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07-22-2011, 06:19 AM   #1
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Fisheyes

So I am pretty sure my next lens will be a 180 diagonal (on APS-C) fisheye, now I just need to decide which one...

My choices are

Samyang (or other rebadged) 8mm f3.5
Pros: cheap, IQ, no AF (maybe a plus in some cases)
Cons: no AF (maybe a con in some cases), slower, largest

Pentax DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5
Pros: zoom (not sure how much I would use this), lighter and smaller
Cons: expensive, IQ not as good (CA, fringing), slower

Sigma 10mm f2.8
Pros: IQ, fast
Cons: very expensive, heaviest, not available 2nd hand

I have listed slower as a con for the f3.5 options because I have become pretty used to my f2.8 and faster lenses, especially on my older K200D body which has unacceptable noise above ISO 400.

So what are your thoughts on these options? Which would you choose and why? Have I missed an option? Am I crazy for wanting a fisheye given that I already have the Sigma 10-20mm (I don't think so)?

07-22-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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No, you're not crazy for wanting a fisheye (FE) when you already have an ultrawide (UW).

I can't speak to the FE primes. I *can* talk about the DA10-17. It's great, with reputedly better IQ than those FE primes. It's the lens that drove me to Pentax, the reason I bought a K20D and a zillion other lenses. It's one of my take-everywhere lenses. I recently got a Tamron 10-24 to supplement it, but those have entirely different applications. A 10mm FE has a *much* wider view than a 10mm UW.

Have you read the lens reviews here yet?

There *are* other options, not necessarily good for your needs. I have a Kenko 180 Degree Fisheye adapter, which I mount on a 35-80 zoom. It gives a full-circle image at ~40mm and frame-filling at ~60mm. It ain't great optically. I have a Vemar (often badged as Spiratone, Vivitar, whatever) 12/8 fixed-focus FE. It's VERY fishy and optically unacceptable. And I have a Zenitar-K2 16/2.8 FE. It's optically good, fairly fast, under US$200, but only moderately fishy on APS-C. I use it a lot.

I recommend the DA10-17 for you.
07-22-2011, 06:51 AM   #3
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I have the DA 10-17 myself and I wasn't sure about the zoom myself, before I got it. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

At the 10mm end, the fisheye effect is very pronounced. Of course, that is what you buy a fisheye lens for. But at the 17mm end the fisheye effect is a lot less there, and the lens become useable in more/different situations. It's a bit like being able to switch between fisheye and ultrawide with just one lens.

Another pro of this lens, one you missed in your list, is the close focussing distance. It enables you to get VERY close to your subject. Which only adds to the versatility of the lens. When you look through the viewfinder and close your other eye, it's hard not to get right on top of your 'target'. So be carefull not to bump the front element.

This lens has proven to be a lot of fun for me.

Last edited by Clavius; 07-22-2011 at 06:56 AM.
07-22-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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my main concern with IQ on the DA 10-17mm are CA and PF both of which are reported in the reviews on this site.

In reviews on photozone the 10-17mm fared much worse in the CA test than the Samyang 8mm they tested (albeit on different cameras, which could explain the difference)

Last edited by jezza323; 07-22-2011 at 10:46 AM.
07-22-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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I have the Samyang (Bell and Howell branded) and I'm enjoying it a lot. You can't believe the FOV with this thing! It's very colorful, contrasty, and sharp. Extremely easy to use, in most cases just set it to f8 and adjust the distance ring appropriately and you're good.

The f3.5 max aperture isn't a real problem IMHO since you can handhold this thing at shutter speeds you'd never dream of with other lenses. I once got a sharp picture with a 1 second shutter speed!

I'm sure the other fisheyes you mentioned are terrific, maybe the Pentax is better. But for the price, you can't really go wrong with the Samyang.
07-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
my main concern with IQ on the DA 10-27mm are CA and PF both of which are reported in the reviews on this site.
Most software can correct things if it is really an issue.

Last edited by SpecialK; 07-22-2011 at 12:11 PM.
07-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
The f3.5 max aperture isn't a real problem IMHO since you can handhold this thing at shutter speeds you'd never dream of with other lenses. I once got a sharp picture with a 1 second shutter speed!
That is a good point, also according to review the Sigma is a little soft wide open anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Most software can correct things if is really an issue.
It can be, but I find it easier to avoid the problem in the first place

07-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #9
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I've researched, shopped for and borrowed fisheye lenses over the past months, including the Pentax 10-17, and I've decided either on the Samyang 8mm or 10mm. Great examples of it in various threads, glowing reviews (the few I could find) and f-4 is very fast for such a wide prime. I'll never use it below f-8 anyway.
Maybe I got a bad copy, but I was disappointed in the 10-17.
07-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #10
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thanks Ron, input from someone who has tried more than 1 option is very valuable, not to mention hard to come by!
07-22-2011, 12:08 PM   #11
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I can speak to the DA 10-17. Because its a fisheye, comparing focal lengths really provides no information. A better measure is the angle of view. At the 10mm end the AoV is about 180 degrees. At the 17mm end the AoV is about 100 degrees. So in the 7mm of focal length you have a difference of 80 degrees. This is quite dramatic.

I like the lens a lot. I have a couple of my most favorite shots from it. That said, I do not have a prime FE to compare...


Last edited by interested_observer; 07-23-2011 at 03:29 PM.
07-22-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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I also really like the 10-17mm. The colors it produces are beautiful. I literally get less than an inch from some subjects and it still focuses fine.
07-22-2011, 08:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
my main concern with IQ on the DA 10-17mm are CA and PF both of which are reported in the reviews on this site.

In reviews on photozone the 10-17mm fared much worse in the CA test than the Samyang 8mm they tested (albeit on different cameras, which could explain the difference)
The DA 10-17mm fisheye is uncorrected for optical aberrations, which is the nature of fisheye lenses so of course there will be some CA. But I guess you're gonna base your comments on dumb review sites and miss out on the extremely good images that this lens produces.
07-22-2011, 08:32 PM   #14
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The DA 10-17 is one of my favorite lenses and I never leave home without it. It is very sharp and can focus incredibly close, almost could labeled a macro but it isn't. It's very versatile and I have used it far more than I thought I would. It does a good job handling flare which is important because with 180 deg view, the sun or some other reflecting object is always in the frame. I haven't deleted any shots because of CA or purple fringe which I seen mentioned in some reviews. It has been rare to get any at all and minimal when it's there. I've seen the dumb reviews too. Only a moron would list barrel distortion as a negative when reviewing a fisheye lens. I can't speak pro or con of the other 2 lenses because I have never seen them.
07-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Just a note: we have another fisheye discussion going on now, here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/152776-wide-an...sheye-fls.html
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