There is no doubt that the Sony a6000 and the rest of the mirrorless cameras in the Sony Alpha range are some of the most popular camera bodies out there. Not only do they have a massive share of the market but over the years, they have managed to earn an excellent reputation for themselves. Due to having such a large customer base of photographers, videographers, and vloggers, we often see people reaching out for assistance with various questions based around different accessories for the Sony a6000.
After seeing a steady stream of people reaching out for advice on fisheye lenses for the a6000, we have decided to make it the subject of today’s article. We are hoping that our article will be able to help any of our readers who own the Sony a6000 or any other camera bodies from the Sony Alpha range and are looking to add a fisheye lens to their collection of camera accessories.
Fisheye photography is increasing in popularity due to it allowing you to capture your subject or location with the unique fisheye feel. If you are a professional-level photographer then adding a fisheye lens to your collection expands the services you can offer your clients, if you are a vlogger or social media influencer then you can use it to try and help your content stand out from the competition.
That said, when it comes to the best fisheye lens for Sony a6000 we feel that the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 that can sometimes be seen under the Samyang branding is far out ahead of the competition. Any of our regular readers may know that we are massive fans of the Rokinon lens range and actually feel that their lineup is underrated.
Their 8mm fisheye lens is perfect for your Sony a6000 and has managed to grow a massive customer base for itself since its release. With the lens having such a large customer base as well as offering some of the best fisheye performance out there, it is not surprising that it has managed to earn itself an outstanding reputation with photographers that just keeps getting better as time goes on.
That said, if you are on a tight budget or just looking to try your hand at fisheye photography as more of a hobby then the Meike 6.5 mm f/2.0 can offer some solid fisheye performance with a lower price tag. Although the Rokinon is much better for professional-level gigs, the Meike has a decent reputation but does have some slight issues with chromatic aberration that holds it back.
Also, before going any further into our review, we just want to point out that there are two variants of the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 on the market that come with the Sony E mount. The first generation lens is solid and offers some great image quality but still retails for the same price as the second-generation variant of the lens. All links on this page will take you to the second generation of the lens with the improved optics and better build quality. If you do choose to pick the Rokinon 8mm from a local retailer then be sure to confirm that you are getting the second generation of the lens.
Performance And Functionality
The lens has a minimum focusing distance of one foot meaning that you shouldn’t have any problems when using the lens either. Due to the nature of fisheye photography, you rarely want the main subject of your photography close to your camera as you want as much of the background and surroundings in the frame as possible. This means that although the minimum focal distance is a little larger than normal, it does not matter due to the primary usage of the lens being fisheye photography.
On top of this, the sample photographs above serve as an excellent example of how the Rokinon 8mm is able to capture bright, mixed colors in the same image with ease. As we touched on earlier with our a budget-friendly recommendation for a fisheye lens for your Sony a6000, the Meike 6.5 mm, some cheaper fisheye lenses can have issues with both chromatic aberration as well as accurately capturing the colors correctly while providing the fisheye effect.
Thankfully, this is not a problem for the Rokinon 8mm and it captures everything as you see it in the sharpest possible detail. This makes the lens ideal for use in a large number of niches where that fisheye lens effect can be used to add that extra layer of depth to help add some additional excitement to the photograph. It is just as useful for wedding photography as it is for a street art photographer and everything in between.
As you can see from the sample photograph, the lens is absolutely excellent at capturing long exposures of the sky at night, star trails, and various other astrophotography tasks too. Although you may never use the lens in this capacity, we just wanted to point out that the functionality and excellent performance is there on the off chance you find yourself in a situation where you can take advantage of it.
One thing that we would like to point out is that the Rokinon 8mm does not have any form of built-in image stabilization technology at all. Although this should not be an issue if you are only wanting to use the lens for photography with your Sony a6000, this can be an issue if you want to use it for videography without a tripod. That said though, there are plenty of excellent gimbals that are suitable for the Sony a6000 including the Zhiyun Weebill S. We have a dedicated article going onto the best gimbals for the a6000 that may be helpful if you are looking to purchase a gimbal for your camera too.
Although the Rokinon 8mm may be a little pricey depending on what you need your fisheye lens for, we feel that it does offer some of the best fisheye image quality available for the Sony a6000. It is not surprising that the lens has managed to become so popular so quickly within the community and earn so many great third-party reviews from other photographers who use it as their go-to fisheye lens of choice.
User Interface And Control System
The manual aperture control is also extremely easy to adjust as required to allow you to tweak the aperture settings of your lens as required to meet the needs of your session. If you have only just purchased your a6000 after coming from using smartphones, action cameras, or point and shoot cameras and have never used a detachable lens before, the whole process is extremely simple and the lens is as easy to control as it possibly could be. We are confident that anyway who can operate the a6000 will be able to quickly pick up the simple system that Rokinon uses to get optimal image quality quickly.
All in all, Rokinon has done an excellent job of putting the 8mm f/2.8 together and making the interface as simple and straight forward as possible. It performs flawlessly and when rotating the manual rings does not stick or jam-like some of the lower price point fisheye lenses on the market can.
Build Quality And Design
The lens is constructed of eleven individual elements separated into eight different groups to ensure that the user gets the best possible image quality in all possible conditions. The lens mount is made from cast metal rather than plastic like many of the cheaper fisheye lenses that can warp in shape and end up causing issues with the mount on your a6000 too. Thankfully, due to using cast metal, the mount on the Rokinon 8mm will hold its shape and not cause you any problems with your mount on your actual camera body either.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best fisheye lens for Sony a6000 cameras to a close. We really do feel that the Rokinon 8mm F2.8 is the best option available at the time of writing and with its excellent performance and large customer base, we doubt that this is going to change anytime soon. There are a ton of dedicated reviews of the lens online that have been posted by independent photographers that you can read if you want some third-party opinions on it too.
As we said back at the start of the article though, if you are on a tight budget then the Meike 6.5 mm f/2.0 can perform well and capture some solid fisheye photographs from your Sony a6000. It is a much cheaper option but like we said, it can have some issues with chromatic aberration as well as a few other things too. The Meike 6.5 mm also has a few independent reviews online where you can get some independent insight into the performance of the lens too.
Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
m01229 – Times Square in Fisheye – https://flic.kr/p/dEi73L
Michael Seeley – Perseid Meteor Shower and star trails – 2016 – https://flic.kr/p/KYgc68