My Favorite Fisheye Lens Review
The word “distortion” typically has a negative connotation, however in the world of fisheye lenses, distortion is intentional, and used purposefully to create an illusion of extreme depth. Why do people use fisheye lenses? Because there’s not a better way to showcase the world from a spherical standpoint. Learn the ins and outs of ultra wide-angle photography by reading my favorite fisheye lens review.
What Is A Fisheye Lens?
A fisheye is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces visual distortion. Due to the shape of the lens, the photos appear panoramic or hemispherical. Standard camera lenses have a 50 degree angle of view, while a 15mm wide angle lens, or fisheye, has a 180 degree angle of view.
Because of this angle, everything you see in front of the lens will be visible in the image. Much of the distortion occurs at the edges of the photo, making the objects in the center appear unusually large. This creates the distorted perspective unique to fisheye lenses.
The beauty of extreme wide-angle lenses is that straight lines are no longer straight, but become warped and curved. This allows you to get some amazing compositions, whether you’re shooting cityscapes, architecture, or landscapes. When used strategically, the distortion created by a fisheye lens can be used to draw the viewer into the image, making it an effective tool in creating engaging visual stories.
Wide-angle lenses can also be used judiciously to take some interesting selfies and portraits. Keep in mind that distortions can occur in head size or make the subject look heavier than they are. Use fisheyes to comically distort facial features for fun caricatures.
Fisheye Lens Effect
The following are some examples of photos taken with an ultra-wide fisheye lens. I love the circular effect below:
This shot is cool too:
Love this skyline! Fisheyes lenses are particularly useful for shooting from low angles:
Distortion can be dreamy:
I love how the buildings on either side of the canal appear to be bending inwards:
Here’s another image shot from a low angle:
This photo certainly conveys a mood:
Canon Fisheye Lens
As you can see, fisheye lenses make it possible to capture unique shots that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. They for sure wouldn’t be as interesting. There’s no end to the spectacular effects you can create with ultra wide-angle lenses.
My favorite fisheye lens is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 ultra wide zoom lens. It works on cropped sensors, but is made for full frame cameras in order to get a complete 180-degree field of view along it’s diagonal. This is the only fisheye zoom lens that goes from full circular to extra wide, producing both circular and diagonal fisheye images, and the autofocus is fast, ensuring laser sharp images.
The Canon 8-15mm fisheye performs well in low light, and at night, which is a significant bonus because ultra wide-angle lenses are especially amazing in capturing beautifully lit cityscapes at night.
The 8-15mm fisheye is definitely one of the highest-quality professional Canon wide-angle lenses for full-frame sensors. It’s also one of the best multi-purpose fisheye lenses because of its wide zoom range.
With a 4 1/2 star review, it’s unanimous this lens is a winner. It’s not exactly inexpensive, but then again, not many Canon lenses are, and considering how incredible it performs, It’s well worth the price.
Fisheye lenses incorporate intentional distortion to create unparalleled shots that would be impossible using a regular wide- angle or portrait lens. I love them because they provide limitless creative potential.
I know fixed lenses are fast, with wide aperatures, and I have a couple favorites that I use regularly, but I mostly prefer using zoom lenses. If I’m in a hurry or distracted, I dislike taking the time to switch lenses. If you’re in the market for a fisheye, definitely check out this little beauty by Canon. It may just be your new favorite toy!
Do you have a fisheye lens? Let me know in the comments:)