What is Fisheye Lens?

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What is Fisheye Lens – Overview

Professional photographers keep a set of lenses handy to capture and record the best shots. Many types of lenses are available when it comes to capturing professional shots. It makes buyers confuse a lot, and they can’t make up a decision on which lens is good for their requirements.

Today, we will talk about the most-trendy camera lens- Fisheye Lens. You might have heard about this lens type if you are into professional photography. This article explains everything you need to know about the Fisheye Lens, its benefits, and why it is important to have in your camera bag! Let’s dive deeper!

What is a Fisheye Lens?

A Fisheye Lens is a lens for a digital camera to shoot extremely wide-angle photos with 180 degrees. A fisheye lens is also known as an ultra-wide angle or super-wide lens in terms of photography. However, its professional name is Fisheye Lens.

The fisheye lens has two main variations, a circular one and a full-framed one. As the name suggests, a circular one captures a spherical shot with a black border. On the other hand, a full-framed lens captures a wide-angle image with full-frame. First, let’s collect some more information about the types of Fisheye Lens.


What are the types of Fisheye Lens?

Fisheye lenses have two different types- a full-frame fisheye lens and a circular fisheye lens. Each one is unique on its own as they capture wide-angle shots differently. Yes, both lenses are designed to capture wide-angle shots differently.

different types of fisheye lenses

1. Full-frame Fisheye Lens

Professional photographers generally use a full-frame fisheye lens. It captures a 180-degree full-frame wide-angle view. Both the angles, vertical and horizontal, do not exceed 180 degrees. They are used to capture the entire frame of the photo.

2. Circular Fisheye Lens

A circular fisheye lens can capture a full 180-degree wide-angle shot from all directions. At first, you will notice that the image captured by the circular fisheye lens looks slightly odd, but that’s the use of this lens. It is used in skateboard, sports, and artistic photography.

What’s the Significance of a Fisheye Lens?

A fisheye lens is mainly used for outdoor photography. Most professional photographers shoot their photos using this lens as it covers up the entire frame with its 180-degree wide-angle capturing capacity.

Unlike a standard camera lens, a fisheye lens captures the frame at full 180-degree wide. It is also used for land mappings as it captures a wide full frame. You can even use it for professional videography, as it records high-definition videos with a full frame of 180 degrees.

Fisheye Lens: The History

Robert W. Wood named this camera lens a Fisheye Lens in 1906. He was the one who invented the lens. By profession, he was an American physicist with a passion for photography. It was first used in the year 1920 for studying clouds. Initially, the fisheye lens carried varied angles to capture the photos from 100 to 180 degrees.

Why do Photographers Use Fisheye Lenses?

As noted above, a fisheye lens is designed to capture ultra-wide angle photos i.e. 180-degree photos, they are primarily used for skateboard photography, artistic photography, and landscape photography. The reason why professional photographers use fisheye lenses is listed below!

1. For image distortion

Image distortion is a worrying thing for photographers and is very annoying. When you use a fisheye lens, there will be no image distortion. The lens adds up its own effect to the photo and eliminates the image distortion itself.

2. Point-shoot

You can get amazing shots by simply pointing the lens toward the sky or keeping the lens grounded and looking upward. With the capability of capturing ultra-wide angle shots, the lens gives you amazing images every time with point-shoot photography.

3. Unleash Creativity

Photographers can unleash their creativity by using the ultra-wide angle lens i.e. fisheye lens. The fisheye lens can capture amazing shots which you can’t get through a standard lens. You can capture beautiful images by tweaking your camera to unleash new skills in your photography career.

What are the characteristics of a fisheye lens?

The characteristics of a fisheye lens are listed below:

1. Focal Length

A focal length of a full-frame fisheye lens is 15mm to 16mm. The same is for the circular fisheye lens is between 8mm to 10mm.

2. Angle of View

At the widest point, the angle of view of the fisheye lens is 180 degrees.

3. Depth of Field

Since the fisheye lens has an extreme angle, the depth of field of the fisheye lens is large.

4. Image Distortion

The image distortion through a fisheye lens is barrel distortion, where the image’s center point is stretched. The image looks slightly different from the regular lens images due to the ultra-wide angle lens.

Image distortion of fisheye lens

Image distortion of fisheye lens

Applications of Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses are highly in demand due to the increase in the internet world through social media networks, vlogging, and more. The range of applications where the fisheye lens is high in demand is listed below:

#1. Fisheye lenses are used in artistic, skateboard, extreme sports, and landscape photography as they can capture ultra-wide shots covering up everything in the frame.

#2. Scientists and resource managers also use the fisheye lens for capturing spherical images for their project requirements.

#3. Astronomers also use these lenses to study clouds and light pollution in the environment.

#4. Fisheye lenses are used for night sky projection in planetariums. They are primarily used to create digital content for planetariums.

#5. Flight simulators and combat flight simulators also use a fisheye lens to control air traffic.

#6. Fisheye lenses are used in computer graphics for environment mapping.

#7. Talk about today’s scenario and fisheye lenses are used in action cameras. Most bikers, divers, skaters, swimmers, and other sports persons and athletes use such action cameras to capture and record the best shots.

What are the key differences between a Fisheye Lens and a Wide-angle Lens?

A fisheye lens is designed to capture images with a full-frame or ultra-wide frame. The images taken from this lens are centrally distorted, which is a circular distortion of the image that you can see clearly.

When you closely look at the videos recorded through a fisheye lens, the images will start moving away from you that’s because of the center distortion.

On the other hand, wide-angle lenses capture images with full-frame as they don’t have any central point to focus. This type of lens captures the entire scene.

Wide-angle lenses are used to capture a large field of view over 180 degrees. However, when users need to capture 180-degree shots, they prefer a fisheye lens, not a wide-angle one.

Beginners get confused over choosing a wide-angle lens and a fisheye lens. They believe these types are similar, but they are not! You must understand each type’s significance before you pick one for your professional photography project.

Are fisheye lenses worth it?

Like every other lens, fisheye lenses have their own significance in professional photography. However, whether to use a fisheye lens or not depends on your requirements. Fisheye lenses capture 180-degree wide-angle photos with central distortion of the images.

If we talk about the demands of the consumers, they prefer fisheye lens photos and not wide-angle ones as they look different and also capture the viewer’s eyeballs.

Know your basic requirements before you purchase the Fisheye lens. If you are into professional photography, then you must keep it handy.

Fisheye Lens: Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the definition of a fisheye lens?

A fisheye lens is nothing but a lens capable of capturing ultra-wide angle shots at 180 degrees. Fisheye lenses are used in artistic photography, landscaping, sports photography, skateboard photography, etc.

Question 2: How many fisheye lenses are available on the market?

There are two types of fisheye lenses available to purchase from the market. Both these types are different from each other as they capture ultra-wide angle photos differently. A full-frame fisheye lens and a circular fisheye lens are the two different types of fisheye lenses you can add.

Question 3: How do scientists use a fisheye lens?

Scientists use the fisheye lens for hemispheral photography. Scientists have to capture such shots to study things from all directions, so they prefer to use a fisheye lens and not an ultra-wide lens.

Final Thoughts:

Fisheye lenses have made their own place in the field of photography. In today’s modern world, people prefer a fisheye lens and not a normal one, as it can help unleash your creativity.

You all use a normal lens, but when it comes to special photography, a fisheye lens is a must-have!

We have provided in-depth information about the fisheye lens in this article. So what are you waiting for? Buy a new fisheye lens and get the best photography experience with this unique lens.

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