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12-31-2006, 09:03 PM   #1
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Review: SMC Pentax-DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED[IF]

Only 4mm longer than the 18-55mm (68 x 71.5mm) but a little heavier (320g vs 225g) the 10-17mm has a characteristic that people either love or hate - fish-eye!

Yes, fish-eye - the effect of bending straight lines into curves, most pronounced near the edges. There are exactly 2 perfectly straight lines, however, and they are the vertical and horizontal line passing through the center of the lens. However, at the maximum of 17mm, it makes a nearly rectangular image with only a small amount of curvature. There is only one truly "wow" lens (because that is what people say when they see a good shot with it) and that is the fisheye.

You can't use a filter for filtration or protection because the extreme wide angle which would severely vignette the image, even if there were threads.

The lens comes with a push-on front cap, bayonet rear cap, and a soft case.

Here are some examples which I hope show the usefulness of the lens.

10mm
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Watch your feet and elbows!

17mm
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10mm
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11mm
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Last edited by SpecialK; 02-04-2009 at 11:10 PM.
01-02-2007, 10:53 AM   #2
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Had talked myself out of buying this lens. However, after I saw your "review" and samples, I changed my mind . . . just placed my order. Thanks.
01-02-2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
Had talked myself out of buying this lens. However, after I saw your "review" and samples, I changed my mind . . . just placed my order. Thanks.
Hi:

I'm glad the review proved useful to you. I'm sure you will get similar results. Just watch where you put you feet as they frequently are in the picture...
01-03-2007, 08:49 PM   #4
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Thanks SpecialK for the review. I have been meaning to ask people about the fish-eye effect of the lens as you move towards the telephoto end. It is good to know that the fish-eye effect lessens as you move towards the 17mm end. I have got 16-45 and been hovering between 12-24 and 10-17. DA12-24 overlaps a little too much with my DA16-45. It looks like I will be getting the DA10-17 later!

cheers
Kenny

01-03-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjao Quote
Thanks SpecialK for the review. I have been meaning to ask people about the fish-eye effect of the lens as you move towards the telephoto end. It is good to know that the fish-eye effect lessens as you move towards the 17mm end. I have got 16-45 and been hovering between 12-24 and 10-17. DA12-24 overlaps a little too much with my DA16-45. It looks like I will be getting the DA10-17 later!

cheers
Kenny
Hi Kenny:

I'm glad the review was helpful to you. The 10-17mm would seem to be the logical extension (retraction?) to your 16-45.
01-06-2007, 06:26 AM   #6
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Two question:

1) I have read that at 10mm this lens is a full format fish eye, while at 17 is a perfect rectilinear lens. Is that true? To me it seems impossible, and I guess that at 17 the curvature is just a lot less pronunced.

2) How is resolution compared to DA 12-24?
01-06-2007, 08:13 AM   #7
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Far from rectilinear even at 17mm, but it does not always jump out at you in the right circumstances. If there are not many straight lines, vertical and horizontal, and keep the horizon away from the very top of bottom of the frame, you will be very happy with the results.
Also, it is a VERY sharp lens. You won't find any problem in that arena.

Walt
01-06-2007, 09:26 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Two question:

1) I have read that at 10mm this lens is a full format fish eye, while at 17 is a perfect rectilinear lens. Is that true? To me it seems impossible, and I guess that at 17 the curvature is just a lot less pronunced.

2) How is resolution compared to DA 12-24?

Mild distortion at 17mm. The boat shot above is at 17mm. If you shoot a brick wall at 17mm the mild curvature will be noticeable - but that is why you buy a fisheye. With some landscapes (and even the tree shot above at 10mm), the curvature is really not apparent at all.

I don't have a 12-24 so I can not compare it :-( [Edit: I do now :-) They complement each other.]


Last edited by SpecialK; 11-19-2008 at 11:50 PM.
02-04-2009, 09:52 PM   #9
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Thanks SpecialK, very informative post and good choice of pictures to illustrate the lens' characteristics...all I need to do now is scratch up the (numerous) pennies for it!
02-04-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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Hi! I'm sure you will agree it is well worth it. Here's the Foucalt pendulum at Griffith observatory.
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02-05-2009, 01:15 AM   #11
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One question;

Why would a person not buy the Sigma 10-17mm (rectilinear) lens instead which does not have the obvious distortion.

Thanks

Dylan
02-05-2009, 04:52 AM   #12
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...because people buy "Fish Eye" lenses for the distortion effects.

c[_]
02-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #13
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This is very effective review. Thanks.
07-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #14
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Hey SpecialK.
Had to drag this up but it was well worth the search. Thanks for the oldy but goody review of this fish-eye. Pix worth a 1000 words.
I am now on the prowl for one these babies.
05-07-2012, 05:08 AM   #15
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Is it worth getting one of these over a DA15 limited? it's quite obviously cheaper, and seems like it's quite fun to use, although I'd imagine it'd be quite hard to use properly?
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