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04-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Fisheye use

Just acquired a Pentax 10-17 fisheye and was wondering about some tips on getting better results? U can skip the shoe advice I am already looking out for that

JJ

04-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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What do you mean by better results?
The obvious is:
use a tripod to eliminate camera shake
use a remote or 2 second timer
watch for flair (can't remember how good the 10-17 does at controlling it)
watch for stuff you don't want in the shot

With fisheyes, I always like to look for straight lines like the corners of a building, power poles, street lights, fences and such so I can bend them. Same with the horizon, the closer it gets to the top or bottom of the frame the more distorted it looks. I've seen a lot of images where people try to get in really tight on one singular object so the background/bokeh gets really distorted. Turn it vertical and see what you can get in the shot top to bottom. Try to get it up high or down low for a perspective that is very different from what you see at eye level. For landscapes if you can find places without straight lines you can get reeeeeeaaaaaallllllllyyyy wide shots that don't really look that distorted. If this sounds a little rambly sorry I just started typing but not really sure if this is the info you are looking for.
04-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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OK: It ain't real fishy at the 17mm end and it's quite fishy at the 10mm end. It ain't real fast at either end -- I use the Zenitar 16/2.8 more in tricky light because the DA is f/4.5 there, a 2.3-stop loss. But with SR on and using the 1/FL rule, I can shoot handheld at low speeds with good results.

Where I use it: In real tight spaces -- at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas, only a 10mm FE can grab the Sistine Chapel ceiling. At odd angles -- especially where a few lines intersect. In round enclosures -- tunnels, etc. For shots of rather close subjects where I want the context too -- like little goodies in small exotic shops. And when I just want fishy exaggeration -- shot from below, legs get REALLY long.

What to avoid: I keep an eye on my feet and other stuff around the edges. I don't worry about light sources and flare, but that's just me, I don't mind the effect -- judge for yourself whether it's too bothersome. I don't dare shoot in my Sierra Nevada evergreen forests because all the trees are falling on me!

I don't de-fish much. I frame the picture as I want it, not as it might look de-fished and down-sampled. I try to have fun. That's the main thing.
04-10-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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If you get a lot of flare, use your hand to block out the sun. Works like a charm!


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04-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you get a lot of flare, use your hand to block out the sun. Works like a charm!
Yep! And an easy way to do a partial self portrait at the wide end!

I may have missed it in the above tips, but don't ignore focus in the full gamut of getting good performance. The big problem with fisheye and other ultra-wide angle lenses is that EVERYTHING in the viewfinder is SOOOO TINY and hard to focus on. The standard answer is to stop down and depend on incredible DOF to make the shot.

Unfortunately, the "wide angle has huge DOF" story is pretty much a myth. Yes the scales on the lens look great, but consider the average distance to your subject. Factor in the working distance needed to bring your subject into proper perspective and you have the same focus issues as with a normal lens.

The answer? I have found that careful attention to focus and use of a split image focus aid make a huge difference.


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04-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I don't de-fish much. I frame the picture as I want it, not as it might look de-fished and down-sampled. I try to have fun. That's the main thing.
Same here...de-fish? Why?
04-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
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I forgot to mention: FEs and UWAs shrink the distant, turning mountains into molehills and urban skylines into ragged bumps. They're best used to emphasize something close, and to trivialize the context. If focus is a problem, just stop-down a little for humongous DOF.

What not to do: Don't add macro tubes! Don't expect that filters will save your butt. Don't scratch or scrape the objective -- the coating is rather soft. Don't lose the lens cap! And don't take close portraits of humorless people, nor anyone you wish to remain friends with.
04-10-2012, 08:11 PM   #8
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I am also new to this lens and have been using it daily for the Single In April challenge here on the forum (take one lens and use it every day for a month). I am building a set on flickr . I have found it to be a remarkably versatile lens.

Things you might want to consider: watch contrasty skies (tends to considerable CA), don't forget that you can get super close (13mm) so don't rule out flowers and foliage, try to find a focal point (a straight horizontal line like a lamp post or building corner or a clear horizontal like a distant horizon) and allow the lens to do it's fishy thing around it. Finally zoom in and out and see how that effects the composition. I find that exposure can be a little trickier because you have light coming in from so many angles. I have seen some great, realistic HDR shots with the fisheye and would like to try that too because, of course, using filters is not possible.

Have fun!

04-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Good advice here already. Yes, getting your feet or your tripod legs in the frame whilst you're taking a photo is very easy to do at the wide end. But the idea of using this lens is to emphasise size and distort proportions. So have a clear subject in your image and use the fish eye effect to your advantage. The horizon across the middle of the frame avoids the curving up or down of the horizon, which is sometimes undesirable in landscape shots. Have fun with the lens.
04-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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I use my fisheyes for several different things. One specific look that I like is shooting stgraight up, into the sky. do this in a forrest, or between tall buildings and you get a spectacular result

When shooting something with strong lines, you will get curvature, one way to deal with this is to keep the camera square to the frame, so that lines converge to the middle at the edges of the frame.

one thing I have done, is if there is one line that comes in from an edge, I have that line go to the center of the frame, so that it is straight, evne though the resto fot he subject is curved.

Look at how lines converge in your viewfinder, as it is important in terms of the overall image
04-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And don't take close portraits of humorless people, nor anyone you wish to remain friends with.
Haha! I aquired a Samyang 8mm fisheye on a trip a couple of months ago, and somehow it and my camera ended up in my hands at a party in a dark bar where i used the flash. I thought it was a really cool effect, and i took a lot of pictures of laughing people, and posted some of them on facebook. It took exactly nine seconds before one of the people told me to remove the pic of him at once. I did. Anyway, yes, good fisheyadvice there, i wish someone told me that earlier
04-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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All great info, just got the lens in the mail today and gonna go out this weekend. So many things around here to snap shots of old rail cars, covered bridges just to name a few, silly question can you get a filter for this lens? More for protection than anything else but didn't know if the curvature of the glass prevented it?

JJ
04-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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I've also just recently acquired one & I've discovered there's a bit of a learning curve with it. You have to think in terms of what looks good through the fisheye. If you just shoot subjects in the same manner you would with a regular non-fisheye lens, the results can often be bland and uninteresting. (I think this is why the previous owner didn't like it.) Once you get accustomed to seeing subjects like a fisheye would, it's a blast to use. Best way to get the hang of it is to just experiment & look at everything through it at all kinds of angles. Also, experiment with the framing. The closer you get to the edges of the frame with any straight line (horizon, for instance) the more distortion you get. This is where the real fun comes in. Here's one I took a few days ago: (color altered in post)



It's a fun lens to use. I'm sure the more you use it, the more you'll dig it.

QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
can you get a filter for this lens?
Nope... No threads and the front element is convex as a necessity of design. It's supposed to have an ultra-hard coating to help protect the element. Just be careful of it & you should be ok.

Cheers,
Bob :-)
04-12-2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
No threads and the front element is convex as a necessity of design. It's supposed to have an ultra-hard coating to help protect the element. Just be careful of it & you should be ok.
Ultra-hard does not mean impervious. Yes, take care of it. And don't lose the cap! In early days, I would just throw lenses into my Ameribag. After scraping coating from one, I got wise. Now lenses sit inside little cloth bags or socks, with all caps on. I just need to remember which sock contains which lens. Duh...

Filters *can* be used, or abused. A 58mm ring will sorta screw into the mini-hood of a DA10-17. You might want to tape it ring on, to be safer. But you'll get vignetting, even if you use step-rings to get to 72-77-82mm. If you WANT a full-circle effect, use step-down rings, down to 52mm maybe. Try it, see if you like it, eh?

A fun way to use a fisheye: Crawl on your belly like a snake. Shoot whatever gets in your way. Leave no turn unstoned stone unturned.

Last edited by RioRico; 04-12-2012 at 05:07 PM.
04-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Since you already know about the shoes, I won't mention that. Do you know about elbows?

Anyway, one of my favorite uses for the 10-17FE is indoors. Here are a few examples:

In a gallery at the San Diego Museum of Art.


I don't try to correct the distortion, partly since I don't have the software to do it, and mostly because if I wanted rectilinear I wouldn't have used a fisheye. Also in the San Diego Museum of Art. One of these days I probably should go back and straighten the tilt a bit on these.


In the USS Dolphin submarine, at the San Diego Maritime Museum.
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