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Landscape Photography with a Fisheye
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:21 pm    Post subject: Landscape Photography with a Fisheye Reply with quote

Landscape photography can be done with any lens. Nonetheless, many people tend to think that an ultra-wide angle lens is a natural choice for this type of photography, so why not to use a fish-eye lens, as one of the most remarkable characteristics of this type of lens is its tremendous angle of view?

The greatest difficulty in using a fisheye to shoot landscapes is how to control its curvilinear perspective. In some cases you can make the curvilinear perspective less conspicuous; in others, the bending of straight lines can be used to improve the composition. It is up to the photographer to decide which is the approximation that works best. In any case, and using the language of cinema, the curvilinear perspective should never be the leading actor of the composition; at most it can be the supporting actor.

The first photo shows a beach landscape in which the curvilinear perspective became almost imperceptible after the curved lines of the building on the right edge were rectified in Photoshop. The rest of the image was untouched. The photo also gives a good idea of the intensity of illumination in the tropics. The picture was taken against the light, but the sun was hidden behind a coconut tree to avoid lens glare.

In the second photo, a window was used to frame the scene. In my view, the curved lines of the window look natural and don't affect the composition. The horizon was placed in the center of frame so it appears completely straight. The curved vertical lines of the building are the only obvious evidence that a fisheye lens was employed.

The third picture is simply the second photo after defishing and the window frame cropped off. The fourth picture is a 100% crop to show how the Sigma XQ Fisheye reproduces the fine details of image.

Sigma XQ Fisheye 16mm F2.8 on Sony A99V, ISO 100, 1/1000s:



Sigma XQ Fisheye 16mm F2.8 on Sony A99V, ISO 100, 1/25s:



After defishing:



100% crop:


PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a fisheye lens could be your ally when you need more coverage or when you are in very close quarters, like in my example below (taken with a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 ).

Straight out of the camera (just some light added):



After defishing:



After cropping and basic processing:



And finally after processing:



I've since sold the fisheye simply because I couldn't justify the expense of a lens used so sparingly. I'm considering buying a MF fisheye soon.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only recently did I learn that one could take advantage of the ultra-wide fisheye angles and correct them to obtain ultra-wide angle shots at the expense of some cropping. I guess this is most suitable with high megapixel count sensors, how much I don't know...

All those look great by the way!


PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you de-fish the images? Is it something that can be done easily in Lightroom or Photoshop?

Anyway, here's a landscape done with a Zenitar 16mm fisheye with no fisheye correction done, of Man O' War bay in Dorset:



PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow this could be a very nice picture with some contrast adjustments to make the clouds look more aggressive and maybe a black and white conversion to dramatize it a little bit.

Here you a nice tutorial for defishing Wink


PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So....is there any advantage, or a significant difference other than 'distortion' with a fisheye over a rectilinear - such as the Tokina 17MM ? When I was looking for something 'wide' I was loaned a Sigma 16 fisheye and tried it for a few weeks, and used it less and less - I just didn't like the distortion at all, but I didn't use Photoshop to correct it. I bought a Tokina 17 rectilinear and love it. ( I've recently bought a Norita Noritar 17 f4 rectilinear, but haven't had a chance to use it much yet )

Great images, and an interesting topic. I hope this runs for a while. Like 1 small


PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fisheyes can be corrected in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc or in specialist software like http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/ which is my preference. The bonus with PTLens is you can take any obscure lens, capture some shots and email them to the owner and he'll create a profile for it.

"If PTLens does not support your camera or lens it is easy to determine calibration coefficients for the PTLens database. If your camera meets the following criteria I'll calibrate the lens and enter the results in the PTLens database.

All DSLR cameras with interchangeable lenses.
All DSLR lenses except fisheye lenses (they don't need calibrating).
Non-DSLR cameras must have a Preview (it says "Preview" in the title) or Full Review (it says "Review" in the title) at dpreview.com. Otherwise there would simply be too many cameras and lenses for one person to calibrate. I do make exceptions. Especially for calibrations that I can apply to more than one camera.
Wide angle or telephoto converters for any of the above.
To calibrate the lens I'll need some calibration images. You have the camera and I have the calibration skills. Working together we can calibrate the lens. You take some calibration images and FTP them to my site. I'll download the images, do the calibration for free, and enter the results in the PTLens database for everyone to use. To date over 5000 images from users from all over the world have been sent in for calibration."


PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snodge wrote:
How do you de-fish the images? Is it something that can be done easily in Lightroom or Photoshop?

Anyway, here's a landscape done with a Zenitar 16mm fisheye with no fisheye correction done, of Man O' War bay in Dorset:



Photoshop can do the job by using, for example, the commands Filter - Lens Correction - Auto Correction. Then you "borrow" the profile of a fisheye lens, for example, the Canon 15mm F2.8 or Nikon 16mm F2.8. Check the Geometric Distortion option and defishing is made automatically. I defished you photo using that procedure so can see the result below.



Last edited by Gerald on Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:39 pm; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very informative article on defishing:

Fisheye to Rectilinear Conversion
One way to obtain true wideangle images with small sensor DSLRs by Bob Atkins, 2003


http://photo.net/learn/fisheye/


PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
So....is there any advantage, or a significant difference other than 'distortion' with a fisheye over a rectilinear - such as the Tokina 17MM ?


I think that's a question which has no definitive answer. The two lens types are distinguished by a very wide angle of view, but the corresponding "distortions" have different characteristics. The fisheye bends straight lines, while the ultra-wide angle stretches the edges and corners. In unskilled hands, both types of lenses can produce awful photographs.

I believe that using a fisheye simply as an "effect lens" is a mistake. A fisheye allows photos with unique composition. However, it is up to the photographer to figure out how to make a fisheye work. This requires effort and time.

A strong characteristic of the fisheye, which is also shared by rectilinear ultra wide angle lenses, is that the image elements decrease in size rapidly as the distance to the camera increases. This introduces kind of a hierarchy in the composition, which does not exist, for example, in pictures taken with a telephoto lens. In the photograph below, the girls were little more than two meters from the camera, which established a balanced proportion to the buildings in the background. If the girls were just one step forward, they would look like giants, a few steps behind, and the buildings in the background would dominate the composition. Notice also how the dark vegetation in the foreground establishes a visual counterpoint to the girls.

No defishing, only a slight correction of verticals, but where are the famous fisheye distortions?

Sigma XQ Fisheye 16mm F2.8 on Sony A99V, ISO 800, 1/320s


PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going a bit off topic ... Commercial fisheyes have an angle of view that usually does not exceed 180 degrees. How about a fisheye with an angle of view of 310 degrees? This crazy lens was actually designed by a researcher at the University of Arizona. That lens must be great for selfies! Mr. Green

Hyper-field fisheye lens, 310 degrees angle of view:

extracted from the article Design issues of a hyperfield fisheye lens by Chadwick B. Martin


PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like many things, over-doing it becomes boring, but using a fish-eye on some images can give a good result. As always play to the lens' strengths. I think my fishy worked quite well here, for example.


Discoteca Fun Club no more par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

K.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took this with the rectilinear Tokina 17 / 3.5 the other day, and it was the only lens which could get the house fully in frame as there is no room to go further back. It's a local house and I could easily stitch a picture or go way back and use a long lens, so it wasn't an important picture, but it does illustrate the distortion of the lens at such a close distance to a building with straight lines.
A quick perspective rectify in Photoshop helps, but it doesn't 'cure' the distortion.

Original


Corrected


There is too much taper between the three verticals, the two front walls and the back wall, for Photoshop to deal with. But it's still way better than the Sigma 16mm that I was loaned and offered for a very cheap price. I didn't like the Sigma at all, but the Tokina I can live with easily.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To my eye that 'corrected ' version looks much worse.
I think Photoghop probably has multiple ways of correcting perspective, (it seems to offer multiple routes for most things).
I'm fairly sure some of the tutorials I've seen using a manual option (Correct Camera Distortion Filter) can do a better job.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

womble wrote:
Like many things, over-doing it becomes boring, but using a fish-eye on some images can give a good result. As always play to the lens' strengths. I think my fishy worked quite well here, for example.


Discoteca Fun Club no more par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

K.

Hi Kris,
Very nice picture! I really like it! Like 1 Like 1

The composition is really excellent. It is obvious that the photo was taken with a fisheye lens, but the curvilinear perspective enhances the composition rather than overwhelms it. The unusual perspective and the dark sky give a mysterious tone to that abandoned nightclub. I suggest you should shoot more that location at different times, with different lights, cloud formations, etc.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:

Original


Corrected


There is too much taper between the three verticals, the two front walls and the back wall, for Photoshop to deal with. But it's still way better than the Sigma 16mm that I was loaned and offered for a very cheap price. I didn't like the Sigma at all, but the Tokina I can live with easily.



The photo below is my attempt to correct with Photoshop the barrel distortion and inclination of the verticals. Of course, the exaggerated perspective is the hallmark of ultra wide angle lenses. Nothing to do about it.



PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DConvert wrote:
To my eye that 'corrected ' version looks much worse.
I think Photoghop probably has multiple ways of correcting perspective, (it seems to offer multiple routes for most things).
I'm fairly sure some of the tutorials I've seen using a manual option (Correct Camera Distortion Filter) can do a better job.


Absolutely, I forgot to actually say that in my post. The original looks better because the distortion, although quite pronounced, is still within what we accept, even non photographers would accept that tapering distortion as being something natural - a slight exaggeration of what we see. But the corrected one isn't, it's unnatural because the two front corners are not in the correct relationship to each other.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, technically speaking, the convergence of verticals is not considered as "distortion". It's just an effect of the rectilinear perspective. In lens technology, distortion is only the bending of straight lines.

In architectural photography, the convergence of verticals is in general something to be avoided. Precisely for this purpose the shift lenses were created! Nonetheless, in the hands of a skilled photographer, the convergence of verticals can be a means of artistic creation. The Andre Kertesz's famous photograph Lost Cloud of is a good example where the convergence of verticals was artistically used in an exceptional way:

Lost Cloud by André Kertsz:


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think fisheye lenses are the right tool for landscape work. De-fishing is a poor solution, it can produce bad IQ in the margins of the image as it stretches portions to fill in.

I think using a less wide lens and stitching several images produces better results and gives you a far wider scope for making distortion alterations or changing the FOV.

I like to use a 50mm lens and stitch.



Not one of my better examples, just the most recent, I used a 2/58 Helios. Not sure how many images stitched, 20 to 25.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerald wrote:
Snodge wrote:
How do you de-fish the images? Is it something that can be done easily in Lightroom or Photoshop?

Anyway, here's a landscape done with a Zenitar 16mm fisheye with no fisheye correction done, of Man O' War bay in Dorset:



Photoshop can do the job by using, for example, the commands Filter - Lens Correction - Auto Correction. Then you "borrow" the profile of a fisheye lens, for example, the Canon 15mm F2.8 or Nikon 16mm F2.8. Check the Geometric Distortion option and defishing is made automatically. I defished you photo using that procedure so can see the result below.



I'm sorry, but in this case, I think you've ruined the image, the original is more pleasing to my eyes.

Also, the defishing has ruined the IQ in the margins:

original corner, nice and sharp:



defished corner, smeared by the distortion correction:



PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Gerald wrote:
Snodge wrote:
How do you de-fish the images? Is it something that can be done easily in Lightroom or Photoshop?

Anyway, here's a landscape done with a Zenitar 16mm fisheye with no fisheye correction done, of Man O' War bay in Dorset:



Photoshop can do the job by using, for example, the commands Filter - Lens Correction - Auto Correction. Then you "borrow" the profile of a fisheye lens, for example, the Canon 15mm F2.8 or Nikon 16mm F2.8. Check the Geometric Distortion option and defishing is made automatically. I defished you photo using that procedure so can see the result below.



I'm sorry, but in this case, I think you've ruined the image, the original is more pleasing to my eyes.

Also, the defishing has ruined the IQ in the margins:

original corner, nice and sharp:



defished corner, smeared by the distortion correction:


I took an attempt att correcting the distortion + some small tweaks Wink


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also worth remembering that it is a scaled down jpg that is being manipulated rather than the full size raw, which I assume would make a fair bit of difference...


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerald wrote:
womble wrote:
Like many things, over-doing it becomes boring, but using a fish-eye on some images can give a good result. As always play to the lens' strengths. I think my fishy worked quite well here, for example.


Discoteca Fun Club no more par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

K.

Hi Kris,
Very nice picture! I really like it! Like 1 Like 1

The composition is really excellent. It is obvious that the photo was taken with a fisheye lens, but the curvilinear perspective enhances the composition rather than overwhelms it. The unusual perspective and the dark sky give a mysterious tone to that abandoned nightclub. I suggest you should shoot more that location at different times, with different lights, cloud formations, etc.


Thanks for the complements. The ex-Fun Club is a very long way from home* though so I won't be able to photograph it that often!

K.

*I am in the UK, the building is in eastern Romania.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bror_svensson wrote:


[I took an attempt att correcting the distortion + some small tweaks Wink


Good job, bror_svensson! Like 1 small

Snodge wrote:
It's also worth remembering that it is a scaled down jpg that is being manipulated rather than the full size raw, which I assume would make a fair bit of difference...


No doubt about it!


PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerald wrote:
Well, technically speaking, the convergence of verticals is not considered as "distortion". It's just an effect of the rectilinear perspective. In lens technology, distortion is only the bending of straight lines.]


when I typed out my post I was thinking "there's a proper term for this......" but it escaped me. Rolling Eyes

As I said when I posted the two pictures of the house, if I really wanted a good picture, taken from that stand point, I would make a stitch. As Ian shows, it works. The picture is sharp side to side and distortions and convergence are very acceptable and realistic to what we would actually see, and what we expect to see in a picture.