Woodland picture taken using a fisheye adapter on Nikon D5300

Review – 0.21x Fisheye Adapter with 52mm Thread

I’ve had this fisheye adapter for over a year, and it’s easily one of the best bits of photo kit that I’ve got. I use it all the time, screwed onto my Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX G lens. The adapter is also available with a 58mm thread, and i think this is suitable for Canon’s range of standard lenses. If your lens is neither of these you can get adapter rings quite cheaply that will enable you to attach it. Scroll right down for example shots!

I bought mine off eBay, and they’re listed under a variety of names:52mm 0.21x fisheye adapter

52mm 0.21X Fisheye Fish eye Lens Optics for Nikon

52mm 0.21X Fisheye Lens for Nikon Canon Sony Sigma Pentax Olympus Fujufilm UK

New 52mm 0.21X Fisheye Lens for Canon Nikon

52mm 0.21X Fisheye Fish eye Lens Optics for Nikon

The lens barrel is black metal, and the text on the side reads:


If the lens you’re looking at says the same, you’ve got the right one. It comes with a leatherette pouch and back and front caps.


XCSOURCE® 52mm 0.21X Wide Angle Fisheye Lens Optics for Nikon D70s D60 D40 D40x D3 D700 D300 D300S D200 D90 D70 D7000 D5100 D5000 D3000 D3200 D3100 D5200 D7100 D3S D3X LF313

Focal Length

The adapter is quoted as being 0.21x magnification. This means that my 35mm lens (which becomes a 52.5mm on an APS-C digital body) is transformed into an 11mm fisheye with the adapter on. If you put the adapter on a zoom lens you can try other focal lengths as well. Going longer than 35mm reduces the field of view, and if you go wider than 35mm you’ll start to lose the corners. At 18mm (standard short zoom wide end) you’ll have a totally circular image in a black rectangle. 35mm seems to be about perfect to get a full frame image. Field of view isn’t much less than a full 180 degrees.

Lens Quality

Is this a great quality lens? NO! In truth, it’s absolutely terrible! The corners are dark, the edges are blurred and the contrast is generally pretty poor. You can improve matters by shooting at smaller apertures though but even then it’s not going to compete with a proper fisheye lens. Does this matter? Not to me. The effects this lens gives are truly creative. The dark corners and blurred edges only serve to frame your images beautifully, and the extreme fisheye distortion is a creative tool that you’ll love to use. I personally shoot wide open if I can, as this gives the most distortion and the most artistic look.

Screw Fitting

The lens has a metal screw thread that goes onto the front of your lens. Many lenses (my Nikon 35mm included) have plastic front threads, so you have to be very careful to get the adapter on straight and true or the metal thread will cut onto the thread on your Nikon and ruin it. I point the lens up in the air, sit the adapter on top and turn it backwards til i hear it click. Then i tighten it into place. This avoids cross threading.

Using The Fisheye

Many people think that wide angle lenses are for ‘getting it all in’ – like shooting landscapes etc. In reality, super wide lenses like this are really designed for getting super close to your subject and capturing the environment around it. This gives dramatic, up close shots that are bendy and full of exaggerated perspective. I set my camera to a monochrome, high contrast setting with wide aperture and high ISO and I love my images the way they look, right off the memory card.


Buy one. At £30, it’s an awesome piece of kit and you might just fall in love with it.

Leeds Corn Exchange shot with a 0.21x fisheye adapter on a 35mm lens and D5300 body

Due to the amount of light in the Corn Exchange, i was able to shoot at f7. As you can see, this has helped the shot to be much sharper towards the corners.

Ferrybridge Power Station at night, shot with a Nikon D5300 using a 50mm f1.8g and 0.21x fisheye adapter

Shooting at night in the pitch dark, handheld… never an easy proposition, but with f1.8 and high ISO on the Nikon D5300, it’s a possibility as you can see here.

DSC_1138 DSC_1161 DSC_1175 DSC_1185 DSC_1187

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