A Circular Fisheye lens can be a really fun addition to your lens collection – there’s something dynamic and energizing about shooting with it. Shooting with Lensbaby’s Circular Fisheye affords crazy perspectives, lots of distortion, and the ability to capture a full landscape into the shot.
Why? Because it’s so wide! 5.8mm gives you an incredibly wide angle of view. Because of this field of view, the lens is actually showing more than the human eye can see. It requires you to be aware of where your arms, feet, fingers, tripod and lens strap are as you shoot, otherwise you might find bits of yourself in the shot (as seen in the example below).
The Circular Fisheye lens also lets you focus super close to your subject – all the way from ¼” in the front of the lens to infinity. Every time I shoot people with it, they are freaked out by how close they can get to the lens. Reactions have ranged between ‘oh my gosh’, ‘really?!’ ‘no way!’ to animals backing up from me as I’m about to hit their snout. You can see just how up close and personal a photographer can get to the subject by the shadow in the image below.
Make sure to check your focus when you are that close to a subject. Since the lens is manual focus only, it can be easy to shoot mindlessly and forget to check if everything is sharp. On the barrel of the lens is a distance scale and a hyperfocal scale to help you set your focus range. To use the distance scale, try simply guessing at your distance to your subject (for example: you think you’re about 3 inches away from some flowers), set the focus ring to 3 inches, and shoot. If you still feel that the focus is a bit off, try using the hyperfocal scale.
An example on how to use the hyper focal scale: if the aperture is set to f/4, and you focus on an object approximately 9″ in front of the lens, you can tell that anything from 6″ to 1′ away from the lens should also be in focus. This also rings true for close focus if you are only 2″ away or a 1/4″ away. The hyperfocal scale can ensure that your sharp images even if you’re unsure if what you are seeing is sharp.
The hyperfocal scale can come in handy if you’re shooting in tight spaces, like a tiny office, small studio or a concert. If you are shooting subjects or portraits, suggest that they get into it and move their arms, head, and hands around close to the lens, increasing the odds of getting all of your subject matter in focus.
Creating dynamic subject matter is easy around the edges where everything distorts.
If you point the lens into bright light like the sun or a spotlight, the lens produces colorful flare or reflections, adding another creative option.
The Circular Fisheye is now available to purchase from Lensbaby.com.