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  ©luca vascon 2006

Coastal 4.88mm

type
years and variants
elements-groups
f.stop
angle of view, h,v,diag
circular in production 10\6 5.2 185°
image circle
close focus
filters
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
14.9mm fixed no 82.87 x 101 mm  
officially Nikon and EOS mount
photo:luca vascon
 
What is this strange monster?? Midway between an FC-E8 Nikon converter and an 8mm f2.8 Nikkor Fisheye dream, it is, however NOT a cheap fisheye, and NOT a crappy converter. First of all, it is the ONLY real circular fisheye lens made for an APS-C sensor, second it delivers outstanding quality.Well, it is a 4.000$ lens. In these pictures you can see it on hand, and it was shoot on a film nikon camera, although it was made for it, only to evaluate dimensions.
It has no focusing control, nor diafragm settings, fixed hyperfocal at f/5.2
It is delivered in two flavours; Canon or Nikon mount. But obviously I had a Nikon to Canon adater to fit both the cameras

At a closer look I discovered that... this unique lens shows a T2 universal mount!!!! So it can be easily removed to fit whatever camera. I cannot grant this to be a standard production piece, that looks quite different in the mounting zone. However the Nikon adaptersupplied was really nothing special, not really tight to the camera and without anti-twist mechanism. It locked on the AI-S pin of the Nikon 301 (a Nikon bayonet pin adopted in all cameras with T and P modes, from FA till some modern film AF ones) compelling me to do some magic ritual to remove it from the camera.

Photo: courtesy Coastal opt.

What's the place of this lens in the universe and in the market?
Well, it is a 4.000$ lens, without diafragm and focusing, two things that baybe are not so necessary.
One of the use was surely to shoot the 2-hemisphere panoramic pictures in the best quality possible (it spots a 185 degrees circle!) the other could be measurements, surveys, scientific use, like a cloud camera. This lens in fact claims to record a perfect equisolid geometry. The other way to do it is to use a fullframe digital sensor, with another outstanding quality circular fisheye, but I'm not so sure that would be the right solution, expecially if you want to use hi-grade custom video sensors.
The image in the viewfinder is bright and crisp, usable till the very end, with trascurable vignetting, no color separation at borders and controlled flare. This is a really wellmade optic! Well, but a diafragm.....


Links
Coastal fisheye page

Downloads:
pgui template with the lens values (camera eos 20d)
.rar file with the 3 original images AND the template. BEWARE, 6megabytes.
Original .pdf catalogue from the Coastal optical company


I had to check the lens fast, so I forgot an high iso rating on the camera, sorry for the noisy panoramic pictures. :-(