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05-12-2011, 02:27 AM   #1
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A fisheye lens dilema... buy or not to buy..

I have been looking for a fisheye lens, specially for the Pentax 10-17mm... i was thinking of getting a FE cuz i take nightclub photos and sometimes is a nice effect,, especially to catch stage and crowd... the thing is that out of 200 pics perhaps just 4 or 5 might be with FE effect... So i think that buy a lens just for that few pictures is not suck a smart thing to do... so the question is .. what are other possibilities to have a fisheye effect but without using an expensive fisheye lens??? basically what i dont want is the typical black circle around the image.. i want like a full frame effect..

So im thinking that perhaps getting a wide angle lens and to addapt something to create the FE effect ( full frame effect ) might be a solution..


Any ideas??

05-12-2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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Photoshop plugin

A cheats way but probably the cheapest. Just use your standard lens at 18mm.
05-12-2011, 04:05 AM   #3
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There are fish eye screw-on adapters that you can buy to fit onto the front of your existing lenses, but they don't have very good optical quality.

I'd agree to just create the fisheye effect in PP.
If you really want wider views in the club, you're either going to go cheap with the adapters (such as on eBay - check the filter thread diameter) or invest some money into a 10-17 that is excellent quality and you can use it for other things too.
05-12-2011, 04:38 AM   #4
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zenitar 16mm FE

This is a full fisheye lens on a full frame camera, but less so on the 1.5 digital crop cameras. The point is you can get the fisheye distortion, but with careful framing and cropping the fisheye distortion is minimized. It is a fun lens to play with and relatively inexpensive.

btw it also makes a good close up lens

One caveat, it is a completely manual lens, no auto focus (tho to be frank the DOF is so wide you don't need it) and no auto aperture. Also, like a lot of UWA lenses it's prone to flare and CA.

edit: forgot to mention that it can be found used, either here at the marketplace, KEH or on Adorama's Used Equipment section.

NaCl(but for all that it is still the most fun lens in my kit)H2O

05-12-2011, 04:39 AM   #5
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I don't own one but as I understand it, the 10-17 might be perfect for you since the FE effect is drastically reduced at the 17 end and the 10 end still yields full images.
05-12-2011, 05:29 AM   #6
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the samyang 8mm has a good rep and it's cheap..it's has no black circle...and there are a lot of other things you can do with a FE..i think that if you get it you will have fun and use it for far more than those 5 shots of nightclubs.
The thing to consider is that if you wouldn't be better off with other lenses (it's cheap but it's in the hundreds of bucks sooo..).
05-12-2011, 05:35 AM   #7
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If you do not want to spend much money, these sell on ebay for around $90 or so.
The Strange Case of the 12mm Fisheye
05-12-2011, 05:56 AM   #8
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I have various fishy glass. The DA10-17 is what drove me to Pentax in the first place. It is excellent. It is not fast. It is not cheap. It is quite fishy at 10mm, not so fishy at 17mm.

I have the Zenitar 16/2.8. It is equally as fishy as the 10-17 at 16-17mm, but is much faster. The 10-17 is only at f/4.5 there while the zen is at f/2.8, that's 2 1/3 f-stops. I use the Zen most.

I have a Vemar 12/8 with a focus problem. This is a fixed-focus lens with Waterhouse stops. It is very slow, and image quality on mine leaves much to be desired. That is, it sucks.

I have a fairly high-quality Kenko 180 Degree fisheye adapter that I mount on a 35-80 zoom. It produces full-circle images at 40mm and frame-filling images at 60mm. It is also very slow.

I have used lower-quality fishy / ultrawide adapters. Still picture image quality always sucks. Low IQ on video isn't so noticeable, because frame movement swamps-out the blurred details.

Your options:

* Cheapest way: Use the kit lens at 18mm, and add fishy effects in PP.

* Use a cheap fishy adapter. Accept that IQ will suck, even with lots of PP.

* Get the Zenitar 16/2.8. Defished, it's equivalent to 12mm. As mentioned, its fishiness can be emphasized or hidden by careful attention to angles and distances. It is the favorite of my fisheyes and ultrawides, and one of my most-used lenses. It's my preferred lens for tight indoor spaces. IQ is pretty good wide open, quite good when stopped down.

I haven't tried a Sigma 8mm so I can't comment on it. Good luck!


Last edited by RioRico; 05-13-2011 at 10:36 PM.
05-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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A couple years ago I rented the DA 10-17 over the holidays. I bought a used one two weeks later. It's not always on my camera, but it's always in my small "travel bag." I like the zoom super-fishy to not so fishy, and getting close shots is never a problem.

My advice is to do the same, it's inexpensive to rent before you pull the trigger. I payed over $300 for a used one.
05-12-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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I had the option to get the 10-17 when I was lookint to add an ultra wide to myu kit (about 5 years ago now.

I had the sigma 10-20, the pentax 12-24 and the pentax 10-17 as my options, and decided then to go for the 10-20.

ALthough I have since added the Samyang 8mm fisheye, and the 14mmF2.8 to my kit, the sigma still does a ton of work.

the fisheye is something I use, but probably only about 5-10% of the shots when compared to the 10-20.

for me a rectalinear ultra wide is more useful, although there are situations where the fisheye excells.

in the end it is a personal selection
05-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #11
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A fish would see the image like this ;-)


Or a fish on land:


Sigma4.5f2.8 - not sure how I can justify the purchase, but for now, it's an expensive toy, and cool too...

Last edited by hoanpham; 05-12-2011 at 02:32 PM.
05-13-2011, 07:36 AM   #12
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The DA 10-17 is an excellent lens and I use it far more than I ever thought I would. For getting shots in a crowded place, it is excellent.

getting in very close and cropping the edges
05-13-2011, 08:39 PM   #13
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The 10-17mm fisheye isn't that bad an option for what you want to do. I've done a bit of event photography with the lens, and it does quite well, and allows you to get right in amongst the crowd. And yes, I understand your reservations with not having too many photos with the fisheye effect, but you can zoom out to about 17mm to minimise the effect while shooting, and I also found that I also defished a few of my shots in post-processing afterwards too, to give a more balanced album. For a more formal event, such as like an awards night, wedding/engagement, corporate event, etc, would I use the 10-17mm fisheye? Probably not. For a more party/clubbing/youth/fun-oriented event, the 10-17mm fisheye can be quite versatile.

The following shots were all taken with the 10-17mm, at different focal lengths and with different amounts of de-fishing in post:



















05-13-2011, 10:48 PM   #14
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Getting back to OP kooks' original query:

QuoteOriginally posted by kooks Quote
i take nightclub photos ... the question is .. what are other possibilities to have a fisheye effect but without using an expensive fisheye lens???
I still think the best hardware answer is the Zenitar 16/2.8. It is 1-1/3 f-stops faster than the great DA10-17 at 16mm, so would be better for dim inside shoots like in nightclubs. And the Zen costs less than half as much. I love them both. I use the Zen more.
05-14-2011, 02:13 AM   #15
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10-17 and no regrets

I have the Pentax 10-17 and it is my favorite possession. There are ideas, places, poems, dogs, and people I like more than my Pentax zoom fisheye, but my fisheye is my favorite thing. Period.

Software can bend what your 18mm kit lens saw, but only glass can show you what glass actually saw.

The macro capabilities of the fisheye lens are phenomenal. I have bumped insects with the front element of this lens that I was trying to photograph. They were in-focus right up until I bumped them. Plus, the same shot that shows you the eyes of the spider also show your sneaker out of focus at the bottom of the frame. You can't beat that.
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