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08-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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deciding on a Fish Eye

Well, as part of my LBA, I am looking at getting a fish-eye lens.

I was looking at the

Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 MC Fisheye

Or

Pentax DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5


Well, there is a $300 price difference, and my question is pretty simple. Is there a big enough difference in quality to justify the extra $300.

I have been looking around in the fish-eye shot thread to see what each one has been producing. Just wanted your guys' thoughts

08-22-2009, 12:47 AM   #2
Ash
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I have the 10-17, and it's worth it, although I got it last year from a forum member much cheaper than what B&H are offering it for now.

Its versatility is invaluable and FE effect is strong at 10mm - a fun lens to use.
Very sharp, bright and contrasty.

Sorry, I have no experience with the Zenitar, but I can certainly vouch for the 10-17.
All the best in that.
08-22-2009, 03:05 AM   #3
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The DA10-17 is like getting two lenses in one! A 10mm fisheye, and a 17mm extreme wideangle (or 14mm, 15mm, 16mm). A really fun and usefull lens.

You get this:




But also this:




And this thanks to the extreme minima focus distance:
08-22-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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I looked at both (along with some rectilinear superwides) and chose the 10-17mm. I saw nice things from the Zenitar, but I decided the DA's features easily justified the cost difference. The Pentax goes from fishier-than-a-Zenitar to almost rectilinear, which makes it immensely versatile. Unless I get a job photographing architecture, I won't be needing a superwide lens. That dual character alone is worth the extra cost. Sharpness, CA, colour and contrast are all superb for the price and the lens feels solid and well-built. Plus, I guess I'm spoiled, but I like having auto exposure.

08-22-2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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I can tell you !!

I have both, the 10-17mm Pentax is a great lens. The 15mm Zentar is a very fine lens, but it is limited.

Get the 10-17mm you will not be disappointed.

wll
08-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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I just returned from a 2 month trip to Canada. I started with my 35 Limited as my 'stay on the camera' lens and ended with the 10-17.

The 10-17, as others have previously stated, is a 'twofer', in that at 10 mm you get fish eye, but man, you cover a lot of space. For instance I stood under giant redwood trees in Northern California and shot from base to tip! At other times I'd close down to 15-17 mm and take wonderful panoramas with little or no edge distortion. I am in love with this lens. It has a wide range uses, produces great color, etc.

To me it is a 'must have' in the bag!
08-23-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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I have the 10-17 and love it. It is a VERY sharp lens. I can't comment on the Zenitar because I haven't used one but the 16mm isn't all that wide on aps/c cameras.
08-23-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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I own and can recommend the Zenitar 16, but would suggest that you definitely consider the 10-17 if you have the money. You should also consider one of the Sigma offerings. Before you make your decision, you should carefully look a the images in the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33549-fisheye-...ye-photos.html thread. In particular, you will want to consider edge sharpness and tendency to purple fringing (PF).

Since have never shot with the 10-17, I will add my 2-cent's worth regarding the Zenitar:
  • Moderately "fishy" on APS-C...it all depends on composition and camera angle
  • Definitely "fishy" on 35mm film
  • Adequate image quality f/2.8-4
  • Good image quality f/4-5.6
  • Excellent image quality f/5.6 and narrower
  • Tendency to PF about the same as the Pentax 18-55 kit or the new DA 15/4 Limited
  • No CA
  • Good resistance to veiling flare
  • Occasional coma aberration
I originally purchased the lens as a compact ultra-wide prime for APS-C. The circular projection added an additional novelty aspect to using the lens. For the future, my intentions are to definitely keep the Zenitar to use as a fisheye with my film cameras. For APS-C, I may at some time replace it with a rectilinear zoom or prime...possibly the DA 15/4 Limited.

Steve

(One other consideration...purchase new from Russia can be a pain in the ****...solicit recommendations regarding vendors before sending any money to Moscow...)


Last edited by stevebrot; 08-23-2009 at 11:48 AM.
08-23-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jqjones Quote
Well, as part of my LBA, I am looking at getting a fish-eye lens.

I was looking at the

Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 MC Fisheye

Or

Pentax DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5

Well, there is a $300 price difference, and my question is pretty simple. Is there a big enough difference in quality to justify the extra $300.

I have been looking around in the fish-eye shot thread to see what each one has been producing. Just wanted your guys' thoughts
The question you should answer yourself: do want a real fish-eye on your Pentax or not. The Zenitar is not a fish-eye lens on a APS-C DSLR (all pentaxes), because of the smaller sensor. You get all the distortion of a fish-eye, but not the angle of view (180 degs diagonally)

The Pentax at 10mm provides the real fish-eye view, though.

The same is true for the new 8mm Samyang - a very cheap lens or the Sigma fish-eyes (4.5mm circular or 10mm full-frame).

Ben
08-23-2009, 12:54 PM   #10
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Go for the DA 10-17 for all the reasons already mentioned.
08-23-2009, 12:59 PM   #11
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I'm really leaning towards to Pentax, but its hard for me to. I'm a poor grad student, so I'm saving roughly $15 per paycheck, plus my commission payouts to fund my photography hobby/addiction.

So, buying the cheaper one would allow me to more easily fund my Metz 48 purchase, but I may buy the Metz and then begin the fund for the pentax.
08-23-2009, 01:03 PM   #12
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Fisheye fisheye lovely, lovely fisheye!

Get the Pentax DA 10-17mm!
An absolute joy to use. From ultra wide angle to wacky, bubble-eyed fish view!

Don't leave home without it!

(Taken in Havana, Cuba.)
08-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The question you should answer yourself: do want a real fish-eye on your Pentax or not. The Zenitar is not a fish-eye lens on a APS-C DSLR (all pentaxes), because of the smaller sensor. You get all the distortion of a fish-eye, but not the angle of view (180 degs diagonally)

The Pentax at 10mm provides the real fish-eye view, though.

The same is true for the new 8mm Samyang - a very cheap lens or the Sigma fish-eyes (4.5mm circular or 10mm full-frame).

Ben
Ben,
I must respectfully disagree, the Zenitar is ALWAYS a fisheye, regardless of the sensor used. Fisheye lenses are defined by the image projection, not by field of view. The Zenitar has a circular projection scheme. That is what makes it a fisheye. Now in regards to "fishyness", that is another matter. The line curvature generally associated with a fisheye is greatest towards the edges. If you crop the image (e.g. in PP or by using a smaller sensor) much of this may be lost.

Strangely enough, I have taken pictures with the Zenitar on my K10D that are VERY "fishy". I have also used it as an ultra-wide on 35mm where there is little apparent fisheye effect. Much depends on camera angle and the subject. Shoot straight up in the forest and it looks very fishy even on APS-C. Ditto for straight down in a stairwell. Shoot a level horizon at the sea and it won't look fishy at all even on 35mm.

Steve
08-23-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Ben,
I must respectfully disagree, the Zenitar is ALWAYS a fisheye, regardless of the sensor used. Fisheye lenses are defined by the image projection, not by field of view. The Zenitar has a circular projection scheme. That is what makes it a fisheye. Now in regards to "fishyness", that is another matter. The line curvature generally associated with a fisheye is greatest towards the edges. If you crop the image (e.g. in PP or by using a smaller sensor) much of this may be lost.

Strangely enough, I have taken pictures with the Zenitar on my K10D that are VERY "fishy". I have also used it as an ultra-wide on 35mm where there is little apparent fisheye effect. Much depends on camera angle and the subject. Shoot straight up in the forest and it looks very fishy even on APS-C. Ditto for straight down in a stairwell. Shoot a level horizon at the sea and it won't look fishy at all even on 35mm.

Steve
Steve, I know, my short reply would be provocative and your correction is welcome. The point is, if you crop away enough around the center of a fish-eye image, you'll be left with a standard image and no noticeable trace of the fish-eye projection. I have the Pentax 16mm fish-eye and find it pretty useless on APS-C, as the angle of view is just the same (or nearly so) of my 16-50 standard zoom and much smaller, than my humble Sigma 10-20 provides. I find, 180 degs and projction need to go together, otherwise it's only a uncorrected (i.e. non-rectilinear) lens... Just personal taste.

Ben
08-23-2009, 01:59 PM   #15
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I don't get why people look at getting the 16mm fish to use on digital. You don't get a 180 degree angle of view, just a distorted wide angle. The 16mm works best on film.
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