View Full Version : Falcon/Samyang 8mm

David Gethin
2nd April 2010, 10:16 PM
I took the plunge recently and purchased a Nikon-fit Falcon 8mm off eBay. This supposedly is a rebranded version (also to be found as a Bower, Vivitar, Rokinon) of the Samyang 8mm and came in a little bit cheaper.

This has 'less' of a fisheye effect than the Peleng, but is quite a bit cheaper. Allowing for the fact I also had to buy a Nikon to 4/3 adapter, the whole lot came in at less than 200.

A very detailed review of this lens including reference to its use on an E-500 can be found here:


This is by no means a plug-and-play lens, and whilst I can appreciate the obstacles I don't have the necessary understanding to solve the issues. The general 'wisdom' is that the DOF of fisheye lenses in general is so huge, you should set the focus ring to the minimum distance and just shoot and everything will be in focus.

That is not the case here as the adapter places the lens too close to the sensor. Jeffrey Charles in his review explains this in his review above, suggesting that a shim of 0.4mm is required (a 0.4mm shim was required with both Nikon to 4.3 adapters that he used); I see why, but don't understand the maths/methodology to work out what size shim I would need for my particular lens/adapter combination. Without it though it is not possible to focus the lens at all.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/MRI_Portrait.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22359)
The shot above was taken with me stood approx. 40cm from lens with the MRI scans a further 20cm behind, and in spiate of having the focus distance set to the minimu possible as I could not get this photo in focus

I was left feeling very discouraged, but having re-read Jeffrey's review I have today made a first attempt to address this by adding a cardboard shim to the adapter that I would estimate was approx 0.3mm thick. This has improved things no end whilst there may be room for further improvement as Jeffrey's article suggests a 0.4mm shim is required.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/Fisheye_Test_a.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22358)
Test shot at 1600 ISO, f11, 1/4 sec, focus distance set at approx 2m on the barrel ring (somewhat irrelevant as this would need to be recalibrated).
LR 2.6 PP: NR - Luminance reduction 70, Color reduction 15; CA +10 for Red/Cyan and +10 for Blue/Yellow

Here are some 100% crops to give an indication of the sharpenss of the lens so far.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/Falcon_8mm_Test_Crop_1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22354)
Fringing was noticeable around the tv screen but not the lights - no comparison with an Oly fisheye or Peleng but it was readily corrected in LR.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/Falcon_8mm_Test_Crop_2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22355)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/Falcon_8mm_Test_Crop_3.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22356)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/945/Falcon_8mm_Test_Crop_4.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22357)

Perhaps because the shim is still not right I am still finding it is important to focus on the subject to lens distance and that the huge DOF associated with such lenses so that you set the focus to the minimu distance and just shoot is not the case.

Anyway, I thought this may be of interest to people. For 200 I have a relatively inexpensive "semi-fisheye" lens for skateboarding photography (it has an approx 130 degree diagonal sweep on the 2.0x crop and is far less distorted than most fisheye lenses as it is designed for APS), that may have potential utility to double up as a cheap ultra wide angle landscape lens (given the less extreme distortion, defishing may be reasonably successful though clearly it won't match the quality of the Oly offerings in this area).


4th April 2010, 06:00 PM
Hi David

Im quite tempted to buy this myself, I have found one that is made for an olympus mount here


You seamed quite happy with it, so would you recommend it based on the olympus mount ?



David Gethin
4th April 2010, 09:52 PM
Grrr, that's frustrating. I need to mess around with finding a shim to focus the lens correctly and the guy is now selling Oly mounts :mad:

Just for info, I offered 176.00 I think so expect he will accept that - I think that it was worth it and coupled with it being the native mount would make it doubly so (not that I confirm how well it works with the Oly mount). The lens ships from Poland.


4th April 2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the info, at least I know I can offer a lot lower and at that price I'm goner have to give it a go :cool:

expect to see some fisheye images from me soon :eek:

yes I bet it is annoying with the mount, maybe you could sell yours to another native user and then buy the 4/3 mount.

I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it *chr

5th April 2010, 12:32 AM
David, According to the ebay advert, the guy offers a

"!!! MONEY BACK GUARANTEE !!! If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with our product return it to us for a full refund."

Why not have a word with him, and see if he will swap yours for a 4/3s mount version.

You will then have a spare Nikon converter to put something else interesting on.:rolleyes:

You've got me feeling guilty now; must dig out my Peleng for another play.:)

David Gethin
5th April 2010, 07:56 AM
The offer is on 'auto' refusal. You get 3 chances to make an offer. His prices have gone up 15 since I bought, so maybe start at 176.50 and be prepared to offer 190.

I can't compare with the Peleng or the Olympus fisheye - CA wise it might score better but remember because it was designed for APS, on the 2x crop the image is more in the sweet spot and will be considerably less distorted than with the Peleng or Oly. Whether that is a good thing or not will be for you to decide, but there will be a lot less sweep too.

Thanks Peak, I did send an email last night and hope something can be sorted out.

6th April 2010, 07:46 PM
I tried all my 3 offers starting at 190, 200 and 215, so I guess he was only willing to let it go for a fiver less, so ended up playing the full 225 in the end.

But from the reviews I have read it seams to be money well spent and the quality is very close to the olympus and better than the sigma lens, but of course no AF.

Im guessing from what I have read, that you stick this lens on f5.6 and everything is in focus anyway, so no need for AF ???

Oh well cant wait to receive it now and have a play :D

6th April 2010, 08:01 PM
Hi David I have a question if you dont mind:

I have seen a mixture of images posted on the net taken with this lens and some are flat as you have posted above and some look like they are taken through a tube, with the edges blacked out so the center is a circle.

Is this just an PP effect or is this something you can switch on the lens, looks like a cool effect for skateboarding etc, but wouldnt want all my images like that :eek:

David Gethin
6th April 2010, 08:28 PM
I suspect the vignetted ('black tube' effect) photos, if taken with the Samyang/Falcon/Bower etc 8mm lens, were taken on a full frame camera.

The lens is designed that the image will cover the whole sensor on APS cameras - ie they will crop some of the image. On an Olympus with its greater crop it will crop even more of the image. A friend has lent me a Nikon to compare this lens on both bodies so I will post up comparisons soon.

But on a full frame body (none of the image has been cropped), the image won't cover the whole of the sensor so you see the black areas.

Let me know how you get on Steve.

ps he has offered to exchange the lens so he can't be faulted on that score, but the cost of delivery to and from Poland means I may persevere with the shimmed adapter. If I choose to sell in the future there will be a larger market for a Nikon mount lens.

6th April 2010, 10:31 PM
Thanks ever so much for the info, makes sense now and the cropped flat image is what I want straight out of the camera so excellent.

No problem I will let you know how I get on and I'll be sure to drive everyone mad here with fisheye photos:p

oh that's good of him to offer the exchange, but yes the further cost has to be accounted for, I'll let you know if I find it easy to use on the native mount and then you can have a think about it *chr