15mm fisheye?

Does anyone have any experience shooting weather photos with full-frame fisheye lenses? I've been looking at getting a new lense for my camera, and I find the 15mm fisheye interesting for both the superwide field of view and the interesting things that can be done with distortion. But does this really lend itself to chase photography?

Thanks!

-Ryan
 
What kind of camera? Which lens manufacturer? If it's Canon on a 10D or D Rebel, then it's closer to 24mm when figuring in the sensor chip size. Still respectable though.

Remember, that any lens of this nature, though not a true "Fish Eye" lens, is going to give you lots of barrel distortion around the edges. The real true perspective will be a small area in the center of the photo and then the distortion gradually increases out from there. As long as it's not too noticable, it should work out alright.

Aaron and I think a couple of other have some experience with ultra wideangle lenses. they can give you a better jog on this. I've been using a .45x WA extender from my Olympus E-10 mounted on the end of a Sigma 28-90mm on the Canon 10D. I get a little trouble focusing this jerry rig, but it doesn't do too awfully bad.
 
A few years back, I borowed one of these from a friend. Shooting scenic stuff at Yosemite was a real adventure. The depth of field is amazing, and the barrel distortion can be harnessed to make some very unique, if slightly bizarre, photos.

As for shooting weather, I'm not sure how well it would work. Part of the fisheye 'gimmick' is the extreme DOF and flowing distortion of foreground objects. If you can find interesting things to fill the foreground with, you'll do fine. If not, I think your shots will loose scale and balance. Shooting from the side of the road, you may not have the time or opportunity to compose around the limitations of the lens.

IMO, I'd stick with a rectilinear 15 or 17mm.
OTOH, if a fisheye deal jumps into your bag, you can always use Pano Tools to 'de-fish' it and remove the distortion, leaving you with a rectilinear image after all.

Here are some scenic fish photos. The rainbow looks pretty cool!

http://www.ponyexpress.net/~bushd/june11storm.html has a few fisheye weather shots:

-Greg
 
What kind of camera? Which lens manufacturer? If it's Canon on a 10D or D Rebel, then it's closer to 24mm when figuring in the sensor chip size. Still respectable though.

Remember, that any lens of this nature, though not a true "Fish Eye" lens, is going to give you lots of barrel distortion around the edges. The real true perspective will be a small area in the center of the photo and then the distortion gradually increases out from there. As long as it's not too noticable, it should work out alright.

Aaron and I think a couple of other have some experience with ultra wideangle lenses. they can give you a better jog on this. I've been using a .45x WA extender from my Olympus E-10 mounted on the end of a Sigma 28-90mm on the Canon 10D. I get a little trouble focusing this jerry rig, but it doesn't do too awfully bad.

I have a Canon EOS-3; it's film based, but I am worried a bit about the digital conversion as at some point in the future that's where I want to go. (Which is also why whatever lense I buy right now will probably be a bit wider than I need...) The Canon fisheye and the Sigma fisheye seem good; the Sigma would be lower quality, of course, but the price point is hard to beat.

I'm also looking at the Tokina 20-30mm 2.8, the Canon 17-40 F4 L, the Tamron AF 17-35 2.8-4, or maybe even a Canon 20 prime. The problem with the 20's is that I'll need something wider if I go digital, but I don't think I'll be digital for at least a couple years, so maybe by then they'll have the sensors cheap enough to make them economically the same size as a 35mm neg.

I'm leaning towards the Canon 17-40 L because of the quality of the L series and the good reviews I've read -- but it's pretty expensive. The Tamron seems like a good alternative, though it has a touch of barrel distortion at the 17 end.

Ideally, I'd like something at flat 2.8 or below (because my camera supports enhanced focusing speed/accuracy with 2.8 or below lenses), but that isn't very economical.
 
The 15mm Sigma fish is my favorite lens for storms using my digital rebel. It's fairly fast (2.8) sharp, and cheap. The slight bit of fish eye effect is easily fixed by using panotools. I think it works out to be a 12mm lens on my Digital Rebel with a 90 degree FOV.

This photo was taken with the 15mm fish and adjusted using panotools.
http://www.f5hunter.com/6-10-04/redcloud.jpg

I have other photos on my site taken with this lens that have not been difished. They are easy to spot if the horizon is curved.
http://www.f5hunter.com/5-12-04/index.html
http://www.f5hunter.com/5-24-04/index.html
 
Holy cow! That Redcloud shot is one of my favorite storm photos of all time. :) I submitted a link to that photo to a large link-blasting website (FARK), and just about everyone there who saw it commented that it made their head explode. If that's what a 15mm fisheye can do after de-fishing, I may have to get one of those!

I ended up purchasing a 17-35 Tamron. I talked with some photogs here at work who felt that a 15mm prime fisheye might be a little too wide on a film camera for landscape/skyshots. After reading about eighteen million reviews, it would seem that there is little quality difference between the Tamron and the Canon 17-40 4.0L -- actually some tests show Tamron outperforming the Canon at image center, though Canon edges out the Tamron at the edges. Tamron's build quality is not as good as the Canon L lense (the Canon lense is freakin' weathersealed), but the Tamron costs a paltry $400 after rebate. $400 I can live with, especially since it expands the kinds of photography I can do by quite a margin.

LOL -- I just noticed that you were there at the same place and the same time for the 5-24 Northcentral Kansas storm! Our pictures look almost identical.

[Broken External Image]:http://chakalakasp.cliche-host.net/republicancountyks.jpg
 
Back
Top