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Fisheye Lenses

Lesson 46 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

46. Fisheye Lenses


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Fisheye Lenses

So fish islands has been a favorite of mine for a long period of time it seems like all kids like fish islands so what do we mean by fish islands will normally if you point your camera at a grid pattern you should have a nice straight lines in all directions when you use a fish islands it's going to give you a fish I look it's going to have a bulging effect in the middle that's going to kind of taper off to the sides and so normal lenses are known as rectilinear lenses which basically means all straight lines are rendered straight and then in fisheye it's an uncorrected wide angle lens so let's take a look in the real world with a moderately wide angle lens we have a thirty five millimeter lands and for this exercise we're going to measure from corner to corner it's sixty three degrees let's step back well actually we're going to step back and focal length we're not moving the camera at all for an ultra wide seventeen millimeter lands now we're at ninety three degrees from corner to co...

rner notice the top of the bookshelf are straight lines okay now as we go to the next wider angle shot this is it's known as a full frame fish I shot sixteen millimeter full frame fisheye it's he's one hundred eighty degrees from corner to corner and this is where lines start to bend because we're using a fish islands now you can go back even further. Nikon does not currently make a circular fisheye, but you can get aftermarket ones and they used to make circular fish eye for their camera, and that sees one hundred eighty degrees in all directions. And so we have our circular fish, I we have our full frame fisheye and then ultra wide backto y. Now this is one area that when we had fish eyes, we did it for sea, the day that we would have crop frame and full frame cameras, and we called it a circular fisheye and a full frame fisheye and this has nothing to do with the sensor size in your camera, and so you can have a full frame fish eye for a crop camera. You can have a full frame fish eye for a full frame camera basically means you're filling up the entire sensor area vs, putting a circle of information on that particular area. That sensor so nikon has two different fish eyes, one designed for the dx crop frame cameras and one designed for their full frame cameras. So let's, take a look at some more examples of using wide angle lenses will start with a fifty moderate wind of thirty five getting into the white of twenty eight twenty four moving into ultra white territory at twenty eighteen sixteen the whitest lens that nikon makes at fourteen and then we throw it into a fisheye and we get even more from side to side and so for somebody who wants a compact relatively inexpensive super wide angle lands the fish eye's a cheaper way to get there than the fourteen the fourteen cz corrected and that's what ends up making it cost more money and so here we can see our frame lines of what we would be getting with those other lenses so the fisheye effect okay this is it's a lot of fun at first and then it grows a little bit wearisome as you get on and on and on into it but it's really great for these really beautiful places that are very large that you're trying to cover as much territory as possible but we are getting a lot of bendy lines you have to be very concerned about lines crowded environment might be kind of fun sometimes known as the skateboard lens skateboarders love using this because you could get in nice and close and get really dramatic with the action and so using a fish islands and a very fast motor drive got a nice little siri's of shots of this trick I don't know the name of the trick I'm sure somebody out there knows the name of that particular trick and so a fish eye lens is going to definitely give you a different look on the world it doesn't necessarily make the best portrait lands, but you can use it for effect if you want to. So let me give you some tips on technique and how to use a fisheye, because I've been using it for a long time, and I found certain things work well, better than others. So one of the things that I like to do is to hide the effect that it has a lot of curved lines on it, and the way the fish eye works is all lines that run through the middle are straight lines, so you don't notice that this is a fish islands, because I have the horizon running right through the middle and the road is running right through the middle doesn't look like a fish eye, does it? Well, it most definitely is a fish islands, and you'll notice that when I start tipping the camera up and down because then blew big old rubber band there. And so that's where we noticed the fisheye effect is when we start pointing the camera up and down. So you got to be careful about straight lines. This is a straight set, a steps here, but as we get closer to the edge, it appears mohr and more curved, and so if you put the horizon line down really low, you're going to get this huge curve. To it, which you may like or dislike. And so a couple of photos of me from twenty years ago a mounted the camera in various places and you really can't see the horizon lines here for a variety of reasons, so you don't know that it's a fish, I you know, it's a wide angle, but it's hard to tell what type of lens it isthe being in a round environment putting the horizon near the middle. I have hidden the fact that this is a fish islands, the old husky stadium, before they took the track out, this round environment is a perfect place to use official you would barely notice that this is a fish islands going to the aquarium that has a natural dome, whale it's, an artificial dome, but as a domed area in there, you don't notice this is a fish eye lens because we don't have straight lines to really compare things with and so taking this into the slot canyons in utah, you don't know what these lines are supposed to be like, so it appears very natural. So any place you are going to be out in nature that doesn't have these straight lines, our potential good areas for using that type of lens, getting the lands into an unusual position can be very interesting and so getting the lands up higher. So photographing the cross country team I'm going to get the camera on a model pot and shoot them from above with a fisheye lands and so I could get a different look straight from above and so I've done this throughout a number of the races to show what it looks like at the start of the race at the beginning of the state championships to show the whole arena really gives you a sense of place you can see what's going on so hand held in this case let's put the camera on a model pod and just hold it up above your head almost looks like an aerial shot because it's incredible wide view you can just see so far with that even though it's only up a little bit the other option is to get it down really low to the ground can be very interested in this case now you do end up with a very warped horizon in this case but if you're willing to accept that for the type of shot you want to get khun b very effective and so getting the camera down really low just held the camera and just moved it all the way down to the ground in the redwoods pointing the camera straight up between very large trees don't shoot people pictures with fish eyes well in this case they look fairly normal because I have their faces fairly close to the middle of the frame using a fisheye lands and a multiple exposure technique on a camera, I shot four photos of our space needle and now we have four space needles so I've gone on a number of adventures which are kind of stories for another time but just a few of my favorite photos climbing up on rainier repelling into a crow vast you knew it's going to be a kind of a small area you want to show the environment I want to show what it was like hiking up to the top of mount rainier being roped up, jumping over a little crevasses cracks in the snow getting up to the top doing a group shot I hate to admit it but I have shot a selfie from time to time fish islands enables you to get as much of the environment in its possible when we were up at the top of the mountain and we wanted to get a shot of both of us in it and I'm not sure if I invented the selfie stick but I would like to not take credit for it so please do not credit me for inventing the selfie stick but it was a technique that I've been using for a very long time used it on a boat trip up in canada we took a model pod mounted it in the back of the boat so that we could get shots of the two of us in and around the boat on our trip with the fish islands. Now it ended up with curved water. But we wanted to show his much of the horizon around us as possible and being very careful about jumping off a canoe and be very careful about the balance points and then using it too. So what it looks like inside our peanut butter jar. So there's, a special type of fish eye that nikon currently doesn't make, but it is available through other manufacturers is a circular fisheye. And in this case, well, this is a standard fish eye. But this is a perfect environment for a circular fish, because we have a beautiful stained glass round ceiling. And so if we photograph straight up with a full frame fisheye, and then we switch over to a circular fisheye here's the difference we can now get the entire ceiling in one shot. This is really the on ly lens that you could possibly do that with. So on. The circular fisheye were always getting this round image. And once again, like any of the other fish eyes, lines going through the middle of the frame are straight, whether it's, vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Now if this was if you could see the entire sensor, you can see that I'm just recording black area on the sensor which means it's going to be a real it rather difficult to use this photo in many different ways because we just don't normally circular have circular crops on her images if this is a normal fish eye, it would project this image larger and we would be capturing an area in the middle so this is what a normal full frame fish I would beginning and so the circular fisheye is probably the most unusual lens that I've used it's just not something that I feel like I need to own and bring with me everywhere I go and so this is pointing the lens straight up if you look around the edge of the circle you khun sea land or real that buildings around the entire edge and so you gotta have a lot of stuff right in front of you that you want to photograph for it to be anything close to interesting. And so our library downtown seattle has this green escalator you can actually look down the escalator and up the escalator all in the same shot and I have concluded that the only thing that I really find interesting with circular fish eyes are stairways this is probably the best one in seattle it's a double spiral at seattle university and photographing it from below I feel like because they remember wheel of fortune like all right it has been this sucker so the circular fisheye that's a great lands for rental you know that's not necessarily linds you need to go out and plop a thousand dollars but that would be a lot of fun if you're going to just the right place to use a fish islands or a circular fisheye so you got to be really thinking about the straight lines and the curved lines in your photograph because how they're going to get impacted by using fish islands and so you got to be careful at the front of lens because it is a very exposed lands that you don't put filters on for instance and I think the best way to use is if you can disguise the fact that they're fish eyes people don't get locked on oh you used to fish either just looking at your image because it's an interesting image so try to hide the effect of what lends it was that was used so nikon has a ten point five millimeter lens designed for their crop frame users very nice with lands for anyone who wants to do fish I great little little lens for that small relatively fast two point eight aperture does have that unprotected element got to be careful about that you do get a little bit of chromatic aberration and that of course can be fixed in post if you have the right software, which really isn't that hard to get fairly lightweight lens only point six pounds, so it's easy, tio kind of throw that is, a bonus lens on the camera bag for the full frame users it's a little bit older style lands it's, sixteen millimeter, two point eight d small lands, lightweight lands very sharp, very handy for anyone who has a full frame camera. This is probably the way to go if you want a full frame lens. Nice, nice little thing don't have enough nice things to say about it so quickly. Working through our third party options, sigma makes probably the most attractive option for the full frame user beyond the sixteen, and we're not going to get into whiteness. Nikon call it sixteen, and they call it fifteen it's their math departments are slightly different in any case, it's the same one hundred eighty degree corner to corner coverage on it, and comparing it to the nikon sixteen yeah, it's a little bit less money, so you could save a little bit of money and it's not going to be wildly different image quality. I think the construction quality on the nikon is superior, if you don't mind manual focus, and this is for their compact sensors, so this is for the cropped frame cameras this will give you a fisheye effect on those in manual focus and so there's gonna be a little bit trade off you go with manual focus, you can save a bit of money on fish islands and so fish eye lens is you don't that doing a lot of auto focusing it could be handy is an option but they could be manually focused really easy because pretty much everything is in focus with that wide of angle. Toki no has an unusual one because it is a ten millimeter fisheye that zooms out to seventeen if you occasionally need to zoom in a little bit on your subject which means you're going to have a seventeen fish eye which is not one hundred eighty degrees corner to corner it's going to be a little bit tighter than that so it does fit a special niece that nikon does not address so they're just doing something a little bit different than their ten point five and so it does give you a little bit more for the money you might say so it's an interesting option and then sam niang makes a eight millimeter this is a full frame fisheye but you can remove the hood and it is something that could also be used on a full frame camera as well. Now this is available with or without and e chips so they put electronics in the lands and what that do is is that's gonna pass forward information on media ring and exit exit data about what lends it isthe and what aperture you shot it at, for instance, and so you can either save a little bit of money if you don't need that extra information or you can get it with the electronic chip in there and compared against the nikon it's going to be significantly cheaper. So if you wanted something very affordable this one's running under about three hundred dollars circular fisheye is thie very unusual ones that we saw there at the very end of the segment and so this is something that probably not a lot of people are going to run out and buy right now. There really isn't a comparison with nikon they used to make and eight millimeter lands that you might be able to find on the ews market that's going to be very expensive because they just don't make that anymore and that was for the full frame. They do also make a circular fisheye that is for the crop train users and so if you have a crop frame censor but you want a circular image, this is really your only viable twice these days it's possible that you might be able to find one of these six millimeter lenses made by nikon unfortunately they run about one hundred thousand dollars on the used market and here's, where we get to see our one little lens baby lens baby, which makes the creative lenses they have an unusual five point eight millimeter that has one hundred eighty five degree angle of view, which is just kind of really, really why so that is the fish I take a quick check on questions before we head into the next section just don't put question several people had asked about can including dan looney, can you use software to remove the effect of the fisheye? And would you do that? You can do that? I'm well, I suppose you could because you could buy a fisheye lands correct for it and it's a cheap, wide angle lens, but by doing that you are stretching and pushing and pulling your pixels ah lot and image quality wise, you're better off just getting the wide angle lens if you need it and so I would prefer not doing that myself. I don't like doing that, but it's possible it is possible absolutely, yes right quick question from j b h studio and then we can move on. Is it possible to use the dx fish island lens that you've been showed us on a full frame camera? You can I don't know what the final image on the sensor looks like, but you're going to end up with a lot of vignette ing and I don't know how far it goes. I think you're going probably see the lens hood on it. And so you can mount it on there and see what it looks like. But you're going to end up with a very small image area that you can work with.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

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