View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Peleng 8mm f3.5 fisheye

12-07-2005, 03:53 AM
Small review of the Peleng 8mm f/3.5 fisheye:

Mechanical quality:
This is an all metal lens of decent mechanical quality. It feels very solid. There is a tiny amount of slop in the mount that isn't more than frequently can be experienced with any legacy lens. The OM-mount is a bit coarse in the fit to the OM-->Fourthirds adapter. The rear lens does NOT protrude at all beyond the OM-->4/3 adapter (as some sources on the web claims). The lens cover is sturdy metal and protects the domed objective lens. However, it is a bit loose and I recommend the velvet friction strip to be replaced ASAP.

Optical quality:
The lens gives almost a full frame fisheye with a >165 diagonal angle of view. The Fourthirds sensor is small enough to not include the outer rim in the image circle which significantly improves the captured image quality (compared to larger sensors).
I found that the lens is soft at f/3.5 but already at f/5.6 it becomes quite sharp. The image quality across the picture at f/5.6 is pretty OK in the center but notably soft at the edge.
The lens coating isn't perfectly uniform but I haven't seen any negative effects of that.
Shooting against the sun may/may not give severe lens flare depending on the exact angle towards the sun. I have made myself a petal hood that helps alot.

To summarize: Not many amateurs will use such a lens extensively but the fact that it cost about 1/8:th of the Zuiko Digital 7-14mm zoom (or 1/4 the price of the Zuiko Digital 8mm fisheye) makes it actually quite a sensible lens to have. The lens is certainly not as good as a high-end lens but for 'creative' photography, it serves its purpose very well. For the price ($225 includuding S&H), I find it still extremely good value, and for many types of shots like snowboarding, skateboarding, etc. it will give me a lot of fun.

See my longer review with sample images here (http://myfourthirds.com/document.php?id=11937)

Cheers, Jens.

NOTE: There is a serious problem with the OM-adapter that influences the focus with this short focal length. The OM-adapter is 0.1 mm thinner than the ideal thickness required to produce the infinity focus setting of an OM-lens at the actual infinity mark. With lenses of 'ordinary' focal lengths where the lens package moves several millimeters, that is not critically important. However with an 8 mm lens, the lens package moves only about 0.1 mm when focussing from 0.3 meters to infinity, hence making it impossible to trust the focus scale. This severely limits the very convenient shooting style to set the hyperfocal distance on the distance scale and rely on the immense DOF of the lens.

12-07-2005, 01:08 PM
Great Review!
Thanks for the write up!

01-19-2006, 01:27 PM
Isn\'t the native mount of the Peling a M42 mount, and it is converted to other mounts via an adapte? If so I\'d recommend a 4/3rds to m42 mount. I bought mine on e-bay for less than $50 US.

01-19-2006, 01:39 PM
Hi hyperfocal,

Isn't the native mount of the Peling a M42 mount, and it is converted to other mounts via an adapter? If so I'd recommend a 4/3rds to m42 mount. I bought mine on e-bay for less than $50 US.
No, not exactly, the native mount is a T-mount.
However, you are right about the possibility to use an M42 --> Fourthirds adapter because the lenses are shipped with different T --> Olympus OM/Canon/Nikon bayonet adapters and a T-->M42 adapter. (In addition, I got a third adapter that I don't know where it goes).

Cheers, Jens

01-23-2006, 02:04 PM
Anyone know of anywhere in the UK where I can get one of these?

Have tried to find one but been unsuccessful so far.

02-08-2006, 10:33 AM
Anyone know of anywhere in the UK where I can get one of these?

Have tried to find one but been unsuccessful so far.

Hi Ian.. I might sell mine as I've only used it once since I got it and would like some cash to spend on stuff in the US. Send me an email if you're interested.

02-27-2006, 12:45 PM
Photozone tested this lens ona Canon 350D: http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/peleng_8_35/index.htm

The results are quite good actually. The Fourthirds sensor is just a bit smaller than the one of the 350D so that the worst CA along the rim is 'cropped' off.

The more I use mine, the more I realize how good it is and how fun it is to use!


03-24-2006, 04:06 PM
Has anyone tried IR with the Peleng? I found an old IR gel filter so figured what the heck and cut into a small circle to fit between the rear element and filter.

The not so good photo is obviously just a test since I had no way to frame, but I think it might work. Maybe a fisheye door viewer (if this is what they are called) mounted on the hotshoe as an external finder. Any other suggestions, comments, etc. other than turning on long exposure noise reduction next time.


09-09-2006, 03:11 PM
Hi Jens,

I'm going with you in this review, as postet elsewhere (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=47321&postcount=9).
I might add: chromatic aberrations unfortunately are a continuous companion with this lens - nevertheless, this isn't too big a problem as they can be deleted (it's just a little bit or - sometimes - a little bit more work).

Personally, I love my Peleng very much and only would give it away for the Zuiko 8mm Fisheye - I wouldn't want to live without it even if I had a 7-14: the fisheye perspective is just something I really like.

Nevertheless, I cannot give the Peleng the highest ranking, as it has some faults, as already described.
But for me it's nevertheless a very useful lens, regularly used by me. I even have a bad conscience for using it more often than some of my much, much better built Zuiko lenses :D

10-16-2006, 02:58 PM
Hi sokol,

yes, I agree! Since I wrote the review, I have become an owner of the ZD 7-14. While being a really impressive lens (I can't believe that there are many alternatives for the C & N camps that can match it) it is not half as fun to use as the Peleng - not yet....

Chers, Jens

11-14-2008, 02:34 AM
Dear friends,

as mentioned in the note at the bottom of the OP (and as has later been rediscovered by many Peleng 8mm owners) the adapter thickness is crucial for the use of this lens. Some times there appear some confusion about this so I'll try to clarify by describing my own experience:

My lens was supplied with "Peleng-adapters" for OM, M42 (42x1 mm thread), and Nikon, which attach to the lens by fitting a collar to the rear of the lens barrel and securing by three small locking screws located around the perimeter of each of the adapters. There is a v-shaped groove in the outer surface of the rear of the lens barrel to allow for precise mounting of such adapters, provided that the three screws has conical ends and are located in the right place on the adapter. (I believe this was some form of standard to mount adapters to lenses in former Soviet Union because the same system occur on my MTO11-SA mirror lens.)

Here you see the rear of the Peleng without adapter (left) and with the Peleng-M42 adapter mounted (right) (apoligies for the poor IQ but these were just snap shots for this post):

Click to enlarge

As you can see, there is a mark from a standard non-conic locking screw on the naked lens barrel which doesn't line up with the V-groove. Thus the original Peleng adapter actually does not take advantage of the alignment provided by the grooved adapter flange (obviously the factory at some point abandoned that system).

With the original adapters supplied with my Peleng and my own supply of 4/3 adapters, I could fit the lens to 3/4 either by mounting the Peleng-OM + OM-4/3 adapters, which was the case for the original review in the OP, or by using the Peleng-M42 adapter plus an M42-4/3 which is what I use now.

Here is a shot of the latter (Peleng-M42 + M42-4/3 adapters):

Click to enlarge

As already mentioned, the Peleng-OM + OM-4/3 made the adapter thickness about 0.1 mm too thin which caused the majority of the lens' actual focus range to be placed beyond infinity. I had to place the focus scale at 3 m in order to focus at infinity. This made it impossible to use prefocus on the scale and rely on the DOF which is the preferred focusing method for this lens. A quick fix was to loosen the scale ring and rotate it so that the infinity mark lined up when the focus actually was at infinity but that severely limited the close-focussing ability of the lens. Another solution which worked fine was to place a 0.1 mm shim between the lens barrel and the Peleng-OM adapter.

With the Peleng-M42 + M42-4/3 adapter, it turned out that the adapter combination fitted perfectly in thickness so that is what I eventually settled to use. However, I assign that as pure luck as our fellow FTP member Olof (alias Otage) tried the same combination but then his adapter combination ended up about 0.1 mm too thick. A too thick adapter is a much more severe fault than too thing because one can never reach infinity focus. Olof fixed the problem easily by carefully sanding down the mating surface of the M42-4/3 adapter until infinity focusing was possible. An added advantage of using the Peleng-M42 + M42-4/3 adapter combination is that the closest focusing distance can be shortened to coincide with the surface of the objective lens by simply unscrewing the M42 thread between the adapters by 1-2 mm. Here is a shot of a fly sitting about 10 mm in front of the lens (the flowers actually touch the lens):


If you have problems with the adapter thickness of your Peleng, all I can say is that it is a worthwhile effort to fix it. I have tested the Peleng and the ZD 8mm fisheye side by side and, to me, there is no big difference between the two (ZD is slightly more contrasty but Peleng has less CA) - at least not enough to make me want to spend the extra money on the ZD.

Cheers, Jens.