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12-08-2010, 06:38 PM   #1
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UWA Advice

I'm researching for a fisheye lens. I have a Pentax 10-17 on the way to test, but I'm also interested in a Sigma 8mm. Does anyone have it, and if possible post some examples.
I've also read some very good things about a LensPro/Bower which is much cheaper. Any experiences?

12-08-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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if you wanna go cheap, try any manual focus lens like the bower...
its soo easy to focus!
12-08-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Vicentesagredo. I use MF most of the time with all my lenses, including my DA 15mm Limited to control the hyperfocal distance.
IQ is most important, but from what I've seen from and read about the LensPro/Bower, it produces good quality. And it is about half the price. This is not really about going cheap, but value for the money. That's why I switched from decades of Nikons to Pentax a few years ago in the first place.
I'm not buying it to play with, but have specific purposes in mind, so it will probably be the least used lens in my backpack. All my other lenses are Limiteds and DA* (all primes), but I believe I can get the UWA job done just fine with this cheaper lens.
I'd like to see some images from it first, because although I'm convinced the sharpness is there, I'm not sure about the color and contrast.
I'd also like to hear about the smoothness of its focus ring and general build quality.
12-08-2010, 11:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
. . .
I'd like to see some images from it first, because although I'm convinced the sharpness is there, I'm not sure about the color and contrast.
I'd also like to hear about the smoothness of its focus ring and general build quality.
I know of two Sigma 8mm fisheyes made in Pentax mount. I have the 8mm/4.0 EX autofocus model (not the older manual-focus filtermatic). An 8mm/3.5 model was announced a few years ago but I don't think it was ever released in Pentax mount.

Metal exterior. Focus ring runs Canon-wise (the opposite of Pentax-wise) and has a bit of drag -- not as loose as most AF lenses, not quite as pleasant as an FA limited, but certainly not objectionable. No barrel wobble. The focus adjustment stop is beyond infinity (by design).

Lots of images (mostly not mine) at Sigma 8mm f/4.0 EX Circular Fish-Eye Lens Sample Photos and Specifications .

I think it's contrasty and colorful enough. I usually add a lateral chromatic aberration correction and some sharpening in Lightroom to clean up the edges of the image a bit.

(K20D, ISO 100, f/6.7, cropped)


(K20D, ISO 400, f/5.6, vignetting added in lightroom)


Last edited by troyz; 12-09-2010 at 10:10 PM. Reason: corrected aperture first image
12-09-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks Troyz. Very good info. I do find the color in these shots good. Do you know how well it works shooting directly into the sun?
12-09-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Thanks Troyz. Very good info. I do find the color in these shots good. Do you know how well it works shooting directly into the sun?
The https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33549-fisheye-...ye-photos.html has examples from several fisheye lenses.

Tim
12-09-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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Thanks Atupdate. I did look through the first dozen pages or so of that thread before starting this one, but didn't notice any from the LensPro/Bower model.
I must say, however, that based upon that thread, I was most impressed with the Pentax 10-17.
12-09-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Thanks Troyz. Very good info. I do find the color in these shots good. Do you know how well it works shooting directly into the sun?
IIRC I haven't had problems with veiling glare when the sun is in the image but I do get some ghosting. Sun stars are 10-pointed (due to the 5-bladed diaphragm).

I'm not sure that I have any images online to demonstrate this -- probably best just to look at the sample images on pbase (link in my previous post) and make your own judgment.

Of course, if you're using a digital camera and the sun is in the image and the atmosphere is hazy you do have to be careful to avoid partially blown-out skies -- this is an issue with any ultrawide lens.

12-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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Hey, I found one with the sun in it.

Kodak Ektar 100. The composition leaves much to be desired and from the not-so-saturated color it looks like I overexposed a bit



I see a few ghost spots on the sculpture and a ghost arc on the apartment building immediately to the left.
12-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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Thanks Troy. I'm shooting a K20D.
Thanks for posting this pic. Ghosting may be from the slight (very slight) overexposure, but lens retains good foreground detail with the sun in the shot. This is about as tough as exposures get. Can't say I'm crazy about the sunburst, however.
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