I’ve been shooting with the fisheye a lot lately. I’m really digging the deep depth of field and the ability to capture *everything* in a scene. it really adds a lot of context. I like to just put the fisheye with my GF-1 on a surface, set the timer, and see what it looks like. In the shot above, I really didn’t think the steering wheel would be in the picture, but I think it adds a nice touch.
The fisheye effect is actually challenging – the effect can be minimized if I keep the horizon centered, but for pictures where the horizon isn’t really part of the picture, well, I end up getting my feet in the frame (just like the picture above – if you look hard enough, you can see some toesies).
I’m learning that with ultra-wide angle, in order to get a single subject, I have to get pretty close. The picture above was a bit tough since Sara’s feet were literally inches away from me and there’s no way to protect the front lens element of the fisheye – the lens itself has a built-in petal hood, but the front element protrudes and is bulbous, which is great for attracting fingerprints or accidentally running into things when out and about.
And it’s probably bad for the sensor, but I’m shooting in direct sunlight as often as I can just so I can get the awesome starburst effect when stopping down the fisheye to f/22. The picture really isn’t all that great, but I really like how the starburst is rendered. A long time ago, I used a B&W “starburst filter” to attempt to achieve the same effect, but when I learned that the easiest way to do it was just to stop the lens down to its smallest aperture…well, I sold the filter.
In any case, I’m finding that the fisheye is great for capturing action. Setting it to hyperfocal focus and making sure that shutter speeds are kept in check to freeze motion, it’s easy enough to get fast-moving kids. It’s no wonder skate videos and a lot of action videos use a fisheye lens…it really emphasizes movement and with the deep depth of field, it really helps with capturing a lot more of the scene.