Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Pro vs Rokinon/Samyang 7.5 f/3.5 Fisheye Comparison

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jonathan F/2, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have used the Rokinon 7.5mm and now own the Olympus 8mm fisheye lenses extensively and I just want to chime in my thoughts on both.

    For general purpose use, especially in good light I think the Rok/Sam 7.5mm is the best value fisheye on the market! It's amazingly sharp, contrasty and probably handles light flare better than any lens I've used. In fact it actually beats the new Olympus 8mm 1.8 Pro in this regards. While the Oly 8mm tries to suppress the flare, it unfortunately results in purple blobs at certain angles that plague other lenses like the Panasonic 7-14mm when mounted on Olympus bodies. You'd think an Olympus lens and Olympus body wouldn't have this issue!

    The Rok/Sam 7.5mm on the other hand, produces some of the most coolest flare effects when pointed at the sun. In favor of the Olympus 8mm though, the light points are more pleasing to the eye (in my opinion) versus the 7.5mm. From what I can see it's 12 vs 6 points of light when pointed at a bright light source. This makes all the difference especially in long exposure shots. Stopped down the 7.5mm is quite sharp, maybe a tad sharper at f/8, while the Olympus 8mm is sharp at all apertures, though not as bitingly sharp as the 7.5mm seems to be at f/8.

    Where the Oly 8mm pulls ahead is having AF, weather sealing, close focusing, build quality and that beautiful 1.8 aperture. This lens is literally night vision! You can shoot in complete darkness, utilize the advanced IBIS of the E-M5 mk. II and shoot in conditions where the human eye cannot even see light! Also this lens is perfectly suited to the high res mode of the E-M5 mk. II and in a way is a sneak-peak to what Olympus has in mind for the future of Micro Four-Thirds. The 8mm 1.8 detail and contrast in the right shooting conditions can school the pants off something like the D800's 36mp sensor when shot in high res mode!

    My take between the two lenses. If you plan on shooting mainly in daytime f/8 conditions where sun is involved, the Rok/Sam 7.5mm is the best value on the market and I would totally recommend it over the Oly 8mm. If you want the best all around fisheye for any camera system, the Oly 8mm can give you that extra edge in more shooting conditions.

    Anyways, here are a couple samples I've shot to compare the two! Enjoy!

    Olympus 8mm on the E-P5:
    ep5_fe_web.

    Olympus 8mm FE samples -

    Purple blob:
    JAKT1430.

    8mm light points:
    JAKT1543.

    Low light capabilities (this was totally dark):
    band.

    Close up capabilities:
    poke_bowl.

    8mm high res (40mp mode) goodness:
    bridge_river_lights.

    Rok/Sam 7.5mm Samples -

    kids_sun_flare_web.

    sunset.

    image.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  2. yendikeno

    yendikeno Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Sep 5, 2015
    Thanks for the comparison info. Really like that night shot of the tracks leading into the city.
     
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I would not call this a purple blob problem. There is some flare but there is some flair from the Rok too.

    This is a shot with the 8mm that is very similar to the Rok 7.5:

    P8020034 (2).
     
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Rok's flare blobs aren't as noticeable as the 8mm purple blobs. Here's another example comparing the two:

    8mm:
    JAKT1402.

    Here's the Rok 7.5mm right into the sun:
    wide_boy_web.
     
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  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    One person's purple is another one's green. :drinks:

    P8020005.
     
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The front glass elements of the 8mm is larger and more exposed which I think allows for more flaring artifacts to show up. On the other hand the 7.5mm front glass is much smaller/less exposed and seems less likely to have as many light blobs.

    Shooting with the two extensively, I feel a bit more comfortable shooting into bright light with the 7.5mm FE. Though the additional features of the 8mm are more advantageous for my style of shooting. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  7. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    Chris
    Every time I see examples of the Rok it amazes me it can be owned for $200 bucks (second hand). Having it focused on infinity while paired with another body with a normal focal length is very tempting... Argh, decisions decisions....
     
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  8. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    I have yet to see an UWA that does not display flare/blob. However the photographer can usually change angles just slightly and eliminate the flare. Considering the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang is 1/3 the cost, it very suitable for those that would seldom use a fish eye.
     
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  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
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  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Do it! Fisheye lenses are just plain fun. Yes they are not for everyone and you may grow bored with it, but for $200 why not give it a shot? Heck, I have a family of 6. We can blow $200 on a good dinner and have nothing to show for it. :)
     
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  11. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    Chris
  12. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Not if you know what's important! ;-)
     
  13. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    Thanks so much for posting your thoughts on these two. It looks to me that the Oly FE has better contrast shooting into the Sun and shooting into the Sun is supposed to bring out the worst in any lens as far as flare degrading the image.
    Bobby :coffee-30:
    PS, I'm getting used to purple blobs I shoot with the Panny 7-14mm F4.0!
     
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  14. BLX

    BLX Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2012
    Denmark
    Morten
    Thanks for the write-up Jonathan
     
  15. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    667
    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Morris
    Thanks for the review! :2thumbs:
     
  16. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    Thanks for the comparison. I just got the 7.5 a few months ago and am still learning how to best use it as it's my first fisheye. It's a great lens and I have no complaints with it except that there are times when autofocus would be nice.
     
  17. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Both lenses are very good and the 7.5mm is a great general purpose fisheye especially for the price. The Oly 8mm 1.8 in my opinion is a bit more versatile since you can shoot everything from extreme close-ups and subjects in low light.
     
  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Actually the 7.5mm has a better close focus ability. The 7.5mm close focus is 10.16 cm compared to 12 cm on the 8mm.
     
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA

    Ha, I never bothered to do close-ups with the 7.5 FE, but the 8mm 1.8 is a breeze to shoot close-up due to the AF and fast 1.8 aperture! :wink:
     
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Same.

    I have found that focus peaking is extremely unreliable with the 7.5mm, too. I have to use magnification to check focus, which slows down the flow. Every time I rely on peaking, I get 50% OOF shots with that lens.

    But $1000 nice? No way.
     
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