Nikon 10.5 mm Fisheye Lens – Instant Fun!

Fisheye Lens Example
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About 11 months ago I decided to take a plunge and buy the Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens for my Nikon DSLR camera (D50). After seeing some of the cool shots on Flickr taken with fisheyes, I wanted to play with one myself.

I was a little weary to get it since my Nikon camera is only 6 megapixels. I remember having talked to a salesperson at a local Ritz and him telling me that a fisheye lens will not do well with a low-megapixel camera like the D40 or D50 since it tends to squeeze and distort the image. He said they were better suited to film cameras back in the day. Plus at just under $600 it felt like I was taking a risk getting a lens that might not produce good images.

Well I’m glad I didn’t listen to him and ended up getting the lens anyway. I got the The Nikon AF Nikkor 10.5 mm 1:2.8 G ED for my D50 from Amazon and I can say that it’s been a really, really fun lens. I’ve taken thousands of shots with it and it always adds a cool perspective to my series.

Sometimes I almost feel like I’m cheating – it’s just too easy to take a really cool picture that stands out from the rest. You can check out some of my favorites here:

The lens is really good for taking photos of small spaces such as cramped rooms and anywhere where your field of view is really constricted – think a bathroom on a real estate shoot. Conversely, it’s also awesome for wide open spaces where the perspective will add even more of a sense of grand scale.

Parking in Kofu

Pros?

(The pros definitely outweigh the cons if you ask me, but I’ll try)

Instant fun!

Gives you cool perspectives that no other lens can

Small so it takes up little room in your camera bag

Takes shots

Cons?

In some shots you may have some serious chromatic abberation at the fringes. Errrr, I think that’s right anyway – basically you might have some messed up color and distortion near the edges of the photo. I’m not a huge purist as long as the pic looks cool, so this part doesn’t bother me like it might some people.

It’s a fixed lens so there’s no zoom – you’ll have to move the camera back and forth to adjust what actually fills the frame. The nice thing is that small lateral or up and down movements make a hige difference. Ok, so this part is not really much a con, but I’m trying to come up with a balanced review.

Since there’s so much stuff in the shot, keep in mind that your camera’s built in flash will probably not illuminate all of it, especially in the bottom of the shot (since the lens itself will block light). Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (see the dark area in the bottom of the shot). You’ll either have to not use flash, deal with it, or get an external flash unit.

At $500+ dollars it’s not the cheapest lens, but definitely one of the most fun ones that will let you take some very cool and unusual shots.

If you’re thinking about getting one for yourself or a present – check out the latest prices for the 10.5mm Fisheye lens on Amazon. If you buy through the link above it will help support this site and encourage more posts like this (and make my day).

Happy shooting!

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