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03-10-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
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good beginners fisheye?

Hey all,

I love normal and macro photography, but fisheye has always interested me. I don't own any lenses for it right now, but I'd like to. I figure my first one can be a nice cheap one to learn the basics with, what do you think of this:

Amazon.com: Opteka .35x HD² Super Wide Angle Panoramic Macro Fisheye Lens for Pentax K200D, K110D, K100D, K20D, K10D, & *ist Digital SLR Camera: Electronics

Its only $30 new at amazon, is it worth it for a "learn to shoot fisheye" lens?

Thanks,
Oren

03-10-2009, 02:17 PM   #2
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Personally, I would rather invest in an actual fish eye lens. With that one there is very pronounced vignetting and for $30 dollars I doubt the optical quality is very good. In addition if you decide fish eye isn't for you, then an actual fish eye lens will hold its value much better
03-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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The lens on the link is a auxiliary lens that you screw onto the front of another lens. These usually suffer from significant softness, vignette, etc., but can be a lot of fun too!

Steve
03-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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That ".35X" designation means that if you attach it to your 18-250mm lens set at 18mm, multiply that by 0.35, and you'll have a 6.3mm-equivalent fisheye. That's extreme! (Not necessarily bad, but results may be quite wacky, and you'll probably see the worst side-effects such as softness and vignetting at this setting.)

To start with, try setting your zoom lens to something in the 40-50mm range, which should still provide a good fisheye effect but not be entirely freakout-worthy!

And like Steve and kthung said, you tend to get what you pay for, but if just experimenting is worth $30 to you, then go for it -- you might end up enjoying the results anyway.

03-10-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by oatman911 Quote
I figure my first one can be a nice cheap one to learn the basics with...
No. There are no nice cheap ones. There will be no "learning" - just crying. Save your daily change and just get the 10-17mm and don't look back.
03-10-2009, 08:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
No. There are no nice cheap ones. There will be no "learning" - just crying. Save your daily change and just get the 10-17mm and don't look back.
Exactly! A lot of money is wasted on cheap products that only marginally work as advertised, or not at all. The Pentax 10-17 is very good, and very reasonably priced for what it does. After experimenting, you can decide to keep it, or sell it for close to the purchase price. A no-brainer if you ask me!
03-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #7
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I am saving for the DA 10-17, but at $350+ (used), I thought it reasonable to spend $45 for a cheapie to make sure the real FE will have staying power with me.
I bought the one made by Bower on eBay for $45 or so - it looks to be very similar to the one in the link you posted, and comes with a close focus macro accessory.

OK, i gotta say, the thing has pretty low quality optics; it may be in focus in the center and totally soft all around. Also, mine attaches to a 52mm filter ring, which for me limits me to my DA 18-55, which is not a sharp lens to begin with, so there is much degradation of IQ.

OK, that said, for under $50, i have had much fun with it already; I found it worth the money, at least for the practice until i can afford the DA 10-17mm.

Incidently, I HAD the money last week and just blew all of it on a Cosina 55mm f/1.2 and a SMC Takumar 105 f/2.8 that hit the marketplace over the weekend...ugh LBA!!

i will post a few pics from my cheapie FE so you can get an idea anyhow.

Last edited by mikeSF; 03-10-2009 at 11:36 PM.
03-10-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
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here are some pics i took using my screw-on FE lens (.42x) attached to a DA 18-55 kit lens.

Kit lens at 33mm (~14mm equivalent):

User Photo Gallery - Miscellaneous

Kit lens at 28mm (~12mm equivalent):

User Photo Gallery - People

I rarely go wider than 25mm (~10.5mm), but it will pretty much do 180 degrees if you want. These other two photos are also at 30mm (x .42 = 12.6mm equivalent)


Last edited by mikeSF; 06-08-2011 at 11:25 AM.
03-11-2009, 07:30 AM   #9
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If you're willing to spend $30 to $45 to try it out, another option is rent the lens for a week and see if you like it.

I've never used these guys before, but I think by all accounts they are a pretty good service.

CameraLensRentals.com - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras
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