HD Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED review

Fisheye lenses are common enough, but a fisheye zoom like the HD Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED is actually quite rare

Pentax HD Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED review
(Image: © Rod Lawton)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Fisheye lenses are pretty specialized tools in the first place, so a fisheye zoom is even more so. Most of us would use a fisheye to get the widest possible angle of view, and that's were this HD Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED is most interesting. At the 17mm end of the zoom range, it's hardly wider than a good ultra-wide rectilinear lens. Its results are pretty good, though you can expect plenty of edge softness and some color fringing. Like so many older/speciality Pentax lenses, this relies on the AF drive in the camera body.


  • +

    Ultra-wide fisheye capture

  • +

    Compositional control with zoom


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    Crude autofocus

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    Is the 17mm setting useful?

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Fisheye lenses are quite specialized optics and not to everyone’s taste. Their strong curvilinear distortion has a certain creative appeal and may offer some technical applications such as measuring cloud cover or astrophotography, but they’re probably not a lens type you would use every day – especially a fisheye zoom.

The other example that comes to mind is the Nikon 8-15mm fisheye zoom for F-mount DSLRs, but that swaps from a circular view to a full frame capture at opposite ends of the zoom range.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com