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05-10-2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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Best Fisheye for the K-1

I've been building my kit of Pentax gear and only full-frame lenses for years in anticipation of Pentax's release of a full-frame body - K-1. I have most of the lenses on my list, with exception of a couple of more wide angle and some longer super telephoto or long zooms.

I've recently been exploring the possibility of acquiring a fisheye lens for landscape and/or creative indoor shots of gatherings or tight quarters. I've never owned or used a fisheye. I've been reviewing the forums and the Pentax SMC F 17-28 fisheye zoom and Sigma 15mm F 2.8 fisheye for Pentax are both rated highly, but I've not been able to find any threads or reviews comparing these two lenses. I'd appreciate any input on which would be a better fisheye on the K-1 - the 17-28 fisheye zoom, or the Sigma 15mm autofocus for Pentax.

05-10-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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Off the top of my head I'd say the zoom, just because it's a zoom. The full 180-degree field of view is nice, but in practice being able to tighten the frame and gain a bit of extra resolution can be really beneficial. That's what I did this weekend- 18mm ended up being the perfect setting to capture Solar Impulse 2's wingspan without distorting things too much:

Note that Pentax plans to release a new fisheye zoom next year, so I'd stay tuned for that if you want the absolute best in image quality. The F lens is good, but it does suffer from the expected film-era aberrations and vignetting, plus there are no in-camera lens corrections for it. But for the price, I'd say it's a great value!

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05-10-2016, 12:40 PM   #3
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If you want a circular fisheye, there's the old Sigma 8mm "Filtermatic" one. Not very common in K-mount.

I've certainly enjoyed the Pentax-F 17-28 on film cameras. (Although I had to have a pricey repair due to a major internal breakage, probably shipping damage.) Haven't cranked it up on the K-1 yet.
05-10-2016, 01:17 PM   #4
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I think you will have a hard time finding a direct comparison between the F 17-28 and the Sigma 15mm. The Fisheye Fever lens club has a fair number of Sigma 15mm photos and a few on film from the 17-28. My impression from that thread is that the Sigma is a standout performer. As for me, I have the KMZ Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye. I shoot it on both APS-C and 35mm film and am very happy with the lens.


05-10-2016, 01:25 PM   #5
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If having the widest fisheye image on the K-1 is important to you, I would direct you to this post and you would probably be a bit surprised by the answer.
05-10-2016, 01:51 PM   #6
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On a budget I would say the russian made zenit or zenitar 16mm fisheye. manual and so on, but for a fisheye that's really not a sellingpoint anyway. You can have it for less than $100, and thats a bargain! Here is an image taken with the K-1

05-10-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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The SMC pentax 17 f4 is pretty good. I think there's also a Takumar version 17mm f4.
05-10-2016, 02:12 PM   #8
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After all, when designing the DA10-18 FE, Jun Hirokawa and Takayuki Ito had been given the task to design an APS-C zoom-fisheye lens as versatile as the original 90's design by Hirokawa, the F17-28 FE. For years the later has sold very inexpensively since it was of limited use on APS-C cameras, but now with the K-1 it has a chance to show its real value. I've haven't had time yet to test more than a few shots in city-landscapes. But no bad signs so far. Still the coating holds up, and the flare is limted even with the sun in the image.

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 05-10-2016 at 03:06 PM.

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