The fisheye lens was originally developed to survey the sky and cloud formations as part of the study of meteorology, but quickly gained popularity by all types of photographers. Whether aiming to snap the horizon at sunset, the ceiling of a grand building, or simply add a twist on the dance floor, in portraits, or even selfies, a fisheye lens provides new angels and perspectives, enabling more creativity and artistry for the lensman.
Plus, they’re a whole lot of fun!
Offering a wide variety of photographic accessories, from cleaning supplies and bags to lenses and flashes, Altura Photo are the creators of one of the best fisheye lenses on the market. This review aims to examine a top lens choice for landscapes, cityscapes, architectural compositions, or almost anything else that you might want to capture with your Canon Rebel T6, the Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0 Fisheye Professional Ultra-Wide Angle Aspherical Fixed Lens.
As Altura’s newest edition to their Professional Lens Series, the 8 mm f/3.0 offers an exceptional build and is easy to use. The combination of a hybrid, aspherical element with a multi-layer lens coating opens Herculean viewing angles plus crisp, clear images. When paired with your Canon Rebel T6, you’ll capture shots from spectacular perspectives.
Highly rated and backed up by a brand with an unsurpassed reputation, it’s a perfect choice for the professional and the novice alike. Its advanced optics and improved design make the AP 8mm f/3.0 Fisheye Professional Lens the supreme choice for your Canon Rebel T6.
Performance And Functionality
A Bit Heavy, But Worth It
Weighing in at 519g, this lens is a bit of a heavyweight champ; far more robust than most of its competitors, yet still compact enough to fit in your average camera bag. It’s weight is largely due to its sturdy, all metal barrel; a worthwhile tradeoff, in our opinion.
Wide Variety of Aperture Choices
Aperture is one of the key elements in photography, so it’s something you’re certainly adept on, but just in case you need a quick review: the smaller the number, the wider the aperture, while the larger the number, the narrower the aperture.
The aperture works like the pupils of your eyes, dictating how much light can get into the brain (or camera). If you’ve ever looked deep into someone’s peepers under the light of the moon, you probably noticed that their pupils were incredibly large, while the opposite holds true if you’re at the beach—it’s almost all iris. A camera is no different; for night photography, you’ll want a large aperture (no less than f/2.8), while with bright daytime shots, a tighter aperture is best.
But the aperture also affects the depth of field of the shot—the amount of the image that can be in perfect focus; a larger aperture means a smaller depth of field, while a tighter aperture allows for a wider area to be in focus, a perfect choice for landscape photography, where you want both the background and the foreground to be detailed.
The AP 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye features a six-blade aperture with a wide range of stops, from f/3.0 all the way down to f/22. You won’t be able to take shots under moonlight, but you will have the power to snag indoor shots of a romantic lower-light setting, as well as sunlit landscapes, where you’ll want a larger depth of field.
Paired with the f/22 stop, the short focal length will even give you the ability to take incredibly detailed close ups of subjects on the smaller side of life, like a fuzzy bumble bee as it collects nectar from a spring bloom.
Incredible Focal Length
The focal length of a lens determines how much of the scene that lies before us is able to be captured by the camera. The nitty-gritty details behind how focal length works is beyond the scope of this article, but the important things to know are the shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view, and the more of the scene you can capture.
With a short, eight-millimeter focal length, removing the petal lens hood of the AP 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye allows for the capture of breathtaking 180° diagonal views, meaning you can snag the perfect image of the ceiling when you finally visit the Sistine Chapel, a full view down the well of the Momo spiral staircase in the Vatican, or even a panoramic shot of the snow-capped Himalayas.
Unbelievable Minimum Focal Distance
A minimum focal distance of one-tenth of a meter means you can get right up next to your subject and still get that wide-angle view, enabling you to make your subject matter appear encapsulated in a lovely silver ball, like when you take a shot of that fuzzy bumble bee.
With the use of a smaller aperture, you’ll still snag a high level of detail. Step a bit further back, and this becomes perfect for group portraits in a tight space. We wouldn’t want Aunt Karen or Uncle Bob to be out of focus way over there at the end when capturing memories of the family at your wedding. Or maybe you do…in which case, open that baby up and play dumb!
APS-C Metal Mount
Designed for APS-C sensor cameras, the AP 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye works perfectly on your Canon Rebel T6. A fully metal mounting bracket gives it a secure fit. It mounts the same as any other lens—line up the red dot on the camera with the red dot on the lens and turn until you hear a pleasant click.
Multilayer Lens Coating
When capturing images with a bright light source, the beams can reflect and bounce off the various elements of the camera, such as the different pieces of the lens, the light sensor, or the diaphragm. Referred to as ‘lens flare’, this can mar the quality of the shot and even create the appearance of unwanted subject matter. Lens flare can reduce the color contrast of the image, causing a hazy appearance, as well as create a ‘ghosting’ effect, where small halos of white will appear on the shot. In some cases, ghosting can even cause semi-opaque shadows to form, that look like…well…ghosts!
While flare and ghosting aren’t always undesirable, it’s the kind of thing most photographers prefer to have control over. Fortunately, the AP 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye handles accidental flare and ghosting. Multiple layers of lens coating reduce flare and ghosting by reducing the amount of reflection possible inside the lens, leaving you with vibrant, sharp images you can be proud of.
All of these features make this the perfect lens wide angle/fisheye lens for your Canon Rebel T6, but there’s no need to take our word for it. This lens has been around long enough that there are loads of great independent reviews on all of the major purchasing sites. Reviewers have given this lens accolades on everything from its low-light capture abilities when used to take shots of landscapes at sunset and sunrise, to its incredible focusing power for objects as close as two feet away, to its sturdy well-built frame.
User Interface And Control System
The AP 8mm f/3.0’s internal focusing system allows for a compact design, keeping the element from extending during focusing. That said, the lens doesn’t make an electronic contact with your camera, so its focus and aperture settings are both entirely manual.
Because of this, when using this lens with your Canon Rebel T6, you’ll want to set it to a manual or semi-manual mode. We recommend Aperture Priority mode, if you’re not comfortable using a fully manual mode. This will allow your camera to choose the appropriate shutter speed based off the aperture size.
To select the desired aperture, you’ll simply use the clickable aperture dial on the front of the camera. To focus, use the ridged focus dial, though most of the time, this lens doesn’t require much focusing—set it to the infinity setting, and you’re probably good, if you’re taking shots over 1.5 meters away.
If you’ve selected a smaller aperture in lower light and your subject matter is moving, like people on a dance floor, a bird flying through the sky at sunset, you might want to try the Shutter Priority mode, otherwise the camera might select a shutter speed that’s too slow, making your image come out a bit blurry.
Give Exposure Simulation A Shot For Optimum Image Exposure
If you want to see what your exposure will look like before taking the shot, it’s a good idea to turn on the Exposure Simulation. To do this on your Canon Rebel T6, push the Menu button and select the Camera menu option. On the fifth tab, select Expo simulation and choose to Enable the feature. Doing this will provide real-time exposure of what the lens is seeing, allowing you to have more control.
Keep in mind that Exposure Simulation only works in full Manual mode. Because of this, we recommend going into Aperture Priority mode and selecting the desired f-stop on the lens by turning the aperture dial. This will allow the camera to select a proper shutter speed, which should stay selected when you flip over to Manual mode. Then, you’ll be able to make judgements about the exposure, and compensate for a potentially slow shutter speed by upping the ISO.
Taking a Shot
It’s worth noting that you’ll want to aim the camera at a slightly downward or slightly upward angle to get desirable effects from this lens, rather than lining it up straight with the horizon. Failure to do so won’t give that lovely curved affect that fisheye lenses have come to be loved for.
Build Quality And Design
An all metal casing gives the AP 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye an exceptional quality of build, with six aperture blades, and eleven elements in eight groups. This lens is durable, meaning your investment will last years, if not decades.
It’s straight forward, and easy-to-use: a push of a button allows you to twist off the lens hood, and you’ll know it’s safely reattached with the sound of a satisfying click, and as long as you know how to use the controls on the camera body, the lens is self-explanatory, adding no further complexity.
The custom designed, form-fitting, protective lens case provides just the right amount of firmness to safely store your lens, preventing scratches and damage, without taking up too much additional space in your camera bag.
A fisheye lens is a great choice for both professional and novice photographers looking to add more creative or artistic depth to their work. For those using the Canon Rebel T6, the AP 8mm f/3.0 is an ideal choice. It’s durable, compact, easy-to-use, and provides a wide range of options, allowing you to take great shots of everything from mountain and seascapes, to wide street shots, high rise buildings, and even fun portraits.
The beauty of using a digital camera is that you’re free to try it out and play without the worry of wasting shots. Give it a whirl on things that might otherwise seem boring or difficult to shoot.
A skateboarder jumping off a ramp and a high rise buildings both make for great shots, if the perspective is right (hint: take these shots from below the subject). A bumble bee on a flower takes on new life as the lens bends and distorts the straight lines, rounding everything into a beautiful shimmery bubble. Ceilings and cloudy skies are captured in such a way that you feel like you’re there.
Even the stale selfie takes on new life when taken through the curved, crisp, high color distortion of the Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0 Professional Fisheye Lens, when paired with your Canon Rebel T6. It lives up to its great reputation and will leave you satisfied for years to come.