Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association / BelOMA MS Peleng 3.5/8A 8mm f/3.5-16.0

Lens categoryUltra-wide
Vendor nameBelarusian Optical and Mechanical Association / BelOMA
Type nameMS Peleng 3.5/8A
Focal min (mm)8
Focal max (mm)8
Focus min (cm)30
Aperture max3.5
Aperture min16
Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association / BelOMA MS Peleng 3.5/8A 8mm f/3.5-16.0

This is the famous “Russian” circular fisheye, although the usable field of view is more like 160 degrees versus 180. On a full frame dSLR or on fillm, the image circle created by the lens has a diameter larger than 24mm, so there is some cropping of the picture. In the case of 1.6 crop dSLRs, there remains some of the black circle edge in the pictures, although it is limited to the far corners (see A. Seka’s picture below). Fisheye distortion is still strong in the case of the 1.6 crop however. This can be corrected to give a relatively distortion-free image by cropping out the black corners and then using software like the free PanoTools.

The lens is subject to some quality control issues. Many examples appear to have an uneven multi-coating, and this can be checked by moving the lens around in the light, seeing if the color of the reflections on the front element changes significantly. This can impact the lens’ susceptibility to flare, which can be already strong. Be careful when shooting around the sun because of this, and also because reflections from the inner elements can catch on the black metal around the front element that appears in the pictures, illuminating it.

The lens has an interchangeable mount and comes with a set of filters that screw onto the rear element. The rear element also protrudes rather far from the lens into the camera body, so in some cases there lies the possibility of damage to the mirror. It would be wise to check the compatibility of your camera with this. Some remove the rearmost element; this usually solves the problem, however the lens loses infinity focus.
– MaP

2 Comment(s). Add a comment or Trackback

  • Doug Smith, USA  21:44 Apr 13, 2006 

    While I appreciated the quality of the Peleng 8mm review as given, I’ll point out that criticising workmanship on this lens is often taken pretty far considering what is involved. There are 9 diaphragm blades which produce an 18 pointed star when shooting into the sun. Those are small parts. The thing is built like a tank. Overall, the only workmanship problem I see is the lens cap falls off too easily. Maybe I got a good one?

    If the black corners and flare from the rim bother you as much as they did me, try using the lens on a 1.4x extender. On a 1.6x crop camera, this eliminates the corners and flare. I have not tried it on a FF camera but suspect the result would be similar to the bare lens on a crop camera. It would solve the problem if you have mirror clearance issues (but you can’t use an extender like the Canon brand that sticks out in front – I use Tamron’s cheap model). On Canon, one must tape the 3 raised pins to prevent an ERR01 so it might be best to use an M42 1.4x extender (if you can find one – all I see are 2x).

  • A. Seka  10:30 Mar 10, 2011 

    First lens of a long “East” series…
    The one i prefer for my photographic style.
    Sharp since f5.6, bright colours, good contrast,
    No flare ( play with it !), little chromatic aberation,
    And a FULL of distorsion !!!
    Pleasant frames with the 1.6x crop,
    But at least, it doesn’t offer full circular pictures in 24×36 !
    However : Little, light, usefull, ultra-sharp… A jewel !

    Le premier d’une longue s?rie d’objectifs de l'”Est”…
    Mon pr?f?r? en raison de sa focale en rapport avec mon style photographique.
    Un piqu? exceptionnel d?s f5.6, rendu des couleurs ?clatant, tr?s bon contraste, pr?cis des premiers plans ? l’infini,
    Nullement sensible au flare (on joue avec !),
    juste un peu d’aberration chromatique,
    et une distorsion ?nORme !!!
    Cadrage agr?able en crop x1,6,
    H?las, son seul d?faut : il n’offre pas le rond parfait en 24×36 !
    En bref : Petit, l?ger, pratique, tr?s tr?s bon … Un bijou !


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