Best Nikon Fisheye Lenses: Top 10 For Nikon Users

Contents

As a professional photographer using Nikon cameras, it is important to look out for the best Nikon fisheye lenses. A fisheye lens creates a unique definition to your photography and opens up a new wide-angle view, giving your captured shots a peculiar touch.

Fisheye Lens - Overview

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.

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As a photographer, a restoration, and a designer, Emily isn't just a jack-of-all-trades, she's a certified expert. She's a tech junkie, and the most screen-addicted member of the IRC team. When it comes to product reviews, her insights and recommendations are second-to-none.

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Top 10 best Nikon Fisheye Lenses

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
5/5

Compatible with: Full frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 16mm

Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 10.1oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 10.5mm

Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 10.8oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 15mm

Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 13oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 8mm

Aperture range: f/3.5 – f/22

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 14oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 10-17mm

Aperture range: f/3.5 – f/22

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 12.3oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 12mm

Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22

Autofocus: No

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 17oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 5.8mm

Aperture range: f/3.5 – f/22

Autofocus: No

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 10.5oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 8mm

Aperture range: f/3.5 – f/22

Autofocus: No

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 14.7oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 8-15mm

Aperture range: f/3.5 – f/4.5

Autofocus: Yes

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 17.1oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our Rating:
4.5/5

Compatible with: Full Frame or APS-C sensors

Focal Range: 12mm

Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22

Autofocus: No

Image Stabilization: No

Weight: 17.6 – 19.9 oz

PS. We may make a small commission off purchases made on the link above.

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.

Fisheye Photography

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.

Why Do You Need A Fisheye Lens?

A fisheye lens is a fantastic lens that produces incredibly sharp images. Likewise, they create an enormous field of view with a creative unique distortion. Below are a few reasons that would convince you to add a fisheye lens to your camera bag as a professional photographer.

A Fisheye Lens Allows You To Take Stunning Images From Great Heights

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.

It Provides Great Perspectives

A fisheye lens in the right hands gives you the opportunity to experiment with perspectives in your photographs. You can play with perspectives and point your lens to different angles. Try pointing your lens from the ground upwards. The interesting wide-angle views created will be stunning.

Creativity Distortion

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.

Great For Taking Whole-Sky Photographs

If you are an architectural photographer, the fisheye lens is a significant gift. It gives a creative perspective to your photography scenes and also combines elements behind you because of its wide focal length. With fisheye lenses, you can play with the lines of walls and buildings. The distortion is also effective in creating effectual architectural images.

Great For Creative Architectural Photography

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How To Choose A Fisheye Lens

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.

Major Types Of Fisheye Lenses

Before we highlight the best Nikon fisheye lenses, it is important to know, understand and differentiate the main types. The two main types are circular fisheye lenses and full-field diagonal fisheye lenses. 

Diagonal Fisheye Lens

Diagonal fisheye lenses are sometimes called full-field lenses. They produce images that have regular, full-sized rectangular shapes. The diagonal fisheye lens does not create black edges like circular fisheye lenses, rather produces a rectangular fisheye effect. With the image circle filling the field, there will be remarkable distortion. The image circle is usually large enough to cover the entire image sensor. It gives a 180-degree angle on the horizontal plane.

Circular Fisheye Lens

Unlike the diagonal fisheye lens, the circular fisheye lens produces a smaller image circle that fits within the image sensor and creates black edges around the image. The image produced is circular and gives a 180-degree angle both on horizontal and vertical planes.

Guidelines For Using A Fisheye Lens

Don’t Be Scared To Experiment With Perspectives

The most creative people are those who are innovative. The best fisheye lenses provide a wide range of creative possibilities; don’t be afraid to experiment with different perspectives and be innovative with angles. Take many photos and explore with creativity.

Take Photos With Natural Curves

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.

Be Creative With Editing Photos

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.

Take Photos With Straight Lines And Angles

Creativity with fisheye lenses should not be limited to shooting curves. Using a fisheye lens to distort and curve straight lines can create interestingly unique appearances. This can work with shooting architectural angles from the ground upwards.

Try Renting Or Borrowing A Fisheye Lens Before Buying

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.

The Bottom Line

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.

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