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05-03-2010, 06:46 AM   #1
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Zenitar-K f/2.8/16mm Fisheye Lens

Hi guys, I'm a pentax forum virgin so don't be too harsh

Been looking into a fisheye to use in conjunction with my *istDS and came across the Zenitar. Wondering if anyone has used/is using one?

Anyone want to steer me in the direction of other options I have for fisheyes?

Seems like a fair price:
Lens Zenitar-K f/2.8/16mm Pentax Fish-Eye FREE SHIPPING on eBay (end time 24-May-10 15:07:52 BST)

Not after something hugely fancy, just something I can experiment with since I shoot alot of extreme sports and fisheyes compliment shots of this style hugely!



A shot I did a while ago on a friends K10D with a Pentax SMC DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED IF Fish. (apologies for the low res - the original is long gone)

05-03-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard!!

The Zen 16mm f2.8 being the only FE I have any experience with, I can say that I like it. If you can live with Manual focus, it's a cheap way of going that way.

Here are some shots from a film camera with the lens..

Walking Woodmere - a set on Flickr

There are several here on an IR modded K20d..

K20d Infrared - a set on Flickr

I don't have any action shots like yours to show but I hope these will give you Some idea.

05-03-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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I would put the money toward the DA10-17.

You'll get a lot more mileage out of it.
05-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #4
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@JeffJS - Cheers for the photo's! They help give me a decent idea of the lens. I like what I see You have some cool shots too! How's the focusing on the zen?

@Ira - I can't really afford to fork out 400 for the DA10-17, ideally i'd buy it, since i've used it in the past and liked the results, but since im on a budget unless i can source a used one for decent price, the zen looks like my best bet.

05-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by matt123roll Quote

@Ira - I can't really afford to fork out 400 for the DA10-17, ideally i'd buy it, since i've used it in the past and liked the results, but since im on a budget unless i can source a used one for decent price, the zen looks like my best bet.
I thought you guys in England were all gloriously wealthy, just like us in the states.
05-03-2010, 09:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I thought you guys in England were all gloriously wealthy, just like us in the states.
We were. When it was $2 to 1, we could buy all our stuff from you! But since the exchange rate has gone downhill we can't anymore!
05-03-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by matt123roll Quote
We were. When it was $2 to 1, we could buy all our stuff from you! But since the exchange rate has gone downhill we can't anymore!
Well, it's $1 for $1 for us, and we can't afford it either.
05-03-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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The Zeni is my only fisheye. Great way to play around with a FE without breaking the bank. It's not as fishy as the DA10-17 (judging by others' photos), but still fun, and quite versatile. Here's a close-up of some irises:


It's handy to fit big stuff in the frame - here's a failed resort in Nova Scotia. You can see a little curvature on the trees at the edge, otherwise, if you put the horizon in the middle, it's not too bad.


And here's one showing a bit more distortion, of a covered bridge - the backlighting was rather awful, it's not the best, but you get the idea.


Attached at the bottom is a very silly shot of a train in motion at close range, but I think it gives the best idea of the sort of fisheye effect you can get.

You might have to fiddle with the infinity focus adjustment, or you might be lucky and get a good copy. I had to tweak mine (it focused past infinity, as if that's really possible) but it was easy, and it didn't affect the lens' optical qualities while it was off, anyway. You will not regret buying this lens!

Julie

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05-03-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by matt123roll Quote
@JeffJS - Cheers for the photo's! They help give me a decent idea of the lens. I like what I see You have some cool shots too! How's the focusing on the zen?
Focusing is basically, one end or the other. There isn't a lot of room to move around on the focus ring and I find I'm best off with most things, focusing close and hoping for the best on the rest. Very distant objects are so small with this lens that it doesn't matter a whole lot. The great thing about the lens is you can get very close to whatever (or whoever) you are focusing on and at that range, the lens is crazy sharp. As I think you noticed on my cemetery photos, the FE effect is amplified by tilting the camera (one of those shots really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way).

One thing you should know about this lens is this. SOME of them are/were shipped needing further adjustment to focus to infinity (whatever that is). Mine needed such an adjustment. It's simple to do, takes all of 5 minutes once you've located your small screwdriver, and shouldn't scare you off of the lens.

Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Review of the Zenitar 16mm 2.8

The lens also flares like crazy so you have to watch your sun angle with respect to the lens when using it. Dollar for Dollar, it's a fine 16mm FE prime. Would I rather have one of the Pentax (prime wide angle FE) offerings? You bet but at the price, I cannot justify one.

05-03-2010, 11:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxglove Quote
The Zeni is my only fisheye. Great way to play around with a FE without breaking the bank. It's not as fishy as the DA10-17 (judging by others' photos), but still fun, and quite versatile. Here's a close-up of some irises:


It's handy to fit big stuff in the frame - here's a failed resort in Nova Scotia. You can see a little curvature on the trees at the edge, otherwise, if you put the horizon in the middle, it's not too bad.


And here's one showing a bit more distortion, of a covered bridge - the backlighting was rather awful, it's not the best, but you get the idea.


Attached at the bottom is a very silly shot of a train in motion at close range, but I think it gives the best idea of the sort of fisheye effect you can get.

You might have to fiddle with the infinity focus adjustment, or you might be lucky and get a good copy. I had to tweak mine (it focused past infinity, as if that's really possible) but it was easy, and it didn't affect the lens' optical qualities while it was off, anyway. You will not regret buying this lens!

Julie
Thanks for the images! Definatly helping me get an idea of the distortion etc. Not sure if it's 'fishy' enough for my liking but ill keep looking around for more sample shots to help me decide.
05-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Focusing is basically, one end or the other. There isn't a lot of room to move around on the focus ring and I find I'm best off with most things, focusing close and hoping for the best on the rest. Very distant objects are so small with this lens that it doesn't matter a whole lot. The great thing about the lens is you can get very close to whatever (or whoever) you are focusing on and at that range, the lens is crazy sharp. As I think you noticed on my cemetery photos, the FE effect is amplified by tilting the camera (one of those shots really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way).

One thing you should know about this lens is this. SOME of them are/were shipped needing further adjustment to focus to infinity (whatever that is). Mine needed such an adjustment. It's simple to do, takes all of 5 minutes once you've located your small screwdriver, and shouldn't scare you off of the lens.

Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Review of the Zenitar 16mm 2.8

The lens also flares like crazy so you have to watch your sun angle with respect to the lens when using it. Dollar for Dollar, it's a fine 16mm FE prime. Would I rather have one of the Pentax (prime wide angle FE) offerings? You bet but at the price, I cannot justify one.

Yeah, i've read up about the infinity problem. I can only cross my fingers and hope if i do bite the bullet and buy one its not defective. If it is, im sure the guide you provided would help me to sort it right out! Much appreciated! I might stalk ebay over the next few weeks in the home of getting a cheap used DA-10 17

Are there any other FE's out there people want to recommend i look at buying?
05-03-2010, 11:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by matt123roll Quote
Are there any other FE's out there people want to recommend i look at buying?
I have a Sigma Filtermatic 16mm f2.8 FE that's pretty similar to the Zenitar in field of view. It has two advantages: it's a KA mount and it focuses closer. I was able to get mine for the same price as the Zenitar. They are not very common so prices are somewhat variable.

Samyang makes a new 8mm fisheye, manual focus and KA mount. You might find it sold under several brands like Bower or Rokinon. The focal length is more suitable for digital and the fisheye effect is more pronounced.
05-03-2010, 11:45 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I have a Sigma Filtermatic 16mm f2.8 FE that's pretty similar to the Zenitar in field of view. It has two advantages: it's a KA mount and it focuses closer. I was able to get mine for the same price as the Zenitar. They are not very common so prices are somewhat variable.

Samyang makes a new 8mm fisheye, manual focus and KA mount. You might find it sold under several brands like Bower or Rokinon. The focal length is more suitable for digital and the fisheye effect is more pronounced.
I'll take a look into that Samyang since 8mm is closer to what I want. Thanks!
05-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by matt123roll Quote
Yeah, i've read up about the infinity problem. I can only cross my fingers and hope if i do bite the bullet and buy one its not defective. If it is, im sure the guide you provided would help me to sort it right out! Much appreciated! I might stalk ebay over the next few weeks in the home of getting a cheap used DA-10 17

Are there any other FE's out there people want to recommend i look at buying?
You might want to check out the Fisheye Fever thread on this forum. There are representative shots from most of the current options.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33549-fisheye-...ye-photos.html
When evaluating the photos, pay attention to purple fringing and general sharpness. Some of the popular lenses are VERY prone to PF and others are not so sharp. My personal favorites are those taken with the Sigma 15/2.8.

I shoot with the Zenitar and can vouch for the value that this lens represents. Here is a link to some samples taken with both my K10D and with 35mm film cameras...LINK. You can also look at the lens review on this site for a thorough discussion...LINK. You will probably note that fishiness varies according to composition and subject. The curved lines from a fisheye lens are not due to distortion, but a product of the circular projection of the lens design. As such, everything depends on whether the lens axis is level and the orientation of any straight lines to the lens axis. Even with the crop factor on APS-C, the Zen can look very fishy.

Alternatives to the Zenitar are actually pretty plentiful, though the price point can be fairly high. Even vintage M42 Takumar models go for $300+ in good condition. The Peleng 8/3.5 has its fans as does the Bower/Samyang/Polar 8/3.5 and Vivitar 7/3.5.


Steve

P.S. Two of my PPG photos were taken with the Zenitar 16/2.8

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-03-2010 at 12:06 PM.
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