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The Curious Case of the Countless Fishes


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The Curious Case of the Countless Fishes

4 Nov 2022 9:22AM   Views : 327 Unique : 232

For those who have picked up the play on titles, yes, I was a great fan of The Avengers. The 1960s had style. It also had the start of Pentax's creation of the first Fish-eye lens that did not need the SLR mirror to be locked up to use it. As I mention in the latest EPZ review on the HD Pentax-DA Fish-eye 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED lens, Carnaby Street fashion photographers took to the new freedom and the Pentax love of the Fish-eye lens was well underway. A bit of the history is in the review, but thanks to Chris at SRS Microsystems we were supplied with a copy of the latest Fish-eye zoom to review. This was great because I already had the two previous versions of the lens.

First there is the SMC Pentax-F Fish-eye 17-28mm full frame lens, then the SMC Pentax-DA Fish-eye 10-17mm APS-C lens with fixed hood and finally the new HD Pentax-DA 10-17mm Fish-eye with removable hood. The HD lens is basically an APS-C model, but removing the hood results in a part of a circle when used on the full frame K-1 or K-1II.

The three lenses look like this, with the new HD lens having the centre stage:


The original full frame lens is pretty good and well worth buying if one can be found. It is light and compact and because the Fish-eye effect reduces as we zoom towards 28mm it can be used (with care) as a fairly normal looking wide angle. At 17mm we have our full 180 degree diagonal view and lots of lovely barrel distortion.

I was interested in what happened if the new HD lens was used on the full frame camera.

HD 10-17mm at 10mm on full frame

HD 10-17mm at 17mm on full frame

HD 10-17mm at 10mm on full frame if we forget to remove the lenshood

The Fish-eye zoom has been a firm favourite for a long time now and, being so small and light, does not add much to the weight of kit carried. The only problem now is that I know the new lens is better than the one I already have. I'm going to go and talk myself into the inevitable now......

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