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12-14-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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older fisheye?

Anyone have any of the older fisheyes? I want to get one, most likely off ebay since I won't use it all the time I can't justify "new" prices but I'm not sold on the zenitar which is what I see there most often. Just looking for some recommendations!

12-14-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
Anyone have any of the older fisheyes? I want to get one, most likely off ebay since I won't use it all the time I can't justify "new" prices but I'm not sold on the zenitar which is what I see there most often. Just looking for some recommendations!
How old?

I have the M42 mount 17/4 FF Fisheye (See here: S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database ) and absolutely love it.

Of course, I'm using it with film bodies and get the full effect.

The DOF is fantastic, and very sharp! At smaller apertures, set to hyperfocal distance and foget all about focusing.
12-14-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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I have an A 16/2.8, and love it. It can be very sharp (in the center) even wide open or close to it, plus nice colors and contrast. However they are fairly rare, so you can probably get a DA10-17 for about the same amount.

These aren't the best sample shots, but they are available.








Last edited by Nick Siebers; 12-14-2010 at 07:25 PM.
12-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
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"Older fisheye" is almost an oxymoron, like "vintage laser" or "compassionate conservative". Older fisheyes tend to be very expensive, or incompatible with your camera, or cruddy, or some combination thereof. Fisheye adapters tend to be even worse. And much depends upon the degree of fishiness you want, and the frame size of the host camera. I can comment upon very few fishy bits of glass:

* The DA10-17 isn't so old, and it's great, but it ain't cheap, and it ain't fast. It's a wonderful lens for well-lit situations.

* The Zenitar 16/2.8 is pretty fast, and nicely sharp, and not too costly, but it's not real fishy on APS-C cameras. My full-frame cameras love it.

* An old T-mount 12mm f/8 (with Waterhouse stops) marketed as Spiratone, Vemar, Lentar, many other names, is full-circle fishy on full-frame, but the top+bottom edges are cut off on APS-C. It's usually fairly cheap. My copy is misaligned so I can't evaluate it till I fix it.

* My Kenko 180 Degree Fish-Eye adapter is moderately cheap, not real sharp around the edges, and can be either full-circle or frame-filling, depending on the host lens. And it is rather slow. It's also badged as Spiratone, Vivitar, etc. Put it on a 28-80mm or 35-135mm zoom.

The DA10-17 is what drove me to Pentax in the first place, but I find I use the Zenitar more, mostly as a fairly fast ultrawide. I might use my Vemar 12/8 more if it worked. The Kenko adapter is lots of fun. Heck, they're ALL lots of fun. But starting with a fairly cheap full-circle adapter will give you an idea if you really want to invest real money into fishiness.

12-14-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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I guess after a little thought I like the idea of a prime fisheye better than a zoom to force me to move around to compose the shot I want. It seems like the level of compatability between a film era fisheye on a digital sensor is not so great either so paying less for an older lens won't give me the effect I am after.
Maybe what I want is a fast 16 mm prime fisheye for the APS-C sensor...
12-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #6
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The Samyang 8mm isn't exactly expensive even new and it gives a true fisheye effect on APS-C, which none of the older ones will.
12-14-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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What you do with the sides of frame and the center have the most effect. Keeping, say, vertical columns out of the extreme edges will have a more "linear" look.

Zenitar, K10D. Another sampling of "on hand" pics

Notice the ground in the "background" of the pic...



Put something in the center, near minimum focus distance...
12-15-2010, 02:10 AM   #8
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If you can live with 16mm that isn't really that fishy on an APS-C body I'd say you can also keep an eye out for the Sigma 16mm FE Filtermatic. I've done a test against the Zenitar 16mm and the Sigma came out on top, softer wide open but on the whole better (build quality, sharpness stopped down, minimum focus distance). It's quite rare so the price is hard to say but I got mine for around 160-170 USD.

This is with a film camera.


12-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #9
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Cheap fish-eye

These show up on ebay. These are a real fish-eye and wide. 12mm is much wider than 16mm. They seem to sell around $100 usd. They take a T-mount, so they will fit any camera. You may need to buy the proper T-mount, but T-mount adapters are cheap, can be had for less than $10. Search for fish-eye and option used on ebay.
http://thesybersite.com/general/12mm-fisheye/
12-15-2010, 08:07 AM   #10
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Fuji made a nice fisheye in m42 with ECB coating that shows up sometimes for not too much money, and in K mount there is the Rikenon 16mm fisheye, which I think is a rebadged Sigma.
12-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
I guess after a little thought I like the idea of a prime fisheye better than a zoom to force me to move around to compose the shot I want.
It doesn't quite work that way. It's not like "zooming with your feet" @50mm rather than using a 35-80mm lens. Moving in close @17mm is NOT the same as moving back @10mm. Below 18mm on APS-C, every 1mm difference in focal length gives GREAT differences in fisheye-distortion-perspective effects. It's a whole new world down there!

That's part of why I'm really torn between getting a Sigma 8-16 for US$650+ or a Tamron 10-24 for US$375 (with December discount). That 2mm difference between 8 and 10 will be much more noticeable than shifting my DA10-17 from 10 to 12, which is much more noticeable than going from 15 to 17. Every millimeter counts.
12-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #12
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Zenitar version has been hoorayed as the best "wide angle" lens for some time. In fact, it is an old optic design being shared by many companies.

It has little CA as you would have expected from a FE lens. Sharp as hell. Just that it is bulky and inflexible using legs as the manual focusing tool.

I do note that people dont end up using this lens for a long time. Always a fate of being re sold from one party to another like homeless kid.
12-15-2010, 05:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Below 18mm on APS-C, every 1mm difference in focal length gives GREAT differences in fisheye-distortion-perspective effects. It's a whole new world down there!
Thanks for the heads up! since I don't have a fisheye yet I have not learned this lesson. I know I dont want the extreme appearance of a circular fisheye in the 4-8mm range. I suppose I will just have to keep an eye out and see what I come across if the price is right.
The Tamron at that price though might make me put off my fisheye plans for a couple more months because that deal seems almost too good to pass up. I have the DA 17-70 and I wondered how much more I can get in the shot with the Tamron 10-24 and it sounds like alot! Correct me if I am wrong.
12-15-2010, 07:25 PM   #14
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I'm shopping for a fisheye myself and have done considerable research already. I have the DA 15mm Limited, and although quite wide, it's not really what I would call a fisheye. On APS-C, you almost need 10mm for fisheye, and 8mm is 180 degrees, or true fisheye.
Check out the Sigma (reticular) 10-20. Even at 10mm there is very little bending when compared to the Pentax 10-17. Also check out Lens-Pro/Bower/Samyang (I think they're all the same) for 8mm and 10mm primes at half the price of Sigma or Pentax. I do believe that is what I'll eventually settle upon. At such a wide angle, the DOF is so wide, I can't tell the difference in detail between Bower (also reticular) and Sigma.
12-16-2010, 04:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
The Tamron at that price though might make me put off my fisheye plans for a couple more months because that deal seems almost too good to pass up.
Amen. I'm leaning towards the Tammy 10-24 over the Siggy 8-18 mostly because of money. A bit more research just may push me over the edge...

QuoteQuote:
I have the DA 17-70 and I wondered how much more I can get in the shot with the Tamron 10-24 and it sounds like alot! Correct me if I am wrong.
Consider this: With AOV (diagonal angle of view), the DA12-24 starts where the DA10-17 ends. That is, the 10-17@17mm has the same (but distorted) AOV as the 12-24@12mm, ~100 degrees. Now, your 17-70@17mm has AOV of ~80 degrees. A rectilinear @10mm has an AOV of ~113 degrees. That's over 40% wider! And as I consider the Sigma 8-16, its AOV @8mm is ~124 degrees, over 50% wider than a rectilinear @16mm. Damn, that sure is tempting...
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