November 17, 2021

What’s a Fisheye Lens?

For what purpose are fisheye lenses used?

Fisheye lenses are ultra-wide angle lenses that can capture objects at angles of 180 to 220 degrees.

These lenses are also known as super-wide or ultra-wide lenses. Fisheye lenses are used by professional photographers to photograph landscapes, crowds, and interiors as well as extreme sports. They also serve to capture artistic photography. Fisheye lenses are increasingly being used by photographers to capture fascinating photographs of different objects, including portraits and still life because they create unique distortion.

Robert W. Wood, an American inventor, and physicist, initially called the ultra-wide lens “fisheye” in 1906. The super-wide camera lens was first used in 1920 to study cloud formations. Fisheye lenses have an angle of view between 100 and 180 degrees, but the focal length depends on what format is being used.

Fisheye lenses can produce dynamic and abstract images, making them ideal for wide-angle photography.

Diverse Types of Fisheye Lens

There are two types of fisheye lenses available today.

What is Fisheye Lens – different types of fisheye lens

1 – Circular Fisheye Lens

This circular fisheye lens captures a 360-degree panorama in all directions. This creates a circular image with black borders around the edges.

The circular fisheye lens produces extreme distortion. They are used primarily to take artistic photos, such as cityscapes or landscapes, and also to capture extreme sports like snowboarding and skateboarding.

Professional and amateur landscape photographers alike consider the Samyang 12mm F/2.8 fisheye lens to be the best.

2 – Full Frame Fisheye Lens

A full-frame fisheye lens is capable of capturing a 180-degree field only when it’s diagonal. Horizontal and vertical views of the image can be restricted to 180 degrees, usually around 150 degrees horizontally, and 100 degrees vertically.

What is Fisheye Lens – full-frame fisheye lens

The full-frame fisheye lenses are not able to cover wider angles like the circular ones. However, they are rectangular and do not leave any black edges. Full-frame fisheye lenses can be used for practical purposes, such as photographing interiors of buildings or conventional landscape photography.

Altura Photo 8mm F/3.0 is a great example of a full-frame fisheye lens.

Fisheye Lens Focal Length

A circular fisheye lens with a focal length between 8 and 10mm should be used if you have a 35mm sensor camera or film.

Full-frame fisheye lenses, on the other hand, have a longer focal length of around 15 mm to 16.

The crop factor is an important part of increasing focal length for cameras with sensors smaller than 35mm. You can multiply the focal length of any lens by its “crop factor”.

A fisheye lens 10mm wide on a 1.5 crop factor camera will result in a focal length of 15mm, which dramatically narrows the field.

Many manufacturers produce fisheye lenses for small-sensor cameras. These lenses may also have shorter focal lengths than usual, sometimes as low as 1mm to capture a full 180-degree image.

The angle of view of Fisheye Lens

The ideal fisheye lens will be able to capture 180-degree photographs at its widest point. Some manufacturers make lenses that can capture photographs up to 22 degrees wide. These lenses are often used for professional technical projects and are therefore specialized and heavy.

Fisheye Lens Image Distortion

What is Fisheye Lens – Image distortion of fisheye lens

A fisheye lens produces a unique distortion called “barrel distortion”. This is where the subject appears to bulge out from the center of the frame. Straight lines appear wildly curled. This type of photography is also known as “curvilinear”.

This unique effect is why most photographers use fisheye lenses for their photography endeavors.

Depth of Field for Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses can capture extreme angles with a large apparent depth of focus. The image appears sharply focused from the back to the front. Fisheye lenses are great for capturing scenes that have an interesting subject in either the background or front.

Bottom line:

Let’s all hope the information provided was helpful in your pursuit of photography. Fisheye lenses can be used to capture abstract, yet artistic images of everyday objects.

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