An Awesome Guide To Fisheye Lenses

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fisheye lenses
Image by Aurélien

For many of us photographers, they are objects of desire. The key to ultra-wide almost surreal looking images that would look good in anyone’s portfolio. I am talking about, of course, fisheye lenses.

Today we are going  to give you the brief 101 on:

  • What they are,
  • Which one to buy, and
  • How to use them.

For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to focal lengths that are 35mm full frame equivalents.

First Up. What Are Fisheye Lenses?

There is no real definition as to where ultra-wides lenses end and fisheyes begin but whilst an ultra-wide will attempt to eliminate or reduce distortion as far as possible, a fisheye will maintain and even embrace it.

The angle of view for a fisheye will start at around 100 degrees and can go out as far as 180 degrees. Typically on 35mm sensors the fisheye lenses are around the 8-10mm length whilst ultra-wides start at about 14mm.

There are in fact two main types of fisheye lenses that we can buy:

  1. The Circular Fisheye, and
  2. The Full Frame Fisheye.

Circular fisheyes are designed to project the image within the confines of the sensor, so what you get is a fully circular image on a rectangular frame.
The full frame fisheye also projects a circular image but in this case, it covers the entire sensor.

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Jason has more than 35 years of experience as a professional photographer, videographer and stock shooter. You can get to know him better here

I have the Rokinon 8mm f3.5 fisheye….. Great price and fantastic photos…. all for about 1/3 the price of the Nikon fisheye – about $200. It sure works great for a lens that is not used very often.

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