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  ©luca vascon 2006-7

Fisheye adapters or fisheye converters.

Here I'll only discuss about the hstorical, the most common, or the higher quality ones.
They were born a lot of time ago, when even compact cameras were expensive, when lower SLR cameras had non-interchangeble lenses. But they had a second boom in the era of digital cameras, allowing fisheye projection to the "quite affordable" high level digital compacts. For both wideangle lovers and panoramic photography addicts.
Now they are in decline again, being the digital slr cameras at the same price of an old prosumer compact, and being the high quality fisheye adapters priced closely to a true fisheye lens.

They are afocal lenses that vary the focal lenght of the lens they are mounted on. They usually fit on the filter thread of the optics, and are a cost-effective solution to have a fisheye effect on a generic camera. A pity the optic quality is generically low, depending on how well the two optic designs (lens and adepter) fit together. Here we are obviously talking about fisheye convereters, in which the geometry of representation is not the classical perspective one, but the f-theta fisheye projection Si tratta di dispositivi afocali, che variano la lunghezza focale effettiva dell'ottica sulla quale vengono montati. Genericamente si montano al posto di un filtro davanti all'obiettivo. Costituiscono una soluzione economica per ottenere l'effetto fisheye su di una fotocamera qualsiasi. Purtroppo la qualità ottica lascia spesso a desiderare, ed è aleatoria, dipende dall'incontro tra gli schemi ottici dell'adattatore e dell'obiettivo.
Qui si parla ovviamente di dispositivi fisheye, nei quali cioè la geometria di proiezione non è quella della prospettiva classica, ma la proiezione fisheye (f-theta)
   
   

Door peepholes

Century Optics

KENKO

Generic/Kenko 0.19x

type
magn.factor
elements-groups
f.stop
years and variants
converter
0.19X
  has an internal iris branded under several names
thread
circular
fullframe
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
(compact)  
Was branded under several names, but seems not all are equals.
 
Compatibility:
Was intended for be adapted on generic cameras. Also Zeiss-Ikon bayonet filter adapter. It has been said it is possible to use these adapters on MF cameras too.
Digital use:
Quite none. Very prone to vignetting.

NIKON

Nikon FC-E8

type
magn.factor
elements-groups
f.stop
years and variants
converter
0.19X
     
thread
circular
fullframe
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
28mm
around 183 degrees, at widest setting
yes, zooming in.
Ø74 x 50mm, 205g
(compact)
 
The best quality fisheye adapter I've seen so far
mpatibility:
It was designed around the Nikon coolpix 900 serie, to take IPIX shots (2fisheye emispheres). It can fit many other digital still cameras, Canon Powershot A-serie, Olympus P-350 and similar, Sony W-1 to7, it can be mounted on kit Dslr zooms, or on various video cameras.
Panoramic heads for FC-E8:
lens specific: Agnos, BoPhoto.
camera specific: Agnos, Kaidan.

Co

Nikon FC-E9

type
magn.factor
elements-groups
f.stop
years and variants
converter
0.19X
     
thread
circular
fullframe
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
needs tube adapters
around 183 degrees, at widest setting
yes, zooming in.

Ø101 x 73mm, 580g
(huge)

 
really huge converter, it is usually weak at borders, and suffers for diffraction and focusing problms. Once focused properly and diafragm closed in the camera can give pretty good results.
Compatibility:
It was designed around the Nikon coolpix 5400-8800 serie, to take IPIX 360 panoramic shots (2fisheye emispheres). It can fit many other digital still cameras, Canon Powershot G-serie, many bridge cameras, it can be mounted on kit Dslr zooms, or on various video cameras.
Panoramic heads for FC-E8:
lens specific: Agnos, BoPhoto.
camera specific: Agnos, Kaidan.

 

OLYMPUS

Olympus F-con02

type
magn.factor
elements-groups
f.stop
years and variants
converter
0.2X
    I think 2 variants were built
thread
circular
fullframe
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
37mm, special adapters incuded.
around 185 degrees, at widest setting
yes, zooming in.
(microscopic)  
really tiny converter, it is usually weak at borders, and suffers for diffraction problems. Oncediafragm closed in the camera can give pretty good results.
mpatibility:
It was designed around the Olympus cameras, to take IPIX 360 panoramic shots (2fisheye emispheres). In the kit there are the adapters to provide a 37mm screw filter mount and to use it on:
I successfully tested it on other cameras such Canon Powershot A-serie
selfbuilt adapter
Panoramic heads for f-con02:
camera specific: Olympus, given with lens kit.
Co

 

RAYNOX

raynox 180

raynox 185

SOLIGOR

Soligor 0.19X

type
magn.factor
elements-groups
f.stop
years and variants
converter
0.19X
    sold also as "ipix fisheye"
thread
circular
fullframe
dimensions (max diameter, lenght, weight)
No Parallax Point (from bajonet)
37mm
around 185 degrees, at widest setting
yes, zooming in.
(compact)  
really compact converter, it is second to fc-e8 as quality, slightly smaller diameter and longer body. Once diafragm is closed in the camera can give reallybgood results.
Compatibility:
It was designed to take IPIX 360 panoramic shots (2fisheye emispheres). In the kit there are the adapters to provide a 37mm screw filter mount and to use it on:
I successfully tested it on many cameras such Canon Powershot A-serie, Sony w1 to w7, Olympus P350, kit lens on a 350D
Panoramic heads for the soligor:
Lens specific: original IPIX, Agnos on request