Fisheye and wide angle lens suggestions

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon Lens Talk
Any good suggestions on both fisheye lens and wide angle lens? What's the difference between the two, anyway?


  • edited March 2012
    Hi @_bethany - A fisheye lens is just an extreme wide angle lens which emulates a fish's ability to see 180 degrees around itself. Also the lens is the shape of a fish eye with the front element literally bulging up from the casing. Obviously the effect of this lens creates a huge amount of barrel distortion.

    A wide angle lens is a lens less than 35-50mm. This is because the human eye falls between these values. So for Canon you will typically see something like 10-22mm which is wider than the eye can see. Most zoom lenses will give you a range starting from 18mm to 135, 200, 250, 270mm so that you can take close-up shots and average wide angle shots.

    The fish eye lens is a speciality lens and not something you would use every day, whereas a wide angle lens has many uses, like group work or interiors. Hope you can follow all this. Regards - PBked
  • Howdy @_bethany - It sounds like most of your questions have been answered. Thanks @PBked.

    In regards to additional suggested lenses, you might take a look at the more affordable wide-angle lenses provided by Tamron and Sigma.

    The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (see here) is a great starter lens, giving you the ability to capture super wide landscapes and cityscapes. The 10-24mm zoom range really gives you flexibility when framing and composing your shot. It also has a comparable maximum aperture range (f/3.5 to f/4.5) to the more expensive Canon 10-22mm lens which is a plus when capturing images (hand-held) at sunrise or sunset.

    Happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    Thanks for the tips @PBked. @Moose - Would you say that the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 is the best overall wide angle lens? I'm looking for one that I could use for a while and in multiple situations. Thanks :) - Bethany
  • @_bethany - For the price, the Tamron 10-24mm would be the best choice. The Canon 10-22mm is a bit sharper and slightly faster to focus, however, most people would be hard pressed to notice a difference between the two when comparing side by side images. The added savings would give you some room to purchase a circular polarizer and a neutral density filter.

    A circular polarizer (like this one) will give you added saturation, deeper blue skies and more cloud detail. A neutral density filter (like this one) will give you the ability to use slower shutter speeds in bright light, allowing you to capture water movement (flowing waterfalls, silky smooth lakes and misty oceans). Happy shooting! :)
  • @Moose Thank you for the suggestion. I'm looking into purchasing that lens. Do you have any suggestions for a good fisheye lens? Much appreciated :)
  • @_bethany - For the price, it's hard to beat the Sigma 10mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (see here) in terms of sharpness and overall performance. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited April 2012
    Thanks @Moose for all your help. What do you think about either the Bower or Samyang 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens? They seem to have the same specs and are around the same price (which is pretty cheap). Do you think purchasing any one of those are worth it??
  • Howdy @_bethany - I don't have any experience with the Samyang, but the Bower 8mm f/3.5 (see here) is a nice fisheye lens for the price. Here's the have to focus and meter manually. If you're not comfortable with either, then it would be best to go for the Sigma which does both automatically. Happy shooting! :)
  • @Moose Will the circular polarizer filter you mentioned above fit the Tamron 10-24mm? I'm looking into purchasing these two. Thanks :)
  • edited May 2012
    @_bethany - Yep, the Tamron 10-24mm has 77mm front filter threads. Make sure you get the "PRO1" version. This particular model has a thinner ring height which allows you to shoot at 10mm without vignetting.

    Some of the regular 77mm circular polarizers with thicker rings will actually cause vignetting (dark corners) when shooting with a wide-angle lens.

    B+W also makes a "slim" circular polarizer (see here). Both filter brands (Hoya and B+W) are top notch.

    Based on the price (as of today), I'd probably go for the B+W filter.
  • edited May 2012
    Thank you so much for the advice @Moose. I've been having difficulty getting the right exposure when shooting the sky. Sometimes the photo is completely white and I believe it has to do with the brightness of the sky. What settings would be appropriate for a sunrise shoot? Sunset shoot?
  • edited May 2012
    @_bethany - In order to get an accurate exposure of both the sky and landscape/waterscape, you'll need to experiment with HDR photography OR purchase a graduated neutral density filter.

    HDR photography consists of a series of shots (of the same scene) at varying levels of exposure (light to dark). You can achieve this by shooting in Aperture priority (Av), setting your f-number between f/8 to f/16, and adjusting the exposure compensation. You'll want at least three images, one at -2, one at 0 and another at +2.

    You then take these images and merge them using HDR software like Photomatix (see here).

    A graduated neutral density filter, is basically half clear and half dark. The dark part of the filter reduces the brightness of the sky, while exposing the landscape/waterscape correctly. I don't recommend screw-on graduated neutral density filters as they won't allow you to "line-up" the horizon.

    You're better off going with the Cokin P filter system (cheap, see here) or Lee filter system (expensive, see here). With either system, you'll be able to position the filter to line up correctly with the horizon.

    Hope that all makes sense and happy shooting! :)
  • @Moose- would I be better off purchasing the graduated ND filter or the circular polarizer?
  • Or just a regular ND filter?? Appreciate the help :)
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