by Philip Greenspun; created 1996
I got hold of this lens because I wanted to do some technical photography. We needed to show the view of a radar sensor that "sees" in a hemisphere and hence wanted a lens with a 180 degree angle of view. The Canon EOS 15 fisheye has an advertised 180 degree angle of view but it turns out to be corner-to-corner along the diagonal. It isn't nearly as wide as a true hemispherical view. So I had to get hold of a Nikon 6/2.8 lens, a $14,000 monster that is not exactly pocketable.
So what did I do with the Canon? Had some fun. It is a $700 lens so you don't have to live in constant terror that your dog will smush his wet nose against the front element. It is compact, not much bigger than a 20, and well-constructed. It will inspire you to think about creative ways to use its distortion.
This is not a lens for every day, but in some ways I think I like it better than my 14mm rectilinear wide angle which was vastly more expensive. Oh yes, as you can see from the example photos, this is a "full-frame fisheye" which means that it covers the entire 35mm frame to the corners.
|Construction:||8 elements, 7 groups|
|Angle of view:||180 degrees|
|Closest focusing:||0.2m (0.7 ft)|
|Filter size:||Rear drop-in gelatin filter holder|
|Length and diameter:||62.2 x 73 mm (2-7/16 x 2-7/8 in)|
|Weight:||330 g (11.6 oz)|