor group shots.

    For me, the NFD 20mm F2.8, which I have now, is the widest I can get happy with, but you're looking for a fish-eye lens in the first place, so I'm assuming it's for a different purpose from mine...

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I had the FD 7.5mm circular fisheye for a while, and it was a fantastic, if rather specialized lens. It was handy for just a few shots a year, but it was quite sharp with good contrast.

    Here's a self-portrait with that lens on photo.net in the Fisheye Users Group gallery--

    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=643028&size=lg

    Look at the rest of the gallery for more fisheye images, and maybe you might turn up other shots with the Sigma you're looking at.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info. David, nice shot. I love fisheye......

    NFD? New FD? What exactly is that?

    I'm sure really what I'll shoot with a fisheye. Probably people. I like capturing the whole feeling of a room or area in one shot.... Glen Friedman's stuff is some of my favorite.

  5. #5

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    i've used the canon EF fisheye quite extensively and i hear the FD is better. considering the canon EF fisheye is amazing in quality, it differed very slightly from the sigma i also used.
    i hear the FD and EF lenses put out by canon have extremely minimal differences except that the FD lenses were stopped being made because of "environmental reasons" (ie. using lead in their production). they're much more solidly built and i've even heard that they are of better quality from some self-proclaimed camera techies.
    my roomate 2 years ago sold his sigma to buy the canon and didn't regret it in the least. he felt the extra money was worth it because it was his most widely (excuse the pun) used lens as he was a skateboard photographer. if you're only using it once in a while, i would save your money and go with a sigma. the lighting, film, shutter speed, aperature setting, using/not using a tripod and the speed of your subject will determine the quality moreso than the actual lens.

    i think what it would boil down to is: 1. how much are you going to use it? (is the $200+ extra going to be worth the amount of photos you'd produce from it?) 2. what f-stop are you going to use? (at f8-16, i will bet you'd never be able to tell the difference between them).

    if you want to save even more money still there's the zenitar fisheye that i've used before with good success. even ken rockwell (i know he's a digital nut, but i trust his opinion on the technical aspects of the lenses) says "If you stop this lens down to f/16 and are prepared for 1950's style manual operation on a full-frame or film camera you can get better results than I get with my Nikon 10.5mm fisheye". the nikon lens is a new addition to the nikon digital cameras, so this is a comforting thought. it also comes with a uv, red, yellow and yellow-green filter set too, which is pretty rad.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    nFD (New FD) generally refers to the later FD bayonet mount, as opposed to the earlier FD breech-lock mount. I don't think it's a designation that Canon uses, but collectors use it.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    ...
    i think what it would boil down to is: 1. how much are you going to use it? (is the $200+ extra going to be worth the amount of photos you'd produce from it?) 2. what f-stop are you going to use? (at f8-16, i will bet you'd never be able to tell the difference between them).

    if you want to save even more money still there's the zenitar fisheye that i've used before with good success. even ken rockwell (i know he's a digital nut, but i trust his opinion on the technical aspects of the lenses) says "If you stop this lens down to f/16 and are prepared for 1950's style manual operation on a full-frame or film camera you can get better results than I get with my Nikon 10.5mm fisheye". ...
    That was my rationalisation too. I wanted an ultrawide to play with, and didn't really mind fisheye distortion. So I bought a 16mm Zenitar for Pentax.

    And guess what - it's a great fun lens! It may not be as sharp as a far more expensive fisheye by CaNiTax, but it's more than sharp enough to have some really serious fun with. The only problem I've had with mine is that my wife loves it so much I never get to play with it (so I got me a 15mm Ultra-Heliar for the Bessa-L instead).
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway



 

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