Going Super Wide with the Affordable Rokinon 7.5mm

Here's what motivated me to find out more about the Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens...

The client escorted me into a large ballroom that in a few days would be filled with more than 350 people and said, "We want a group shot of everyone, and you have 7 minutes to take it."

I replied, "Great. I'll be ready."

There were a few ways that I could approach this assignment, but my research led me to using the Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens on my Olympus E-M5 Mark II. The optic had good ratings, was affordable, and covered the 180 degrees that I would need to make this shot. I would stand on the stage and use the fully articulated LCD to compose the shot. And the f/3.5 maximum aperture would let me shoot at a reasonable ISO 1600.

So I went for it. And I'm now the happy owner of a very nice fisheye lens.


A few mornings later, I got my rig together, recorded RAW for maximum latitude, processed the group shot in Capture One Pro so I could adjust the distortion, and finished off the image in Luminar. The final shot looked great. The client is happy. And I now have a new lens to experiment with. (I can't show you that shot, because it's proprietary. But I have one just as good to share.)

The specs for this optic are impressive for its $249 price tag.

  • 180 degrees angle of view
  • 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Aperture range f/3.5-f/22
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.295ft
  • Approximately 1.9 inches long
  • Manual focus with click-stop aperture ring

Here's the scoop about the shot I can show you...

I took it out for a spin the night before my assignment so I could get a feel for how it performed. Here's an image from inside Oracle Arena using the Rokinon at f/3.5 on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. (Processed in Capture One Pro and finished in Luminar.)

Rokinon-7mm-Oracle-Web.jpg "Oracle Arena Pregame" by Derrick Story - Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Rokinon 7.5mm lens at f/3.5, ISO 3200, 1/5th of a second, handheld.

What a blast! So much so, that I only shot with the fisheye all night. As for lens performance, there is some softness on the corners at f/3.5, and that's about the only nit I can come up with. Some reviewers have complained about the stiffness of the manual focus ring. I kind of like it. For most of my work, I'm setting the focus to just off infinity and leaving it there. I like the the focus ring doesn't move on its own after I set it.

And the bottom line is, I've captured two photos in two days that I could not have recorded otherwise. The Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens is available on Amazon for $249. I wish I would have bought this one long time ago. (Plus it looks great on my E-M5 Mark II...)

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