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04-11-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
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K-x fisheye lens or adapter?

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I have a pentax K-x and am looking into buying a cheap fisheye lens or adapter.

I want to take photos like these:

I have been suggested the zenitar 16mm. However I am unsure it will give results such as the photos above on my K-x.

I also don't want to spend a lot of money as it is just for a bit of fun, $200 max.

Suggestions and examples of how the photos will turn out would be great!

04-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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First, the Zenitar is the lens you want for both good quality and price. The only other consideration is the Pentax DA10-17mm which will be more but offers automation and auto focus. The Zenitar is totally manual.

Second, who's photos are those? If you don't own them, you need to give credit to the photographer, direct the links through that photographers web site or remove them. We don't allow the use of other peoples work for any reason on this site.
04-11-2011, 09:40 PM   #3
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Olive, I bought an old stock manual Sigma 8mm instead of the Zenitar because my research indicated the Zenitar would not look that fishy on a crop sensor.
I too did not want to spend too much as I just wanted to play around.

I bought from this source.
NEW Sigma 8mm MF F/4 Fisheye lens Filters for Pentax | eBay

Take a look at the fisheye lens club here to see what folks are using.

Here is a sample taken with my K-x I posted to the fisheye club. I cropped it a bit as the original has more of that black circle visible like in your samples.

Last edited by crewl1; 04-11-2011 at 09:52 PM.
04-11-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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The Zenitar will not produce wildly distorted fish eye images as much as say the Sigma and Pentax fish-eyes. The adapters aren't flash, and degrade image quality quite significantly.

I'd also suggest the DA 10-17 as it is very very good value, and has zoom capability.

04-11-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Another suggestion for the DA 10-17, if you can bump up your $ range. I own one and it is amazing. The IQ is very good, AF is fast, very solid build, and above all it is very fun to shoot with. If you cannot extend your $ then the Zenitar will do just fine.

**FYI the photos your linked were taken with a circular fisheye hence the circular images lens whereas the Zenitar and Pentax will produce a normal rectangle image with fisheye effect. Not sure if you were looking specifically for the circular image or not.
04-11-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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I also have and enjoy using the DA10-17 FE. Keep in mind that if you buy one it's not "just for fun," as it produces nice images and the 17mm end has fairly minimal distortion, making it serve as a more serious wide angle lens as well. For that matter, a fisheye image done right is serious too. So its versatility can easily justify the greater investment.

Although I use my primes more often, for general shooting, when I don't know quite what to expect, I'll take my DA*16-50, DA*50-135, and DA10-17 FE. The point is that it's high quality, gives nice colors almost like the DA15, and rounds out my zoom kit. It serves as my only lens wider than 15mm.
04-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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I think this is the lens to really do that, but it's a bit out of your budget:

Sigma 4.5mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Lens for Pentax Digital SLR 486-109

Another interesting option is this:

Lensbaby Scout Mount W/Fisheye Lens for Pentax K LBSFEP B&H

And possibly this:

Vivitar 7mm f/3.5 Series 1 Fisheye Manual Focus Lens 7MMP B&H

Note that only the Sigma 4.5mm will give you the full circular image on APS-C.

04-12-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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I have tried the adaptors and find the CA off axis is so bad that the adaptor is useless.

I bought a samyang 8mm fisheye and am very pleased with it.
04-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have tried the adaptors and find the CA off axis is so bad that the adaptor is useless.

I bought a samyang 8mm fisheye and am very pleased with it.
I have the same experience with adaptors - just terrible CA.
I got myself a Zenitar. Mostly because I did not desire the full circle effect but just extreme wide. However on Zenit camera it should be 180*. I must say it is great lens. Very sharp wide open. But the production quality is weird. It looks and feels like military made and disposable, however durable.
I do not think that 8mm will give you full circle either, maybe 4,5mm does. Unless it is made for DSLR cameras.
04-13-2011, 03:35 AM   #10
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Most adapters suck terribly. I have used a few screw-ons. Ick. I have the Kenko 180 Degree Fisheye adapter, used on an F35-70 for a range of fishy effects from full-circle to extra-wide, and it still sucks.

The DA10-17 is the lens that drove me to Pentax in the first place. It is superb, and flexible, and automatic, but is not the fastest item around. I have the Zenitar 16/2.8, which is fishy in full-frame but not so much so on APS-C; it is considerably faster than the DA10-17 @17mm. I have the Tamron 10-24, good but not fishy, with the expected rectilinear distortion.

If I'm in small spaces and want great detail, I use the DA10-17 or the Tammy. If I want to exploit angles and contexts, I use the DA10-17. If I'm in a dimmer space and want to capture contexts handheld, I use the Zenitar. (On a long trip last year, with 25 lenses aboard, my most-used were the DA18-250, the Zenitar, and a DA50/1.4.) Stopped-down, any of these produce amazing close-ups. But none of these produce full-circle images.
04-13-2011, 04:06 AM   #11
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The Samyang is the way to go if you want cheap, good IQ fisheye.
The lensbabies are a special lot...i like them but they are not to everyone's taste, the fisheye is just an optic so you'll have to buy the thing to mount it on too, wich will give you a fun tilt-shift like lens, with wich you can produce some cool effects. You should browse the lensbabies club (it convinced me i absolutely needed one...and now with some time in between i still think it's a nice piece of equipment i'll get sometime).
Oh good thing too is that it's circular fisheye as the ones you showed (although i'm not sure if the full circle will appear in aps-c sensor size).

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