October 17, 2009
The Nikon 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Nikkor is a full frame fisheye. Which gives you a diagonally view of 180° on film, or on a FX sized Dslr. Full frame means that the image covers the whole frame, not like the circular fisheye that gives you a circular image(see sample images on the 8mm Fisheye-Nikkor). On a DX sized Dslr the equivalent focal length is 24mm(16mmx1.5). The lens projects a much wider angle then a normal 24mm would(84°). The AF Fisheye-Nikkor have been in Nikon's lens line-up since 1993. Even though this lens has been in Nikon's line-up since 1993 the lens can be quite hard to get a hold of, and it's frequently on back order in most stores. If you are serious about snow/skate photography a fisheye lens is a must to have. The lens features Nikon's CRC (Close Range Correction) and a rear bayonet filter system. Do note that without a rear filter this lens will not focus to infinity!
|| 8 elements in 5 groups
||180° 35mm/FX / 107° DX
|Minimum focus distance:
|| 0.25m/ 0.85 ft.
||Rear attachment bayonet type
||Slip-on lens cap
Rear lens cap LF-1
Bayonet filters: L37C, A2, B2, O56
63×57mm / 2.5x2.2 in
||290g / 0.63 lb
|| 7 straight blades
- Contrast is really impressive at f/2.8, pretty much as good as it gets.
- Sharpness. Wide open center sharpness is outstanding, corners are not though, not un till you hit f/8, you probably want to stop down to f/11 if you want absolute corner performance on it.
- Build quality.
- DOF/IR markings. Lens comes with both Depth Of Field markings and a Infrared compensation mark.
- IR performance. No hot-spot is detectable at any aperture, and pictures are sharp from f/2.8 and all the way out!
- Size. Small and compact.
- Ghosting/Flare, this lens handles this extremely well as long as the front element is kept extremely clean.
- CA, used in the worst of lighting conditions the lens can show some CA from f/2.8 to f/11. In most scenarios this will not show at all, not even on f/2.8
- Plastic Slip-on lens cap. I prefer the old one they had on the manual focus 16mm f/2.8 version. The plastic one doesn't really sit that well at all.
- Vignetting/Light fall-off. On the D3 this lens shows a bit of vignetting wide open, and to f/5.6. It never bothered me to the extent that I don't use it at f/2.8, both on film as well as on Digital. Vignetting in lenses comes down to taste, so I did not down rate the lens for vignetting.
The Nikon 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Nikkor is definitely a good upgrade over the manual focus version. Sweet-spot of the lens is from f/8-f/16 in the worst case scenarios, or if you want perfection. In normal shooting conditions the sweet-spot is f/4-f/16. My main complaint is the CA and corner performance. Corner performance is not an easy task to construct on a lens this wide, thus I didn't downgrade the performance that much. It's mostly the CA that caused this lens to have a 4/5 on the performance. Still this is a lens I will never part with, and it's always in my bag. The CA is not that problematic to get around in post processing. Diffraction starts kicking in on f/16 on the D3, not really a problem until f/22 on-screen, sharpened picture in capture NX2 (+8 sharpening in picture control) printed out on 13x19in paper looks very nice.
DX: The problem in my opinion using this lens on a DX sized Dslr is that you have very bad distortion and the lens isn't that wide. If you use a DX sized Dslr then get a DX fisheye instead. Unless you are thinking of upgrading to a FX sized Nikon Dslr in the near future.
Tip: Without the rear filter this lens will not focus to infinity. Without the rear filter you can decrease the close focusing on the lens, and get some improved sharpness on close focus as well.
Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D
Purchasing items through these links helps me adding more content to this website. The links takes you to B&H's website, which is my recommended store to get equipment from. I've used B&H personally since 2005, and I get all my equipment from them these days. Thanks for your support, Fredrik.
Sigma AF 15mm fisheye f/2.8 EX DG Price: $609.00 USD
Sigma Circular Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Price: $899.00 USD
Bower 8mm f/3.5 FISHEYE Price: $349.00 USD
Vivitar 7mm f/3.5 Series 1 Fisheye Price: $359.95 USD
Tokina Fisheye 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX. From: $579.95 USD
Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye. From: $624.95 USD
Sigma Circular Fisheye 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Price: $999.00 USD
*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from October 28, 2010
Images have been imported to photoshop CS4 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.