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Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS

Reviews Views Date of last review
28 81,580 Thu February 22, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $253.32 8.61
Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS

Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS
Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS


The first version of Samyang's 8mm manual focus Fish-eye lens for the APS-C format. Variants with and without removable hood is said to exist. The lens was sold under various brand names, hereunder Samyang, Vivitar, Bower, Falcon, Rokinon.

This lens is discontinued.

Samyang 8mm F3.5 UMC Fish-eye CS
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
10 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 180 °
Pouch included
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
414 g (14.6 oz.)
Production Years
USD current price
User reviews
Sold under different brand names (Samyang, Vivitar, Bower, Falcon, Rokinon)

With and without detachable hood

Buy Lens: Buy the Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS
In-Depth Review: Read our Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS in-depth review!
Price: $299
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

Add Review of Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS Buy the Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 28

Registered: December, 2016
Location: London
Posts: 1,031
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $135.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built and works pretty well
Cons: Lens cap isn't good. No way to fit filters
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I just got one of these second-hand for my Nikon; it's a variant model aimed primarily at video work and has T-stops and focus and aperture rings geared for mechanical operation, but works pretty well on a still camera. So far I've only been able to test it on a fairly dull day, the results were reasonable but not as good as some I've seen here. I want to take it somewhere that really stretches its capabilities, and I may update this when I do.

I can't say I noticed any significant problems with it - it works, it's not unreasonably heavy or awkward, and it didn't give me any unpleasant surprises apart from the stupid lens cap design. It's a shame that there's no way to fit filters, such as a rear filter similar to those used on some mirror lenses, but I can live without.


Another 50 shots here:
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 32,590

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build-quality, color rendition, flare resistance
Cons: poorly-designed lens cap, minimum focusing distance
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-3, K-50   

my Rokinon 8mm f3.5 AS IF UMC was purchased new from B&H late last year and was viewed as that, a novelty, since I already had the DA10-17 fisheye... so let's see how it fared:

the bad: who designed that lens cap? woefully poor, it is.... does not keep any dust from collecting on the front element (and it LOVES dust - is it statically charged from the factory or does B&H do it before they ship the lens to you?)... that and the poor minimum focussing distance; it's twice the DA10-17's MFD, so isolating anything is a difficult process...

granted, it is a fisheye and the idea is width, distortion, etc.... but I would still have loved the lens even more if the MFD weren't so awfully long...

after those two issues, I have no complaints - it's not difficult lens to work with; the focusing ring is nicely damped, the aperture ring is nice and clicky (although I keep the lens in the 'A' configuration 99.9% of the time), and the lens has a comfortable heft to it...

there is no bokeh to speak of - you didn't expect it from this lens, so there you go... color saturation and rendering are warm and accurate.... reasonably flare-resistant and will produce decent sunbursts if you work at them...

architecture, horizons, leading/converging lines all benefit from this lens' effect, and if there are colors in the shot, this lens will bring them out in great detail...

some of my favorites from this lens:

sunset by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Finn by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Christmas bears by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

fading fall colors by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and my album on flickr for this lens:
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Saskatoon
Posts: 3,068
Lens Review Date: February 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Inexpensive, good colours, flair resistance, it's a fisheye
Cons: Hard to focus closeup, soft wide open, stiff to mount, it's a fisheye
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

This is my first fisheye lens, so I've been learning by experimenting. No complaints about quality, either image or build, this is a solid lens that seems to be as good as it gets for fishy photos. My only complaint about its construction is it is stiff to either mount or dismount from my camera, not so stiff I have to struggle with it, but not as smooth as every other lens I have. Other than objects less than 2 feet from the camera, setting the lens to 3 feet on the distance dial seems to work for everything, which eliminates almost all of the hassle of a manual focus lens. DOF is my friend with this lens, wide open at f3.5 the in focus area isn't deep enough to make the image look sharp. So it could be sharp wider than f7.1, but out of focus areas make the entire image look fuzzy. Fisheye photos seem to need lots of contrast as well as light, but the distortion produced by this lens is surprisingly easy on the eyes. My variant is the Rokinon 8mm FE UMC, with a non-removable hood. Flare resistance isn't as good as the DA 15 Limited, but it is better than the DA 18-135.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 2,407
Lens Review Date: July 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fun shots, sharp enough, good flare resistance
Cons: Focus misalignment, MF (but who cares at this focal length)

A good fun lens and certainly recommended.

Handling and build quality is generally very good but I have down graded my rating because I had focus ring calibration problems, as mentioned by other reviews, (I have not got the adjustment perfect but its now usable). If it was not for that I would have been tempted to give it a 9 to reflect the very high value you get with this lens.

I also have a Sigma 10-20 f3.5, but this lens is lot wider (even after defishing). The Sigma centre sharpness is better at f3.5, but from f5.6 they are very similar.

Sample shots:
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 22,776

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: W-I-D-E views, Depth of Field, Sharpness, Creative Perspective
Cons: Feet in shots by accident; bokeh difficult to achieve, needs f/8 or so to sing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

What a fun lens! The past month was spent using this lens in the Single In group and I loved it. The DA 15 and this lens seem to speak to me - they talk me into shots that I never knew I could do. This lens like the DA 15 is capable of great shots with a wide perspective that have the sun in the frame.

One thing that I noticed was that I used Liveview more than optical. The ability to quickly rotate the camera around and try different viewpoints without having to crane my neck made it more natural than using the optical viewfinder - quite the opposite of most shooting experiences.

Below are a few of my favorites from my month with the lens:

IMGP5172_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP5078_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP4999_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP4984_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP4865_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP4799_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr

IMGP4733_DxO by brad shea, on Flickr
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: quality overall, diaphram selector, flare
Cons: sharp not less than 5.6, aberrations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K500   

Very beautiful fisheye, not so sharp until f/5.6, aberrations tent to be a bit important at corners, great even facing sun
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: cheap, quality
Cons: hood, heavy (for the size)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-7   

Very good lens. Lof of fun and creative pictures. For the price, it's really the best fisheye lens on the market.

Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 30

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap, high-quality, fisheye
Cons: Removable hood is fragile
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony NEX-7, A7II   

I have the Opteka-branded version, which says "6.5mm CS" but is really Samyang's "8mm CSII." Yes, it really was $150 new... the Opteka version is inexplicably cheaper from some vendors than all the other brandings, which is why I don't mind the inaccurate labeling.

On APS-C, this lens easily resolves well enough for 24MP when stopped down a little. On FF, I remove the hood and mount it on a Lens Turbo focal reducer to get a full circular image with over 180 degrees... without the focal reducer, you get a top/bottom clipped circle. IQ is excellent until the (fisheye typical) blue edge. The removable hood that allows the full circles is unfortunately held on by an incredibly tiny bayonet, which feels very fragile and doesn't really go on/off easily; I'm 3D printing a custom lens cover that can pop on/off when the hood is detached....

Flare resistance is quite good, although certainly not perfect. Tends to get one bright spot rather than a complex flare pattern or fogging....

There really isn't just one fisheye projection, but what this lens uses is a little odd. It is nearly, but not quite, stereographic. For the most part, it's a good odd, showing less distortion than you'd expect from a fisheye despite the ultrawide view. However, the projection formula isn't quite a match for any standard fisheye model, so projection changes (e.g., defishing) can be a little more trouble than for some lenses. The projection error when defished is still less than most rectilinear ultrawides can deliver without correction.

Overall, really an excellent and highly versatile fisheye.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: SE Idaho - Rocky Mtns
Posts: 580

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $256.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Value for $, Stereographic projection
Cons: No filters
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

Paris Tabernacle, Paris Idaho February 2015
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 1,612

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, color, DoF, ease of use
Cons: Large, heavy

I have had an incredible, joyous month using the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fish Eye for the Single in January 2015 challenge via PentaxForums. I was terrified to start because I felt kind of held back by preconceived lens positives that the fish eye is the opposite of: distortion 4eva; bokeh not allowed; subject isolation, schmubject schmisolation. HOWEVER, after spending a full month with the lens, I don't really "see" the distortion as much and now I'm terrified to lose the perspective that the fish eye gives me....

Physically, the lens is BIG. It's heavy because of the glass, but the body of the lens is plastic and that really saves it. I have old lenses that are heavier with less glass (because of metal construction). The front element is hugely bulbous and protuberant; I had to be careful and mind the distortion or I would easily touch subjects with the front glass, not knowing I was so close. This hasn't been a big problem for me because I've been using the lens for scenic shots, mostly. The lens comes with a bayonet-mount petal-style hood that I've never removed. The lens cap is a deep plastic saucer that pinches on to the hood and it's very solid and protective, which is important for that front glass. Handling is excellent, well-dampened focus, responsive aperture ring (though I kept it on the A-setting for the month).

It is surprisingly soft at f/3.5 and below 5.6, really. However, because of the nature of the images it produces (180 degree field of vision, distorted in a healthy way), it really didn't draw much critique from me, even when the images were slightly soft or out-of-focus. It was more about the bizarre distortion the lens could produce. The coatings produce excellent color and contrast. The EASIEST way to use the lens was to set it at f/8, focus to infinity (because the depth of field is MAAASSSSIIIVVVVE) and just fire away, Av mode-style. Shake reduction is very effective, and coupled with the very short focal length of the lens, I took shots at 1/4s that I considered tolerable, if not ideal.

There is a slight amount of chromatic aberration/fringing, particularly at the edges of the frame. Ticking a box in Lightroom eliminates this defect from the images.

In post-processing, I did boost the saturation almost every time and almost always pulled the contrast back. Because the lens captures a HUGE scene (180 degrees, remember!), you're going to challenge your dynamic range savior skills in post. You're going to either have the sun, or you're going to have shadows. Often times, both. It was a challenge to create a natural-looking image without that flattened, overdone HDR look. (I didn't actually make any multiple exposure HDR images - all images were one exposure.) I ended up having to get more creative with using masks/brushes on certain areas. I found it best to underexpose the image generally, then compensate for shadows during processing.

The on-body flash is unusable because of shadows, but I did play around with bouncing a flash and it worked alright. It should be noted, my flash skills are still in swaddling clothes, and that's being generous.

Composing the scene properly is imperative. Any line that crosses the center will be straight, and that's a good place to start. I've also found it's better to get either low, or square to the subject, but this is mostly because you want to keep your toes (and coat sleeve cuffs, and elbows, and long hair) out of the frame.

All-in-all, I'm really glad I challenged myself with this lens. You can create images that are so dramatic and exciting, and you can't made them with any other lens. This is a lens that is probably always going to be in my bag, no matter what else is on my camera. It just does things that no other lens can do. I'm a zealous fanatic!

Check out my Flickr album with images from this lens!
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 12,285

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Inexpensive, Good IQ, Very Solid Build, A setting
Cons: Doesn't take filters
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5iis & K-01   

This review is on the Bower older version with the non-removeable "hood".

After trying out the 03 Fisheye on my Q and really enjoying it I decided to try a fisheye for my main camera. After looking and knowing that it would be an occasional use lens and therefore not something I wanted to sink a lot of money into I decided on the Samyang 8mm. Found a good sale at Buydig and got the Bower branded version (they're all the same).

Wow, this lens has the build feel of the older SMC lenses in the M and Tak lines. Solid feel, well dampened throw, clean markings for the aperture ring and the focus ring, definite feel to each click of the aperture ring, just solid mechanically all around.

Depth of field makes focus relatively easy on this 8mm lens. Colors and saturation are excellent. Its got a 360 view but because it has a near stereographic projection distorts less at the edges thereby giving a more recognizable image IMHO.

I'm not convinced that it's as soft as the comparison review indicates but for the price its a very solid addition to a kit if you want to try out fisheye photos.
New Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Rome (Italy)
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very nice projection, sharp, good CA control
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5II   

This is my first fish-eye lens and I am very happy with it !
I wanted to try this Samyang MF lens and I have to say that it's a big value for the money, very high quality/price ratio.

The 8mm focal length is really nice and funny, but also very useful and effective in terms of photographic composition and it gives you great opportunity in architectural and landscape photography.

This lens has a very good performance in terms of sharpness, even wide open, and a good control of flares and CA.
I personally compared this lens with Pentax 10-17mm fisheye and I must say that I prefer the Samyang by far, expecially for it very well controlled purple fringing !

look at this shot with the sun in it !
(it needed just a little post processing correction for a flare and little purple fringing at extreme borders)
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Posts: 27

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: wider than the DA10-17, cheaper, better projection, fullframe, CA control
Cons: QC issues - offset distance scale, vignetting, poor contrast, colours and resolution at F3.5
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 9   

I started fishing with the Samyang some time ago. After pixel peeping other lenses, I became less satisfied with the Samyang’s IQ wide open as well as at low light. Hence I focused on the Pentax DA 10-17 as an alternative. I hardly found any comparative review between the two, so I find me providing one here.

Here are my findings:
  • range as a fish-eye: + 1 for Samyang
  • variability: +1 for Pentax
  • resolution @3.5: +2 for Pentax
  • resolution @8: deuce
  • contrast and colours: +2 for Pentax
  • vignetting: +1 for Pentax
  • aberations: +1 for Samyang
  • build quality: +1 for Pentax
  • Price-Value: +1 for Samyang

Pentax wins for the better IQ. See a comparing sample from the backyards.

Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 440
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: stereographic projection, value
Cons: need to adjust infinity stop
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

The Sammyang 8mm (and it's rebadged variants) has a near stereographic projection which means there's a lot less "squeezing/compressing" near the edges. This makes it much more useful for defishing and composition and 360 VR panoramas. It's a lil soft at 3.5, best shoot at 5.6 or 8! For the price, it's a no-brainer!

Note: There are two versions out there. The older ones have a non-removable permanent hood. The newer version comes with a detachable hood. AFAIK they are identical otherwise! (There's also yet another version with aperture de-clicked for filming/video).

The "projection" math involved is quite interesting .. for those interested::
Stereographic Projection -- from Wolfram MathWorld
Stereographic projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 432
Lens Review Date: December 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Too much to mention..
Cons: Cheap front cap, non removable hood.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

The 8mm fisheye from Samyang is a smashing little lens, despite its massive angle of view it handles flare well, produces nice sharp images and the shape of the distortion is even desirable. Great lens.
Add Review of Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS Buy the Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye CS

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