New equipment: Tokina SZ 8mm f/2.8 fisheye

Meet the new Tokina SZ 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras. Offering a 180-degree field of view, this new lens will ship in mid-March and will be available in Fujifilm X mount and Sony APS-C E mount. Pricing is forthcoming.

Who is it for ?

A sample provided by Tokina of the new 8mm fisheye. Tokina

Related: How the fisheye became a staple of the music industry

This manual focus lens features a click-free aperture and focuses as close as 4 inches. On APS-C cameras, it offers a full-frame 12mm equivalent focal length. Tokina markets it to a wide range of users, from landscape photographers to architectural shooters, vloggers/filmmakers to wildlife photographers.

Frankly, all of these use cases seem like good potential candidates for the fisheye look – the close focus will certainly allow for some pretty neat compositions, and the 180-degree field of view will surely result in unique distortion. Video shooters working in tight spaces will definitely benefit from the compact size of this lens. And the maximum aperture of f/2.8 should still allow for nice subject separation.

We could also see this being a great option for skateboarding and music photography, the latter, again, given its reasonably fast f/2.8 aperture. And we’d be remiss not to mention the fact that the 1990s – a time when just about every MTV music video featured at least one fisheye shot – are back in fashion. So Tokina’s timing with this release couldn’t be more perfect.

Build quality and optics

The new Tokina SZ 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens.
The lens features a clickless aperture ring for smooth transitions when shooting video. Tokina

The Tokina 8mm fisheye measures just over 2 inches long and weighs 9.9 ounces. Its optical construction comprises 11 elements in nine groups, with a 7-blade diaphragm and apertures ranging from f/2.8 to f/22. There is no front filter thread, but a removable lens hood will be included. Tokina says the glass elements feature multiple coatings to help improve optical performance.

Pricing & Availability

Tokina’s SZ 8mm f/2.8 fisheye is expected to be available from March 15. We’ll update this story with pricing information when it becomes available.

Stewart C. Hartline