Macro and Fisheye lens

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by joeydaless, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. I am new to the camera and was curious the benefits of using a macro and fish eye lens. How do they affect the camera. Lastly, I would like to know how it is useful especially in black and white photography.
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    NetR, mikemorrell, SCL and 1 other person like this.
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Is this a question set in an assignment for school or college?

    Are you using Black and White Film?

  4. What kind of "macro lens" are we talking about? <- Double checking...
    1. Clip or screw in front of existing (cell phone?) camera with fixed lens to close up further?
    2. A prime for an ILC, that covers infinity and closer than usual?
    One could argue: "Default use case for macro lenses is shooting flowers. Flowers are beautifully colorful. Approaching them with B&W = frustration guarnted..."

    OTOH: The world is full of interesting structures and when the light hits them nicely B&W can be a lot of fun. You'll really learn a lot about filters & lighting, when you 'll try to shoot flowers in B&W.

    IMHO you can't go wrong with a macro lens. - I own 3 to 5 of those. + the usual substitutes like ordinary lenses with lots of bellows draw or extension tubes and close up filters.

    I don't own a fisheye. It would render the world in an unusual way. I suspect folks to shoot theirs once in a blue moon because they own them instead of owning them because they feel an urge to take 4 shots / year... YMMV, but a macro lens is way likelier to see use. Some macro lenses are great(!) "day in day out" lenses. They tend to be pretty sharp. But try to read reviews about your candidate's AF speed, before you take it to a side line.
    To me it doesn't matter if they allow 1:1 reproduction. - It seems close to impossible to handhold with subject DOF covererd that close.
    joeydaless likes this.
  5. From the fact you're asking about both together I assume you mean the type of converters that screw on the front of the lens. Both halves are needed to get the 'fisheye' effect (often just a wide angle converter), With the outer part removed it is a close up diopter giving a macro/close focusing effect.

    These converter systems vary in quality, most I've tried have been pretty poor giving images that print OK to 6x4 or 7x5 as my film shots used to be most of the time. Printing to A4 their quality disappoints. There are a handful that are much better but even these do not compare to proper dedicated lenses.

    If your camera is a fixed lens model then they do increase your options.

    The fisheye should give a very wide FOV around 180° often as a circular image. For many interchangable lens camera systems there are cheap third party true fisheye lenses (not converters) that will only cost around $50 and will give MUCH better quality.

    The macro function makes the lens focus closer for photographing small items (distance focus is lost unless the fisheye part is fitted).
    Dedicated macro lenses tend to be more expensive but there are other close up diopters that are significantly better quality - I'd recommend the Raynox DCR150 (again around $50)
    How close your lens will focus will depend on the strength of the diopter with the DCR150 focus will be about 0.2m & somewhat closer as the lens is focused. It's stronger brother the DCR250 will not focus beyond 0.125m. I don't know the power of the macro part of the fisheye converter you've seen so can't quantify the focusing range on that.

    Both fisheye & macro shooting can work brilliantly in B&W especially if the photographer has suitable knowledge on using colour filters for contrast (usually now done virtually when converting a colour digital image to B&W so it's not required to be able to physically fit filters).

    About ten years ago I had a brief play adding an IR filter between the lens & a fisheye converter it focused OK so if shooting film physical filters can be used with these converters. I never took it beyond proof of concept having much better solutions for both macro & fisheye.
    joeydaless likes this.
  6. Yes it is a project for school. This is the assignment: Black & White Film Processing or Digital darkroom forums (including the lens, camera, and film) or digital darkroom forum Post a query to the black & white photography film processing forum. You can initiate a thread on an issue encountered or on a topic of interest. Use replies as a benchmark to continue your research and as a forum to engage in a dialogue about the topic with others. Report your takeaway back to the class in the form of a five-minute presentation and one-page paper (submitted via Turnitin) on your findings. Learning objective: To present a problem/solution/result to a technical challenge you experienced in class or one that you chose to explore. A successful outcome requires that you demonstrate an understanding of your chosen topic via your paper or presentation.
    William Michael likes this.
  7. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    We seem to be getting a lot of student questions based on the requirements of this particular course. As a matter of interest, has the tutor or college involved had the courtesy to clear this approach with Photo.Net, does anyone happen to know ?
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I am not aware of any particular contact with from the School or Teacher

    More importantly, it is NOT necessary to "clear this approach with Photo.Net" - no Terms of Use or User Guidelines are being contravened.

    Additionally, the students have been forthright when questioned about the purpose of their questions.

  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for the detailed response, good luck with your assignment.

  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Lenses don't 'affect' the camera, lenses affect the view/image - but that's pedantic/semantics, I believe that I understand what you mean.

    I do own a fish-eye lens and I have done for most of my different camera kits going back to film days. Mostly all of my Photography career has been Portraiture of some sort or another and although a fish-eye lens is not the most commonly used lens in my kit, I certainly have used mine often.

    For Portraiture, a fish-eye lens can be used to create a expanse beyond the Subject and relevant to the Subject. Also a fish-eye can be used to tightly consolidate a group of Subjects when in fact they are physically quite far apart.

    An example of these two applications are here below in the Photo Story "Five Training Daze".

    - expanse beyond the Subject as seen in the Portrait of the Coach, coaching during the training session
    - consolidated Subjects as seen in the two bottom panes, especially the bottom right pane, the girls at the end of their training

    The above two examples are not the only applications of fish-eye lenses, for Portraiture.

    I can't think of any singular especially useful application of a fish eye lens for Black and White, which would not also work for Colour.


  11. A macro lens is for close-up photography. A fish-eye lens is an extreme wide angle.

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