Rated 5 out of
Good bang for the buck"Didn't expect much for the price, considering Nikon's compact format DX fisheye will set you back about 8 bills, but the performance from this lens for the price is stellar. After doing a bit of research on Flickr and around the net and taking a few of my own test shots, the edge-to-edge sharpness is on par with the Nikon's. The operation on the Bower is FULL manual focus. No AF at all. Your camera may control aperture (set the lenses aperture ring to f22 and use the cameras dial to adjust aperture) My D5100 does, but your mileage may vary. Worst case scenario, you'll have to control aperture with the manual aperture ring on the lens. The field of view is a full 180 degrees. I'd suggest using Live View to focus. There's ALOT of scenery in the tiny viewfinder and detecting edge contrast can be tricky. (One test shot was text on a page. At either end of the focus scale, the viewfinder image ""looked"" focused, but inspecting the images while zoomed revealed the text was out of focus in one) Alternatively, use a higher aperture for more DoF and set the focus ring using the distance scale. Also, watch where you keep your hands. A large number of my test shots have the edge or tip of a finger on the outside of the image. (some images I found in flickr had the same) focus distance is listed as .3m (about 12 inches) but that's from the sensor to the subject. The front element is 5 inches from the sensor so close focus distance, realistically is about 7 inches. Construction is rock solid. No movement or vibration in the focus ring or internal elements, and the mount is metal and solid. (Alarmingly so. I thought I might have received a canon unit or something at first because it was...""reluctant"" to mount to the Nikon body.) The exterior components are metal (except the non-removable petal hood, which is a solid, durable feeling plastic) and the focus ring is buttery smooth. The Aperture ring (If you need to use it) has clicking hard stops. There are no filter threads on the front of fisheye lenses and there is no facility for mounting filters in the rear of this lens either, so users looking for a fisheye for creative filter effects will have to look elsewhere. (The nikon can use 27mm gel filters in a rear mount) Overall, it feels like a quality constructed lens. If you need a fisheye and you're on a budget, then this lens is a stellar deal with Image Quality on par with (arguably, better than) the Nikkor. If you need autofocus, or need to use filters, then pass on this and save your pennies for the Nikkor 10.5mm f2.8."