I was pretty bummed that I had finally saved enough cash to get the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens, but then had to spend the money to fix some plumbing issues at our house. After much grumbling, I feel better about the way it turned out. I’ve been dying to use anything other than my 50mm f/1.4 lens just to use something different or to have another option. I decided I wanted a fisheye.
I’ve played with a fisheye once before…I rented Nikons 16mm f/2.8 full frame fisheye to use for my final project in my black and white film photography class. It was pretty cool, but that lens on my D80 doesn’t work well since my D80 has a DX sensor and not an FX sensor. Nikon makes a 10.5mm DX fisheye lens that runs about $600 or so. Since I’m planning on upgrading from a DX sensor to an FX sensor at some point in the future (probably when the next generation of the D700 hits the market), I didn’t want to invest too heavily in a DX lens.
I was contemplating just getting the 16mm FX fisheye ($1k) and dealing with it, but that wouldn’t really do for me what I ultimately wanted it to do, but I couldn’t justify $600 on the DX lens. I chatted with one of the guys I know who does a fair amount of work with a fisheye lens to see what he was using. He’s using a Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens. It’s a completely manual lens….no auto focus, have to manually set aperture, etc. The lens is a DX lens, not an FX lens, so I was a little bummed out until I saw the price. It was only $300. He’s a Canon shooter, so I looked to see if they had a Nikon mount lens and they did. I ordered one up and it arrived yesterday.
I did find one severe downfall with the lens…my camera(D80) won’t meter with the lens. This is a problem because now I have to guess exposures. This isn’t actually as bad as it seems because there are a lot of tools built into cameras these days to help you out like the LCD screen and the RGB histograms. Another useful tool is the exposure calculator built into my head….the Sunny 16 exposure calculator is a good place to start to guesstimate an exposure.
I popped a few test exposures yesterday around the office, on the way to lunch, inside a restaurant, and inside our dimly lit house at night. I found that with a little math, I was able to determine a good base exposure and then fine tune via the LCD and histograms.
I’m planning a trip to the Salton Sea on Sunday…I’m looking forward to putting this lens through its paces.