Neil Creek is a regular contributor to DPS, authoring Photography 101 which is temporarily on hold. While trying to find the time to continue the series, he’s managed to write a quick post or two for you in the meantime. Please visit his blog, and check out his prints for sale on the Fine Art Photo Blog.
Sigma 8mm f4.0 Fisheye
© Neil Creek
My 8mm f4 Sigma Circular Fisheye lens is my absolute favorite piece of gear!
It may surprise you, but this ultra-wide angle lens is incredibly versatile, and gives a unique perspective on just about any subject you turn it to. Even more important than that, it is simply the most fun I’ve ever had with my camera.
Due to the unique properties of fisheye lenses, the resulting images are unlike those taken with any other lens:
- A super wide-angle of 180 degrees gets everything in the frame – great for giving context
- The distortions resulting from such a wide angle can be used to artistic or humorous effect
- Combine the incredibly short focal length with a small aperture, and even objects touching the lens can be in focus!
- A huge field of view combined with a relatively small camera means you can get very unusual perspectives on small or inaccessible spaces
- With good stitching and de-warping software, a fisheye lens lets you easily capture full spherical panoramas in just a few shots
I’ve always shot with a circular fisheye on a cropped sensor DSLR, which results in black round corners, but this has never bothered me. On the few photos where this is a distraction I can cover them up with Photoshop, or crop them out. I look forward to experimenting with the lens on a full-frame sensor one day, when the whole circular image will appear in the frame.
Here are fifteen examples of fisheye photos from my collection that show the versatility of the lens, and will hopefully inspire you to try one for yourself:
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