I recently bought a fisheye lens for my Micro 4/3rds cameras. It’s a manual focus Samyang 7.5mm, which has the equivalent focal length of around 15mm, so it’s pretty wide. It’s a “full frame” fisheye. That means it produces a rectangular image, unlike the circular fisheye lenses that don’t fill the frame. You have to careful with these lenses that your fingers or feet don’t appear in the frame, because it’s got a 180 degree field of view.
Lines on the edge of the frame are very curved, but if you find a space that’s suitable you can use that curvature to give dramatic compositions. Here’s the wonderful tiled cafe in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The very wide view allows the whole of the room to be included.
Here’s a London favourite that’s about to be moved. It’s the Diplodocus skeleton in the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum. The hall itself is an amazing space, and the bones coming in from the bottom of the frame add a somewhat surreal look. I’ve added an HDR treatment to get extra detail in the shadows.
This lens isn’t just for large objects or spaces. It will focus quite close, so here’s an image of an unusual object; a “model box”. It’s a scale model of a stage set design. Theatres use them to help understand how the set design will work in practice. It’s not much bigger than a shoe box, so I focussed the lens as close at it would go. The front of the stage is actually straight, but it doesn’t matter too much that it’s come out curved.
I’m still getting to grips with how the lens performs, but I’m looking forward to going fishing again very soon.