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  1. #1
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Question Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    I came across a new and relatively low cost fisheye lens, while searching through B&H Video's selection of goodies for the Alpha-mount.

    The BOWER MF 8mm f/3.5 "Fisheye"

    Name:  BOWER 8mm f35 fisheye.jpg
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    An interesting lens, in the sense that it goes almost straight to infinity focus after the subject gets to ten-feet. Viewing angle on APC-S sensor equals an astounding 180-degrees!

    All Manual (focus and aperture (3.5-22) with NO electronic connection at all.

    Name:  BOWER 8mm mount shot.jpg
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    For $349 ... it is a low cost entry into the "ALL or NOTHING" photography aspect. Could be a fun lens for a party or one heck of a tight room.

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-samyang-8mm-f35.jpg
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member LightBright's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    I was thinking about bower lenses for a cheep alternative. Always wanted to try a fish eye but was put off by there high prices. Love the manual controls on this one
    -
    Please do not take my photo's. Thank you
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  3. #3
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Well, the beauty of an 8mm, is that it is really hard to screw up a focus with INFINITE Depth of Field. LOL

    So, MF is one thing that work wells ... and AF is kind of silly.

    On a longer lens, that is entirely different.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
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  4. #4
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Smile Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    I have ordered up the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "Fisheye" and should have it shortly. After following the reviews and asking around, it seems to be a competent lens. But, as always, the proof is in the doing ... and that gets done, soon, hopefully. :thumbsup:
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
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  5. #5
    Senior Member LightBright's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Looking forward to your review
    -
    Please do not take my photo's. Thank you
    www.SammySoliman.Smugmug.com

  6. #6
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Cool The Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye" initial sample

    I received it, today, and 8mm offers a view you just cannot get from much of anything else!

    I HDR'd this image, because the shadows were really intense, under the bright sunshine, but you still get an idea of the image

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-8mm-example-1_hdr2.jpg

    Note: On an A700, NO vignetting to speak of.

    The TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 HDR @ 17mm - just for a FOV comparison

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-17mm-example_hdr2.jpg

    When you simply, positively need to see the whole picture ... shorten that focal length
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-14-2009 at 03:57 PM.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  7. #7
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Smile Panoramas with the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    At the Chicago Air & Water Show ... I wanted to capture the enormous size of the building crowd on one side of the Lake Shore Drive ... and the peace of the other. I did a pair of 3-pc panoramas

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-north-ave-beach_panorama1-800.jpg

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-8mm_panorama1-south-lincoln-park.jpg
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
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  8. #8
    Senior Member LightBright's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Very nice shots Don! Looks like a fun lens to use.
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    Please do not take my photo's. Thank you
    www.SammySoliman.Smugmug.com

  9. #9
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Smile the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Those panoramas are a whole lot simpler. :wink5:

    As I kind of mentioned ... getting a focus is a snap, because the DOF is almost infinite. It is a fight to get something out of focus! :thumbsup:
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  10. #10
    Senior Member LightBright's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Of course at 12mm on a apc-s sized sensor focus is not really an issue. Silly me
    -
    Please do not take my photo's. Thank you
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  11. #11
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    As a VR junkie ;-) I have to chime in and suggest that using this lens only for "weirdo party shots" or something is greatly underestimating the power and beauty of fisheye lenses!

    Michel Thoby, who is a true expert in fisheye lenses (after an esteemed career as a spaceship designer, or something like that - yes, this guy is good) has posted an excellent review of the Samyang / Bower / Rokinon / polar / Vivitar 8mm fisheye (vivitar is calling it 7mm!)

    http://michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/...%20report.html

    The important points:

    1. The sides of the image are not as "smooshed together" like a regular fisheye. so the overall image is much easier to look at compared to a "regular fisheye". the projection used in this lens has never been made before!

    2. Othewise, It behaves in a similar way to the 10.5mm "full frame fisheye" such as the nikkor 10.5. So you can make a spherical panorama in 6 or 7 shots using a "aps-c" size sensor (nikon d90, canon 450d, etc.)

    3. OR, you can shave the lens hood off and make a spherical panorama in THREE shots using a fullframe sensor. Wowee!!!

    There are example panoramas on the page linked above.

    enjoy,
    Jeffrey Martin
    www.360cities.net

  12. #12
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Thank you for this posting contribution, Jeffrey. The added information was excellent.

    Personally, I see this as a very affordable addition to a lensman's arsenal. I know I am glad I went for it and got one.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  13. #13
    Junior Member chelseahope's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Hi there, I'm new to this site so please excuse me if I do anything wrong by posting a reply here. I actually made an account because I googled reviews for this product and wanted to ask you a couple questions. I'm not experienced with legit fisheye's. I own a cheap $50 one that adapts to my lense on my canon rebel xsi, and am looking to find a much better one at an affordable price. My questions were:

    1) Would you recommend this lense for a Canon Rebel xsi?
    2) Does this lense loose it's effect as you zoom? I know with my cheap one, the slightest bit of zooming in and you completely lose the entire effect. It's quite a pain.

    Thanks so much!

  14. #14
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Well, you cannot "ZOOM" a PRIME lens. This lens is a fixed focal length of 8mm, so that is definitely not going to be an issue.

    When you place this lens ion a Canon APS-C camera, such as the Rebel XT ... the Canon's 1.6 cropping factor comes into play and 8mm x 1.6 = nearly 13mm. It stays that way no matter what. The lens also does not have a filter ring on the front of it, so there will be no "screwing on" any adapters or filters. ;)

    The beauty of this lens is that it is a great "horsing around" lens and should be used that way. Trying to reconvert images from fish-eye back to proportionally corrected can be a real test of your patience. LOL
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-04-2010 at 10:13 AM.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  15. #15
    Junior Member chelseahope's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Good deal...cause I'm sick of that whole filter and adapter thing for my fisheye. So would you recommend this lense is good piece of equipment for it's price or is there something else you'd recommend?

    PS-Thanks for all the info.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    If the point is, like Don said - horsing around with an insanely wide angle lens, then it is a sweet deal. I've used those filter adapters as well and they aren't even close to as functional as this is, nor will it have remotely comparable image quality.

    Hey don can you show us the vignetting on a full frame?

  17. #17
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Cool Mode comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    Hey don can you show us the vignetting on a full frame?
    When you place this lens on a Full Frame DSLR, it immediately makes for a relatively unusable shot in Full Frame, because the "permanent" lens shield on the lens chops off everything you might get if it were not there.

    See? (the ribbed border on four sides of the frame)

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-ff-capture-8mm-f35.jpg

    Here's the APS-C capture mode (on the a850) ... and much "cleaner solution."

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-aps-c-capture-8mm-f35.jpg

    All for a preliminary poster idea.

    Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"-ca-ab-w-khem-posterized.jpg


    Hope this clears its use up for you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-08-2010 at 04:26 PM.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  18. #18
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    There really are only a few lenses where this is a truly significant problem with a SONY FF DSLR, although I suspect with Tokina adding their inventory of APS-C designs to the SONY-mount, it will become more of an issue. Still, with the answer as close as a "menu setting" ... what the heck, right?

    Name:  APS-C-size-capture-mode-1.jpg
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    Just do not forget to set it back, when you put your "FF"-designed lenses back on.

    Remember: What you see in the camera's viewfinder will look the same with APS-C Capture setting "OFF" or "ON". Only the rear LCD screen will display the real size of image captured.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-08-2010 at 04:28 PM.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr

  19. #19
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    Re: Anyone looked at the Bower 8mm f/3.5 "fisheye"

    Hi there. Just a quick question. I cant seem to get a straight answer from shops as to whether this lens will funtion as it is supose to with my Nikon d3000. Any ideas to wether this is the best lens to use for this model? Many thanks!

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