When using 20D a few times I tried to use 8mm Peleng Fisheye Lens which was the most cost-saving option of Fisheye that it was possible to find with reasonable quality but which I had never had. When I proceeded to full format with 5D MKII Peleng turned to be not “useful”, since it made a circle on the sensor, it was intended for APS-C. However the same producer, Belomo, launched Peleng 17mm f2.8 which can be used in dSLR in full size.
The History of MC Peleng 17mm f2.8
• Fisheye Peleng 17mm f2.8 was produced since early 90’s and was intended for Russian cameras Zenit and Praktika with adapter M42.
• The biggest popularity of this Fisheye lens as well as of the similar cameras (more than 12 million of cameras sold) has fallen on the 90’s. In 1998 production of Peleng 17mm Lens ceased.
• In the beginning of the 21st century digital reflex cameras appear in large quantities; however this lens is of no interest because it is 17mm and with APS-C cameras it is transformed into 27mm Fisheye.
• Actually the cameras Full Frame gain momentum, and right now 17mm Fisheye occupies the first places, since the picture projected by this lens embraces the entire sensor.
Specification of Peleng 17mm f2.8 is the following:
The parts of the Fisheye Peleng 17mm lens include 10 elements in 7 groups
The focal distance is 17mm
The correlation of opening of lens 01:02,8
The limits of opening 1:2,67 to 1:19,6
Visual angle 180°
The screen size 24x36mm
Resolution in the centre 50mm
Resolution at the edges 15mm
The minimal focus distance 30cm
Transmission rate 0,85
Weight 630 gr.
As you can see the size conforms to its contents. Here I compare it with Canon 16-35 f2.8 L to which I can refer and which is compared to Peleng 17mm f2.8 of Belomo, taking into account the differences between them.
In fact, the comparison is not fair because Belomo is “Fisheye”, i.e. it has deliberate spherical distortion, whereas Canon is the angle camera and it doesn’t have any distortions. It would be much fair to compare Peleng 17mm Fisheye with Canon 8-15 f4 (which is not sold yet) or even better with Canon 15mm f28 Fisheye which cost is more than 2 times higher than that of Belomo we are talking about. However for me it is interesting to see the difference between two lenses one of which is Peleng 17mm Fisheye and the other is not. First of all, so that to see the creative component which these lenses can offer.
To begin with, it is necessary to note that the lens does not cover 100% of the sensor, only in the corners, and shows its own lens filter.
Here is an example of Gran via on the photo without retouching.
Here we retouch the photo so that we could eliminate the corners.
Here is the extended photo 16-35 with Peleng 17mm f2.8 Lens.
Here is the same order on the vertical photo, and we can notice, though with cropping, the angle of the picture is bigger when we use Belomo.
Now two pictures of Puerta del Sol, first made with Peleng Fisheye Lens and the later with 16-35, if you click on them you will come at the final version and you will see the preciseness of each photo. Both photos are made with f11 for which the profoundness of the viewing field is sufficient. You will see that the lens is of quite high quality, actually it does well in the center, however in some way it is made worse in the edges, and even much worse in the corners, however we can consider this as “normal” in Fisheye lens.
The photos of Belomo like 50 mm are accumulated in the EXIF (if you don't use AF confrimation chip), I don’t have any notion why, but you will not be able to see more information because the only way to use this lens is manually. The photo is made due to the rings situated on the lens itself. There are two rings for the exposure, one of them allows blocking up the exposure in the particular exposure from f2.8 to f16 and the other gives the possibility to move fast from f2.8 to the blocked exposure. Thus, it is necessary to determine the light in order to choose the appropriate exposure. Then you have to be cautious not to move accidentally the fast ring of the exposure. It’s so easy to do it and in this case you will find the photos badly exposed, therefore you have to be careful.
The focus is also manual which allows us to move smoothly when making distances closer or more remote.
In a few hours you will be able to use the lens more easily.
The spherical distortion is evident in the edges and the center of the photo does not have such distortion, here is the example of the portrait.
Finally, I give you the album with all the photos I’ve made with this Fisheye lens which is very interesting and which has the quality good enough for the cost that it has – now about EUR 200.