A Fisheye lens is named after how a fish can see, hence, fish-eye. A fisheye lens can be used to create unique images from the right fisheye perspective, which cannot be done with any other type of lens. Fisheye lenses are prime lenses, meaning that they are not able to zoom in or out. They are used to capture wide-angle views. However, some of them in the recommended list below have zoom features.
Fisheye lenses are also known as ultra-wide-angle lenses. This enables them to produce hemispherical and curved panoramic images. Compared to the other types of lenses, they are lightweight and affordable. This article is a guide on choosing the best Nikon fisheye lenses with varying features and prices. It also highlights the perks of using a fisheye lens and guidelines on how to use them with maximum creativity.
Below is a recommended list of the best fisheye lenses with varying focal lengths and prices, which can be found on Amazon. This list has put together the top 10 best Nikon fisheye lenses for photographers with Nikon cameras.
The fisheye NIKKOR 16mm has been rated as one of the best Nikon fisheye lenses. It produces images with the diagonal fisheye effects and also gives a full frame, 180-degrees wide angle of view. It has a close-range correction system that renders high performance at far and near focusing distances. NIKKOR 16mm has a minimum focus distance of 0.85ft., making it one of the best fisheye lenses for Nikon D5100. It has a bright f/2.8 aperture that takes sharp images, with good image quality, in dim light, or with fast shutter speed. This Nikon NIKKOR lens also comes with a rear lens cap. This 16mm lens is the best fisheye lens for full frame cameras.
If you are using a Nikon camera with APS-C sensors (Nikon DX-format cameras), the fisheye NIKKOR 10.5mm is the best Nikon fisheye lens for you. Just like the NIKKOR 16mm, it gives a diagonal fisheye effect and also offers a 180-degrees angle of view. However, it is not compatible with full frame cameras.
This fisheye lens offers autofocus and produces top quality images. It also possesses an extra-low dimension (ED) lens element that manages chromatic anomalies. Just like the fisheye NIKKOR 16mm, it also has a close-range correction system that delivers high performance.
The Sigma 15mm lens is the best choice for a Nikon fisheye lens on a budget. It is also compatible with Canon EF, Sigma, and Sony A mounts. It produces a dg diagonal fisheye effect, is also compatible with full frame cameras, and has a fast aperture rating. It offers a 180-degrees angle of view and works well with APS-C sensors. The Sigma 15mm fisheye lens offers autofocus, with an autofocus motor. It has a minimum focus distance of 5.9 inches. If you are looking for an affordable fisheye lens, this is a good choice.
Unlike the above Nikon fisheye lenses, the Sigma 8mm lens is a circular fisheye lens. It offers a circular effect and works for both full frame and APS-C sensors. The Sigma 8mm fisheye lens has a gelatin filter holder. It has a minimum focus distance of 5.5 inches.
This high-quality fisheye lens produces incredibly sharp images. It has a 180 degrees viewing angle and has an even wider viewing angle than others. This fisheye lens offers autofocus for cameras with an autofocus motor. If you are searching for a quality circular fisheye lens with autofocus, Sigma 8mm is a good option.
The Tokina ATXAF107DXNHN fisheye lens is quite special because, unlike the others on this list, it is the first with a zoom feature. With this zoom lens, the extreme barrel distortion appears towards the middle of the focal length range of the lens. Not only does it offer autofocus, but it also comes with an autofocus motor.
This Tokina lens will produce a diagonal fisheye effect on APS-C sensors and also produce a rectangular effect on full frame sensors at 17mm. While moving towards 10mm, the rectangular effect shifts to a circular fisheye effect with black edges.
This lens also creates a wider viewing angle and produces a distinct extreme barrel distortion of lenses of curvilinear forms.
The Rokinon 12mm UMC fisheye lens produces a diagonal fisheye effect and also offers a 180-degrees angle of view. This lens produces full frame fisheye effects and has a very good performance. The Rokinon 12mm fisheye lens operates with a manual focus lens only.
The Lesbaby fisheye 5.8mm is relatively affordable. It is specifically made for crop sensor cameras. It produces a circular fisheye effect on APS-C sensors. Lensbaby fisheye 5.8mm lens can also be used on full frame sensors, but the circular image will appear smaller at the center of the frame. This Nikon fisheye lens is a fully manual lens as it operates only with manual focus, as it has no autofocus.
Just like the Lensbaby 5.8mm fisheye lens, the Rokinon 8mm f 3.5 fisheye lens also operates with a manual focus only. It creates a diagonal fisheye effect on APS-C sensors and a circular fisheye effect on full frame camera sensors.
This fisheye lens offers a 180-degrees angle of view. If you are looking for the best Nikon fisheye lens on a budget, the Rokinon 8mm f 3.5 fisheye lens is a top pick for you.
The Nikon AF S fisheye NIKKOR lens is the best Nikon fisheye lens for DSLRs. It is the widest NIKKOR fisheye with a zoom capacity. It is also the first NIKKOR fisheye zoom lens developed by Nikon. It operates with two fisheye lenses. It gives both a quality fisheye effect and a full frame, diagonal fisheye effect, due to its zoom range. The quality lens produces a circular fisheye effect at the short end and a diagonal fisheye effect at the long end. This fisheye lens is known for its great clarity and versatility.
The fisheye NIKKOR 8 15mm f 3.5 4.5e ed lens offers autofocus with an ultrasonic ring. As you advance through the zoom range, the lens has a variable aperture rating that shrinks from f/3.5 to f/4.5. It also has a protective fluorine coating that allows use in harsh conditions. This Nikon NIKKOR lens is a good option because it has excellent image quality.
The Samyang 12mm UMC fisheye lens is most compatible with Sony cameras, but also compatible with Canon and Nikon camera sensors. Unlike others above that produce both diagonal and circular fisheye effects, this fisheye lens only produces diagonal effects. The lens and aperture control are also manual focus. It has a diagonal full frame viewing angle of 180degrees, which reduces to 124 degrees on APS-C camera sensors.
Samyang 12mm comes with a nano-structure multi-layer lens coating, a tough aluminum alloy barrel, three extra-low dimensions (ED) elements, and two aspherical lenses to manage coma and chromatic anomalies. It also comes with a bayonet-fit lens hood that protects the bulging front element and camera body. Samyang 12mm fisheye lens is also budget-friendly.
A fisheye lens distorts images and curves them, thereby creating a wide-angle view. Fisheye lenses were configured to have an enormous viewing angle to capture the whole sky. It was first used in the 1920s by meteorologists to study cloud formations, keep watch on the weather and take whole-sky photographs.
Fisheye lenses are now used by professional photographers to capture extreme sports like surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding, underwater and architectural shots. They are useful for astrophotography, nature, interior, nature, and several other types of photography. They are also affordable and lightweight.
With a fisheye lens, you can get very creative with your images. You can get vertigo shots while shooting from rooftops, tall buildings, mountains, or cliffs. Some of these extremely creative shots cannot be gotten with normal lenses.
Due to distortion, many professional photographers saw fisheye lenses as a drawback. Although distortion can be considered annoying, with creativity, they can work to your advantage. By playing with distortion, you can add creative effects to your images that would not be possible with normal wide-angle lenses. When used right, distortion can be pleasing to the eye.
Just as for any other photography equipment, in fisheye photography, the price of the fisheye lens should be considered. There are fisheye lenses that are top quality and highly-priced, while there are others that are also quality, fairly affordable, and budget-friendly. Choosing a quality fisheye lens depends on your budget.
Another important factor to consider is the kind of fisheye effect the lens produces. Some will produce a diagonal effect on full frame sensors and produce a circular effect on APS-C sensors, while some are compatible with both APS-C and full frame sensors and will produce both fisheye effects. Your choice of lenses will depend on your preferred fisheye effect.
Apart from considering the price, another factor to consider is the autofocus. The cheaper fisheye lens on this list comes with manual lenses only. If you prefer an autofocus lens, you should go for the more expensive ones. However, it depends on your preference.
While taking photos of elements with natural curves, the distortion of the fisheye lens will add creative perspectives of the photos, with a surreal appearance.
After taking shoots with a fisheye lens, some photo editing software can help to add creative effects. Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other preferred photo editing software, you can creatively play around with the edits. Some photo editing software can also smoothen out some of the distortions created by the fisheye lens.
While fisheye lenses can be used to create creative images and enormous viewing angles, it is simply not for everyone. If you’re starting out as a photographer and have never used a fisheye lens before, you can consider renting or borrowing one to test the experience.
A fisheye ultra-wide-angle lens will always produce a signature, versatile and unique images with good image quality, but not every photographer is drawn to a Nikon fisheye lens. However, having a fisheye lens opens your photography to unique creativity and stunning images.
While using a fisheye lens, it is also important to understand the technicalities of lenses and explore limitless unique perspectives. Hopefully, this article has helped with the knowledge and streamlined the best fisheye lenses for Nikon users. Pick up a quality fisheye lens today and unlock creative possibilities in underwater photography, nature, landscape, and other types of photography.