A Fisheye Lens Could Improve Your View Of The World

If you are looking to add fun and creative component to your photography, consider adding a fisheye lens to your camera kit. As a bonus, you can get a good fisheye lens for $200, a fairly budget friendly lens all things considered.

Pam and I went to the Decatur Arts Festival this past weekend. We spent some time wandering around the festival with our cameras. I was anxious to try out a couple of lens options I recently got for my Olympus OM-D E-M10 in preparation for a trip out to Colorado. One lens that I really wanted to try out was the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye lens that I originally got for my Canon T3i but have adapted to the Micro Four Thirds camera with a $13 adapter.

Fisheye lenses offer some fantastic creative imaging opportunities. Focused close up to the subject, a fisheye lens can give some wild perspective shots. Used "more judiciously" in a wide open landscape environment, a fisheye lens can create an expansive image that's hard to duplicate. 

Fun With Fisheyes And Mirrors

For the shot above I set myself about two feet from the mirror and waited....and waited....and waited for the right person to wander into the frame from behind me. After about 5 minutes this lady walked behind me and appeard in the mirror. Her bright green/yellow clothing was a nice contrast to the rest of the frame. It also helped that there wasn't anyone immediately in front of me to clutter up the frame. The result is something that lloks like the lady was part of the artwork, not just a reflection in the mirror. The curvature of the frame provided by the fisheye lens accentuated the scene in a fun way.

When used for landscapes, a fisheye lens can give a great, expansive view. Here's an image from the same lens that I made a couple years ago. The lens was attached to the Canon T3i at the time:

A New Day

The image above is an HDR image made from 3 exposures and combined in Google/Nik's HDR Efex Pro, which I really like.  The view is a full 180 degrees, which was great to capture the big sky and sunrise. I had the camera on a tripod and had to be careful not to get my feet in the image!

The Rokinon lens I use is a manual lens so no autofocus is available. That's not an issue though because of the large depth of field. As long as the closest part of your image is more than about 12 inches away from the lens you shouldn't have any problems with out of focus images. Just set the camera to manual, focus the lens and adjust the aperture/shutter speed to your liking and fire away!