I recently splashed out on a Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens, I say splashed out but really compared with a fisheye for a full frame sensor camera it was an absolute bargain. It’s a manual focus lens and you have to set the aperture on the lens rather than with the camera so in addition to the fact that it is a fisheye, which in itself is new territory for me, it is all a bit of a learning curve.
So by way of a start I headed over to the rather attractive Portugese town of Tavira to try it out on some of the towns more interesting achitectural gems. It’s definately going to take some getting used to but so far I am quite pleased with the results.
So to start with here is an old door captured from about maybe 5 or 6 feet the crazy 180 degree diagonal view means that even close-up you can get a huge amount into the picture but of course with the fisheye distortion, in this case giving the door an almost face-like appearance (well at least to me !).
As an alternative to the distorted look you can choose to remove the distortion in post-production, there are many way to do this but most simply you can apply an Adobe Lightroom lens correction profile (which does exist for this lens), which straightens everything out all be it with some loss of the all encompassing angle of view. Here is the “de-fished” version of the same door.
and both together for comparison, quite a different look.
After a little experimenting I think the fisheye is most suited to quite simple subjects particularly if there is some interesting detail in the immediate foreground that you can “zoom” in on, such images tend to work well because at such short focal lengths the depth of field is almost unlimited meaning that even at modest apertures like f/5.6 virtually everything from a about a foot to infinity will be in focus. A couple of examples:
also works quite well in black and white
and a de-fished example:
Another way of using the fisheye is to point it up to the sky, the more you tilt the lens the greater the distortion so by pointing it high into the sky you can get to really rather crazy results.
So early days with this new lens but so far so good and a nice to have new tool in the armoury.
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