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09-24-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
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Fish eye alternative

I really want a fish eye lens but I do not have $300 to $500 to spend. Does anyone have personal experience with fish eye adapters?

09-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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I don't think you'll get very far with an adapter- those are more for P&S cameras/smaller lenses, I think.

However, a Boyer/Samyang fisheye is only $289 new, I'm sure a used copy can be acquired for much less:
Bower SLY 358P 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens For Pentax APS-C SLY358P

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09-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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The good ones I have tried, suck. The others I have tried, suck even more. I have tried more than a few. Suck, suck, suck. Such optical adapters might be tolerable with video, because moving images don't need the same kind of detail and quality as still pictures. Such might be tolerable if you don't care about image quality, like if you're doing posterizations or solarizations or or other rad PP work. But if you want images that look photographic, these guys just suck.

My recommendation: Save-up your money and buy the real thing. This will hurt less in the long run.
09-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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In the meantime, stitch together shots with Panorama Tools (various GUI front-ends available, including the free Hugin). I was amazed at how easy it is to get a reasonable fisheye projection this way. Super-resolution fisheye shots!

09-24-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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Zenitar 16mm fisheye is pretty for the price <$200.
09-24-2011, 07:38 PM   #6
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Adapters make better paperweights. Save your money, get the real thing.
09-24-2011, 08:32 PM   #7
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agreed, i bought one while i was kicking around whether to buy a DA10-17. In short, only a small area in the center was remotely in focus; everything else was a blur. fun, but mostly a toy, not for serious shooting.
09-25-2011, 08:45 AM   #8
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That's what I thought, thank you everyone for your input, I will continue to save.

09-25-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nolnacs Quote
I will continue to save.
Excellent idea. There aren't many candidates currently. I can talk about three:

* Zenitar-K2 16/2.8 (K2 is PK-M mount) for under US$200. Faster than zooms, quite sharp from f/4 onwards, not super-fishy on a crop-sensor camera. I like it.

* Vemar 12/8 (in T2 mount) for around US$100. Slow, fixed-focus, Waterhouse aperture, flaky quality. Mine seems defective and won't resolve infinity. I hate it.

* DA10-17 (in PK AF mount) for around US$400+. Superb, sharp, slightly fishy at 17mm, very fishy at 10mm. This is the lens that drove me to Pentax. I love it.

I find the DA10-17 zoom extremely flexible, ideal for exploiting angles and lines and rounded spaces. It ain't easy but it sure is fun! There are other fisheye primes. They may cost less but they aren't as versatile. The DA10-17 is always in my carry-bag.
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