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07-16-2010, 05:57 AM   #16
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I got one of those screw on macro/fisheyefilters in an ebay kit of equipment



I've played with it a few times on the front of a 28mm lens - here is the piece of crap result - Yuck. The only part of the image in focus is the centre section as mentioned above - I can use a 50mm lens for that bit. I will take up Iras challenge and see if I can find a way to get a decent image from it - At 28mm it is vignetting badly but then is a fisheye filter going to be much use on a 50mm lens?




Last edited by Arjay Bee; 07-16-2010 at 06:03 AM.
07-16-2010, 07:15 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arjay Bee Quote
At 28mm it is vignetting badly but then is a fisheye filter going to be much use on a 50mm lens?
You could replace your 28mm lens with the 50mm+fish-eye lens. You would also get curved lines and a soft focus effect for free with that.

Ben
07-16-2010, 06:34 PM   #18
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QuoteQuote:
2. you seem to be set to buy it anyway, knowing it is crap, why not?
Ben, I haven't bought one yet. I'm not bent on anything. Try to understand, we come here as beginners to learn. Someone dropped a link recently to a free PDF where you could make your own hood out of cardboard. I read the page reviews and people are raving in both directions about it, but surprisingly, most of the raves are saying BRAVO! They are free, and they work GREAT!
If a FREE PDF could be a good thing, can not a $40 screw on lens adapter? Remember that we are in the beginner's corner. We come here for advise.

I assumed it was a piece of crap, (as the thread title intended), but what I was hoping for was exactly what I got in a recent reply... a picture taken with one, and a person willing to give one a shot to see if there is any value in it.

That was my goal. I'm eager to see any pictures no matter how horrible or how creative.

Bent, no.

curious, yes.
07-17-2010, 06:55 AM   #19
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From a creative standpoint, even cheapo items like the fisheye/filter could produce some interesting effects so they shouldn't be written off as entirely useless. The problem is that they are marketed as an inexpensive alternative for an ultra wide angle/fisheye lens and they don't do a very good job much of the time. A much better alternative would be to look for an older used fisheye or one of the third party MF fisheye's being sold.

07-17-2010, 07:17 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by SelfEmployedDebtFree Quote
Ben, I haven't bought one yet. I'm not bent on anything. Try to understand, we come here as beginners to learn. Someone dropped a link recently to a free PDF where you could make your own hood out of cardboard. I read the page reviews and people are raving in both directions about it, but surprisingly, most of the raves are saying BRAVO! They are free, and they work GREAT!
If a FREE PDF could be a good thing, can not a $40 screw on lens adapter? Remember that we are in the beginner's corner. We come here for advise.

I assumed it was a piece of crap, (as the thread title intended), but what I was hoping for was exactly what I got in a recent reply... a picture taken with one, and a person willing to give one a shot to see if there is any value in it.

That was my goal. I'm eager to see any pictures no matter how horrible or how creative.

Bent, no.

curious, yes.
There is a vast difference between something an enthusiast gives away for free (like the PDF lens hoods) or something a commercial business sells cheaply. With the freebie by an enthusiast you can almost be sure it is useful, albeight sometimes for a very special purpose, because somebody made or developped it out of genuine interest or a special need.

A commercial business first and foremost wants (and needs) to earn money. If they sell a lens attachment for 40USD, you can bet, the production cost will be below 10USD (they have machining and labour cost, than the distributor and finally the dealer to feed). Nobody can produice a good opticak attachment for 10USD. Canon, to go bacvk to a positive example, sells its "wiede angle attachment lens" for the G series cameras for roughly 300USD (that was the price when I bought it). Ofcourse they have to feed the same chain of people, but nevertheless, the product turns out to be genuinly useful - but at a price.

I do not rant about your inquisitivness. I am just tired of seeing all the adds for cheap crap, but high promises. Too many people buy that crap, are disappointed, but won't send the crap back and get their money back. It is basically nothing but a rip-off and I do not support this business modell. This is, why I try to warn poeople not to throw away their well-earned money to these folks. And the attachment, you linked to, is only one example among many others. Ebay is thriving because of that crap.

Ben
07-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #21
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Get a 12mm

I bought the lens attachment you link to used on ebay for about $10 shipped. It was a disappointment, a waste of money IMHO. I then bought a Spiratone 12mm. Click the link to see.
http://thesybersite.com/general/12mm-fisheye/

I paid about $100 shipped from ebay. 10 times the price, but 1000 times better. This would get you by until you could afford a good fisheye lens. Then you could sell the 12mm and get your money back.
07-17-2010, 08:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
I bought the lens attachment you link to used on ebay for about $10 shipped. It was a disappointment, a waste of money IMHO. I then bought a Spiratone 12mm. Click the link to see.
http://thesybersite.com/general/12mm-fisheye/

I paid about $100 shipped from ebay. 10 times the price, but 1000 times better. This would get you by until you could afford a good fisheye lens. Then you could sell the 12mm and get your money back.
The Spiratone was one of those lenses I wanted to lay my hands on. But they are quite rare and then often completely overpriced. 100USD sounds good to me, though. I have the old Pentax A 16mm fish-eye, but apart from the distortion, it is not really fishy anymore on the DSLRs. But a nice lens, nevertheless.

Ben
07-17-2010, 08:35 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
in my experience they seem to workokon P&S cameras but have serious focus and distortion issues around the edges of the frame on a DSLR,
These cheap fishy and wide and tele adapters were popular on early camcorders. With video, the distortion and sh!tty IQ aren't as obvious. I have a set of decent quality Ambico adapters from my father's Hi-8 camcorder. I've used them on a P&S and the IQ sucks, except when shooting video. For stills, they're fine as long as you don't expect anything like a clear photo.

I stupidly bought a much more expensive wide-macro set for dSLR lenses. The near-infinite DOF means that every speck of dust and hair shows clearly in shots. IQ and distortion aren't as terrible as with the smaller set, but they're noticeable.

I bought a Hoya 180 Fisheye adapter (similar to the Spiratone) which gives a full-circle image when mounted on a ~40mm lens on my K20D. The FE distortion is as expected; IQ around the edges ain't good, and for any sharpness, you need a tiny aperture and long exposures. I've pretty much given up on that one too.

I bought a Vemar 12mm f/8 fisheye lens which doesn't deliver a full-circle nor a clear image on my K20D, but it suffices on my ZX-M full-frame film SLR, don't ask me why. My Zenitar 15mm f/2.8 'fisheye' lens delivers nice sharp images, but no full-circle on either camera. It's rather like the DA10-17 FE zoom at that focal length, but faster.

So much for my experiences. Back to the original question: yes, these adapters are dung, but can be fun and useful anyway as long as you don't expect much from them. I just use them to provide more material for shooping. I've yet to find a decent, affordable full-circle fisheye lens for my K20D.

A comment on the Raynox close-up adapters: they're a breed apart from those cruddy fish-wide-tele adapters infesting eBay, or even diopter close-up adapters, with much better optical designs. Those who don't like what they do at frame edges can always crop.

07-17-2010, 09:01 PM   #24
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I have seen the Spiratone brand tossed into this discussion a few times think that a clarification is in order. In its day (several decades, actually), Spiratone marketed multiple fisheye products. Some were the cheapo auxiliary lenses, others were prime lens with full 180 degree circular images, and others were 180 degree diagonal similar to the Takumar and K-mount fisheyes. The primes were fairly decent lenses. I have handled a few and was impressed with the build and quality feel. I did not have my camera with me or I would grabbed a few shots.

A good rule of thumb is that auxiliary wide-angle, fisheye, and tele lenses are usually not very good. The exceptions are quality auxiliary macro and close-up lenses and dedicated auxiliary lenses that were made for and still are made for high end rangefinder and digi-cams (e.g. Yashica for Electro 35, Canon for G-series digi-cams, etc.).


Steve
07-18-2010, 02:11 AM   #25
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Is $274.69 too much money to spend on this? It is 7x or 8x the cost of the filter, but probably will give you 200x the length of service.

Buy.com - Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Aspherical Fisheye Lens for Pentax DSLR Cameras

Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

Thank you
Russell
07-18-2010, 03:31 AM   #26
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Do you like the fish eye effect enough to use it a lot? If you aren't certain, rent a fish eye lens from a place like CameraLensRentals.com - Pentax 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye smcP-DA Lens Rental. If you are sure you like it, then look into one of the actual fisheye lenses out there. The Samyang/Rokinon that Russell marked is probably the cheapest. The older fisheyes aren't quite as fishy on digital, because they were designed for full frame cameras, but they are pretty reasonably priced too (Zenitar 16mm).
07-18-2010, 06:11 AM   #27
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The Samyang/Rokinon almost tempts me, but I already have the DA10-17 and Zenitar 16/2.8. The Samyang/Rokinon costs ~US$100 more than the Zenitar and ~$200 less than the 10-17. None of these is a full-circle fisheye, which is a REALLY specialized tool usually best-used by pointing 1) straight up, or 2) straight down, or 3) into a circular space.

@Rondec,
One can indeed rent a fishy lens, for the experience. Or, use software to play with the effect. For instance, with a focal length of 24-28mm, shoot a matrix of images covering 180 degrees, and stitch them together. In PP, apply a fisheye filter. (I use old PaintShopPro9 and its Lens Distortion or Circle tools. I freely admit to mercilessly torturing images.) Using a fishy lens is a faster and easier way to achieve the distortion, and of course if feels different.

With both full-circle and frame-filling fisheye lenses or adapters, very slight shifts of position or angle can make great differences in a resultant image. Aim carefully, eh? And a full-circle lens on a 3:2-aspect frame leaves ~1/2 the frame black, which can complicate exposures. Bracket bracket bracket! And watch out for flare from the sun or point light sources.
07-18-2010, 08:20 PM   #28
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Someone here mentioned that the K-X fisheye filter was junk. I think I'm gonna have to disagree with that! Its not much for the landscape or "true fish eye" look, but it certainly has some fun appeal. Just look at this picture I took of someone in my family!!!
He was leaning back in the chair, watching TV, unsuspecting. Remember as your looking at this that this man does manual labor, so his arms are rather muscular in real life. Needless to say we all got a good laugh out of this picture!!!
07-18-2010, 08:24 PM   #29
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I have another question.
This is a "dumb question", so please dont beat me up too bad over it.
My stock lens is 18 - 55. Is it possible to see the same wide angle shot with the stock lens turned down to 18 as it would be if I had a dedicated 18mm lens?
What would be the advantages of the 18mm lens over the 18-55?
07-19-2010, 01:49 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by SelfEmployedDebtFree Quote
What would be the advantages of the 18mm lens over the 18-55?
No dumb questions, only dumb answers. My dumb answer: designing and building any zoom lens requires optical compromises, to get the lens to function adequately over its entire range of focal lengths and apertures. Zooms are usually weakest at their extremes -- wide open or shut down, zoomed far in or out. The DA18-55 is generally a fine lens, but it's at its 'worst' at 18 and 55mm if you demand technically superior images. You'll see this if you shoot flat-on gridworks at 18mm, f/3.5 -- for portraiture or landscapes or general snapshots, the distortion is barely noticeable.

A prime (fixed lens) of any focal length is better corrected than a zoom, and may be 'faster' (wider maximum aperture) -- but slower lenses may be tack-sharp. A prime may often be smaller and lighter than a zoom of similar quality. Stopped down to a "sweet spot" like f/8 or f/11, shots from zooms and primes may be indistinguishable. A prime doesn't give you the luxury to just stand in one place and shoot; you have to move around more to pick the right distance and angle for a shot. And a prime means you're a Serious Photographer, not just another Canikony-schlepping newby using a kit lens without a lens hood.

I sometimes use a cheap old manual Lentar (Tokina) 21/3.8 stopped down to f/8 or f/11 for street shooting -- its results are just slightly better than the DA18/55 taped to 21mm and stopped-down the same. My manual Sigma 24/2.8, Pentax-M 28/2.8 and Isco 35/2.8, stopped down the same, give similar results as the kit at those FL's. I mostly use such old primes just because their 'character' is subtly different, or because I really do want the speed advantage of an extra f-stop.

NOTE: 18mm or 21mm ain't really WIDE on your dSLR. No, WIDE starts around 16mm and below. Any WIDE lens gives some sort of distortion, that's inherent in the optics. My DA10-17 is a fisheye zoom with rounded distortion; the popular DA12-24 is a wide rectilinear, with straight-edge distortion. Almost any distortion can be fixed in editing. I often use the cheap Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye because it's wider than the 18-55 at 18mm, and much faster than the 10-17 at 16mm. And it's sharp and small. Some here swear by the superb DA14/4 and DA 15/2.8, great rectilinear primes, but they ain't cheap. Oh yeah, don't put a cheap 'wide' adapter on your kit lens, at least not if you expect anything like decent image quality.
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