Does anyone have any experience of the Nikkor 10.5mm DX Fisheye. I do a lot of travelling around various castles, monuments and stately homes for English Heritage. I have a Nikkor 12-24mm but would think that the Fisheye would get some very interesting exterior and interior shots. I also visit a lot of city centres and feel once again that this lens may be very useful. As always the views of any Nikonians would be greatly appreciated.
I have had mine for about three years. I am not sure what I can tell you.
The lens has its place, particularly if you use it in its native unprocessed mode and of course it has a tendency to be a bit gimmicky. Capture NX will straighten out the fish eye effect if that is your desire.
I have been happy with the results. Mrs. Bodger hates it, what can I say? Which is fine 'cause then she won't borrow it.
Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity. - Edwin H. Land
If you want to do architecture without distortion, then you basically need to use either tilt shift lenses, panoramic equipment and stitching software, or the 14-24/2.8.
The 10.5 DX works fine on DX, and is great for creative imaging.
I sawed off the lens hood and use it on the D3 in FX mode giving an almost circular 202 degree angle of view (it can see behind itself) with the top and bottom of the circle cut off.
Lots of fun to shoot with.
The 12-24/4 DX can be used on FX without vignette as wide as 18mm. On DX, it is the equivalent of the 17-35/2.8 on FX. Either can be used for interiors on their respective formats with less distortion than the 10.5 DX
I'm quite happy with mine, as its a very sharp lens, focuses so close you can practically touch the subject with the front element, and is small enough that you can sneak it on you whether or not you think you'll need it.
Of course, its definitely not something I'd use for any sort of general shots. Its mainly useful for interesting creative shots. I've also found that cropping the photos can help quite a bit too. (though I never do the de-fisheye in Capture NX)
I don't know what it is (maybe it was something I did), but I tried two copies of this lens and returned them both. Both copies were very soft. My 18-55 kit lens was much sharper in every comparison I did. I do suspect that I may have a quite sharp copy of the 18-55 (it was on par with the 17-55 and appears to be sharper than my sigma 10-20), but it was sharper than the 10.5 by a WIDE margin.
That being said, I would have probably kept the fisheye if it didn't cost 600 bucks.
I am hoping a comparable but cheaper third party ~10.5mm fisheye emerges in the next year. It looks to me like the market is definitely there. I haven't checked in a while but I don't remember seeing a third party that was around 10mm (which I think is a great focal length for a fisheye on a DX sensor).
Thank you Simon, lots of good advice and info. As usual Nikonians at hand to help. It looks a very good lens and all reviews are favourable. I have ordered it and the best price I can get it for in the UK is about $740. Everthing in the UK is pricier than elsewhere it seems. Anyway thanks to everyone for the advice!
Sigma make a 10/f2.8 HSM rectangular fisheye. It's a little less expensive than the Nikkor, but not much.
But Kirk, something is wrong - you've had several lenses that aren't as sharp as normal. The 10.5mm is killer sharp even wide open, and I've seen/used more than one copy other than my own. My experience of this lens is that it's sufficiently sharp that no other lens should beat it by a wide margin.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
yeah, you're probably right. I posted after the first copy and got some advice. followed that advice. But in the end, it didn't make any difference. Going on sharpness alone, I could immediately tell which shots were from the 10.5 and which were from my kit lens. The sigma 10-20 was also substantially sharper.
I did a variety of tests, mostly at apertures between 7 and 11. One test that i remember was focusing on a sharply defined tree on the horizon in the distance. Magnifying the image afterwards, the tree was very blurry from the 10.5 but still quite sharp with teh other two lenses. But it wasnt just shapes in the distance that were soft, however--the 10.5 shots looked softer all around (to a degree that I would not accept for a $600 price tag), and it was noticeable without magnifying the image. In the end, I just gave up and sent back the second copy.
I've had mine for a couple of years. It doesn't get a lot of use (especially since I bought a 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor), but if I had to use three words to describe it they would be "fun, fun, fun." High quality construction, excellent sharpness, close focusing. Most importantly, if you ever get a creative block because you can't find anything new to shoot, just put this on your camera and the whole world seems new again.
Here is a picture from a photo series I took of our county couthouse rotunda/cupola in Luzerne County, Pa. New nikon 1.4 Fisheye lens mounted on giotto tripod, camera flush to floor looking up at center of rotunda.
Image 3 was cropped from image 2 and you can see how sharp the image remained. Shot with D200, manual settings. Used mirror up and shutter release cable.