Cheap Fisheyes: Samyang or 9mm BCL?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tjdean01, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I bought both the Samyang fisheye as well as the 15mm BCL about a month before the 9mm BCL was announced. Granted, those combined only set me back $235, but had the 9mm been around at that time, I might have forgone both of the other lenses because the 9mm, while obviously not being as sharp, wide, or fast as the Samyang, would, as the 15 BCL lens is now, be always with me in the little pocket in my camera bag (I wouldn't enjoy carrying the Samyang on a daily basis where I want to have my bag as light as possible, especially when the lens of choice in addition to the BCL might be a pancake).

    So, I guess "buy both!" is the obvious answer. And I'm thinking I'll get a used 9mm if I ever find one cheap this summer. But until then, I'd like to see if anyone has any comparison shots between the Samyang and 9mm BCL? Thanks!
  2. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    I had the Samyang and sold it and got the BCL (already have the 15mm one). The Samyang is a true Fisheye and definitely gives better results - sharper and definitely more of that "fishy" look. However, while I liked the lens, I just did not carry it around often enough because of it's size. The BCL version you can throw in any bag - or just in your pocket like I did today walking though the park. (You can see some of the pics in my other thread about the EM10 and the two BCL lenses.)
  3. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I own both but haven't shot them both of the same subject. I'll try to remember to do that in the next few days.

    As you know from owning it the Samyang is just insanely sharp and contrasty. The 9mm is of course not that, but I am rather impressed with its center sharpness for what it is and it is definitely now a "take anywhere" lens. In fact it is sitting in my jacket pocket along with my GM1 and 12-32 right at this moment. That would never happen with the Samyang.

    I'll post back in a day or two if I take comparison images, but no promises I am behind in just about everything in my life these days!
  4. I suspect if you like de-fishing the Samyang would be better thanks to its superioir base IQ.
  5. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Samyang/Rokinon is very sharp and contrasty lens. It takes defishing with Hemi PS plugin particularly nice. Extreme corners can be cropped when needed. The lens provides good sharpness at pixel level (16mp). 7.5mm, 180 degree view for <$200 used is great deal. The build quality is more like expensive premium lenses (all metal). Coating is effective cause the lens is quite flare resistant. I found that focus ring is not always perfectly calibrated. I went through 3 copies until I found one which has proper infinity focus. FE is a specialized and non-mandatory lens that is not used as often as others. For that reason it is not important to have one with you at all times. I don't think it's important whether it fits in a jacket or not..
  6. SrPantuflas

    SrPantuflas Mu-43 Regular

    May 26, 2013
    Chile, South America.
    i would go for the samyang/rockinon
  7. Crushader

    Crushader Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd go with Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 7.5mm any day, BCL is too toyish for me.
  8. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I'd say it depends on how often you use a fisheye, and if you're using it to create images that will be de-fished to replace a rectilinear WA lens. If that's the case, then definitely go with the Samyang--it's sharper and wider, and will suffer far less from defishing. On the other hand, if you use a fisheye only rarely, and aren't interested in defishing, then I'd recommend the bodycap lens--because you're much more likely to find it in your pocket when that image presents itself.

    By the way, I own both, but if I had to keep just one it would probably be the bodycap lens. Which isn't to say I don't love the Samyang, because it's a wonderful lens and an incredible value.

    Actually, thinking about it, I could even see recommending that you get BOTH! The Samyang is not very expensive in its own right, and I'll bet you can pick up a bodycap lens for about $75 in a few months.
  9. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    The BCL series are a great bang fer yer buck! :smile:
    • Like Like x 2
  10. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Rokinon is extremely well built. Very compact. And from quick glances the IQ look good. One thing is for sure: it's very fun to use
  11. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    If you want to "play" with the fish eye look and experimant now and then, go for the BCL.
    If you shoot landscapes (like I do) or architecture/interiors on a regular basis, go with the Sam/Rok - MUCH better quality, sharpness, flare resistance and build.
  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I just think it's hilarious that the Samyang could be described as too big.......

    • Like Like x 3
  13. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    I'll buy the 9 mm because it's very small, has a moderate fisheye effect, and that i'm not sure i'll have a big use for a fisheye. I'll use it as a fun lens... If i see I use it a lot and that i like the effect, I'll probably but the samyang.
    If you already have the samyang and like it, I don't really see the point of getting the bcl...
  14. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
    Don't forget about the speed difference when deciding. I love the Samyang/Rokinon for shooting interiors and even used it inside caves and lava tubes where the extra 2+ stops allowed me to get the shots without ISO 12,000+ (and what that translates to in noise/DR penalties)
  15. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    The Samyang is a much more capable lens than the Body cap.
    The body cap is a lens you can to have fun without spending too much money. And that you can carry everywhere.
  16. beameup

    beameup Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Apples and oranges. I use the BCL for "candid" shots, like the street fair. Actually, the BCL is quite impressive IMO.
  17. mievil

    mievil Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2013
    San Diego
    What the heck happened to the price of the Samyang? When I bought one a few months back they were like $230, sometimes $200. Now over $300? Geez.
  18. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Popularity or the fact that people realize that the Samyang/Rokinon lenses are actually pretty good. My guesses, anyway.
  19. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    A good camera or lens is the one that's always with you at all times and not the one that sits inside your bag or at home at all times. Sometimes we fret about how unsharp this lens is or how noisy this body makes image wise, but you know when the lens or body isn't there to get you the rare moments, what good is the lens or the body, even if it's sharp, that it wasn't the one that got you the shot?!?

    Before considering a lens, think about how often you're going to use this type of lens. Fisheye lens is a speciality tool and not everyone has the ability to master its usage effectively. The 9mm BCL is a cheaper version and I personally like it. I might in fact get it just because I can carry it all the time. The f/8 constant is not a problem. In low light, there is a thing we call a "TRIPOD" which you can use to capture using low ISO and slow shutter speeds. Or perhaps we are too spoiled with high-ISO and 5 axis IBIS that tripod has gone the ways of the do-do bird?!?
  20. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    A Samyang lens is more compact that a BCL + tripod.
    The tripod is hard to carry with you at all times ;)
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