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SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye

Sharpness 
 8.3
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 8.3
Handling 
 9.7
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 47,267 Fri February 24, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $484.00 9.00
SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye

SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye
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SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye
supersize

Description:
This rare lens has fast aperture and features three built-in filters. It is larger than the K 17mm F4, but also one stop faster.



SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 FISH-EYE
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

Full frame: 180 °
Hood
Built-in
Case
Hard case HD-100 (initially)
Soft case S70-70 (later)
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Built-in Filters,Rear Filter Mount,Fisheye
Diam x Length
65 x 56 mm
Weight
320 g
Production Years
1985 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A FISH-EYE 1:2.8 16mm
Product Code
21300, 21305
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Built-in filters: Skylight, yellow, orange.
Holder for rear-mounted gelatin filters.
No filter thread.
Features:
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 16mm F2.8 Fish-Eye
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-6 of 6
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,713

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 24, 2017 Recommended | Price: $470.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, excellent optics, built-in filters and great handling & build.
Cons: Metal lens hood.
Camera Used: Pentax film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD, ME, MX, LX, Super A/Program, P50)   

The A16/2.8 fish-eye was released in 1985 and remained in production until 2004. It was a direct replacement for the K17/4 fish-eye. The A16/2.8 is the last fish-eye prime lens that Pentax has made.

Optics:
Excellent optics and very good wide open. Of course there is distortion using the A16/2.8 on a FF camera, as this is not a rectilinear lens. I happen to like the fish-eye look sometimes and bought the A16/2.8 to use as a fish-eye lens only. I have no intentions of trying to use it as a wide-angle lens and defish my images, I have a K15/3.5 that is wide enough. I treat a fish-eye lens as a specialty tool, like a macro, shift or soft lens.

Focal Length:
On FF you get the whole 180 degree angle of view, which if youve never used a full frame fish-eye lens on a full frame camera is pretty impressive. Ive never used an APS-C camera, so I cant comment on what the FOV would be like using the A16/2.8. I would probably guess its a waste of money getting this fish-eye for a cropped sensor?

Build:
This is an elite A Series lens like the A*, so the build quality is excellent. The A16/2.8 is metal and built just like any K/M Series lens I own.

Usage/Handling:
The A16/2.8 is a nicely sized well balanced lens that is easy to handle. Its not too small where you have to worry about getting your fingers in a shot, or too big to be a pain to carry in your camera bag as an extra lens for specialty shooting. I have no issues manually focusing the A16/2.8 or using the aperture ring. The A16/2.8 also has an excellent distance scale for hyper focal focus and size wise is a great lens to travel with. You don't need AF for a FF fish-eye in my books, as the DOF is so huge. Example if you shoot at f/11 and move the infinity mark to f/11 on the distance scale, the DOF is from about 0.45 meters/1.3 feet to infinity.

The A16/2.8 has a small metal built in hood and it does a decent job of reducing flare if you are shooting towards the sun, however since the FOV is so wide you will still get flare in some shots.

I also find when there is a lot of sky in your shot, I have to use some exposure compensation on my film cameras and add a stop. Otherwise the shot will be under exposed.

Filters are always an issue with fish-eye lenses, the A16/2.8 has the best possible solution and features three built-in ones. You have Y2 (Yellow), Skylight and O2 (Orange), as well as a rear mount gel filter holder. The A16/2.8 and the older K17/4 are the only K-Mount fish-eye lenses that I know of that have built-in filters. This is a huge plus for me being a film shooter and the most convenient, as you don't need to bother with gel filters or a dedicated filter set like with some older third-party fish-eyes.

The A16/2.8 uses the HD-100 hard or the S70-70 soft lens case. The metal slip on lens cap is a bit of a pain and easily falls off in your camera bag exposing the front element. My solution was to get a Schneider Optics (the makers of B+W filters) 65mm soft plastic push-on lens cap. It fits nice and tight, so I will use it in place of the metal cap when Im out shooting with the A16/2.8. Another negative about the metal cap is you can chip off paint on the built-in lens hood if you mount it crookedly. This was a dumb idea and a soft plastic push-on lens cap should have been standard.

Speed:
F/2.8 is pretty fast for a fish-eye lens and a huge improvement over the older K17/4, which was rather slow and limited in low lighting.

The A16/2.8 vs my other similar FL fish-eye primes:
I also own the K17/4 and the A16/2.8 is one stop faster with similar optics and build. However the K17/4 is too small and Im frequently getting my fingers in shots, as well as its built-in lens hood is so tiny its basically useless. As a result I would give the edge to the A16/2.8. I rated the K17/4 a 9 and would give the A16/2.8 a perfect 10 as a fish-eye lens.

Summary:
The A16/2.8 is about as good as it's going to get for a full frame K-Mount fish-eye prime lens. Its fast, has excellent optics & handling, has built-in filters, a solid metal build, an aperture ring with an A setting and best of all its a Pentax! Overall a perfect fish-eye lens!

Price:
I bought my A16/2.8 on eBay and it's in excellent condition. It has a few marks on the built-in hood from the metal cap, but otherwise its excellent +.

Sample shots taken with the A16/2.8. Photos are medium resolution scans from original negatives or slides. Shot one & two were taken in Vancouver, Canada and shot three taken in Queens, NY.


Camera: P50 Film: Kodak Portra 400 ISO: 400



Camera: *ist Film: Ilford Delta 400 ISO: 400



Camera: ME Film: Fuji Provia 100F ISO: 100
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 30, 2011 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, nice fisheye effect, internal filters, fast: f/2.8!, relatively small size, fun-factor, flare well-controlled and can be used creatively
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Purchased in 1990 for a little under $400.

I loved this lens (I sold it when I sold most of my film gear). Typical quality PENTAX build.

Mainly I loved this lens for its sharpness (which I haven't found in other fisheyes) and the fun-factor of the super-wide view and the fisheye effect. The fisheye isn't so dramatic that you can't use it for a "regular" super-wide angle in certain circumstances (avoiding horizon lines and other straight lines.)

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/Utah_96/1996-04%20Utah%20Trip%20...rch%20Hike.jpg

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/Utah_96/1996-04%20Utah%20Trip%20...rches%20NP.jpg

Or even with building lines! Bend them to fit!:

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/18%20UK%201/WT%20210...0Cathedral.jpg

I loved using it for in-the-environment self-portraits (surely my most common use of it.)

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/05%20Australia/WT%20...0Australia.jpg

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/09%20Nepal/000Misc/W...anang%20me.jpg

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/09%20Nepal/WT%201000...ng%20Phedi.jpg

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/31%20Fisheyes/index.html

With the f/2.8 maximum aperture, it works for star-trails shots with Kodachrome 64 (yay!)

http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/WT_Big_Show/05%20Australia/WT%20...0Australia.jpg

I really think this fisheye can't be beat, though I haven't tried the new 11-17mm zoom. (It's on my wish-list.)

Very fun lens.

Bought NEW
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Ha Noi
Posts: 70
Review Date: June 5, 2010 Recommended | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:

A test in VNphoto

QuoteOriginally posted by Rock_Opera Quote
MV1+ SMC PENTAX-A 16mm 2.8, kodak 200 film. Chuẩn bị mưa, nh sng khng

Hnh nguyn bản ko chỉnh sửa, chỉ Resize



Tn cổ giao duyn (rộng qu bị dnh ngn tay)









   
Administrator

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 4,346
Review Date: January 11, 2009 Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent optics, balances well on a K10D, build quality
Cons: None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8   

I have mainly used this lens on a dSLR for shooting indoors in available light when I needed a super wide angle. The fisheye effect isn't too pronounced on a DSLR and easily corrected in software. Build quality is excellent, and so is the optical quality.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 21

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 4, 2008 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent on a dSLR, outstanding on film camera.
Cons: Loose lens cap design

An excellent lens with great build quality. Definite fish-eye qualities on a film SLR, but a great wide angle on a dSLR. Fairly fast at 2.8 with great results at 5.6/8
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 593
Review Date: January 8, 2007 Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Superb build quality and very goood image quality
Cons: None realy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

The build quality of this lens is excellent and image quality is very good.
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