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Full frame fish-eye


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#1 AndreaS73

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

Hello everyone, I've to decide witch fish-eye lens buy and appreciate an advice...Nikon 16mm f2,8 for ~980 or Sigma 15mm f2,8 for ~660 ?The quality of the Nikon justifies the different cost?ThanksAndrea

#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

Most people would favour the Sigma, even if the prices are the same. I don't believe the Nikon is worth more based on performance.

Surely you can find better prices than those in the UE. I bought my Sigma 15mm for 250 USD on Wetpixel six years ago.

Alex

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#3 yuesir

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:36 PM

Hello everyone, I've to decide witch fish-eye lens buy and appreciate an advice...Nikon 16mm f2,8 for ~980€ or Sigma 15mm f2,8 for ~660€ ?The quality of the Nikon justifies the different cost?ThanksAndrea

It's really a hard choice to make but Nikon is not worth buying for its performance ! I suggest you gather more information before you make your final decision! you can check out amazon!
you can also find the one which I am using now from tinydeal:http://www.tinydeal....n--p-47645.html

Edited by yuesir, 22 May 2012 - 11:36 PM.


#4 Udo van Dongen

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:39 PM

Hello everyone, I've to decide witch fish-eye lens buy and appreciate an advice...Nikon 16mm f2,8 for ~980 or Sigma 15mm f2,8 for ~660 ?The quality of the Nikon justifies the different cost?ThanksAndrea


I had to buy an FX fisheye too and i decided to get the Sigma. Mainly because of it ability to focus very close (15 vs. 25 cm). BTW, in the Netherlands the price difference is a lot less: 729,- for the Nikon and 569 for the Sigma. Probably i'll have to dremel off part of the large sunshades of the Sigma, in order to make it fit in a minidome.

Udo

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#5 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

On film I always used the Nikon 16mm FE (then went to digital DX Nikons), but when I first started shooting FX Nikons, first with the D3 and then D700 as my main camera I used the Sigma 15mm most. But in the last few years I have been using the Nikon 16mm more - I think because I have noticed things it does slightly better. However if I didn't own both I'd have never have noticed. I always choose the Sigma if close focus is important, but for wrecks and big scenes (e.g. Iceland) I tend to use the Nikon.

Looking at my Lightroom Catalogue of "keepers" and comparing the percentage between the two fisheyes is interesting. In the first years of FX I used the Sigma most, but the percentage has reduced consistently over time, partly driven by what I have been shooting too and a move away from CFWA to more standard WA. But I find the trend interesting and worth sharing.

Percentages of use of two fisheyes (judged from images kept, not taken)

All years shooting FX: Sigma 15mm 57%, Nikon 16mm 43%

2008 (D3 mainly): Sigma 15mm 84%, Nikon 16mm 16%
2009 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 72%, Nikon 16mm 28%
2010 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 66%, Nikon 16mm 34%
2011 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 38%, Nikon 16mm 62%
2012 (D700/D4): Sigma 15mm 11%, Nikon 16mm 89% - data unreliable as only 4 trips so far and not yet edited.

I post this for interest, really. Buy the Sigma! Just perhaps not in Italy.

Alex

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#6 AndreaS73

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:59 AM

Thank you very much for your advice, I've made up my mind, I'll go with Sigma....ByeAndrea

On film I always used the Nikon 16mm FE (then went to digital DX Nikons), but when I first started shooting FX Nikons, first with the D3 and then D700 as my main camera I used the Sigma 15mm most. But in the last few years I have been using the Nikon 16mm more - I think because I have noticed things it does slightly better. However if I didn't own both I'd have never have noticed. I always choose the Sigma if close focus is important, but for wrecks and big scenes (e.g. Iceland) I tend to use the Nikon.

Looking at my Lightroom Catalogue of "keepers" and comparing the percentage between the two fisheyes is interesting. In the first years of FX I used the Sigma most, but the percentage has reduced consistently over time, partly driven by what I have been shooting too and a move away from CFWA to more standard WA. But I find the trend interesting and worth sharing.

Percentages of use of two fisheyes (judged from images kept, not taken)

All years shooting FX: Sigma 15mm 57%, Nikon 16mm 43%

2008 (D3 mainly): Sigma 15mm 84%, Nikon 16mm 16%
2009 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 72%, Nikon 16mm 28%
2010 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 66%, Nikon 16mm 34%
2011 (D700 mainly): Sigma 15mm 38%, Nikon 16mm 62%
2012 (D700/D4): Sigma 15mm 11%, Nikon 16mm 89% - data unreliable as only 4 trips so far and not yet edited.

I post this for interest, really. Buy the Sigma! Just perhaps not in Italy.

Alex



#7 Rui_Guerra

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:35 AM

On film I always used the Nikon 16mm FE (then went to digital DX Nikons), but when I first started shooting FX Nikons, first with the D3 and then D700 as my main camera I used the Sigma 15mm most. But in the last few years I have been using the Nikon 16mm more - I think because I have noticed things it does slightly better. However if I didn't own both I'd have never have noticed. I always choose the Sigma if close focus is important, but for wrecks and big scenes (e.g. Iceland) I tend to use the Nikon.

(...)
Alex


Alex, can you specify witch "things it does slightly better"?
Thanks!

Cheers,
Rui Guerra
Underwater Photography
http://www.photoguerra.net

#8 Udo van Dongen

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:07 AM

Alex, can you specify witch "things it does slightly better"?
Thanks!

Cheers,


Hi Rui,

I can imagine two things that are not so good about the Sigma. First of all, i think the lens is physically too flat, so it's almost impossible to use domeports of other brands becasue then you need an adapter, which brings the port further away from your housing and then you'll see corners of the port in your image (like with the Ikelite combination which is discusses in this thread). I would like to use my 8.5" dome from Nauticam on my Hugy with this lens but it's not possible, unless i decide that cropping/cloning is not a problem.

Second issue with this lens is, that it's supposed to be more sensitive to lens flares then the Nikon, but i don't own the Nikon.

And in general, with Sigma lenses you can be unlucky with the copy you buy. Apparently their quality margins are larger then Nikon's. And furthermore the built quality of Nikons is better.
About optical quality: i think my Sigma is a very sharp lens and as you know i can focus very close. If the closest focus of the Nikon was the same, for sure i would have bought the Nikon.

best, udo

www.udovandongen.com
Nikon D800, D800E, Hugyfot housing, 15 mm fisheye, 16-35 mm WA, 105mm VR Macro, 60 mm Macro, Subsee +5 an +10 wet diopters, Inon Z-240 strobes (3x), Inon float arms, Nauticam armclamps, Bigblue and Inon focus lights.

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#9 John Bantin

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:17 AM

I bought the Nikon and wasted a lot of money trading it for the Sigma. Close focussing. It was the same with the Nikon 10.5 on DX.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#10 Rui_Guerra

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:48 AM

Hi Udo, how are you?

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I've read that with some housings/domes combination it's not possible to use the Sigma 15mm FE. But as John sad, it's close focusing capability is really very tempting and it will be a big advantage in underwater. I've looked at the MTF curves of both Sigma and Nikon and they are very similar, confirming the very good performance feedback that users like you gave.

I've switched from a Subal with a Nikon D300 to a Subal with a D800 (although the housing haven't arrived yet), so I already sold my Tokina 10-17, because it wasn't sharp enough for the D800. But it's close focus ability is amazing and I wish to maintain that close focusing ability with the D800 housing, with corner to corner coverage and sharpness.

That's why I'm considering the Sigma lens. I'll keep the Nikon 10.5 and maybe I'll shave the hood to get a circular fisheye effect in the D800.

Anyway, I'm still very curious about Alex's coments that the Nikon does something beter then the Sigma...

Cheers,
Rui Guerra
Underwater Photography
http://www.photoguerra.net

#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:58 PM

Hi Rui,

The Nikon is much better at resisting flare. So I use it for wide angle when I am likely to shoot with the sun in the frame a lot. Such as on a Red Sea trip. I also favour the Nikon 16mm for wreck shots because of the ease of adding filters. I tend to also use the 16mm for big animal shooting, as this tends to be snorkelling, and while I am very good at constantly wiping the bubbles from my dome, the poor minimum focus of the 16mm means that it is not distracted by bubbles or dust in the dome. Also helpful when shooting into the sun and these things are more likely to upset the AF.

The Sigma focuses much closer. If you use a big dome (220mm+) this is less of an issue, because the lack of close focus is less problematic with the Nikon 16mm (because the virtual image of the dome is further away and because the minimum useful working distance with a big dome is first restricted by lighting, rather than min focus distance).

But as soon as you switch to a smaller dome, the Sigma starts to show its advantages. Even in Subal's standard 8" dome, you really can do so much more with the Sigma. And if you want to use a small dome <120mm then the Nikon is a complete waste of time. Even on a teleconverter. The lens won't focus on the virtual image of any subject close than about 50cm! It is comical! The Sigma is great, although needs to be stopped down quite a bit on the D800 in a very small dome (see my examples in the Nikon D800 review thread).

If you just want one lens, then I'd get the Sigma 15mm, as I think the close focus is more useful more of the time than the less obvious advantages of the Nikon 16mm. I have just expanded on those here as it was the topic at hand. Both lenses perform well on the D800.

The hope is that Nikon will produce a high quality replacement for the 16mm soon. Optically it is way better than the Tokina 10-17mm, but inferior to the Nikon 10.5mm. I want this much more than I want Tokina to make an FX fisheye zoom.

Alex

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#12 Rui_Guerra

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply and sorry for this late response of mine.
In fact I own already the Nikon 16 mm for a long time now, and even in the time of film cameras (yes, I'm that old :-)) I did struggle from time to time (quite often, to be honest) with it's poor close focus capability, with the Subal 8" dome. Many times I have found myself switching for the 20mm in order to fill the frame with smaller subjects (although loosing the fisheye effect in the process). When the 10.5 mm appeared, what a relief it was!

Yes, I do agree that a Nikon replacement for the 16 mm with better performance and very close focus ability will be very welcome to use with the mini-dome. Meanwhile, I guess the 15 mm Sigma is the answer for those situations.

All the best,
Rui
Rui Guerra
Underwater Photography
http://www.photoguerra.net