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11-25-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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Which Fisheye? Zenitar or Pentax?

I am looking to get a new fisheye for my k100d super, i mainly take pictures of BMX, but it isn't uncommon for me to go out and take pictures of whatever.

I'm debating which lens you guys would recommend? Is it worth paying the extra dough for the pentax lens?

So the two lenses i was looking at was the pentax 10-17mm, or the zenitar 16mm.

I can get the zenitar on craigslist for about $200 canadian, my uncle works for pentax so i maybe able to get the 10-17mm a little cheaper than retail.
Thanks

11-25-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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my two cents:
zoom is an advantage
Audot focus is also good when you shoot BMX
second hand zenitar can be cheaper than $200
other alternative includes k17 A16 and takumar 17mm and 18mm, and other m42 fisheyes Fujica, Mamiya, etc.
Sigma has some fisheye lenses too

I will go for the pentax between the two, and A16 among all of them if you can control flare. Fujinon 16mm is the close second. Also takumar 18mm is good toy to play with.
11-25-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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pentax 10-17 is the way

i own the 10 - 17 fisheye, and so far its the lens that gives me the biggest smiles both from me and my subjects...

i havent seen the other fisheye lenses from other brands, but my friend owns the tokina fisheye which is pretty good too!


i really reccomend the pentax 10-17 just because its so much fun to use
11-25-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by amunz Quote
I am looking to get a new fisheye for my k100d super, i mainly take pictures of BMX, but it isn't uncommon for me to go out and take pictures of whatever.

I'm debating which lens you guys would recommend? Is it worth paying the extra dough for the pentax lens?

So the two lenses i was looking at was the pentax 10-17mm, or the zenitar 16mm.

I can get the zenitar on craigslist for about $200 canadian, my uncle works for pentax so i maybe able to get the 10-17mm a little cheaper than retail.
Thanks
The pentax 10-17 is the most versatile fisheye for the k100d: 10mm gives you an almost-180-degree field of view, and if that's the look you want you're not going to get it with any of the 16 or 17 mm fisheyes.

The 16-17 mm fisheyes are all designed as diagonal fisheyes for film cameras; while they are still fun to use with APS-C digital, the effect is more fishy-wide-angle than true fisheye.

11-25-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
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I own the MC Zenitar 16/2.8. While I can't offer a comparison to any of the other short primes suggested above, I can vouch for the general value of this lens. It is plenty sharp, has reasonably good contrast, has admirable resistance to flare and purple fringing, and has a major "cool" factor.

Here are a couple of my most recent "good" shots taken with this lens:






(Note the mild purple fringing in the bare branches towards the edges...)

And for something a little more fishy:



I would suggest perusing the "fisheye fever" thread (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33549-fisheye-...ye-photos.html) and also the review in the 3rd-party lens database (PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 16mm f2.8 Fisheye).

Steve

(Admitted Zenitar fan-boy...)
11-26-2008, 12:20 AM   #6
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Go for the pentax ones. When the light is right, the resolution and the colour can be just unbelievable! I love pentax fish eye lens very much!
11-26-2008, 01:11 AM   #7
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I have the Zenitar. I like it. It's always in the bag. It was cheaper than the Pentax zoom.

Honestly...just get both if you can afford em. You can sell the one you don't like for what you paid, or maybe more.

The 10mm of the Pentax is nice...but my Zenitar is K mount so I can always throw it on the MX
11-26-2008, 03:40 AM   #8
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The Zenitar is excellent, but I'd go for the Pentax zoom for the the 10mm focal length. The auto features are also nice and the Pentax isn't much bigger. They're both really fun lenses.

11-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
...
The 10mm of the Pentax is nice...but my Zenitar is K mount so I can always throw it on the MX...
Thanks Ryan for bringing up the film camera consideration. I shoot primarily digital, but really enjoy using my film bodies on occasion. As a result, I truly dislike the idea of spending good money on lenses that are not usable on my older cameras. The Zenitar is fully compatible with any K-mount film body and on the 35mm format there is no doubt about it being a fish-eye! Lots of fun.

As I mentioned, I am a Zen fan, but it is probably good to inject a small disclaimer and caution. The quality assurance issues of some Russian lenses is very real as is the hassle of ordering a gray market item from vendors like rugift.com. My first Zen was badly defective (inoperative focus, aperture coupler, and aperture mechanism...probably dropped at the factory) and the replacement copy had to be adjusted to obtain infinity focus (very easy to do if you have a body with a split image finder). My copy gives good results, but is literally a little rough around the edges. On of these days I am going to take some emery cloth to the mount surfaces.

Steve
11-26-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
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I shoot some sports with the pentax 10-17. When you are that close to the action things happen very very fast. I think you pretty much need AF.

mike
11-26-2008, 07:06 PM   #11
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I've had both and settled on the 10-17 for use with the K20. The Zenitar is a fine price-performer but on a Pentax digital, it is not really a fisheye and has a FOV of less that 180 degrees. My opinion. YMMV.... Dave
11-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by davef Quote
I've had both and settled on the 10-17 for use with the K20. The Zenitar is a fine price-performer but on a Pentax digital, it is not really a fisheye and has a FOV of less that 180 degrees. My opinion. YMMV.... Dave
You are correct regarding the fishiness of the Zen. On APS-C, it only has about 110 degree FOV. Pentax claims a full 180 degrees at 10mm for the 10-17. Much depends on what the OP is interested in. A full 180 for BMX means being pretty close to the action.

Steve
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