Busting Out the Fisheye

Brittany in the Fisheye

One of my favorite, off-the-wall, impromptu images using the old Kenko Fisheye 180 lens. When I captured it, I was shooting with a crop sensor Canon 70D. Even with a wide open aperture, there was barely enough light to see what I was shooting through the viewfinder. There was a very low chance that I could get a solid focus, even with an adapter that would indicate when things were sharp. It simply didn’t work well and boiled down to persistence and luck.

Everything to See Here

If you’ve never looked through a fisheye lens, it is an odd, amazing experience. With the Kenko Fisheye 180 lens, you get exactly what is advertised: a 180 degree view. Moving slightly to one side completely changes your perspective as whatever is in the middle tends to be larger in frame. When I use this lens with a model, I give them full permission to slap me if I get too close. You see, when I snapped this image of Brittany, I was right up on her trying to get focus. I was also very cognizant of avoiding putting my feet in the image.
Weird perspective, within six inches or less of the subject, and trying to avoid my own feet? Not the best recipe for solid balance, but it works.

Time to Fisheye Again

My recent acquisition of a new camera has me wanting to play with this oddball lens again. With a full-frame sensor, there is so much more light! I can actually see what is in the image enough to handle the manual focus required (until someone gives me another digital adaptor that will work).

In my recent session with Krystal, we played with the fisheye, but we didn’t hit that sweet spot. It didn’t help that we were shooting in my crowded studio. I can literally stand in one corner and photograph everything in the room except for the corner I occupy. This needs more planning than my deciding that “this might be fun” during a session.


Are you ready to try the fish-eye? Even if you aren’t looking for the crazy, zany images it produces, if you like my work, we should talk. There is no better time to create than the present!

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