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Panomar 12mm f8 fish-eye M42

M42 / Canon EOS.


It's been lurking out there, largely unseen and unmentioned, for almost 40 years. It has been known by many names: Accura, Beroflex, Berolina, Panomar, Sigma, Spiratone, Universa, Upsilon, and Vemar. It's inexpensive, fun, and unlike anything else.

It's generally agreed that the 12mm fisheye first appeared on the scene in 1967-68. I have the original edition of the Time/Life Library of Photography book series, and in the Special Problems volume I found a 35mm photo made by Harvey Duze in 1970 with a 12mm fisheye. I contacted Harvey, who confirmed that he used his Spiratone 12mm to take the shot. By the way, he still owns and uses the same lens with his current cameras. (If you locate the book you'll see that the photo caption gives the field of view as 150 degrees rather than 180, and that was Harvey's estimate of the true angle of coverage.