Altura Fish Eye Lens
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Altura Fish Eye Lens

Altura Fish Eye Lens
Altura Fish Eye Lens

This one is a long one so be patient with me, I wanted to cover EVERYTHING for you- Everybody loves a good fish eye image. They’re fun and every image conveys a sense of adventure. But with both the Nikkor and Cannon options coming in at north of 1k, plenty of people decide its not worth the price. Allow me to introduce you to the wallet friendly Altura fish eye Lens.

This budget option lens produces great image quality for the price point. 

Altura says they do coat their elements to treat flare and glare. They do not disclose the process though. Which is awesome because with other lenses in this price range, this is not a guarantee.

But if you’re at an angle and have the full power of the bright sun in your shot, you may still get flare from time to time. The surface of the lens is not flat, its going to happen every now and then. I use mine to produce very stylized shots though. So on the rather rare occasion that I do get flare it adds something to the image instead of detracts. 

In a very small handful of the images I’ve gotten from this lens, there are some small chromatic aberrations. Only toward the edges though. But again, I use this lens to make lomo type images. Any colorful flares, glares, or aberrations only add to the unique-ness. This is what I’m going for!

It’s a smidge heavy but that’s expected.

If you’ve never owned a fish eye before, this comes with the territory and should not be a deal breaker or a surprise. 

At f3, it’s fast enough to handle lower light shooting, but you’re definitely going to want to bring a tripod. To get the most out of this lens in low light you’re going to need a longer exposure time than you think. This lens is definitely happiest in bright high light environments.

Even all the way open on a sunny day, you’ll likely need a slightly longer exposure than you would think. Not long enough that you would need a tripod, but still longer than a lens with longer focal length.

At f3 I do feel like the image quality gets a bit scratchy. So I try to stop down whenever possible to get that detailed image quality I know this lens can deliver.


Please be realistic, this is a 150 USD fish eye lens. This is an ABSOLUTELY BONKERS price for a lens like this. They’re hard to make, they’re a specialty lens, and there’s not a ton of demand for them. You will not get Zeiss sharpness out of the Altura fish eye. But the absolute cheapest Zeiss lens will set you back somewhere north of 700 USD. So while you will get great images out of this lens, please remember to be reasonable.

From a mechanical standpoint the lens easy to use. Crazy smooth focus and aperture ring rotation, not too loose not too stiff. I’m impatient and usually don’t read instructions and that didn’t come back to bite me with this lens. It’s completely intuitive and does exactly what it says it does.

This lens gives wicked distortion on subjects that are close. You lose some distortion with subjects that are further away. Some distortion is also lost on big sweeping landscapes. Again this comes with the territory for ultra wide angle lenses. 

If you don’t might the distortion you’ll get at the edges you’ll have a solid ultra wide landscape shot. You could also always crop that out too if it doesn’t work for you.

Now for the potentially scary bit-

This lens is completely manual. You have to shoot in manual mode and you have to focus by hand. There is no auto anything. 

This is not a point and click toy. 

To get what you want from this lens you have to do the work, it won’t do it for you. You will not be able to walk up to a subject click and walk away. It will take a second of experimentation.

Myself, I think that’s half the fun and modern photographers could use the exercise. 

This lens is compatible with live view, at least with my APS- C Nikon. I have not tested it will a full frame camera body. 

The view will get darker and lighter both through the view finder and in the live view as you change the aperture.

The focus does not change in the view finder or the live view as the focus ring rotates. I haven’t had an issue with that though. So as I mentioned above, Alutura’s lens requires a little experimentation.

The markers on the focus rings are helpful and accurate and as this is an 8mm lens, so the field of depth is freaking huge. You’re only going to get a little little bit of blur (if any all all) all the way open anyway. So you’re big on bokeh, know that this lens wont give you that.

I know this was a crazy long article, so TLDR; –

This is a super cheap fish eye lens that for the price can’t be beat. Its super fun and easy to use. It gives you the ability to take some super creative and adventurous shots. Its an awesome lens to add to your kit that won’t break the bank. 

Typically, true fish eye lenses are only found only in the kits of professional photographers. So I’m definitely super grateful to Altura for bring a consumer friendly model to the market. 

It’s not a completely perfect lens, but at this price for this type of lens I really don’t care. 

Additionally, there are SO MANY lenses on the market. I think by now we’re all a little overwhelmed by all the choices. There’s no way everyone’s idea of a perfect lens is the same. 

But if we’re talking about a perfect ultra wide lens that cost less than a mortgage payment, then this Altura fish eye lens is damn close enough for me.

Check out the Altura 8mm Fish Eye Lens

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