You can love him, you can hate him, but it is absolutely impossible to treat him “no way”. While the rest of the lenses are struggling to get rid of distortion, fisheye turns them into art. And today we will talk about the best fisheye lenses that allow you to “turn the world inside out” so that it is beautiful.
What is a fisheye
A fisheye or fisheye is an ultra-wide-angle lens with a field of view of 180 degrees or more, with strong geometric distortions (distortions) that create a distinctive visual effect.
In general, this effect is of two types:
Circular (circular) — the image does not occupy the entire area of \u200b\u200bthe frame, but, as it were, a circle is inscribed. Such a lens has an angle of view of 180 degrees in any direction (right-to-left, top-to-bottom).
Diagonal (or full-frame) — The image occupies the entire frame, but the 180-degree angle of view corresponds only to the diagonals of the frame.
Fisheye effect is often used for shooting extreme sports, creative street and architectural photography, astrophotography, as well as for group portraits.
The best fisheye lenses
Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
Bayonet: Canon EF.
Current price: from 84 000 rub.
Let’s start with the famous fisheye for Canon full-frame SLR cameras. And not an ordinary fisheye, but a fisheye with the possibility of zooming.
The Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L Fisheye USM boasts crystal-clear sharpness throughout the zoom range, a constant aperture (even if aperture isn’t amazing), and weatherproof housing.
On a full-frame camera, you can get a 180-degree circular image at 8mm and a diagonal image at 15mm. We can say that you immediately have two “fish eyes” in one case. When shooting at the wide end, you need to remove the hood, otherwise there will be a vignette on the frame.
This lens is also suitable for APS‑C cameras, where it produces a 12.8–24mm equivalent image. True, you won’t be able to get a circular fisheye on APS‑C, only a diagonal one.
In popular photo editing programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, you can find special correction profiles that turn fisheye material into a regular wide-angle photo.
When transporting this fisheye, you need to be especially careful: the front lens protrudes forward, and the cap does not always hold securely. The Canon EF 8–15mm weighs a lot — 540 grams.
Nikon AF‑S Nikkor Fisheye 8–15mm f/3.5–4.5E ED
Bayonet: Nikon F.
Current price: from 129 000 rub.
The Nikkor Fisheye 8–15mm f/3.5–4.5E ED was Nikon’s answer to the Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L: same focal lengths, same “two lenses in one”. On full-frame cameras, you get an 8mm circular fisheye and a 15mm diagonal fisheye. On crop cameras — only diagonal.
Nikon keeps up with the competition in terms of sharpness, however, there are non-critical chromatic aberrations at the edges of the frame. On the other hand, the lens is lighter (485 grams) than the Canon, although it still has a strong metal body with dust and moisture protection.
The aperture ratio of the lens is variable, although the difference with Canon in this regard is almost imperceptible.
An alternative option for Nikon crop DSLRs is the Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye-Nikkor fixed focal length fisheye. This lens is simpler and cheaper: here you get only a diagonal fisheye, but more aperture. Also, the model is very compact and light (305 grams). However, it should be noted that with older models from the Nikon D3xxx and D5xxx series, you will not have autofocus.
7Artisans 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye Mark II
Bayonets: Canon RF, Leica L, Nikon Z, Sony FE
Current price: from 10 000 rub.
Let’s move on to fisheyes for mirrorless cameras. 7Artisans 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye is available in versions for all major full-frame mirrorless cameras, and this is one of the main advantages of the lens, because native fisheye for these systems is not so easy to find. I only remember Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye for 400 thousand rubles. Another option is to wind “native” SLR lenses through an adapter.
The 7Artisans 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye produces a diagonal fisheye image with very good value for money and reasonable control over chromatic aberration. The main disadvantage is the lack of electronic contacts on the mount, which means the lack of autofocus. Also, the lens is not protected from bad weather, but weighs a decent 570 grams.
7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye Mark II
Bayonets: Canon M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, Sony E.
Current price: from 10 000 rub.
Is there anything for cropped mirrorless cameras? Of course, and in different versions!
Firstly, this is an analogue of 7Artisans 10mm for APS‑C cameras — 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 Mark II. On crop cameras, it creates approximately the same diagonal fisheye picture as its full-frame counterpart. It also focuses only manually, and even looks like it. Secondly, there is a similar budget option, but a little faster — Meike 6.5mm f / 2.0 Ultra Wide Fisheye.
If you need a more wide-angle “look” at things, then you should pay attention to Laowa 4mm f / 2.8 Fisheye. The lens is also sharpened for crop mirrorless, but creates a circular fisheye with a 210-degree field of view. Here lies a slight difficulty with this lens: such a wide view constantly strives to “catch” your legs and fingers in the frame. Otherwise, it is an excellent option for a circular fish for cropped mirrorless cameras, compact and lightweight (135 grams), to match the cameras of this class.
Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fisheye
Bayonets: Canon EF, Canon M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A, Sony E.
Current price: from 35,000 rubles.
This fisheye has been produced in versions for a thousand different mounts, but users of full-frame Sony will probably find it most interesting. For mirrorless full-frames, the company does not have a lot of offers, and Samyang 12mm f/2.8 can be a good alternative to the cheaper 7Artisans 10mm f/2.8 — Samyang’s optics are of a higher class, and therefore, better sharpness and less chromatic aberrations.
It is also a manual focus lens that produces a diagonal fisheye image: a 180-degree field of view on full-frame bodies and 124-degrees on cropped ones.