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02-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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Do you use your fisheye?

Contemplating buying the Bower fisheye (its on sale). I have read mixed reviews of this lens. For those of you that own a fisheye, how often do you use it? I do a lot of landscapes and architecture, so I thought it would be interesting. But, I don't know if it is one of those things that you need to "just get out of your system." So, how versatile are these things? Do you use them once the initial novelty of the "look" wears off?

02-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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I like to have a fisheye in the bag. If nothing else, when my "eye" doesn't want to work, going fishy forces me to think differently and look for "interesting" things, which helps jumpstart that part of my brain.

My (Rokinon) 8mm gets less use after I found a good price on a DA 10-17. The 10-17 isn't quite as wide, but it's a little more versatile and takes up less space in the travel bag. I still like having the 8mm in the arsenal.

02-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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as I always wanted to "have more" wide angle, someday my 24mm (speaking in 35mm standards) didn't match my yearning anyy more. So, one day, I went astray from Pentax: I bought a whole bunch of lenses that fitted a very beautiful Olympus OM-2. Most important, besides the IDM-metering cam, were both "ends" of the lens paraphernalia: a mirror 8/500mm , a super-wide-angle 3,8/21mm, and my first fish-eye 2,8/16mm
And indeed, all three were very often in my camera bag. The 500mm more on sunny days. And I used both 21mm and 16mm lenses A LOT. The fisheye, an old Sigma filtermatic from the mid-Seventies, isn't sharp at the sides, even stepping it down to f:8 or f:11.

Years later I bought the 17~28 fisheye-zoom from Pentax: it has far better IQ than the sigma.
Now, doing also digital pics, I had to somehow finance the little, but very pleasant (full metal !) DA lens.
It wasn't cheap, but for the use I get from it, it was a bargain!
02-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxian_tmb Quote
Do you use your fisheye?
Personally, not all that much but it just may be my choice of subjects. It is fun when I do use it.

Usually I would not bring it and would think "Gee that would have made a cool shot if I had my Fisheye."

Because of the limited use I ended up selling my DA10-17, and instead bought an 03 fisheye for my Q, which is so small it can be with me always. IQ of the Q 03 is really good.

02-21-2013, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Just bought one last week.
It is a very special use lens, but its really fun and worth it.
I have the Bower 8mm one, btw.

Mine is sharp at f4.5 and soft at 3.5, even after the calibration..
I'm thinking about calibrating it again, but now the screws aren't in good condition, because i used something weird to turn them.
If someone could post some crops at 3.5 with it, i would appreciate it.
It is really, really, really can fit everything you could possibly want to on the picture.
02-21-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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A couple years ago I bought my first fisheye - DA 10-17. Tried it out a couple times and just didn't see that I would use it much and sold it. Just recently for some reason I had the urge to try it again, and bought another one of the same. Now that I have done some reading and other places about how to use a fisheye, and doing some experimenting myself, I am really getting to like it. It's one of those things that you have to "get it" I guess.

I can't comment on the 8mm fisheye that is on special right now, but I almost hit the buy button a couple times in the last week. I'm curious how it will act compared to my 10-17.

The one thing that really sold me on it this time, is after reading a thread here or somewhere, about how it is all about how you hold the lens in relation to your subject. The main jist of this is that if you are careful about keeping the horizon centered in the frame, and try to keep vertical objects out of the extreme edges of the frame, the shot will look almost normal. Now just tilt the lens a little up or down, and you can produce more distortion in the center. Kind of hard to put into words, but it does work. I did this experimentation with the 10-17 at 12mm-13mm where this lens isn't quite as fishy as at 10mm. Now my curiosity is up on how I could work this with the Bower 8mm.

Long story short, for the price that you can get the Bower lens for right now, I think everyone who does any landscape or architecture shooting should have one in their bag. Will you use it at every shoot? Probably not, but as THoog says above, sometimes when a shot just isn't working for you, snap on the fisheye to see it in a different view. Even without moving your shooting point, the lens is so wide you can shoot the same scene at many different degrees of angle.
02-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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Do you have any other wide or ultra wide lenses? A fish eye is a very special lens. While there are some photography genres that are great for fish eye (like urban sports or the "architecture" photos in this thread), it can't be used for just anything.
02-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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I own the sigma 15, and I don't use it a lot - but I am really glad it's in the bag. Not all that fishy compared to the 8mm but has a field like a 12mm rectilinear lens. The sun-points are neat with so little flare and images are sharp & colorful. A couple of nights ago I caught the night sky with it from Capella to Sirius and points beyond!

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 02-21-2013 at 07:49 PM.
02-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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I have two fisheye lenses, one for 35mm (K17/4) and one for 6x7 (35/4.5)

I use them both frequently.

02-21-2013, 05:25 PM   #10
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I do have a pentax 15mm and like it alot. For $239, its hard to pass up, but still an expensive "toy" as my wife says. I have been looking at flickr groups with shots from this lens and am almost convinced to get it.
02-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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I used my fisheye (DA 10-17) for the whole month of November in the Single challenge:
bigted's Album: Single in November 2012 -
Please bear in mind it was my first single challenge and my first at posting so many of my shots. I really enjoyed the month and got to appreciate that the lens was more than a toy with a funky POV. In fact when I went to using a 50mm the following month I found I really missed the FE.
02-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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When the subject is right, it is lots of fun, but I don't carry it all the time.
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02-21-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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As the posters here have pointed out when the subject is right, a fisheye is a lot of fun, but I would not get one as my only UWA lens. I have the bower 8mm and also the zenitar 16 mm but I also have a sigma 10-20 and the samyang 14mm rectilinear lenses
02-21-2013, 06:17 PM   #14

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I started with the Bower branded Pentax version and now I use the MFT version. Obviously, I enjoy fisheyes.

Here's one pic from each:


02-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
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When I was shopping for a DSLR, the 10-17 caught my eye and pointed me to Pentax. I had a Canon 15mm FE in my film days, which I really enjoyed...

Technically, the 10-17 was my first lens and also my only lens - though only for 2 days. I would never go on a vacation without it, or the 12-24 for that matter.

In the past year or two, it has become my main lens - but that is because of my grave marker thread :-)

I often go out with the 10-17 and the 4 Ltds, which I can just squeeze into my smallest bag.

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-21-2013 at 06:47 PM.

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