Jun 222017
 

These images were taken with a relatively cheap, manual focus Walimex lens – or Samyang or Rokinion, depending on where you buy it.

I bought it when it was available for 30% off on Amazon. Normally I would probably have bought the expensive and super-stellar Olympus 8/1.8 for between two and three times the price. Would it have been worth it? Probably not. This lens has plenty of sharpness, and most of the time focusing is not necessary at all. The Olympus would have given me some extra greatness, bought with extra size and extra weight.

As it is, the fisheye is always in my “Big Travel Bag”, along with the three PRO lenses. I don’t have to remember packing it, it’s just available when I need it and that’s surprisingly quite often. Had I bought the Olympus, I would have been forced to buy a bigger bag (NO WAY!!!) or alternatively I would have been forced to choose between the 7-14 and the fish. You see, better sometimes can be much worse 🙂

Jun 212017
 

There is a museum in the upper story of the cloister. That’s where the stairs lead to.

I have never before tried to use he fish on a staircase, or have I? I suppose not, and if I ever had, I’d have used it in the usual way of trying to maintain a central perspective.

Not so here. The distortions give me an effect that strongly reminds me of Dali’s molten realities.

Jun 192017
 

Ok, I’ve played around a bit with DxO and Lightroom. For your reference, here is yesterday’s image again.

If we ignore the different colors and looks, what remains is an effect that I find quite pleasing. Yes, we lose a little bit on the sides and at the top, but the result does indeed look much more natural.

Is it worth it using the fisheye along with DxO and some extra treatment in Lightroom over, say, the rectilinear 7-14/2.8? Well, probably not, but then, if we see it as just one more tool in our set, I think there’s nothing wrong with it. And yes, of course all those software tricks cost you some ultimate sharpness, but so do in-camera corrections. Do I care? Nope. Not at all.

Jun 182017
 

I felt I needed to mention the lens used in yesterday’s post. This certainly wouldn’t have been necessary today.

Years ago, in “Photoshop times”, I had a plugin called “FisheyeHemi”. It did some magic to partially remove the distortion along one axis, while at the same time maintaining most of the lens’ extended angle of view.

DxO can do something similar. I’ve just tried to play around a little with “Volume Deformation” in the variant of “Horizontal +200” and “Vertical +200”. Add a little keystone correction and the result is, that the verticals in the center are almost straight, while those at the sides are still bent as hell. It’s a nice effect. Maybe I’ll experiment a little bit more with it tomorrow.

3850 – Baroque’s A Fishy Style II

 Walimex 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye  Comments Off on 3850 – Baroque’s A Fishy Style II
May 052017
 

This is the same church as yesterday’s but today we are inside. And again: the fisheye is exceedingly well suited for baroque architecture, especially when you shoot just straight up into a cupola.

Interestingly enough it works as well when straight lines begin to bend. There are so many curves, it doesn’t matter if we have some more.

By the way, both of these pictures have been processed with “Edit / Skew” in Photoshop. Standing in the church, bending backwards and trying to get a perfectly symmetric shot is so hard that I prefer to add perfection after the fact 😛

3841 – Baroque’s A Fishy Style I

 Walimex 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye  Comments Off on 3841 – Baroque’s A Fishy Style I
Apr 262017
 

Like in Lisbon I brought the “Big Gear”, the E-M1, the trinity of PRO zooms and, because it’s so small and easily fit into the bag as well, the 7.5 mm fisheye.

Well, forget fisheyes for Gothic and its straight lines. Baroque it is. That’s the style the fish was created for 🙂

We’ll come back to this lens a few more times, in cases when it can’t get wide enough, but when straightness is not a criterion. The fish will never be a “normal” lens for me, but while I used to struggle for seeing its applicability, it now is normal to recognize the moments. It’s just another tool.

3828 – Up We Go

 Walimex 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye  Comments Off on 3828 – Up We Go
Apr 132017
 

I’ve used DxO Optics Pro for this image. I could have done it to de-fish the picture, but that’s not what I’m after. If I want ultra-wide and recti-linear, I just use an appropriate lens.

No, it’s that I used 1/100 s and ISO 1250. The advantage is, that I’ve frozen the escalator’s movement, and although everything up to ISO 3200 would be perfectly OK for an image like this, I routinely use DxO for everything above 400. It’s not necessary and nobody will peep at pixels, but then, there is more to DxO’s PRIME noise reduction than noise reduction. Color accuracy, dynamic range, they are all better than with Lightroom. They’d better be so, given that Lightroom renders in real-time and DxO takes half a minute for an image.