New gear: Rockstar 10mm f/8 fisheye and 27mm f/2.8 pancake for less than $80 each
These fixed-aperture manual focus primes are affordable and available in a wide range of APS-C mounts, as well as Micro Four Thirds.
If you’re looking to dabble in a new focal length, without breaking the bank, Chinese lens manufacturer, Rockstar, has two new primes for less than $80 a pop. Both are available in a range of APS-C mirrorless mounts, including Canon M-mount, Fujifilm X-mount, Nikon Z-mount, and Sony E-mount, as well as Micro Four Thirds.
Before you get too excited, though, it’s worth noting that both of these lenses are manual focus only, with fixed apertures and no electronic contacts to communicate with the camera. Still, they have the potential to add some budget-friendly versatility to any crop sensor kit.
Rockstar 27mm f/2.8
First up is the Rockstar 27mm f/2.8. It offers a 43mm equivalent field-of-view on APS-C bodies and a 52mm equivalent field-of-view on Micro Four Thirds cameras. Compact and lightweight, the lens is less than 1-inch in length, with a diameter of 2.2 inches. Optically, it has six elements, arranged in five groups, and features a 55mm front filter thread. The minimum focus distance is just under 10 inches.
Rockstar 10mm f/8
Next, we have the Rockstar 10mm f/8 fisheye. On APS-C cameras, it provides a 16mm equivalent field-of-view and a 20mm equivalent field-of-view on Micro Four Thirds bodies. It’s also quite compact and lightweight, weighing less than 80g, with a length of 0.5 inches and a diameter of 2.3 inches. Optically, it consists of five elements, in four groups, and uses three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements. The minimum focus distance is 12 inches.
Price, availability, and considerations
Both lenses are available now, but tracking one down can be a little tricky. A quick search of Ebay pulls up listings for both, all with prices under $80 (in “new” condition). But it’s worth checking the positive feedback score on some of these sellers, before making a purchase. I personally would avoid buying from anyone with less than a 99% score. Amazon Japan also has both lenses listed as available as of writing.
It will be interesting to see if any of the major US camera retailers, like B&H or Adorama, eventually carry these. But given the relatively unknown nature of the Rockstar brand, it might be worth waiting for some reviews to come in, before trying to hunt one down. Then again, someone has to test them out first! If that’s you, kindly share your feedback with us, firstname.lastname@example.org.