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Fisheye Lens or Fisheye converter?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by SNTP, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    So I've always been interested in the look and feel of a fisheye lens, particularly the ones that have close to 180 degree field of view. But the steep price for fisheyes is a big drawback, and I'm not sure how useful the lens will be. I've seen fisheye converters and other screw-on attatchments such as the canon .7x or other converters. Most of the converters are fractions of the price of a fisheye, so i'm left wondering. Should i just get the converters and see if I like the effect enough to get the lens? Are the converters good enough to the point that i wouldn't need a spearate lens? If i had the converter i'd be mounting it to my 20mm as that is currently my widest angle (I really really don't want to use the kit lens). Any suggestions or observations and even sample pictures would be appreciated. I would like to get an AF, but i suppose that manual focus samyang would be ok... Since most of the time everything is in focus anyway.

    Oh and I want to shoot portraits in a city scene, where the buildings get warped, as well as doing some super close-ups, and some videos with fast motion similar to those skateboard videos and such.
  2. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The fisheye converters work, but they definitely don't come close to the image quality of an actual fisheye. If you think you're going to use it, just buy once correctly, instead of buying multiple stopgaps. Just understand, a fisheye is a "fun" lens; not incredibly useful, and it likely won't spend very much time on your camera, so understand your investment.
  3. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I'm thinking you are probably getting the fisheye converter for 20mm on ebay.
    I got one.... it is pretty heavy and feels a little wierd putting it on the 20mm. It does auto focus, but I'm worry eventually it might break the 20mm cause is putting so much stress on it. It was cheap and I had some fun with it, but now that the Samyang is available, I think I'll be getting that.

    Here are 2 pics I took with that fisheye adapter. I did process quite a bit to my liking. You do get the black frame around it from the convertor.

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  4. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Ahh very nice DTChan. Thanks for the pictures of a converter. Looks like it also introduced some lensflare. Yeah i didn't think about the fact that the 20mm focusing moves in and out, and the motor might get messed up with a heavy glass on it. Might I ask, how much your fisheye adapter cost and which one you decided to buy? They're usually pretty cheap, which makes me think i should at least get the converter. Like shnitz said, it's not going to be spending all that much time on my camera, so it might be ok if it's a little heavy for use once in a while. But I think if I do end up using it more than I thought I would, i'll probably end up saving up for the samyang. With the way m4/3 seems to like fisheyes, i'm sure there will be another one out before long. Could i also trouble you for a picture of what the adapter looks like mounted on the 20mm lens?
    Thanks for the feedback!
  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

  6. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    My thoughts:

    If you're not sure how much you might use this, the converter is a cheap way to play around and see how much you like it. If it turns out you're really going to use it a lot, you can probably unload the converter on ebay and not lose much money.

    If you really do think you'll use it a lot, the Samyang is a good deal, but if you decide to sell it later you'll probably lose more money if you decide to sell it.
  7. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Keep in mind, that a cheap "fisheye converter" does not give the 180 diagonal of a true fisheye.

    The afore mentioned (in the first post) 0.7x converter with your 20mm would give you a FOV equivalent of 14mm (0.7 x 20 = 14)

    Also many of the converters are designed for camcorders with a lot smaller sensor and thus will not cover the whole image circle.

    So basically with a converter, you usually get the distortion without the truly wide angle of a fisheye.

    A good way to tell if a converter will give you a truly wide angle, is is the front element is bulging outwards. The same way as the from element of a fisheye would bulge. This is an optical requirement needed for the lens to actually see 180 degrees.
    These types of converters are unfortunately very expensive and only made for camcorders.

    Hope this helps (and I'm not totally incoherent, since I just woke up)!

    I would suggest buying the Samyang 7.5mm. It's a great lens and you would avoid the disappointment of realising that your 20mm with a converter only has distortion typical for a fisheye witout the correct FOV…
  8. SNTP

    SNTP Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 7, 2011
    Well see, this is exactly what i'm thinking, and I think I will end up buying a converter first, and getting a "similar" fisheye experience, and if I like what I see I'll upgrade to the samyang.
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