The new Nikon 8-15mm fisheye zoom lens was released only days before our departure to the Digital Shootout. We were able to MacGyver a makeshift zoom gear with a few items around the shop that worked quite well!
The Nikon 8-15mm lens is a fisheye zoom lens that is a full frame diagonal fisheye lens at the 15mm side of the zoom, and a circular fisheye at the 8mm side. A diagonal fisheye has 180 degrees of coverage across the diagonal corners of the frame. A circular fisheye is one that has 180 degree coverage in every direction. It's great to have the versatility of being able to shoot a circular fisheye, without having to dedicate your whole dive to it. While Canon has had the Canon 8-15mm lens for years, this is the first time a lens like this is available from Nikon.
All images in this review (see images below) were shot with the full frame Nikon D810 camera. We were super impressed with the image quality of this lens along with the versatility, and will now recommend this lens as the primary lens for wide angle use with full frame Nikon cameras.
While this is designed for full frame, it can be used on DX crop sensors as well. However, it will not do a full circular fisheye on DX cameras. It will go to about 10mm before vignetting. For DX cameras we still recommend the highly popular Tokina 10-17 mm fisheye lens.
This also helps out wide angle video shooters that will now have a viable way to shoot wide angle video with the crop factor that Nikon imposes on 4K video.
Since the novelty of this lens is the circular fisheye side, I spent a bit more time shooting circular images than I normally do. And had a blast doing it!