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What Is a Fisheye Lens?

The trippy effect is surprisingly beneficial

A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide-angle lens for digital SLR cameras that captures hemispherical (circular) images. This causes different visual distortions and is often used in creative photography. The result is an image in which the edges of the image are wrapped in a sphere, the lines are curled, and all of the outer edges of the image appear to have changed context.

What is the reason for making fisheye lenses super wide-angle?

The angle of the fisheye lens is considered to be an ultra-wide-angle lens because it can capture an angle of about 180 degrees. A wide-angle lens can capture an image with a width of about 100 degrees. This creates an image that looks like it was taken through a peephole, as is often the case with front doors.

Fisheye lenses also have a unique look because the glass on the outside of the lens has a much sharper curve than a wide-angle lens. This curve allows the lens to capture a wider range of light than an average wide-angle lens and create wider shots.

How does a fisheye lens work?

All DSLR lenses are called fisheye lenses. Linear lens.. This is because the light travels linearly through the lens to the image sensor. This creates the straight lines found in most photographs.

Via Twenty20 @ mlsartstudio

Fisheye lenses are designed to deflect light as it travels from the outer edge of the lens to the image sensor. As a result, the lens directs the light to the image sensor, and only the center of the lens transmits the light in a straight path, causing obvious distortion in the outer edge of the photo, which is usually shown as a straight curve. It is the effect that makes these lenses so popular.

The first fisheye lens was created by Beck’s in London in 1924, but until 1962, when the first interchangeable fisheye lens was introduced by Nikon, fisheye lenses were not widely available for interchangeable lens cameras. This first fisheye lens has a focal length of 8mm and an aperture of f / 8.

Many uses for fisheye lenses

One of the reasons some photographers choose to use fisheye lenses is Barrel distortion.. For most types of photography, barrel distortion is an effect that photographers avoid, but when shooting with a fisheye lens, that’s exactly what some photographers want to achieve.

However, there are two ways to take a picture with a fisheye lens. A group of photographers use lenses to enhance the image, but it’s unclear if fisheye lenses are used. For example, you can use a fisheye lens with a sunset to further magnify the horizon, or with a curved subject to capture a sense of curvature without losing part of the image.

An image of a baseball field taken through a fisheye lens.

@ kymdros via Twenty20

Other groups of photographers use fisheye lenses to capture the distortion caused by the lenses. This is useful for taking pictures of different creative styles, but is mainly used for taking pictures of extreme sports such as skateboarding and skydiving. The landscape created by the fisheye lens simulates the landscape seen by humans.

A photo of a skydiver taken with a fisheye lens.

Rick Nebes / Getty Images

Additional types of fisheye photos

Of course, regardless of whether the photographer wants to clarify the use of fisheye lenses, fisheye lenses have far more uses than just shooting the horizon and extreme sports. It is not uncommon for underwater photographers to use fisheye lenses. Fisheye lenses allow viewers to see the scene more naturally and “feel” better when they are underwater.

An image of a hammerhead shark taken with a fisheye lens.

Kenky Farr 2 / Getty Images

Another creative use of fisheye lenses is to take a picture with the lens facing up. This is also useful for cityscape and landscape photography. The upward angle of the lens gives a sense of height when looking at elements such as buildings and trees.

The bamboo grove was shot upward through a fisheye lens.

Via Twenty20 @ simogarb

Some photographers have other types of portraits (the subject needs to be centered and the edges distorted), astrophotography, and behind-the-scenes photography to get a better picture of what’s happening. I also use a fisheye lens for my photos. Behind the camera. Circular objects are also suitable for photographs taken with a fisheye lens, as the spherical nature of the image works well with the rounded nature of a fisheye lens.

Another somewhat ambiguous use of fisheye lenses is for mobile photography. Moving the fisheye lens creates separate circled images. Some creative photographers find this an interesting way to capture a subject. As with other types of fish-eye photography, the distortion of the outer edges and the focal point of the center are still present, but the apparent motion properties of circular motion images are all unique genres.

An image of a little boy taken through a moving fisheye lens.

Hamataro @ e-kamakura / Getty Images

Post-processing of fisheye images

Post-processing can play several different roles in fish-eye photography.

  • Create a photo that looks like a fisheye lens: Some photographers prefer to add a fisheye effect in post-processing rather than shooting with a fisheye lens. This gives the photographer more control over the degree of distortion of the fisheye lens, the location of the distortion, and the area around the fisheye effect. Images with this effect added to a post may contain only a small portion of the entire image, including the fisheye effect. It’s an interesting way to modify a creative image to create a new one.
  • Lens distortion correction: Some photographers use a fisheye lens to capture an image and use photo editing software to crop and straighten the image from the edge. As a result, you can create ultra-wide images that look like panoramic photos.

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What Is a Fisheye Lens?

The trippy effect can be surprisingly useful

A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide lens for a DSLR camera that captures a hemispheric (round) image. This creates visual distortion that is distinct and is often used in creative photography. The result is an image that looks as if the edges of the picture have been wrapped around a spherical shape, curving lines, and changing the context of anything on the outside edge of the picture.

What Makes a Fisheye Lens Ultrawide?

The angle a fisheye lens can capture an angle of about 180 degrees, which is why it’s considered an ultra-wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens can capture an image that is about 100 degrees wide. What this creates is an image that looks like it’s been taken through a peep-hole, like those often seen in entryway doors.

Fisheye lenses also have a distinct look, since the outer glass of the lens has a much more noticeable curve than a wide-angle lens. This curve is what allows the lens to capture a greater range of light and create photographs that are wider than your average wide-angle lens.

How a Fisheye Lens Works

All DSLR lenses except fisheye lenses are referred to as rectilinear lenses. This is because light travels through the lens in a straight path to the image sensor. This creates the straight lines you see in most photographs.

@mlsartstudio via Twenty20 
Fisheye lenses are designed to bend light as it travels from the outer edges of the lens into the image sensor. The result is the lens funnels light to the image sensor and only the very center of the lens delivers light in a straight path, creating the obvious distortion of the outer edges of a photograph, seen as curves where there would ordinarily be straight lines. This is the very effect that makes these lenses so popular.

The first fisheye lens was created in 1924 by Becks of London, but fisheye lenses didn’t become widely available for interchangeable lens cameras until the first interchangeable fisheye lens was released by Nikon in 1962. That first fisheye lens had an 8mm focal length and an f/8 aperture.
The Many Uses of a Fisheye Lens

One of the reasons some photographers choose to use a fisheye lens is to get an effect called barrel distortion. In most kinds of photography, barrel distortion is an effect that photographers avoid, but when shooting images through a fisheye lens, that exactly what some photographers want to achieve.

There are, however, two approaches to photography with a fisheye lens. One group of photographers use the lenses as a way to enhance an image, but without it being obvious that a fisheye lens was used. For example, a fisheye lens can be used with a sunset shot to further expand the horizon or used with a curved subject to capture the feeling of the curve without losing a portion of the image.

 @kymdros via Twenty20
The other group of photographers uses a fisheye lens specifically to capture the distortion the lens creates. This is useful in a variety of creative styles photography but is most often used in extreme sports photography such as skateboarding or skydiving, where the view created by a fisheye lens simulates the view a person would see.

Rick Neves / Getty Images  Additional Types of Fisheye Photography

Of course, whether a photographer wants it to be obvious a fisheye lens was used or not, there are many more uses for fisheye lenses than just horizon and extreme sports shots. It’s not at all uncommon for underwater photographers to use a fisheye lens, because it creates a better ‘feeling’ for what it’s like to be underwater by allowing the viewer to see the scene in a much more natural way.

 Ken Kiefer 2 / Getty Images
Another creative use for a fisheye lens is to take pictures with the lens pointing straight up. This is useful in cityscape photography or even in landscape photography. The upward angle of the lens gives a sense of height when viewing buildings, trees, and other elements.

@simogarb via Twenty20
Some photographers also use fisheye lenses for other types of photography, like portraits (the subject needs to be centered, and the edges will be distorted), astrophotography, and behind-the-scenes photos which can capture a more complete view of what’s going on behind the scenes. Circular subjects are also well suited to photographs captured through fisheye lenses, as the spherical nature of the images works well with the round nature of a fisheye lens.

One more, slightly obscure use for fisheye lenses is in mobile photography. Mobile fisheye lenses create images that are enclosed in a distinct circle, and some creative photographers find this an interesting way to capture their subjects. The outer edge distortion and center focus are still present, as with other types of fisheye photography, but the obvious mobile nature of the circular mobile images is a genre of its own.

Taro Hama @ e-kamakura / Getty Images  Post-Processing for Fisheye Images

Post-processing can play a couple of different roles in fisheye photography:

Creating fisheye-like photographs: Some photographers prefer to add a fisheye effect during post processing, rather than capturing images through a fisheye lens. This allows the photographer to have more control of the degree of fisheye distortion, the location of the distortion, and circumference of the fisheye effect. Images with this effect added in post might have only a small portion of the overall image that includes the fisheye effect. It can be an interesting way to alter creative images to create something new.
Removing distortion introduced by the lens: Some photographers will capture the image using the fisheye lens and then use photo editing software to correct and straighten the image around the edges. The result can be a an ultra-wide image that resembles a panoramic photograph.

#Fisheye #Lens


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