A fisheye lens is not a necessity, but it is a fun lens to own. When buying a fisheye lens, don’t discount third party lenses that come with excellent reputations and great warranties. Canon also manufactures some superb fisheyes that are hard to beat. At the time of this writing, a fisheye lens that was built for use with a Canon camera ranged in price from $200 to more than $600. Typically, higher-priced lenses are better quality lenses.
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 -- $649
The Canon EF is one of Canon’s highly prized lenses. This lightweight (11.6 ounces) lens has a focal length of 15mm, which makes it a versatile lens for different types of shots. Images taken with the EF are sharp and precise, which is often hard to accomplish with a fisheye lens. As with all fisheyes, this lens does include slight distortion. However, any distortion issues can be fixed with the help of a good photo editing suite.
Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM -- $600+
Sigma is a third party lens manufacturer that has been making great lenses for many years. The Sigma 10mm EX is no exception to the company’s outstanding reputation. This lens was designed for use with the Canon Digital SLR series. The EX weighs in at 16.8 ounces, it has a 5.3 focusing distance, and a maximum aperture of f/22. Images snapped with the EX are sharp and ideally distorted.
Rokinon FE-C 8mm F3.5 -- $200+
Rokinon is another third party lens manufacturer worthy of note. The Rokinon FE-C includes an aperture range of f/3.5 to f/22. This is a manual focus lens that has a 12-inch minimum focusing distance. The great thing about most Rokinon products is that they come with one year warranties (the FE-C included). This lens is a great all-around fisheye for a very low price.
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM -- $1200+
The Canon EF 8-15 lens is the ultimate fisheye lens. Complete with 180 degree view angle, circular and full frame imaging, and L Series Optics, this lens really does have it all. A 6.2 focusing distance allows photographers to snap close-up and distance photos with ease. The best part about this lens is that it can be used to snap full frame and wide images. The Canon EF8-15 also includes an Ultrasonic Motor, which makes snapping manual and automatic photos simple.
Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Autofocus -- $600+
The Sigma 15mm EX DG was specially made for use with a full frame DSLR camera. As such, the 180 degree angle capability of the EX DG is inspiring. For a full frame lens that is highly capable, the Sigma EX DG is also, surprisingly, lightweight. This lens weighs a mere 13 ounces making it easily transportable. This lens also has an f-stop range of f/2.8 to f/22. When shooting with the EX DG, this lens creates exaggerated fisheye photos that are clearly detailed. For those who have a full frame DSLR camera, the EX DG is an optimal buy.