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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