The MC Zenitar 16 mm f/ 2.8 Fish-Eye (Russian: "Зенитар") (the MC Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 export version ) is a short-focal-length superwide-angle compact lens for 24х36 frame SLR cameras.
It is based on the diagonal fisheye optical scheme, i. e. this is a lens without distortion correction. The lens enables to have a 180° diagonal angle of view. Thanks to that, the lens makes it possible to take original pictures and provides unique facilities for artistic photography.
On cameras with cropped sensor, the Zenitar 16mm loses the most part of its advantages, as the majority of distortion (on the edges of the frame), which makes the lens so charming, gets cropped.
The Zenitar MC 16 mm f/ 2.8 is equipped with an instant-return aperture and set of filters. Mount type: M42x1 thread with flange focal distance of 45.5 mm. In spite of its small compact dimensions and light weight the 10-lens optical scheme provides a high-quality image and color rendering, high antiglare protection, and enables to render small details of the object.
There is a modification of the lens for all popular bayonet mounts (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, М42).
The Zenitar MC 16 mm f/ 2.8 lens is one of the best representative of the fish-eye family of lenses in price-quality relationship.
The multilayer coating, applied to the lenses, increases light transmission and decreases light diffusion, which ensures good contrast and sharpness of the image, considerably removes halation, flare and light spots even when shooting against the light.
The optical scheme of the Zenitar MC 16 mm f/ 2.8 is complex, that's why the overall light transmission is approximately 79%, which is quite good for such a complex optical scheme. Besides, light transmission in the red part of the spectrum is higher than in the blue part, and the lens renders images with tints of yellow.
The presence of tactile symbol facilitates mounting of the lens on cameras.
The Zenitar 16 mm is compact due to the original form of the figured front part of its body. However, the image quality is rather high.
Resolution characteristics are excellent, moreover, at all apertures they exceed the values declared by the manufacturer. However, because of strong distortion at the very edge of the frame field resolution was defined approximately as 13 mm from the frame center , and not 18-20 mm., as usual.
Blackening of inner surfaces and aperture blades cannot be compared with that of older models. Antiglare protection is simply superb! The work of mechanical parts and diaphragm, as well as the precision of calibration does not give rise to complaints.
The Zenitar MC 16 mm f/ 2.8 is extremely simple in use even in spite of the absence of autofocus. When focus is set to the hyperfocal distance, from f/ 5.6 onwards the DOF extends from 0.8 m to infinity, and no autofocus is necessary.
M26,5х0,5 filters are mounted on the rear part. Front filters are impossible to mount.
The following filters are included in the lens set:
ZhZ-2 (ЖЗ-2) — yellow and green filter. It is used to improve tone transmission while shooting landscapes and other scenes on black-and-white film in daylight and artificial lighting. While mounting this filter, it is necessary to set the aperture at the next lesser value or to increase shutter speed at one step.
Zh-1.4 (Ж-1,4) - lightyellow filter. It is used for contrast enhancement of the relief of distant mountains horizon an so on when shooting on black-and-white film. The filter enhances contrast of pale-blue sky and small clouds. It is also recommended for outdoor portrait photography. While mounting this filter, it is necessary to change the aperture settings at half a scale point in the direction of smaller aperture values or to increase shutter speed at one step.
К-8 — red filter. It is used for infrared shooting on infrachromatic film of the Kinoinfra type. When shooting on black-and-white film, the filter is fit for day-for-night shooting as it renders the colors of sky and green plants in black. While mounting this filter, it is necessary to change the aperture settings at 3 scale points in the direction of smaller aperture values or to increase shutter speed at 3 steps.
Cameras with automatic exposure do not require the change of aperture settings and shutter speed when shooting with filters.
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Posted by: Sergei Borodin Date of publication: 09.08.2010