The Nikon AF-S 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED fisheye zoom lens certainly isn’t for every situation. As a fisheye zoom lens, it’s very much a niche piece of kit. It’s not the only zoom fisheye out there—Canon has one similar (albeit with a constant maximum aperture, whereas this Nikon version has a variable maximum aperture that’s tied to the zoom), and there are a few other options available, even for Nikon mounts, but they’re few and far between and well outside the mainstream.
I’ve covered Nikon’s 16mm ƒ/2.8 fisheye lens for full-frame cameras and used Nikon’s 10.5mm ƒ/2.8 for DX cropped-sensor DSLRs. Both of those are prime lenses that create fisheye views that fill the frame.
Something that sets this lens apart from many other fisheye lenses, including Nikon’s other fisheye lenses, is the zoom. When used on a full-frame DSLR (i.e., one of Nikon’s FX DSLRs), when zoomed in, it fills the entire frame. Zoomed out, it creates a fully circular image in the center surrounded by black. I have some practical examples of the fisheye zoom range here. (The effect is different on a DX body: the 8mm will fill the entire frame, while the 15mm will be the equivalent to a 22mm focal length (35mm equivalent).
It’s also an autofocus lens—some of the other zoom fisheyes are manual focus.
I’ll be posting a detailed review of this lens shortly with many more details on using this lens and its performance. These sample images are designed to complement that review.
These were all taken with a Nikon D850. You can click on each image for a full-size version. They were all shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom, but I haven’t applied any post-processing optical corrections such as adding extra sharpness or reducing distortion, vignetting, or chromatic aberration.
Things Worth Knowing About the Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye Lens
Lens Hood. The lens comes with a lens hood, and it comes into play when zooming. That’s because when you zoom out, the lens hood comes into view through the frame with some drastic vignetting. Like this (you can even see the ridges of the inside of the hood at the bottom and sides):
So you’ll want to remove the lens hood to get that circle-shaped fisheye view.
Full Frame / APS Sensor. I shot all of the examples on this page with a Nikon D850. The lens will work on an APS-C cropped sensor camera, but the effective focal lengths will be 1.5x what you see here—in other words, a tighter crop.
Optical Correction Tools
I deliberately haven’t applied extensive corrections to these images. And the general rule of thumb in photography is that it’s better to get the shot right at the time of capture rather than trying to fix it after. That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not always possible to do if you’re bumping up against limitations or flaws in gear, conditions, or technique.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are some excellent tools available to help address common issues with lenses, such as distortion, chromatic aberration, and lens vignetting when editing the images. All-round image processing apps like Lightroom Classic and Capture One have solid tools built in already that often cater to specific lens profiles (or you can make your own).
Some more specialized tools can take it even further. DxO, in particular, sets the gold standard. Their software is built on the foundation of their incredibly deep archive of data from their extensive lab testing of the optical performance of lenses and cameras. But there are some other excellent specialized tools available. These are well worth a look (and have free trials):
- DxO Pure RAW (for a suite of automatic RAW file corrections enhancement)
- DxO ViewPoint (correcting for distortion and geometry)
- Topaz Labs Sharpen AI (in addition to standard unsharp tools, includes focus correction and shake reduction)
- On1 NoNoise (includes Tack Sharp AI, which applies sharpening)
Accessories for the Nikon Fisheye 8-15mm Lens
Lens Hood. This lens comes with its own, dedicated lens hood. The model number is HB-80.
Lens Cap. The lens cap is, again, a dedicated model for this lens. It attaches with a combination of slipping over the front and snapping into place.
Its model number is LC-K102.
- Protect the protruding glass of the front lens element
- Connects directly to Nikon’s HB-80 bayonet lens hood
Filters. This lens isn’t compatible with most traditional filters on the market. Because of the curved front element, there’s no way to attach glass filters to the front of the lens.
Price & Availability of Nikon Fisheye 8-15mm Lens
This is a niche product that many smaller camera stores might not carry in stock. But you can find them at:
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