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Spiratone Curvatar

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 986 Sun April 28, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $25.00 8.00
Spiratone Curvatar

The Spiratone Curvatar is a quality, made in Japan auxiliary lens originally designed to turn a 50mm lens on 35mm camera into a 150 degree circular image semi-fisheye lens. The Curvatar uses Series VII thread adapters to mount onto the front threads of a host lens. Lenses longer than 50mm, or a 50mm on a crop sensor APSC camera produce a rectilinear ultra wide angle effect.

I found that my Curvatar works very well indeed on my never used 18-55mm Pentax DA-L kit lens! At 18mm only the very bottom of the full circular image is slightly cut off. Color rendition is very good as is contrast. Sharpness is very good in the center when the host lens is stopped down to F8. From f11 to 22 the zone of sharpness becomes wider, though the corners are always soft. CA is surprisingly well controlled as is flare. This 1980's accessory can be found for under $30 and beats the proverbial pants off newer "fisheye" adapters sold under the Opteka, Kenko and other brands.

Make sure to source the proper Series VII step ring for any lenses on which you plan to mount the Curvatar. eBay is a good source since camera stores rarely carry the old SeriesVII rings.

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Registered: February, 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 805
Review Date: April 28, 2019 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Close-Up performance, good colors, Inexpensive
Cons: Hard to find, Series VII adapters, soft corners

I've purchased several auxiliary ultra-wide angle and fisheye adapters over the years, all of them except one, The Spiratone Curvatar, have proved to be useless.

I bought my Curvatar for $25 including shipping from eBay in like new condition. I figured to use it on either my 35mm DA f2.4 or 18-55mm DA-L Pentax kit lens, so I sourced a 49mm and 52mm Series VII step ring from another eBay vendor for around $12 total. The results with the 35mm were not very impressive since the image loses the near full circle effect. On a full frame sensor camera even a 50mm host would render a circular 150 semi-fisheye view. Anyhow, I next used the 52mm ring to mount the Curvatar on my much unloved 18-55mm DA-L. BINGO! We have a winner.

Using the 18mm setting, the image is almost a complete circle and the combination produces surprisingly good results too! Color is saturated and true. Contrast is good. The AF actually works, especially in live view contrast AF mode and sharpness in the center is quite acceptable.

Close-up images are this combinations forte, centered close subjects are rendered quite sharply at apertures from f8 and smaller. Sharpness across the frame gets better at f11 and 16, however the corners are never sharp. Corrections in PP can sharpen and even out the image brightness and contrast to a good degree.

For the money, usually under $30, the Curvatar makes a worthy fun accessory if you don't own a prime fisheye. My result with the Pentax 18-55mm DA-L kit lens with the Curvatar have it permanently assigned to that former closet dwelling lens.

The linked images are all direct from the camera jpegs with no adjustments.

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