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01-27-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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Has anyone ever used a Bower Lens?

Hello from Canada and loving this forum!

I'm interested in getting a wide angle lens. I took a test drive of the PENTAX SMC DA 14MM F2.8 ED IF and shot this little video with it:
and shot the image attached.

I still found it a bit grainy at the 2.8, but I don't want to sacrifice the wide angle for a lower f stop ie. the pentax 50mm f1.4. I really love the 14mm, but I can't afford it. I did find a Bower lens 14mm F2.8 : NEW Bower 14mm f/2.8 Lens For Pentax MANUAL FOCUS #SLY 1428P | eBay

I can't seem to find any reviews for this. Has anyone ever used this brand before? Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks from Canada!



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01-27-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Moved to the lens discussion forum, hope you don't mind! (Perhaps post a general introduction thread separately to this query?)

Anyway - welcome to the forum! In answer to your question, I believe the Bower lens is the same as the Samyang, Rokinon and Vivitar branded versions. They have a good reputation for price vs performance. Seems good and sharp wide open (more so than the Pentax I believe), the only achilles heel seems to be barrel distortion.
01-27-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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That is made by Samyang, and is sold under Samyang, Bower, Vivitar, Rokinon, etc. Unless it isn't -- curiously the specs listed at both B&H and Adorama are different from the Samyang and other versions (elements/groups and angle of view listed is different), but I bet that is a mistake. Almost positive that is the Samyang. Supposed to be very good...
01-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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Here is a Flickr group dedicated to it, it should give you a good idea of its capabilities.
https://www.flickr.com/groups/14/

01-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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Welcome! The lens is made by Samyang and also sold as Pro Optic, Falcon, Walimex, Vivitar, Rokinon, Bower and possibly others. Check out the third part lens reviews - its under Samyang primes.
Another lens you might want to consider is the Zenitar 16mm (kind of fish-eye, but on APS-C its not too fishy). Pentax also makes a couple lenses in that range, but they are slightly more expensive (but they have features like AF, filter threads, better lens coatings and hood.. features like quickshift, nearer focus). Hope you get what you want
01-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by riotgirl_13 Quote
I'm interested in getting a wide angle lens. I took a test drive of the PENTAX SMC DA 14MM F2.8 ED IF and shot this little video with it: and shot the image attached. I still found it a bit grainy at the 2.8, but I don't want to sacrifice the wide angle for a lower f stop ie. the pentax 50mm f1.4. I really love the 14mm, but I can't afford it. I did find a Bower lens 14mm F2.8 : NEW Bower 14mm f/2.8 Lens For Pentax MANUAL FOCUS #SLY 1428P | eBay I can't seem to find any reviews for this. Has anyone ever used this brand before? Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
Pentax 14mm F2.8 vs Rokinon 14mm F2.8 - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

We actually have a review that compares the two

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01-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Amazing thanks to everyone for all the replies - now I can carry on with my research!

Thanks Adam for posting the review and @Elliot thanks for the flickr link - the shots are pretty impressive.
01-27-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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If you go for the Bower you won't be able to put on any filters -- which may be important if you're going to do any landscape photography.

01-27-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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I'm wavering back and forth between the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang/etc 14mm and the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5.

The photographer in me wants the 10-20, the cheapskate in me wants the 14mm.
01-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Something wrong with that shot, nothing is in focus. I'd think the DA14 should do better than that.
01-27-2013, 05:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I'm wavering back and forth between the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang/etc 14mm and the Sigma 10-20 f/3.5.

The photographer in me wants the 10-20, the cheapskate in me wants the 14mm.
I'm in the same boat as you, for about the same reasons. I like the flexibility of the Sigma, in case I want to really go wide. But the Samyang is a bit faster, and is capable of some stunning images! I guess it's going to depend of availability of funds, which could take awhile .
01-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Something wrong with that shot, nothing is in focus. I'd think the DA14 should do better than that.
if i read the post correctly - it IS the DA14!
01-28-2013, 05:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Something wrong with that shot, nothing is in focus. I'd think the DA14 should do better than that.
It's a fantasy shot, works fine for me.
01-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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Right, I wasn't critiquing the artistic quality of the photo. What I meant was, assuming there was no post processing of the image, then something is wrong with the OP's image. Either a really bad lens, bad focus, bad lighting/filtering, or something else.

On the other hand, if this is intended to be a creative shot, that's fine, but we can't really assess the OP's specific claim of graininess in the DA14. Not sure if the OP intended to demonstrate that.

Interesting video, btw.
01-28-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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What I don't understand here is the discussion where the sigma 10-20 comes in. This is slower than the F2.8 that the OP is sitting on the fence about, if he does not like the speed of the 14mm he certainly won't like the speed of the 10-20

But aside from the speed issue, there is a little barrel distortion with the samyang 14mm, I.e. more than the 10-20. The comment about filters is a valid one, if there are any intended uses specifically with graduated filters and polarizes, although I find the rendition of the samyang quite good and its coatings are excellent.
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