Fisheyes of Man

I'm still working with the Pentax Q and the 03 Fish Eye to see if I can work with this lens on an upcoming motorcycle trip. In our last episode I noted that it's ok up close but focusing on mid-distance and far subjects was difficult because the Q only has 4x MF zoom assist.

I was curious to see how the Q and Fish Eye performed against the other fish eye in the house, Pentax's DA 10-17 Fish Eye Zoom. For those keeping score, the DA 10-17 is an odd creature, really fishy at 10mm and less fishy at 17mm. Truth told, it's a hard lens to use well, as most fish eyes are, and I often wonder if I should trade it for a rectilinear wide zoom or maybe even the DA 15mm F4.

Anywho, I wanted to see how the Q competed against the DA 10-17, so I went out back and took some shots....

Here's the Q with the 03 Fish Eye
Pentax Q 03 Fish-Eye Sample

And here's the K-5 with the DA 10-17 Fisheye Zoom Pentax K-5 with DA 10-17 Fisheye Zoom

Now I didn't bring a tripod out and try to compose the exact same shot with the two systems. I just wanted to see how close I could get the Q to approximate the K-5, including post-processing with the Q such as sharpening, etc... I'm interesting in my ability to get a final result, not a which camera/lens is better.

Looking at the two photos and there are some clear differences. The K-5/DA 10-17 is sharper with some OOF areas in the background and just overall more subtlety in the tones. But I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised with the Q/03 Fish Eye. I pushed and pulled a couple of levers in Lightroom and came out with some that's not horrible. It's actually pretty ok. This gives me hope that I'll be able to get the shots that I want with it as long as I can work around the usability issues.

"Why don't you just use the K-5 and DA 10-17 for the shot that you want?" Some of you may be asking. Good question. In a word, heavy. I intend to hang the chosen camera off of the bike via a clamp and articulating arm. If I use the Q, I can bring a small clamp and small articulating arm. If I use the K-5, I have to bring the heavy duty clamp and articulating arm. I'm flying and much of my luggage will be motorcycle gear. If I can get the Q to work, I'll be very happy.

The inexact tests continue...

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