Nikon Fisheye 16mm Lens Review

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I like the Nikon 16mm lens. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s also the best one to get for full-frame cameras (or if you plan on going in that direction).

Nikon Fisheye Lens Review

Like my other reviews, this is a “living” review. I’ll come back from time to time to update it! I haven’t been using this lens as long as my Nikon 14-24mm (see my Nikon 14-24mm Lens Review), but I am feeling a bit more experienced with it now.

I rented one many years ago and I did not like it. I think it is because I used it for family photos on a strange trip, and I just, well, didn’t like it! That kind of stuck with me until a trip to France where I borrowed Tom’s. We were in tight architecture situations, and I was so impressed that I had to get it on my camera!

It seems to work best when there is just A LOT to capture in a scene, and traditional wide angle just can’t cut it. You can see some of these examples below.

One great thing about the lens is how TINY it is. You can throw it in your bag and it hardly even counts as another lens. With my other lenses, there is always a decision process in place! But with this little fisheye, it’s basically an afterthought. It’s about 1/4 the size of my hulking 14-24!

Sample Fisheye Photos

Here are many sample photos. You may also want to look at the LAST TWO in the series, where I compare side-by-side with the NIkon 14-24mm.

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The Horse in Paradise Tom and I just took a drive out to Paradise, NZ (Yes, this is a real place!), just beyond Glenorchy. Along the way, we saw all kinds of amazing landscapes and dramatic animals. Here’s one of the dramatic horses, striking a pose!I used one of my Lightroom Presets (new store link) to make this image… this one is an HDR-in-Lightroom setting called “Drama in the Center”!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Wolfman Violinith Here’s my favorite photo from the Austin Photowalk … one of the many street performers howls into the streetlight moon… - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The seedy part of Tokyo Well, it’s not that seedy. I mean, it’s not dangerous. Maybe if you stay till the wee hours of the morning things might get crazy, but I don’t think so. Despite all the houses of ill-repute, there were still a ton of people walking around… all types, all ages, and everything in between.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

This show from Tokyo has the lens correction adjustment to make it looks more normal. I think it looks pretty good, but you can see some CA in the corners. This bothers some people a lot — but not me. Who looks at photos at 100%? Hardly anybody… just mega-camera-nerds.

HDR Photo

The Nikon Fisheye grabs everything and more. I was quite impressed at how the Christmas Tree does not look warped and still maintains its triangular shape. BTW, I don’t love the processing I did on this one… I’ll work on another one… ignore the processing, but you can just look at how much of the scene it grabs.

 

HDR Photo

This is the same basic shot, just with the Nikon 14-24mm instead. See more in my Nikon 14-24mm Review here on the site.
  • Scott Starks

    I’ve been thinking about getting a fisheye lens so this is great timing. Do you have any samples of the 16mm on a DX body? I have both a DX an FX body so ideally I could use it on both.

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Is the 14-24 shot at 14mm? How is the 16mm wider than the 14mm?

  • Scott Starks

    I think it is the shape of the 16mm. It captures a greater field of view, but at a lower level of detail since it is projected on the same size sensor.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Yes – it was at 14mm Mike

  • http://www.davewilsonphotography.com Dave Wilson

    I’m a huge fan of Nikon glass and most of my lenses are from Nikon. In this case, though, while I’m sure the 16mm is amazing, I would encourage people to take a look at the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. It’s significantly cheaper but extremely sharp and I absolutely love it. While I’ve had mixed experiences with Sigma lenses in the past, this one is definitely a winner. My only minor complaint is that it does have noticeable chromatic aberration towards the edges of the frame but this is a one-click fix in Lightroom and is no worse than any other third-party lens I’ve used in the past.

  • Silvia Bernard

    Imágenes maravillosas!!!

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    I still don’t understand why. Doesn’t the focal length tell you how much of the scene you are taking in? One would assume that 14mm would show you more than 16mm no? When I zoom my 14-24 I can see less ‘stuff’ at 24mm than I can at 14mm, why is the fisheye different?

  • http://scottstarksphotography.com/ Scott Starks

    Mike, let me try to explain it this way:

    * The 14-24mm is like your monitor in that it views the world as a flat rectangle. You zoom it, it is just a closer view on that flat rectangle
    * Now for the fisheye, take a piece of paper and place its long edge on the table and create a slight curve. If you were to place a lego on the table so that is on the “inside” of that curve. Not only can it see in front of itself, it can see the left and right edges which represents the scene as if you were to turn your head left or right. The fisheye can “see” all of this

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