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SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]

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89 218,735 Wed December 14, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $419.76 8.98
SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]

SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]

The Pentax 10-17mm fisheye lens provides a 180-degree diagonal Field of View (FoV) on Pentax APS-C format DSLRs. At 17mm, the FOV is reduced to 100 degrees. The image is not rectilinear. The fisheye effect is more dramatic at the wider end of the zoom range.

SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED[IF]
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 6 blades
10 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
14 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
No filter thread
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 180-100 °
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 71.5 mm (2.7 x 2.8 in.)
320 g (11.3 oz.)
Production Years
2006 to Present
$399 USD current price
$575 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA FISH-EYE 1:3.5-4.5 10- 17mm ED[IF]
Product Code
One ED element.

Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF] in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos

Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF] Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 31-45 of 89
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 853
Lens Review Date: April 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $520.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very good quality images. Develops your imagination at both ends of the focal range
Cons: Concerns about scratching the glass
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K20D   

It's no secret that this is almost a "buy one get one free lens", and I agree with other reviewers: you get the fisheye lens at 10mm but you also get a quality wide angle lens at 17mm.

Fisheye effects can be done on software these days, so you may decide a wide angle prime is better for you.

However, software is only as good as the image it works on, and for me the 10mm end of this lens captures a lot of image that other lenses miss. Especially in scenes where all the action is spread out, and a fisheye photo looks better than stitching. Or conversely, in narrowly confined streets and other built up areas/indoors.

The image quality is very good and the colors are vibrant particularly towards the 17mm end, where the fisheye distortion is less...but still noticeable. It continues to amaze me that you can point the lens nearly straight at the sun and it still delivers. The short focus distance is also excellent for fisheye macro-style images, and the resolution is very good, especially if you use a tripod.

The big downsides to me are: (1) it exhibits quite lot of purple fringing, not just wide open and not just on very sunny days, and (2) my lens seems to struggle with high contrast clouds, and the borders between (say) trees and the sky: not just PF but blown out areas. Combined, these downsides are a shame, as the fisheye should be at its best taking photos of landscapes etc. on bright/sunny days. Hence, I'm rating it an 8.

This lens often comes with us on trips and holidays, while most primes get left behind. For some situations it's not used at all, but sometimes (e.g. in towns and cities outdoors and indoors) it's the only lens we use, including family snapshots. The results are often admired by others, and photography is a results business after all!!

The Leaning Tower of London at 10mm:

Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 385
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good optical quality
Cons: Difficult to use
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

A fun lens to use, but also difficult. Sharpness and built quality is good. Nearest focus distance is extremely short and very useful. There are quite a lot CA from this lens, but I suppose that is expected from a wide angle lens.

Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 5,805
Lens Review Date: January 19, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great fun, versatile, compact
Cons: I'm not sure the hood does much
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs   

This is one of Pentax's most idiosyncratic and interesting lenses. It is basically two lenses: at 10mm it is a true fish-eye, while at 17mm it is an almost rectilinear ultra-wide.
Sharp enough, remarkably small for what it offers, and great fun. It deserves to be in every Pentaxian's bag.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 2,187
Lens Review Date: December 4, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color rendition, sturdy build
Cons: Need to take care with lens, cannot use filter
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 4    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-7   

I really love this lens. It is like owning two great lenses--a fisheye at 10mm and a great wide angle at 17mm. It takes a bit of use to really get good/desired results from this lens. Of course, you can use it as a fun lens, getting all sorts of distorted results with deliberate intent, and I enjoy doing that from time to time. However, it is also a great landscape lens, even at the fisheye end, once you learn how to frame and compose. To get good, normal looking results, you need to avoid placing straight vertical objects at the sides of the frame. You can take photos that look almost normal if you will place long straight objects (roads, railroads, trees, etc.) right in the center of the frame. The lens then renders them straight, and takes in much more of the surrounding landscape than you are accustomed to. For landscapes without vertical objects at extreme left and right of the lens, you get very normal looking results. I say LOOKING results as the lake or body of water you are photographing looks normal, i.e., the shoreline COULD have been as the lens portrayed it, and those observing the image you have created have no frame of reference to see the shoreline as distorted. Trees on the shore at the extreme sides of the frame will appear distorted on close inspection, of course, but are not immediately apparent. The lens renders colors beautifully. It is also very useful for taking closeups of items such as products, giving an almost normal but artfully distorted view. I would love to take this lens to an antique car show! I don't think I would ever give up this lens. I highly recommend it.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Langwarrin Australia
Posts: 351
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp for a fish-eye, build, versatile
Cons: Hard to protect the front element
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5,K7   

I have used other fish-eyes before but this one is unique,it is so versatile being able to zoom from 10-17mm,so from huge distortion at 10mm to very little at 17mm. Most fish-eyes are soft right across the frame, but this one is unusual in that it's sharp in the centre and softens to the edges which seems to enhance and give a far better effect. Yes it has some CA but that comes with all fish-eyes and the way they bend the light, but with this lens it is not a big problem and is easily worked around. This lens also produces great colours like most Pentax lenses.
The only problem I have found is that you have to be very careful with the protruding front element especially since this lens focuses amazingly close and the effect is so good that you cant help but use it.
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 150

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Huge fun factor, Very Fishy, sharp, quick focusing
Cons: Must be careful with the front element and cap, cannot use filters, flares ALOT
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K7   

I think that this lens is a solid 8.5. The only things that take away from it are things that I think are to be expected when using a fisheye lens i.e. flares, no filter threads, weird hood and cap.

It is extremely fun to use and opens up alot creative potential. I did some photos for a friend at their daughters first birthday and this was perfect for capturing the mood of the party and the colourful Sesame Street decorations.

I have also used this on my Pentax Super A and have found that it is usable from 14mm (maybe it was 15mm) as a fisheye for film.

I will try to post a couple of samples at a later time.
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Colestin, OR
Posts: 79

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, super-wide, light-weight zoom
Cons: none
New or Used: New    Camera Used: K10,20,5   

This is my favourite lens. I keep it mostly at 13mm and use it for landscapes.
It's sharp, light-weight, versatile, and super-wide. No problem shooting into the sun.
There's some CA, but there is with most of my lenses. Stays on the K5 all the time!
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,986

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, light for a zoom, bright colour, extraordinarily versatile
Cons: CA can be bothersome
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K 20, K-5   

When I went to purchase this lens after seeing great results and hearing such positive reviews, the salesman tried to discourage me suggesting it would be a one trick pony. I have used it on a daily basis for a challenge on the forum and regularly heard comments like "I don't normally like fish-eye but I like this" or "I can't believe this is a fisheye!" This is a brilliantly versatile lens with nice crisp colours. Autofocus is fast and accurate allowing you to hold the camera in unusual positions, shoot and get very unique images. CA can be quite significant but no worse than my DA* 16-50. As well, filters cannot be used so you will want to look after the front element, keeping it covered and clean.

A fish-eye is a great creative addition to a photographer's arsenal. Composition is very important to make the most of the results but it often breaks many of the rules that may be dragging you into a rut. Some examples:
At 10mm

The morning after by jmschrei, on Flickr
At 17mm

Red fin by jmschrei, on Flickr
Playing up the fishiness

Spring returns to the concrete jungle by jmschrei, on Flickr
Or not

Along the rails by jmschrei, on Flickr
And getting in close (you can get up to 13mm from your subject)

Pussy willow by jmschrei, on Flickr

Nature in abstract by jmschrei, on Flickr
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,269
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, beautiful color rendering, very little flare, versatile, focuses very close, superb build quality, compact, fun to use.
Cons: PF in some situations, special lens cap not easily replaceable, protruding front element requires caution
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-x   

I've only been out a couple of times with it, but I can say I don't think I'll ever part with this one. This is an immensely fun lens to shoot with, and it's given me compositional ideas I normally would never have thought of.

It's probably the only wide angle I'll ever need. At 10mm, it's a very fishy fisheye. As you zoom up toward 17mm it morphs into a more traditional, almost rectilinear wide angle lens. Very cool.

This lens is plenty sharp, especially when stopped down a bit. The color rendering is among the best I've seen from any lens. The colors really pop. Rich, saturated, and contrasty. Clouds stand out from the sky in sharp relief. I rarely need to do anything with the colors in post with this lens, unless it's just for creative effect.

The build quality is superb. Zoom and focus rings are the smoothest I've ever encountered. Everything on this lens screams quality. Even the lens cap is quality... made of machined aluminum.

This lens does have some purple fringing, which can show up around tree branches against the sky or other contrasty situations. I usually only notice it when pixel peeping, though.

A couple of downsides that are a necessity of any fisheye lens are the lenscap, and the protruding front element. The lenscap is an aluminum slip-on affair that is beautifully made, and has a felt ring around the inside rim to grip the lens. Only problem is, if you ever lose it or the felt loses it's grip with age, you'll need to buy another one from Pentax. I don't know how much it would cost, but I have the feeling it wouldn't be cheap.

The other thing is the protruding front element. You have to be VERY careful with the cap off, and take care when replacing the cap that you don't bang it against the glass. Because it's such a wide-angle fisheye, there's no rim around the front to protect it, nor a way to attach a filter. I can't fault it for that, though. All fisheyes are that way. It's a necessity of that type of lens.

What xfloggingkylex said in another review about there being a learning curve is correct. This lens has such a radically different field of view that you have to learn to spot subjects that are good for a fisheye. A couple of things I've learned:

1) It's great for dramatic closeups. Flowers, statues, people in the foreground, etc. Having your subject close to the lens makes the photos really pop.

2) The farther off-center an object is, the more fisheye distortion it has. Use it to your advantage.

As I'm still a fisheye newbie, I expect to learn a lot more about using it as I shoot with it. After learning a few tricks, I find myself looking at everything with "fisheye-eyes". It's addictive & fun.

Bottom line, it's a top-quality piece with great image quality that's a blast to use. Usually kind of pricey, but well worth it.

Here's a photo I took with it on it's first trip out. (color altered in Photoshop.)
New Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: super wide, sharp, fast focus
Cons: some corner issues
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

I picked up this lens on ebay recently, slightly used. I was skeptical about the image quality but wanted a fun lens just for goofing around. I got way more than that. The lens is well built and handles perfectly. It's way sharper than I was anticipating, even wide open. I've noticed a bit of color fringing but nothing really field relevant so far.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Frederick, MD USA
Posts: 111
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide, build quality, unique.
Cons: CA, framing issues (not lens related exactly)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used   

I have the Samsung version of this lens which I bought off a forums member. When he sold it to me he said that he was never able to get the hang of it any his pictures all came out with weird exposure or other issues. I didn't understand what he meant until I used it.

Wow, there is nothing that can prepare you for the change in style needed to use this lens. Lots of my first pictures had soooo much ceiling in them, or the exposure was off. There is just so much more to worry about getting right when you hit the shutter. Before (28mm) it was just the subject and what was immediately around it. Now I need to worry about the floor and the walls, any drastic exposure changes anywhere in the frame and high contrast especially near the edges for CA. This lens is fun to use and definitely makes unique pictures, but there is a learning curve to it.

The first weekend I went out for a walk around the neighborhood with it to see what I could do. I came back generally displeased, partially because it was a cloudy day with very flat lighting, and partly because I hadn't been able to view the world with such a wide FoV; that really changes how you take pictures.

I was happy with the pictures at 17mm, they lose a lot of their barrel distortion and don't suffer from CA, but it was still tough to get pictures I like.

All in all I like the lens, I have revisited HDR using it on a tripod and have been pleased with taking pictures of my apartment showing the entire room at once. I need to get out on a sunny day and try again.

Oh and focusing with your subject basically touching the glass is hard to get used to as well, because it looks so far away in the viewfinder.
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like a tank. Unique effect. Makes no room to small. Great colour. Close focuses.
Cons: Weight.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

I've had this lens for about 5 years now and have kept it through 3 body upgrades - K5 now
The reality is that does what nothing else in camera bag does - it makes playing with perspective fun!
It may not be the most practical lens to have, but the reality is that several of my favourite landscape, sunset and funny portrait shots have been taken with this heavy piece of glass - and the photos always look unique versus my friends.
For the price it's extremely well built and a good value.

PS> It's also a rock star at a downtown 500 sq' condo party.

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,537
Lens Review Date: September 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid, zoom range, quick shift, versatile
Cons: Not much
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-7   

The most amazing feature of this lens is its versatility IMHO. At 10mm, it is a true fisheye (180 degrees); at 17mm, it is a wide angle.

I bought the lens originally because I wanted a fisheye lens and the lens was recommended by several Pentaxians. The lens is definitely a fisheye lens at 10mm, I learned however to use the lens at other focal lengths and there are some big differences from 10m up to 17 mm.

I like the hood which is fixed: you will not forget it, and it protects nicely the rounded front glass. Another nice feature is Quick-Shift.

Like any fisheye lens, you need to use properly the lens. Do not shoot facing the sun. Beware of your shadow, your feet, your cap at 10 mm. There is some strong barrel distortion, lateral chromatic aberrations, purple fringing, poor bokeh, .... This is linked with the fisheye type, not with the lens itself IMO.

Lastly an anecdoct. I have a 18-250mm lens. I feel that the 10-17mm complements very nicely the 18-250mm....

All in all I can highly recommend the lens and I am grateful by the adamant advice from senior Pentaxians to get this lens. They were right.
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Vientiane
Posts: 100
Lens Review Date: September 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great colors, build quality
Cons: filter, lens barrel
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is my favorite landscape lens. Never regretted taking this over sigma 10-20. This represents the great pentax colors. On daylight it renders a semi HDR look. Thank you pentax for this lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,198
Lens Review Date: August 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: close focus and extreme view angle
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

For a fisheye, this lens is quite versatile. Able to fosus very close to subject, able to accomodate filters when zoomed in (cokin holder with 58mm thread works well). Usable on film camera when zoomed to 14-15mm. The zoom covers broad range of view angles from 180 to a mere 100 which makes it very powerful tool to adjust composition,
Of course FE is primarily a fun lens, but this one brings in a lot more fun than any other FE.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF] Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF]

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