Great Lens -- Not Just For Fun!!!
August 23, 2011
A lot of people have said not to use this lens for wide angle landscapes. However, I would like to argue that one. This lens makes superb wide angle landscapes if you know how to use it correctly. Keeping your horizon on the midpoint of the lens ensures it will not be distorted. I have made some truly unique images from points of view impossible with a regular wide angle lens (even an ultra wide) just because of the field of view of this lens (approx. 140 degrees horizontal and 180 degrees on the diagonal). If you don't want the traditional distored corners, the Fisheye-Hemi software from Image Trends Inc. does a wonderful job (for under $30 approx.) of tastefully correcting a lot of the distortion and allowing for a very pleasing rendition of a scene taken with a lens admonished by people as being both fun and wild. http://www.imagetrendsinc.com/products/prodpage_hemi.asp
Sure, you can get some pretty funky effects but, when used properly, you can also get some shots you just couldn't have captured without a lot of contortions, and taking more images then "stitching" them together later in post production. That's a significant amount of extra work if you intended to take 5 or more bracketed exposures and run them through an HDR process. With this lens you can take 5 images, run them through your HDR process and then run them through Fisheye-Hemi (if you want to remove some of the more dramatic optical effects of the fisheye) as opposed to 10 or more images with another lens and then the post production stitching and HDR process. The Fisheye-Hemi does fantastic work to normalize people -- very good for handling large groups or people in a unique landscape location. The "Hemi" corrects the people and straightens your vertical lines while still preserving virtually all of your original image data! My experience has been that the "Hemi" software retains upwards of 96% of the image data (comparing my JPEG output files from before Hemi processing versus after Hemi processing). Compare that to the loss of image data through most rectilinear software conversion programs.
Check out my "Around Durham" gallery for some examples shot with this 10.5mm fisheye lens and run through the Fishey-Hemi software. You can reach my gallery from my website: http://www.scottprokopetzphotography.com
or directly from this link: http://scottprokopetz.photoshelter.com/gallery/Around-Durham/G00000qfysknaaUU
This lens is sharp! There are already several reviews detailing the performance characteristics so I won't repeat them here. Simply put, I highly recommend this lens if you already have a standard zoom and are looking to give yourself wide angle coverage ... or just for fun. This will get you out of a jam in tight spaces and grants you a license for enhanced creativity at the same time.
Personally, I find that outside of my 24-70 when I want a wide angle, I want a VERY WIDE ANGLE and this lens fits the bill perfectly! My standard case now contains these three lenses and gives me enough range for most purposes: 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S NIKKOR, 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom-Nikkor.
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