Fisheye Fun in Florida - Dreamstime

Before leaving on our spring break vacation to Florida, on kind of a whim after some of the Micro 4/3 banter on the Dreamstime blog, I bought myself a fisheye lens to bring along.

Doesn't every photographer have a secret wish to use a fisheye lens at somepoint? There is something so exotic about that superwide effect. For most situations its not a very practical lens to use but for those special occasions it provides the perfect effect. Especially with interiors or when you need to get really up and close to a subject.

So when I discovered an inexpensive alternative to the Panasonic Lumix H-F008 Fisheye lens - 8 mm - F/3.5 - Micro Four Thirds at $625+, I had to get one.

I picked up a Rokinon 7.5 mm f/3.5 Ultra Wide-Angle Fisheye Lens for Micro 4/3 for under $300. Its not an autofocus lens but the depth of field is nearly infinite so it hardly matters. The only time you really need to focus it is when you get within a foot or so of the subject. And then you can just used the setting on the lens to dial in the close subject. Otherwise everything is sharp. The only trick to using such a lens is to get in really close and to check and make sure your feet or hat brim are not included in the frame.

Of course since it was my newest lens I used it a lot in the past week in Florida - probably more than I should have but the novelty will wear off eventually and I promise to use it more responsibly in the future. ;-)

That said, there were places down in Florida where the fisheye was very appropriate to capture some of the funkiness of places like Fort Myers Beach and the artist/fishing village of Matlacha Florida with its brightly and outrageously colored buildings. Miniland at the new Legoland in Winter Haven Florida was also a great time to twist in the fisheye, I just wish I could have gotten closer to the models.

One interesting feature of using such a wide angle lens is that the "spectators" don't have a clue what you are actually photographing. I was about four inches away from the headlight of a classic Pontiac GTO at Fort Myers Beach and the tourists going by must have thought I was taking a photo of the car finish but I was actually capturing the entire car as well as the nearby shops and restaurants.

Photo credits: Peanutroaster.

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April 29, 2012


and people taking pictures so? will be a cartoon!

April 24, 2012


Nice to know there is also an inexpensive Nikon alternative. I've wanted a fisheye since I got my 35mm Olympus OM-1 back in college. I'd look at the catalog of lenses and think what fun it would be, but I've still never owned one. Maybe I'll give that Rokinon a look.
I wondered after I got my lensbaby , had I spent $300 for a toy? But several of my top-earning light blur backgrounds were made with that lens and it has mostly paid for itself.
I like the second car from the left and hope your sales help pay for the lens. Still not sure how practical it will be but let us know how sales are going. The editors certainly found your lens worthwhile so here's to future sales!

April 24, 2012


Note: This lens was for my Panasonic Lumix G3 Micro 4/3 camera.

April 24, 2012


Great blog and interesting pictures too

April 23, 2012


"Doesn't every photographer have a secret wish to use a fisheye lens "
Well, I know I did, but I could never justify the mega$$$ for a "toy" lens, then I found out about the Rokinon 8mm fisheye for my nikon D7000..... fisheye fun at a fraction of the price of Nikon's lens! This same lens is also sold as a Bower/Samyang/Pro-optic and no doubt other brand names, all made in the same factory.

April 23, 2012


Interesting. Congrats !

April 23, 2012


Congratulations for the pictures and the purchase of this fisheye lens, allows you to be very creative!

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