…….. This is what’s wider than wide angle.
I just finished testing the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye lens, and once again Lensbaby did not disappoint.
I’m a big fan of wide angle images. I’ve tried fisheye lenses over the years, and each time the experience could be best described as . . . . underwhelming.
They made that cool round image, and were very wide, but the quality of the image was never very sharp and seemed extremely flat.
Not so with the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye.
This lens impressed me, and quite frankly is fun to shoot with. And it works perfectly with Infrared or color.
As has been the case with the other Lensbaby lenses I’ve tested, the only issues I had were me, not the lens.
This is a manual lens; you set the f-stop and you manually focus the lens. The easiest way to set your camera for a manual focus lens is to focus on something with an auto focus lens and then adjust the viewfinder diopter so that it appears sharp.
The lens itself is a 5.8mm lens that gives you a 185 degree angle of view.
What does that mean? That means if you if you are holding the camera to your face and wear size 10s like do, your feet Will be in the picture.
The first few images I took all had that “personal” feel to them. They say to put a little of yourself in every image, . . . umm I don’t think this is what they meant.
The easy solution? Just lean slightly forward, or tilt the camera upward to keep your oxfords from making a guest appearance.
I also had to be mindful of my shadow when the light was behind me.
My solution was to use a tripod and timer, and step away from the camera.
. . . . . . Say, does that camera bag make my shadow look fat? . . . nevermind.
You can also easily get lens flares from the sun if you like that look.
The aperture runs from f22 to f3.5. I ran the range with this lens and had no issues.
The cool part is the minimum focusing distance is just 1/4 inch!
I bumped into the rose in this image as I was shooting. But look how sharp the image came out; you can see the texture in the petals.
For Infrared, you handle shooting just like you would normally. White Balance your camera and then shoot away.
Everything you see shot here was made with a Canon 7DMKII converted to Super Color Infrared.
Once you embrace the wild nature of the lens, shooting with it IS fun.
I went to some of my regular spots to shoot and found that the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye gave me a different perspective on things.
As for focusing, you may have a challenge at first, as the image you see thru your viewfinder is round. When I was shooting landscapes and large scenes, using higher numbered f-stops, I tended to use the infinity mark. When I was focusing on something closer, like the rose image earlier, I did use the distance marks on the lens as a reference.
I got a kick out of the look I could get from shooting inside of a structure, and on shooting architecture.
There is a very immersive feel to these images. The trick for me was to tilt the camera up and down to see what I could fill the circle with.
Anything that had a circular shape to it seemed to make the image work better.
At the end, this was one of my favorite images.
So many circles within the circle.
This was made at f11, ISO400, 1/15 sec, handheld. I braced myself against the edge of a door frame because a tripod is not allowed.
The bottom line is the Lensbaby Circular fisheye lens is a fun lens to shoot and a perfect fit for Infrared or color.
If you would like to learn more about this lens, click here
If you like to see the rest of the images I’ve made with this test, click here