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11-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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Help picking a cheap lens

Hello, I have a pentax kx and I was wondering what's an affordable fisheye lens. One that could take shots like this http://www.nikonweb.com/fisheye/fisheye_flower.jpg (sorry for the noob talk, I'm new to photography.)

Also, what about a wide angle or macro lens? Suggestions? Thanks a ton.

11-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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if you're after macro lenses and are after something super cheap read this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

No idea about the fisheye - haven't gotten to those yet
11-13-2011, 06:16 PM   #3
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If you want good...a used 10-17, a used 12-24, and a used Tamron 90.

Cheap? No idea.
11-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #4
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True fish eye lens are perhaps more expensive than you want. The picture in your example was not taken with a fish eye lens but rather a fish converter or 'filter'. If that is what you want just search ebay for fish eye lens and you will get about 7,000 hits. These just screw onto the front of your existing lens.

A real fisheye like this one is a little more expensive. There are also manual lenses by peleng such as the 3.5 f/8 which goes for maybe $375.00

11-13-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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(edited to remove incorrect lens ID)

Take a look at the shots in this thread and see what folks are using.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/33549-fisheye-fever-club-flaun...ye-photos.html

I've seen great photos from the Samyang 8mm Fisheye Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens for PENTAX | eBay
11-13-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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I've been very happy with the results of the Samyang 8mm that crewl1 posted. The lens I own is Opteka branded, but it's the same lens.

Opteka 6.5mm f/3.5 Circular Fisheye Lens for Pentax - Great lens, great seller and a great deal.

If you want results similar to the picture that you posted, watch this video for some nice info.

11-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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Okay, so what filter should I get to give the same effect that the photo had? Must work on stock 18-55mm lens, will the filter fit over a lens hood?


Are there wide angle and macro filters or only lens?
11-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxian44 Quote
Okay, so what filter should I get to give the same effect that the photo had? Must work on stock 18-55mm lens, will the filter fit over a lens hood?


Are there wide angle and macro filters or only lens?
They're like filters, they screw into your lens (52mm) and give pseudo fish eye, wide and macro. Quality varies but most of them will give you adequate results. If you are wanting to explore the effects without laying out the funds for a dedicated lens, these filters are fun and inexpensive way to experience the effects, just don't expect the IQ to wow anyone.

11-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
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What filter should I get for fish eye? eBay?

Also, I'm thinking about dedicated lens for macro and wide angle, what are some cheap dedicated lens?
11-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Designers of fisheyes (FEs) and ultra-wide-angles (UWAs) share a problem with mapmakers: how to project a rounded 3D world onto a flat 2D frame? So they use various optical projections, which always produce distortions. Seemingly the most distorted is the full-circle or 180-degree fisheye because it looks so strange to us -- but it's actually the optically 'truest' representation of what's around us. Go figure.

Wide lenses can use various projections. We have FULL-CIRCLE fisheyes, which give a cyclops-eye round view. We have FRAME-FILLING fisheyes, which don't leave all that blank space. And we have RECTILINEAR ultrawides, which s-t-r-e-t-c-h edges to keep straight lines straight. These are made as FE and UWA primes and zooms, none of which are very cheap; and as adapters, none of which are very good.

If you want full-circle fisheye, you have 2 options: a fairly expensive exotic lens, or a fairly cheap adapter. I have a Kenko 180-Degree Fisheye screw-on adapter, about 80mm long and 60mm across. This and similar adapters may also be branded as Spiratone, Vivitar, Phoenix, whatever. These can still be found for around US$50+ or so. I mount mine on a medium zoom like a 35-80mm. At around 40mm it gives a full-circle image; from around 60mm onwards it fills the frame. It's a fun way to play with projections. It needs the aperture to be stopped WAY down for the edges not to be hopelessly soft, so it's a tripod lens.

If you want frame-filling fisheye, you also have 2 options: a fairly-to-very expensive exotic lens, or a fairly cheap adapter. All the cheap adapters for going ultrawide or fisheye, suck. I have used both cheap and not-so-cheap versions, and they all suck. EXCEPTIONS: If you use such adapters for video, or for pictures that you don't intend to look 'photographic', then OK. Video's moving images distract the eye from how crappy the optics are. For posterizations and solarizations and other image-torturing, the loss of edge detail might not matter either. Just do not expect to shoot crisp clear FE or UWA pictures -- won't happen!

Good FE primes start at around US$250; zooms start at around US$400 and quickly rise from there. That full-circle Opteka 6.5/3.5 looks like fun; I may pursue one when I have money again. The popular Zenitar 16/2.8 is about US$200 but isn't really fishy on our dSLRs. The splendid DA10-17 FE zoom is the lens that drove me to Pentax, but it ain't cheap, around US$450+ new and you'd be lucky to find a used one for US$350.

My recommendation: If you buy an adapter, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. If you want decent 'photographic' images, buy a good lens. And buy it from a seller with a strong no-questions return+refund policy, in case 1) it's a bad copy, or 2) you quickly find that fisheye isn't really useful for you. FE lenses might be fun for about a week. That happens. Leave yourself an escape hatch.
11-17-2011, 06:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxian44 Quote
What filter should I get for fish eye? eBay?

Also, I'm thinking about dedicated lens for macro and wide angle, what are some cheap dedicated lens?
Here's what I purchased a while back: Amazon.com: Opteka HD² 0.20X Professional Super AF Fisheye Lens for Kodak EasyShare P880 Digital Camera: Camera & Photo - there are other ones but I found this to be the best. You need to keep an eye out on the "multiplying" factor... some will be .50 or like this one .20, the smaller the number the better "fisheye" capabilites with most lenses. I've used this with my Kit lens with much success, and with the kit lens, you can use the zoom effectively either with a complete circle or part of circle etc etc etc...

This photo taken with adapter on my Lumix, but it will give you an idea. The picture was for a school parade, so all I did was resize and upload images, additional PP would enhance it greatly... To be honest, it's a fun lens to use but does get old quickly




Last edited by theunartist; 11-17-2011 at 06:56 AM.
11-17-2011, 10:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by theunartist Quote
This photo taken with adapter on my Lumix, but it will give you an idea. The picture was for a school parade, so all I did was resize and upload images, additional PP would enhance it greatly... To be honest, it's a fun lens to use but does get old quickly
And it illustrates the characteristics of such adapters. Tolerable IQ in the center, loss of resolution-detail-correction around the edges. These adapters "get old" faster than do real FE lenses mostly because they're less usable for non-gimmick shots IMHO.
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