Review: Pentax 10-17mm fisheye|
Andrew Alexander, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, March 17, 2008 - 11:18 EDT)
Designed exclusively for use with the Pentax line of digital SLRs, the Pentax SMC P-DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 ED IF interchangeable lens offers fish-eye (180 degree diagonal angle of view at a focal length of 10mm) to super wide-angle performance in a single unit.
If you've ever had the problem of not being able to get everything into the frame, an ultra-wide angle lens may be the solution. The Pentax 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 IF SMC P-DA Fisheye is one such lens, offering up to 180 degrees of coverage when set to 10mm. The lens has an effective focal length of 15-27mm when mounted on a Pentax digital body. As a designed-for -digital lens, it will mount on older Pentax film bodies, but there's no aperture ring so it won't work properly if the camera can't set the aperture. Further, the glass elements are designed for the smaller APS-C sensor; vignetting will occur at focal lengths wider than 14mm. But if you're fine with these caveats be prepared for some really wild barrel distortion, as the lens produces results which don't attempt to correct for distortion - the ''fish-eye'' effect.
This fisheye effect wrought havoc with our testing, such that we don't have results for 10mm in sharpness, chromatic aberration or vignetting. Further, we have no results for distortion at all, so you'd be best served by looking at our sample photos at the end of this review. Before moving on to cover those aspects, other things you should know about this lens are that it is built with an integrated lens hood, more to prevent damage than flare, and it can't take front or rear filters. It's available now, for around $400.
For more, read our Pentax 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 IF SMC P-DA Fisheye review.