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Older fisheyes

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by BostonRott, May 15, 2007.

  1. Do the older fisheye lenses work on the DSLR's? I thought I had read somewhere that they don't, because a rear glass element protrudes too far into the camera housing. Is that correct?
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Depends what you mean by "older". Fisheyes made during the 1960s will only fit older cameras with mirror lock-up since the rear element protrudes far into the camera. Cameras they fit are the Nikon F, F2 and Nikkormats. They will damage the reflex mirror if you try to fit them to F3, F4, F5, F6 or D2, even with mirror lockup. With the mirror locked up, TTL viewing is impossible and composition is done with a separate finder attached to the flash socket. The lenses include:
    - 6mm f6.5 fisheye (220 degree angle of view)
    - 8mm f8 fisheye (180 degrees)
    - 7.5mm f5.6 fisheye (180 degrees)
    - 10.5mm f5.6 OP (Ortho-Projection) fisheye
    - 2.1cm f4 ultrawide angle (not a fisheye)

    Fisheyes made since the early 1970s do not require mirror lockup, they fit like "normal" lenses with TTL viewing and full-aperture metering. These include:
    - 6mm f2.8 fisheye (220 degree - HUGE, RARE, EXPENSIVE)
    - 8mm f2.8 fisheye (180 degrees)
    - 16mm f3.5 fisheye (full frame)
    - 16mm f2.8 fisheye (full frame)
    - 10.5mm f2.8 DX fisheye (full frame)

    More information at: www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html#fisheye
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2007
  3. Thank you very much for your help!! :smile:
  4. BUT... don't forget that the crop factor still applies, so all of the above except the 10.5mm are considerably diluted when mounted on a Nikon DSLR. Tastes vary, but for example, the 16/f2.8 (for example) is pretty drastically diluted on DX. Since we only use the central 40% of the image projected by the lens, most of the fisheye factor is gone. Images - to me - then look obviously distorted, but not enough to say "fisheye!" Although there are some uses for such a lens, I personally find it pointless. The circular fisheyes (6mm, 8mm, 10mm OP) also don't yield a fully circular image on DX either.

    Caution is advised when considering any of these except the 10.5mm on a DX.
  5. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    Here's one taken with the 8mm F2.8 on my D2X.

  6. Jeffx2


    May 2, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    You know, whenever I look at an image like that I always feel like I'm falling forward into the image. I actually experience a bit of vertigo.

    Nice image, by the way.
  7. AndyE


    May 2, 2005
    Vienna, Austria
  8. Awesome lens!
    The look of the lens and the pictures it produces put's a smile on my face:smile:
  9. Wow Andy, that is VERY impressive looking!! :biggrin:

    I thank you all for your help. I think when it's time, I'll just grab the 10mm :smile:
  10. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    I don't know about pointless. On my 16mm/f3.5, I find that I can CAUSE fisheye distortion by pointing up or down from the horizon, or hide the distortion by pointing straight at the horizon. Then it's just a very wide lens. But if you do want that really radical fisheye look, then the 10.5 is your lens.

    I haven't gotten to take my fairly new (to me) 16/3.5 out much, but here's a few from a walk in the woods near my house today. Uncropped and unadjusted for any lens distortions so you can see the picture it takes:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 95765

    View attachment 95766

    Here's on from last week at an arboretum in town. This one was pointed towards the ground and you can see what that did to the mostly flat terrain:

    View attachment 95767
  11. I love #3, that's a beautiful shot! :smile: #1 & 2, I would never have guessed a fisheye was used if not told so.
  12. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Lovely shots DABO. The photographer at my sister's wedding used a Nikon DSLR with the AF 16/2.8 fisheye for many shots and produced some impressive pictures.

    For anyone considering a fisheye for their DSLR I wouldn't discount the 16mm fisheyes too quickly. They are not as extreme as the 10.5DX fisheye, but extreme lenses are much harder to use effectively. The more moderate fisheye effect of the 16mm fisheye is easier to use - you'll take more shots with it and get more keepers. By changing your composition you get two lenses in one - If you want a super-wide lens place horizon lines near the center of the frame, or you can emphasise the fisheye effect by placing the straight lines towards the edge.
  13. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Thanks, Gretchen. The non-distortion (and distortion) that the 16mm is capable of surprises me too. I'm just learning its capabilities as I go along.

    Roland, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the 16mm's field of view is approximately equivalent to the 12mm end of a Nikkor 12-24.

    Another thing to like about this lens, by the way is it's size. I used to have the Tokina 12-24 and because of it's size it often stayed home. The 16mm is really small.

  14. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Yes that's probably about right.

    The 16/3.5 covers 170 degrees from corner to corner on full frame. Since it has an equidistant projection it is easy to work out the crop factor: 170/1.5 = 113 degrees on DX format. The 12-24 sees 99 degrees corner to corner, so in that dimension the 16mm fisheye has more coverage. The story is slightly different measuring side to side, where I expect both lenses to be about equal, and top to bottom the 12-24 probably takes in more. Overall the effect probably looks about the same.

    Another advantage of the fisheye is that it shows less distortion at the corners. Rectalinear super-wide lenses like the 12-24, will "stretch" objects at the corners. We've all taken group shots with wide lenses and the ladies standing at the sides look rather wider than they really are! This does not happen with fisheyes, in fact they appear slightly "squashed", but it's less extreme.
  15. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    The Sigma 15/2.8 (mine is an old MF) isn't too bad either, and great fun with critters. This is wide open and probably almost touching the cat. (Please ignore the abject neediness. We do.)

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