Using a Fisheye Lens for Landscape Photography
- By: Luis Argerich
Fisheye lenses are often used to create panoramas, for action shots in sports or to take funny portraits but they can also be used in landscape photography as a very interesting tool to explore some creative compositions.
The most important thing about a fisheye lens in landscape photography is that they have a really wide field of view and at the same time they have a very short minimum focus distance (MFD). This means you can put a foreground object almost touching the front element of the lens to take a semi-macro picture while at the same time having a very wide field of view for the landscape.
Focusing is very easy, as fisheye lenses have a really large Depth of field (DOF), if you use F8 or F11 chances are everything will be in sharp focus from foreground to background. And if you don’t have anything really close to the camera you can have perfect focus at F2.8, that’s a very nice thing for night-time photography.
Distortion and perspective are two huge variables when using a fisheye lens, pointing the lens slightly up or down will make the horizon a curve, that can be used as a tool for some creative ideas or it can be controlled trying to keep the camera level for minimum distortion. You can also use software such as PtLens, DxO optics or Photoshop to de-fish the image reducing distortion to a minimum.
A fisheye lens offers semi-macro magnification with a super-wide field of view, they are easy to use, fast and very fun, next time you plan a landscape trip don’t forget to put your fisheye in your bag.