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05-13-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Problems with Pentax-DA 10-17mm fisheye

I have purchased few days ago the Pentax-DA 10-17mm fisheye lens and after shooting bunch of test pics, mostly landscapes and in woods, I am very disappointed/confused.
I have the Pentax KX with a split image focusing screen installed and when my camera shows in focus it matches perfectly the split image screen. Camera used to have a bit of front focusing issue but it was corrected and all my other AF lenses work without a glitch.

Generally, when handholding the camera with the 10-17mm FE and SR enabled, very few pictures are reasonably sharp, some are completely blurred, even so that shutter speed was in range of 1/200 to 1/500, which should not be affected by handshake on such a wide angle lens. Surprisingly, the worst results seem to happen when setting the AF to spot focusing? As well, the focal range of 12 to 14mm seems to be most prone to blurring and some pictures look like if having still some front focusing.

Eventually, I found out that I can get relatively best focusing with the 5 point AF setting. What is however most confusing is the fact, that my split image focusing screen is always confirming perfect in focus while the resulting picture can be either fairly sharp or blurred.

When shooting a flat wall from tripod and SR off, all the pictures are relatively sharp, but not as good as I would expect and visibly worse than pics from my kit 18-50mm lens @ 18mm setting, when I zoom in for detail.

I talked to Pentax Canada, their answer was - send us the lens AND the body and we will look at it, which I am not keen on doing. The online outfit that I bought the lens from is offering me either exchange or refund...

I have no experience with fisheye lenses and I am completely lost why some pictures look reasonably sharp while others blurred. Could the AF setting or the SR have positive/negative effect? Anyone experienced similar problems, any suggestions?


05-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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The focus shouldn't be a problem, as 90% of the time you'd be looking at infinity focus. This sounds like it might be an SR issue in the camera. How do your photos look when it is disabled and with no tripod? Could you post some sample pics?

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05-13-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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Can't you just leave it on MF with infinity focus? It sounds like this might be an SR/shutter speed/shallow DOF issue. Could you post some sample pics?
That treats the symptom but does not cure the problem which he should not have.

It's unlikely to be a DOF issue on such a short lens, and it occurred at relatively high shutter speeds.

I'd like to see some samples, but I think it's the lens. I would exchange it if possible. It is worth getting a good one.
05-13-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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Before posting a bunch of pictures, I need to say that I use SR whenever shooting without a tripod, and I never had any focusing/blurring problem with my other AF lenses or the MF primes. But, it is a good point, I shall try to compare few handheld shots with and without SR. I have already asked for exchange, but it would certainly drive me nuts if I had the same problem again.
I will try to attach some pics in my next post.

05-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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So, I turned the SR off and took a series of pictures - same thing. It seems that at 5.6 aperture and wider, the blur happens almost randomly. There are some reasonably sharp pictures and some poor ones, as an example one of the worst blurred ones was a lanscape at 1/800 @ 5.0.
The sharpness starts improving at 8.0+, but even then it is far from what I would expect from a $500 lens.
05-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #6
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I would say that something isn't right either with the lens or the camera. I don't have a Kx so I can't comment on what might be the problem with the camera, if any. On my K10D, the 10-17 fisheye is very sharp all the time. An extreme wide angle lens has very large DOF and I often take shots in crowded places holding the camera overhead without focusing at all. I would go for the exchange first. If your other lenses seem to be working it is most likely a lens issue. If the replacement does the same then send both the lens and camera to Pentax. This shot of my daughters crew team with their coach after a race was shot blind, just holding the camera up overhead and firing off a shot.

Last edited by reeftool; 12-29-2016 at 04:42 PM.
05-15-2010, 12:18 AM   #7
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It's time for some images, luma.

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