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07-15-2008, 09:27 PM   #1
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Fisheye questions: Pentax 10-17 zoom or primes?

Hello all. . .

I've been thinking about getting a fisheye lens for use with a K20D; usability with film would be nice but not essential.

The leading candidate is the Pentax 10mm-17mm/3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom, but other options appear to be:

Zenitar 16mm/2.8
Peleng 8mm/3.5

and the harder to find

Sigma 16mm/2.8, 8mm/3.5 and 8mm/4
Pentax 16/2.8.

Two questions:

-- To Zenitar/Sigma/Pentax 16 owners: do you use your lens much at f/2.8-3.5 (i.e. is there a useful advantage over the 10-17 zoom for available-light work)?

-- To those familiar with the zoom and at least one prime: Do any of the primes have an advantage in resolution, contrast, or flare/ghosting resistance over the zoom?

I haven't found any hard data comparing the zoom with any of the primes (or the primes with each other) so I'd like to hear your opinions.

Thanks!

07-15-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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Owning the 10-17mm FE...

purple fringing like nobodies business

and

sometimes I wish it were more dramatic; the 8mm would be interesting.
07-15-2008, 10:00 PM   #3
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Because you need shorter focal lengths on a DSLR for any given field of view, conventional fisheyes for film coverage just look like badly barrel distorted wide angles on the DSLR format.
If you want the fisheye look, the 10-17 Pentax lens is probably your best bet, wih the Peleng perhaps a choice as well.
On Nikon, the Peleng is best used with mirror lock, as it can damage the mirror (it extends back far enough to catch the mirror). Is this an issue with Pentax?
The manual isn't much help.
http://www.k3camera.com/k3/k3pdfs/8mmlens.pdf

I'd buy the Pentax lens.
07-15-2008, 10:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
-- To Zenitar/Sigma/Pentax 16 owners: do you use your lens much at f/2.8-3.5 (i.e. is there a useful advantage over the 10-17 zoom for available-light work)?

-- To those familiar with the zoom and at least one prime: Do any of the primes have an advantage in resolution, contrast, or flare/ghosting resistance over the zoom?
I find my Zenitar has a moderate soft-focus effect at f/2.8. I think image quality is better on the zenitar (less objectionable CA), but I use the 10-17 a lot more since it's much wider. The autofocus and aperture control on the Pentax are nice to have too.

07-16-2008, 10:11 AM   #5
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Just got the Sigma 15mm f2.8 and yes, I do use it at f2.8.
It makes a perfect lens for inside photography, and even at f2.8 it is sharp and has enough depth of field to be usable.
07-16-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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I have the Sigma A/2.8 15mm and use it outdoors at night with black and white film. It seems fairly sharp wide open except at the VERY edges with good depth of field. I love shooting crowded scenes at night with this and the speed definitely makes a difference.
07-16-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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I used to have a Rikenon fisheye in the 90's (I believe it was a re-badged Pentax) which broke, and I have missed it since.

Last year I got the DA10-17 fisheye, and I love it. I had some boring but important use for it in my profession, but I soon found many more interesting ways to use it. For a while perhaps too much (the kids were asking after last x-mas why the x-mas-three was tilting in the pictures, but really it is an excellent tool when trying to fit all relatives, the x-mas tree and dining table in one picture). It's good for street shooting and people, good with some sort of "macro". Purple fringing is there in some situations, but I can't say it have disturbed me. It must be impossible to make such a lens and make it fulfill normal criteria for what is quality in a lens, so I tend to forgive it for its weakness thanks to its other good sides. I have not felt the max aperture as a limitation, as it works so well now with the K20D to turn up the ISO. You are not going to play around with razor thin DOFs anyway on such a lens.

Though I am looking for some extreme wide angle or fish eye with an aperture ring for my LX I haven't owned a fish eye prime at the same time as the DA10-17 and hence not been able to compare them so I can't really help you with your actual questions. But I can say this that I suspect that it is the best you can get for a digital camera with a 1.5 crop factor. If you buy a fish-eye made for a film SLR you don't really get a fish eye, but a bad wide angle on your DSLR.


"Macro" with the DA10-17. Is this what I would see if I was a bee and came in flying right after my sister-bee?
07-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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If you're willing to wait a bit, Sigma has an 8mm fisheye coming out in the Pentax mount...
Sigma - Lenses

Here's an idea of what you can get with it:
Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

HTH,
Heather

07-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #9
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wow, a grand for that sigma fisheye, whew !!
07-17-2008, 09:10 AM   #10
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
If you're willing to wait a bit, Sigma has an 8mm fisheye coming out in the Pentax mount...
Sigma - Lenses

Here's an idea of what you can get with it:
Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

HTH,
Heather

Pbase is a very dangerous place for me to visit! This interior from the Parker Meridien

Le Parker Meridian photo - Alice Chan photos at pbase.com

pushed me over the edge and toward the direction of the 8mm fisheye and *gasp* eBay.

The fate of my "Usato in Perfette Condizioni" Sigma 8mm/4 EX DG is now in the hands of the Italian Postal Service.

Wish me luck!
07-17-2008, 09:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
... Is this what I would see if I was a bee and came in flying right after my sister-bee?
Not at all. As a bee you would have compound eyes so you would see something entirely different...
07-17-2008, 02:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
Not at all. As a bee you would have compound eyes so you would see something entirely different...
Recently saw the Bee movie with the kids, they appeared to have ordinary eyes...and a father and a mother. You seriously mean that Hollywood lies?
07-17-2008, 03:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
"Macro" with the DA10-17. Is this what I would see if I was a bee and came in flying right after my sister-bee?
BTW, Doug, that is one of the cooler and more interesting uses for a fisheye that I've seen for a while.
07-17-2008, 05:55 PM   #14
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One of the reasons I got a Pentax camera was because they had the 10-17 fisheye.
07-18-2008, 01:09 PM   #15
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Is an 8mm lens usable with the K20D? I thought it had a full frame CMOS.
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