1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

why fisheyes?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by squeegee, May 24, 2010.

  1. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    So I have a question... why fish eye lenses?

    If I'm not mistaken, a fisheye lens will give 180 degree fov, but it will also give you the funky err fish-eye effect - which is not really correctable like the distortion in say the 9-18mm or 7-14mm lenses.

    So, when or why would some one buy a fish eye lens (other than for a funky effect which you could just as easily accomplish in post processing for next to free). Better yet, when or why would some one pay over $600 for a "high grade" zuiko fish-eye lens? when would some one use this lens (other than to take funky pictures of their pets...) Why can't you just buy a cheap lens like a 17mm and do a post-processing bubble effect on it? (I'm assuming the distortion is so great that you can't make any serious detail out of the 180 degrees anyways...)
  2. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    Fish eyes because it's very very hard to get as wide a FOV without the distortion (impossible, for very wider FOVs).

    And sometimes you want a shot where you have the subject relatively large in the centre, and a lot of "context" still around them (compressed into the edges). Used a lot for extreme sports for this reason.
  3. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    It's usable for extreme sports, landscape and architecture. In extreme sports you want the extreme FOV (from 30 to infinity) and also the distortion suits most extreme sports. In landscape you can frame the shot so that the distortion is minimally noticeable. And you can also fix the distortion quite well in post, so that you still get a ultra wide image.

    I'm eagerly awaiting for the panasonic 8mm fisheye :) 
  4. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    Hrmmm okay, fair enough, but before I believe it, I'd like to see a distortion corrected fisheye picture (and it's original) if some one has got one. I was under the impression that the distortion was so severe that it was virtually a lost cause.
  5. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    There´s some examples. I actually own this monster of a lens for my mamiya :) 

    Arsat 30mm f/3.5
  6. matmcdermott

    matmcdermott Mu-43 Regular

    Continuing what Krang said.... I started out in photography shooting skateboarding and snowboarding in the late 90s. For skateboarding a fisheye lens allowed me to:

    1) Get angles on the action that you couldn't see otherwise--as in underneath people--while still getting the context. At most shooting distances you didn't have much distortion on the subject, though often times the relationship between the person and the ground was enhanced and what you were going for.

    2) Shoot in tighter spaces, like on the decks of ramps, in skateparks, or on stairs, and still get the entire person in shot while again including as much context as possible.

    In snowboarding the fisheye got used a lot less but still had its place on the deck of the halfpipe.

    Incidentally, for both skating and snowboarding the only lenses I used for action shots (this is all on 35mm film) were a 15mm fisheye and a 70-200/2.8 (sometimes with a tele-extender for snowboarding).
  7. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    That's actually my main concern is distortion. I can understand that you may use the lens for board sports but what about landscape pictures? The samples I've seen on the internet is pretty severely distorted on the edges.

    thanks for the samples, but they're a little small. They look fine at that size but I guess I'm wondering what they would look like at a larger size like 2048x1536 or so. Do they only look good once scaled down so small?

    I'm passively thinking of picking up a wide lens (and I want it a native lens because I'm lazy). I just want to understand the difference between 180-fisheye and say the 7mm / 114 degree lenses, and why there doesn't seem to be much in between, what ever happened to say 150 degrees? why don't people make those and just "correct" for those?
  8. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Correcting does not greatly affect image quality. I think the bigger problem with fisheyes and image quality, is the insane prices of "proper" fisheyes. Hence the lenses that I can afford are not top notch performers.

    Here's an example unedited image, where the distortion correction is done by composition. Bit of a no brainer sample thoug, but it was the only one I had scanned.


    I have no straight answer for your angle question, but I guess that the optical correction is so hard at the wider lenses that it eats the angle. So maybe a 7mm with aspherical elements is actually 150 degree corrected?

    It would be nice to hear some concrete facts regarding this issue :) 

    There are also some special applications/techniques for fisheyes. Like the examples in this review Samyang Fisheye Lens short review
    • Like Like x 1
  9. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    The FE is a hard lens to master but in the right hands gives stunning results. I've bought and sold two and am toying with buying a third. Here are some pics from Don Baldwinson on Four Thirds Photo. I never got anywhere near this good but am still tempted.
  10. matmcdermott

    matmcdermott Mu-43 Regular

    re: distortion -- for landscape pictures without correction there's going to be a lot of it. every once in a while I used it for landscapes with good effect, but most of the time it was too much. unfortunately my experience with it stops before it was easy to correct the distortion digitally.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.