How do YOU use wide angle/fisheye lenses?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by fuccisphotos, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. So in a recent post there has been much talk about proper use of super wide/fisheye lenses, when the OP's questions weren't really about that. So rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd start a new one that is specific to super wide/fisheye lenses.
    • What are the types of situations that you usually use a superwide/fisheye lens for?
    • Why do you use the lens for those situations?
    In your response if you'd mention the actual lens specs you use that would be helpful too because it seems to really range as to what one calls a fisheye lens or not, and how one might use it in a situation could differ a great deal based on the specs of the lens.
  2. I hold my tokina 16-24 f2.8 (if) fx at 16mm over the dance floor late in the reception and also for a wide of the ceremony if time allows...just got it this summer so have only been experimenting occasionally at weddings. I would never use it for a group shot except with an 'edgy' couple and previously discussed with them. Good thread...hope to get lots of ideas.
  3. 15mm FE goes on camera for a few shots with circular/encircling environments and the ceremony. 16-35 f/2.8 goes on camera most of the day and serves as a substitute whenever 35mm isn't wide enough. 16-35 is much more versatile overall than the 24mm f/1.4 I have, but I would rather use the 24mm than 16-35 during dancing because of the faster aperture and the tendency to distort by going too wide with the 16-35.
  4. I use my Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens on my Nikon D300 to take wide expansive shots of the church's interior. I do not use the lens at the 12mm end to shoot groups because of the distortion. This lens is also a good lens for any wide outdoor panaramas with the bride and groom in silhouette or the foreground.
  5. What are the types of situations that you usually use a superwide/fisheye lens for?​
    My only "standard" fisheye shot is a shot during a church ceremony from the third or fourth pew (I am using the Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye. Beyond that, it all depends. Now I don't bring the FE to every wedding. If I am shooting solo, my widest lens will be 17mm (DX). If I am shooting with an assistant, I will definitely have my Tokina 11-16. Possibly the FE. And as services increase, the FE most certainly comes along. One reason: I can only keep an eye on so much gear!
    Why do you use the lens for those situations?​
    Easy background page for an album and clients them. Any lens that captures a perspective that your everyday shooter isn't going to capture is a nice lens to have in my book. From a 200mm f/2.8 to a 10.5mm fisheye.
    As to whether a lens is a fisheye or not, I would say that if the manufacturer calls the lens a fisheye, it's a fisheye. I like to keep it simple. I might also suggest taking a look at David Ziser's work. He is probably when of the best I know of when it comes to wide angle wedding shots, which of course the fisheye would be.
  6. In the next two photos, I put the fisheye on the camera an assistant in training was using. This wedding had a normal photography (17-55 during the ceremony), a photojournalist (70-200), myself as the official assistant (using a variety of left over lenses!), and our assistant in training. So I out the FE on the camera and this is what she got. Love it. Different perspective. Obviously it wasn't the go to lens for what was happening, but I am glad we did it.
  7. And here is the reverse angle.
  8. Never any fisheye shots for me. Wide angles for establishing shots of the interior or exterior. Sometimes for group photos when the groups are 100+ persons and space is a consideration. I will de-stretch the outer people in post if needed. In general I don't like perspective distortion so I only go super wide when there is room in the scene.
  9. I take mine (a Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye) to all weddings. I use it often during ceremonies, especially in grand churches. I also use it during the getting ready time sometimes. It can also be fun on the dance floor. See examples.
  10. Vail -- thanks for initiating an interesting and informative discussion.
    I don't have a fisheye. I've seen it used badly for weddings. It was very nice to see good examples of its use from John and Alex. Thanks!
    I also saw somewhere on flickr some very nice engagement shots done with fisheye. He posed the couple on a lawn at a college and kept them in the middle of the viewfinder. Must have been tricky to clean up ALL of the background, but he pulled it off.
    So... I've got two questions:
    1. you can get the same field of view with a wide angle lens. I have a 16-35 lens on my D3. 16mm is the same focal length as Nikon's fisheye. Can I get the same results with my rectilinear 16mm and distortion adjustments in LR or CS5? If so, I don't need to buy and carry another lens.
    2. for these shots, does a fisheye make the shot better than a rectilinear ultra-wide? opinions?
    my own opinion on #2 -- for John's three shots... I didn't like #1... it made my eyes swim... but #2 and #3 were very nice. The fisheye perspective definitely added to the artwork and it was not gimmicky in any way. for Alex's shots... I believe the bottom shot was better with the fisheye perspective. I believe the upper two shots were neither better or worse than if they had been taken with a rectilinear lens.
    Key insights from this?
    1. fisheye can be used effectively
    2. keep the people in the center
  11. I was one of the people who was a little testy about the Fish-Eye - the reality is that a fish eye and wide angle - even a super wide angle are not the same lens. A fish eye is designed to give a 180 view and distorts the entire edges with a curve by the design of the lens. A wide angle is designed to keep things straight on the edges - yes you can have some distortion but you can fix the distortion of a wide angle in Photoshop or Lightroom - you cannot without great effort fix the distortion of a fish eye -
    to have fish eye and wide angle mentioned as interchangable is just not true because they work completely differently with different results. You can take a 14mm wide angle lens and a 15mm fish eye and you will easily see that the effect is completely different.
    I do not use a fish eye at a wedding ever - I prefer a super wide angle 16mm for church shots and venue shots - no more than 24mm for group shots. I use my fish eye for my art pieces and on a rare occassion for a senior shoot or e-session
  12. a fish eye and wide angle - even a super wide angle are not the same lens. A fish eye is designed to give a 180 view and distorts the entire edges with a curve by the design of the lens. A wide angle is designed to keep things straight on the edges​
    Francie, thank you soooo much for mentioning that. I remembered that there were distinct differences back from my classroom days, but couldn't remember the exact terms related to it, so I didn't just want to quote wikipedia and figured someone like yourself would speak up and mention that. So I'm unsure if the fellah on the other post was actually referring to a fish eye lens or just an ultra wide angle.
  13. I know that there is something technique on the fish eye - convex or what ever - fish eye make everything in a circle. For those who are interested you can go to and look up lenses - they have examples of how each lens looks when shooting and you can see the difference along with get the technical reason for the difference - I'm guess nikon has a simlar site. CPS users will find the information in the lens book sent annualy.
  14. I'm a big fan of wide angles, but its so easy to use them wrong. Never been a fisheye fan but I've seen plenty of people do them justice. My favorite wide angles are actually the reverse of fisheye, non-distorting ultra wide angles. I've got a 15mm F/5.6 manual focus lens, which is quite the gem, because its distortion is almost non-existent, even on full frame. Its like shooting with a 50mm, except its a bit wider :0. My preferred method of using wide angles, is to have something relatively close to the lens, (which is really hard to do with most wide angles because the distortion is usually very unflattering), and have the world expanded around them.
  15. I think there are options to de-fish the fisheye and get a wider angle of view than you can get with a rectilinear lens.

    David Ziser was mentioned above. He discusses his use of a Canon Fisheye zoom in this video, but the lessons apply to FE generally:

    I don't know if it's the lens or his software methods, but the edge results in the video are softer than they need to be. But he was using LR
    four and adjusting by hand in PS. I include it for its discussion of why you might want to use a FE lens and how it applies in the wedding context.

    The current version of Photoshop CC has wide-angle lens correction which has worked better for me with the Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye on
    a Fuji Xpro camera.

    Fisheye Hemi also works well:

    My experience is that it is worth trying FE Hemi variations and the built-in PS options, because some images fare better with one or the other.

    This is the most useful article I have found on de fishing and it covers a method to get better results out of using FE Hemi

    I also found some of this information helpful even though the review is about a specific lens:

    I know the thread is a bit old, but the topic is still relevant :).
  16. I would never FE it is too odd to have on the camera much. a 16-35mm f2.8 is a great lens because 35mm is awesome FX length for in tight spaces, and wider when you want it. I've seen a guy use FE in front of church outside as his signature photo at every wedding and win tons of awards with it every year, so what do i know.

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