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02-09-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
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Does anyone have experience with a MF Sigma 16mm F2.8 Fisheye?

I've found a used manual focus Sigma 16mm f2.8 fisheye with three filters, but haven't found much from perusing the internets. Has anyone out there used this lens before, and how would it compare to a Zenitar or other fisheyes? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

02-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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I recently got a Sigma that sounds like the lens you're describing. Mine is a Sigma Filtermatic. It has an A position on the aperture ring, which was enough to make me buy it. I already had the Zenitar and I've roughly compared the two lenses. The Sigma is cooler, about 500 degrees K. It's sharper in the corners, not by a huge amount, but this could be important especially if you defish. It focuses much closer than the Zenitar, I think 0.16 meters vs. 0.3 meters. The focus ring rotates about 180 degrees vs. 90 on the Zenitar.

There are a few problems. My lens has some slop in the focus ring, not enough to get in the way but slop is slop. Also the exposure is inconsistent at f4 and wider or f22. It is like the aperture is not moving the correct amount. This happens either using the aperture ring in M mode or the A position in Av mode. The error is about 1.5-2 stops at f2.8, about .75 stops at f3.5, a half-stop at f4, fine until f16, then 1 stop at f22. It's the only lens I have that's like this. I'm using Ev comp to make up for it. I don't know whether either issue is typical for all of these lenses.

Even with the drawbacks, I think my Sigma is better than the Zenitar.
02-09-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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I have the 16mm Filtermatic without the "A" setting, it's a great lens IMHO.

Ray
02-09-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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I have the Sigma and it is a very nice lens. Much better than the Zenitar in my view. Never had any problems with mine and with the A setting on the aperture ring, I have had consistent exposure in every exposure mode.

Like most fisheyes, one needs to stop down about 2 stops for best sharpness. Unfortunately on APS-C, the FOV isn't as wide as on 35mm film but it is still wider than a rectilinear lens of similar focal length. However the DOF is pretty wide nonetheless.

I think it is better value than the Zenitar as the A setting allows all exposure modes to be used. The lens has a bayonet construction that separates the lens into 2 to allow removal of the internal 22.5mm filter. This filter is integral to the optical design so one should check that it is present if buying used. There are also a few other screw-in filters and a slip-on lens hood that comes with the lens.

Earlier post with pix about the Sigma 16mm FE:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/16103-sigma-16...atic-lens.html

02-09-2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I have the Sigma and it is a very nice lens. Much better than the Zenitar in my view. Never had any problems with mine and with the A setting on the aperture ring, I have had consistent exposure in every exposure mode...
This confirms my theory that my lens has some mechanical issue. I have looked at it but can't see anything obvious. I hated to make things worse if it was something inherent to the lens.

I didn't get a cap, so I'm using the trick of three 67mm filters as seen in the fisheye thread.
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