I recently decided to create a compact kit for Fujifilm X cameras (specifically, the upcoming X-E4)—something that is versatile yet can fit into a small bag, that’s convenient for travel. An important part of this kit will be pancake lenses. It didn’t take me long to discover that there aren’t very many of these lenses available for Fujifilm cameras. There are only two Fujinon pancakes: the 27mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2. There aren’t a whole lot of tiny third-party lenses, either. The Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye, which was released just a few weeks ago and retails for only $79, is an inexpensive ultra-wide pancake option that I knew I needed to try.
At 2/5ths of an inch thick, the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye lens isn’t much bigger than the Fujifilm body cap. It’s super small and lightweight. I doubt there are many lenses available that are thinner than this one. It appears to be mostly made of metal and the build quality seems pretty solid. It has five elements in four groups. The minimum focus distance is about one foot, and manual focusing is done via a small lever on the bottom-front of the lens. On Fujifilm X cameras, the 10mm focal-length is full-frame-equivalent to 15mm.
Legendary photographer Weegee coined the phrase, “F/8 and be there.” Due to its fixed f/8 aperture, the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye epitomizes this saying. You literally can’t do much more than “f/8 and be there.” This allows the lens to be so small, but it also limits its usefulness; it’s not a good option for low-light situations.
Pergear calls this a “fisheye” lens because there’s a lot of barrel distortion, which isn’t unusual on such wide-angle lenses. It reminds me a lot of SuperView on GoPro cameras, if you’re familiar. Straight lines won’t be straight, which you can either fix in software or try to use creatively.
I found the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye lens to be sufficiently sharp in the center—not Fujinon prime tack-sharp, but sharp enough nonetheless. There’s some noticeable corner softness and vignetting. I did spot chromatic aberrations in extreme contrast areas. This isn’t the greatest glass, but, considering the price, it’s surprisingly decent.
Due to its focal length, fixed aperture, and barrel distortion, this is a challenging lens to use. It’s not for most situations; however, it can be used to capture some dramatic and creative pictures in the right situations. If you embrace the challenge you’ll surely be rewarded. I found the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye fun to use—more enjoyable than I expected.
There are definitely better ultra-wide-angle lenses (both Fujinon and third-party) that you could buy instead of the Pergear 10mm; however, you won’t find any as inexpensive or as small as this one (at least I didn’t find any). That combination of size and value make the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye an intriguing option. If you plan to shoot ultra-wide often, this isn’t likely the lens for you, unless you really appreciate how it renders pictures. If you think it would be fun to occasionally use a 10mm lens but don’t want to spend a bunch of money or make room in your camera bag for a bigger option, this Pergear lens is certainly worth a try.
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Example photographs using the Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye lens on my Fujifilm X-T1:
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