Why You Might Want To Consider A Full Frame Fisheye Lens Even If You Have A Crop Sensor Camera

There are few things better in life than having something go wrong that leads to the discovery of something even better.

Such is the case with my plan to test out a Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens courtesy of BorrowLenses.com. My intent with the lens was to take it with me to the wilds of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah for some crazy, circular images. The problem is I lack a full frame Canon camera, but would be traveling with Michael Riffle, who owns a Canon 5D Mark III. He accepted the challenge to test the lens, being familiar with fisheyes himself.

One thing led to another and we never got around to testing the lens on his camera. Instead, I often found myself using the lens on my Canon 7D, a crop sensor camera. The Canon 8-15mm is intended to fit a full frame sensor and produce, at 8mm, a fully circular image, much like this example from a Sigma 4.5mm on a crop sensor camera.


What happened instead was a cross between this full circle and a more traditional 15mm on a crop sensor. The 8-15mm lens will show edges of the circle when below 10mm but will otherwise fully cover the sensor from 10mm-15mm. A major difference from a non-fisheye lens, though, is the curving in the image.

For instance, here are two shots, both taken at 10mm. The difference: the first lens is a non-fisheye Canon EF 10-22mm lens and the second is the Canon 8-15mm fisheye.



Both shots are taken from nearly the same perspective (the fisheye is taken from the position of the Nikon D800E in the first image but the fisheye gives a different feel. I only made slight clarity and level adjustments in the photos and did not crop them, so this is what you can expect at 10mm.

Below 10mm the black edge of the area outside the fisheye is seen. How bad is it? It depends.

At first it annoyed me to have the incomplete image. Neither full fisheye nor filled frame. Like this:


But then I started finding instances where it worked well. The arches found in these parks lent themselves naturally to the form factor. The more I experimented, the more I enjoyed the effect.

I realize not everyone will like this look. By the time you read this, there might be a dozen notes in the comment section below stating how horrible it is. But this is photography and it is art, so it doesn’t really matter what I like or the commenters like. It matters what you like.

Below are more examples from my short trip. If they intrigue you to give the lens a try, all the better. Some have the corners blacked out and some are zoomed in slightly. Experiment, play, have fun.

(Click on an image for a 1000px version)

The first set of images are from Mesa Arch in Canyonlands NP at sunrise which was packed with 20 or more photographers. The second set is from Delicate Arch in Arches NP at sunrise with absolutely no one else around.











A special thank you to BorrowLenses.com for giving me the chance to play with the lens.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Why You Might Want To Consider A Full Frame Fisheye Lens Even If You Have A Crop Sensor Camera

How To Frame A Spectacular, But Boring, Sunset

Have you ever been at the beach and were witness to a gorgeous sunset? The colors, the calm wind and not to mention you were likely miles away from work? Possibly on holiday?

In that near perfect moment you took a picture because it was too good to pass up.


When you look at that photo, the feeling on that moment comes rushing back to you and you smile. This is my photo and I remember right where I was and how enjoyable it was.

The problem comes when you show your photo to others who weren’t there. They can’t instantly feel the warm wind and smell the salted air or taste the margarita you were enjoying. They see a boring picture.

Why is it boring? The viewer goes straight to the center, where the subject is, and looks away because they feel they took it all in (mainly with periphery). And they think, “Nice, but not nothing much is going on.”

Before we fix this dilemma, let me state that shooting the sun setting on the ocean can be fairly boring most of the time. If there are no clouds, there is no “aftershow” and things get dark quickly. I’m not going to lie and tell you I can “Make your sunset photos OUTSTANDING!!” when the scene was actually fairly plain, but still gorgeous.

To jazz things up we’ll apply the Rule Of Thirds in this simplest of exercises.

First, let’s lay the Rule Of Thirds grid over our boring scene.


The idea here is to move that sun off of its center spot and onto one of those grid lines. Let’s go to the left.


Improving (although I overshot the line a little, that’s really okay). The viewer now has a some room to move around the image. They may focus on the sun first and then gaze right, or the other way around. Either way, it’s more interesting. Now let’s move the sun up to the intersection of two lines.


And here it is with the grid lines on.


Viewers have even more room to move in the image.

It’s just that simple. It’s not meant to be spectacularly different, but it is more pleasing than the centered version.

Taking a look at the same sunset, let’s go with a vertical tack.




Moved high (maybe, you might note, just a touch higher than the Rule Of Thirds lines…that’s because rules in photography can always be broken if you like).


High and to the side.

What about going the other way?


Simple changes can make a sizable difference. They can make your photos more pleasing, if that is what you’re going for.

The sun setting over the ocean can be one of the most boring photos you will take, while being paradoxically beautiful to witness. Move the sun around in the frame and play a little. If the Rule Of Thirds isn’t working for you, break it. But try to understand why you’re breaking it so you can establish your own style.

And don’t forget to set your camera down at some point and just enjoy the end of another day.


Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

How To Frame A Spectacular, But Boring, Sunset