Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

  1. #1

    Default Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Hi guys, I'm quite new to wide lenses, was wondering if you guys can offer me some tips.

    My widest lens now is a 24-85mm on a crop body. Which isn't very wide of course, but I use it mainly for instances where I need a zoom. Otherwise I'm usually on primes.

    What I failed to consider is that sometimes the sky looks nice! And otherwise, wide angle shots can sometimes be fun. (I'm usually a tele person.)

    I'm considering between the cheap (maybe not that cheap) manual fisheye, Zenitar 16mm F2.8, or the 12-24mm Tokina F4 UWA.

    I believe at the widest setting they're both equally wide, if the fish is not wider...

    And no, the crop factor on fisheye doesn't bother me, I'm not after 180 degree view, just slightly ultra-wide is fine.

    Price wise, the manual fish is half of it. One of the main concerns for me, however, I'm wondering if its worth to invest abit more for a good lens... :S

    All in all, I'm still confused and can't work out a deciding factors... Wondering if all ye fellow experienced CSers can offer some insight or ask some thought provoking questions that can lead me to my decision?

    thanks lots in advance!
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ang Mo Kio
    Posts
    1,325

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Fisheye is very much more distorted than a corrected UWA lens leh... but fisheyes are fun too! I want a fisheye. =P

    If you're not very sure if you'll be using UWA's alot, get something cheaper like the Sigma 10-20. I have it and love what it takes. It's not the best there is, but it's good enough for me, I feel.

    However, if you're gonna be using alot of the UWA, then of course it's worth investing in a good lens.
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    City area, SG
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    I can't really help because I ask myself the same questions sometimes However for me I already have a lens that can go to 28mm equivalent on the wide end, which makes the situation more tricky. For your case the 36mm equiv. wide angle (assuming 1.5x) is kinda lacking, so i would think the uwa seems to be a better choice... Skipping the uwa means you'll get the fish-eye effect all the time with every single photo, for me that'd not be what i want.
    Last edited by redtealongan; 31st March 2009 at 12:35 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Fisheye pics can be converted to UWA easily. Not so easy the other way round.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    get the uwa, you can consider the sigma 10-20, is there any reason why you are not considering it?

    the zenitar 16mm is generally soft unless you shoot at f/8, if i do not remember wrongly. you are not just paying for af, and barrel distortion correction, you are also paying for image quality and build.

    uwas tend to be more usable than fisheyes, and yes, fisheye pics can be converted to uwa, but i doubt the conversion will be on par with uwa output.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Fisheye pics can be converted to UWA easily. Not so easy the other way round.
    The conversion may still have a lot of un-resolved distortion issues.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Many a times, the converted fisheye pic looks better (and wider) than the UWA one... eg.


    Defished FE at 15mm


    UWA at 14mm

    Fisheye lenses give a different perspective to the scene and can enhance the visual impact that the photographer wish to portray in his shots especially if it is utilised properly. Defished fisheye pics can still have some distortion depending on the compostion and the angle of the shot but then so can UWA pics.

    All except one of these shots were taken with a fisheye and some were defished while others were not. I had deliberately only brought along a fisheye to lighten my gear for this trip. If I have taken these shots with a UWA, the visual impact would be a lot different and less.
    http://www.pbase.com/pschia/memphis_graceland

  8. #8

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    what if you don't need the distortion? like when there is a horizon line, and your distortion doesn't need to be emphasized?

    to be honest, every lens has a positive purpose somewhere, tomcat has used an architectural shot as example, that is where a fisheye lens tends to excel in terms of emphasizing shape and form of curves.

    when it comes to seascapes, where the horizon line is necessarily straight? i am going to say that in that graceland album, half of them would have worked better with a uwa instead, if one has a choice, better to get both to be honest..

    but when it comes to applicability overall, i would suggest the uwa. just an opinion from my own experience, of course everyone's experience and preferences tend to differ.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Contrary to beliefs, it is possible to get a straight horizon with a fisheye lens (without defishing) if it is far away enough...



    And as for myself, I do prefer a dramatic curved horizon to a boring straight one if the composition supports it like in some of the Graceland shots or my Marina Barrage shots like this one where the emphasis was actually the clouds in the sky...


    Others may beg to differ of course...

    And yes, it would be nice to have both lenses. If one does not work well for the desired effect, the other probably will.
    Last edited by tomcat; 31st March 2009 at 02:26 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    many a time, when you shoot a low perspective, you are forced to shoot downwards, with uwa, you will get bent horizon line, this is barrel distortion.

    fisheye lens is totally uncorrected for this, so the bend will be even more, elements around the edges will also be distorted.

    of course, it is possible to get a perfect horizon line with any lens, fisheye lens distortion is heaviest around the corners, the centre should have minimal distortion, using a spirit level will ensure nice nice straight horizon line..

    along with near split horizons (horizon right smack in the middle all the time).. straight horizons.. yes.. boring predictable compositions, unless you want to crop.. no.

    i have looked at many many landscape/seascape pictures, one thing that stands out immediately is that the horizon lines are always, always straightened out with no curvature or little curvature unless there is a positive reason for it. which is why i am so anal about such things. drama works for 5 seconds, but people tend to demand a grounding in realism eventually after that initial wowing for 5 seconds, which is where your straight horizon comes into play.

    i am not going to post anymore on this, just think about it.. you have a lens without distortion correction, that is the reason it was created, not because people were lazy. you also have a lens where angle of view is greater, but distortion is corrected to a large extent..

    how much you like distortion, is up to you, really. so pick and choose based on what you like.

    have a nice day all.
    Last edited by night86mare; 31st March 2009 at 02:26 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    I'm more of a portraiture shooter rather than landscape, so i went for a Pentax 10-17mm zoom fisheye. I'm also a student who enjoys shooting both serious and fun shots with his DSLR, so the fisheye is such a popular lens with my friends. Personally i do not know what the zenitar is like, but the Pentax fisheye close focuses to just centimetres away from the front element. I'm sure you have seen the oh-so-popular The Dog pictures

    It's been great and i must say that i haven't been wanting a proper UWA.
    There's an alternative for the C&N user, which is the 10-17mm Tokina, although i do not know what the quality is like.

    At 10mm it gives a fisheye view, and at 17mm the distortion is less pronounced. For most shooting i haven't found myself needing to defish. Since i'm not a serious landscapist, i don't feel the need to correct a slightly wobbly skyline either Those stuff i keep for personal collection, since my landscaping is not very impressive

    For a prime Fisheye lens, i can't say the same though.

    Here's a picture to share. Sorry i chopped off some of the bottom parts so it's not the full picture (too much black space), but it gives you a picture of what it's like at 17mm with the least-distortion reached. Has not been defished.

    Last edited by xylestesins; 31st March 2009 at 03:51 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Hi all, thanks for the great deal of feedback! I didn't expect such reponse in such a short time.

    One of my main factors is quite obviously cost... Nightmare you recommended the Sigma 10-20, I tried a search, can't find an updated price or its otherwise way expensive! Nearly the price of Canon's... the reason I was considering Tokina's 12-24 was because its near 500...and the sharpness seems pretty good.

    I understand that the Zenitar takes about F8 to be sharp, quite a pity really, but it goes for abit above 200... and I was thinking, most of those reviews were for FF, perhaps for a crop body the lens may do well at F5.6? Poor man can't be too fussy sometimes.

    I used to be morbid of fish-eyes last time, I thought i would never never touch it... but only recently I realized that actually full-frame fish eyes do not distort that 'crazily'... and horizons can be perfectly flat if well placed in the center. And can be 'de-fished'. In this case i'm willing to accept resolution loss, since I won't really print my landscape shots anyway, though I'm a super fussy one for my portrait and tele lenses. In short, I'm considering either UWA or Zenitar just to cover up the wide side (so I don't constantly borrow my friend's kit lenses -.-) and have some fun with wide shots. They seem more fun sometimes.

    About the issue of "what effect you want", or I want, I have no idea seriously. I'm not a good landscaper neither do I know anything about FE yet, hah.

    What I was considering though... is whether its worth to put in extra 300 and get the Tokina, since the angle of view is about same... and its sharper, with AF and good at F4. Then again, wide lenses spend little time on my body, they almost never come out of the bag until I reach a really interesting area. (Not very often).

    What I don't like about UWA is that like EF-S lenses, all dust suckers =( But the FE on the other hand, has a difficult to protect front element. Not cool either.

    How how how? Dilemma!
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    save longer, get a lens you really want, instead of collecting one more piece to add to the dry cabinet. if you buy a lens just because it's cheaper, then you won't use it eventually, might as well don't buy.

    call lord's cameras for a price quote, you can try asking for grey version to reduce costs. op also has grey versions of sigma 10-20. i have no idea how the tokina is, but i know that i wanted the widest angle possible and 10mm is significantly different from 12mm.

    you will have to make the decision for yourself really.

  14. #14
    Member tortise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Commonwealth
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    just to share, i obtained a quote from MS color about 1month back for Sigma 10-20mm at $888 inclusive of GST with extended warranty. The Canon 10-22mm costs $930 inclusive GST. That was before the lens price increase. Few weeks back i got a 2nd hand Sigma 10-20mm at $620 in BnS.

    I just posted some shots which i took over the last week in the Abstracts section of the forum, in case you would like to take a look at some shots from this lens.
    Slow...yeah, steady... not really
    My Flickr | APAD2010

  15. #15

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Hm.. Sigh tough decision to make...

    Can anyone tell me whats the main difference between UWA and Fisheye? I know UWA's are made to have little distortion... but what are the artistic implications of these 2 differences? Which lens is better for what style?

    Thanks again!
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Outside the Dry Box.
    Posts
    16,268

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Quote Originally Posted by ombre View Post
    Hm.. Sigh tough decision to make...

    Can anyone tell me whats the main difference between UWA and Fisheye? I know UWA's are made to have little distortion... but what are the artistic implications of these 2 differences? Which lens is better for what style?

    Thanks again!
    just think of it like this... both allow u to say, take a picture of the same distance left to right when standing at the same position, but 1 makes it look flat, but the other makes it look like a big round ball.

    if its me, i prefer fisheye... cos its more versatile to play with, 0.3m minimum focusing and 1.5m to infinity IIRC, i can shoot anything sharp with f2.8 thats 1.5m away, so i can just shoot anything manual focus to infinity.

    UWA will make the sides very distorted... not that the fisheye doesn't but the fisheye should naturally be distorted, since viewing 180 degree in 1 shot, how not to be distorted? the UWA however on the centre is nice and non distorted, but when its going towards the side, the distortion gets more and more 'out of control', very stretched.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  17. #17
    Member tortise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Commonwealth
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    erm...
    if it helps with actual photos, here's what the distortion is like on my UWA.

    photo looking more 'correct' and straight (after correction in photoshop)


    original shot before correction (note how the sides slant away)


    i don't have a fisheye, so can't show you the before/after correction photos.

    HTH
    Slow...yeah, steady... not really
    My Flickr | APAD2010

  18. #18

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to explain the distortions with pictures even. Actually I understand the technicalities of the distortion already... I was just wondering what artistic impact do the distortions imply.

    For instance a few post back tomcat and nightmare gave me the idea that a FE vs UWA will give a different 'feel', and that each has their specialty...

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Many a times, the converted fisheye pic looks better (and wider) than the UWA one... eg.

    Fisheye lenses give a different perspective to the scene and can enhance the visual impact that the photographer wish to portray in his shots especially if it is utilised properly.
    ...
    . If I have taken these shots with a UWA, the visual impact would be a lot different and less.
    http://www.pbase.com/pschia/memphis_graceland
    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    what if you don't need the distortion? like when there is a horizon line, and your distortion doesn't need to be emphasized?

    to be honest, every lens has a positive purpose somewhere, tomcat has used an architectural shot as example, that is where a fisheye lens tends to excel in terms of emphasizing shape and form of curves.

    when it comes to seascapes, where the horizon line is necessarily straight? i am going to say that in that graceland album, half of them would have worked better with a uwa instead, if one has a choice, better to get both to be honest..

    but when it comes to applicability overall, i would suggest the uwa. just an opinion from my own experience, of course everyone's experience and preferences tend to differ.
    These lines I've bold seem to suggest to me that FE and UWA create a different impression of the same object, I assume its due to the distortions... prior to today, I've always thought distortions were bad... but now I learnt something new, just can't figure out why...

    Anyone care to enlighten along these lines?

    Many thanks!
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    Basically, a FE enhances curves. An image with large curvy elements could be visually enhanced if shot with a FE instead of a UWA. A FE would tend to converge and curve vertical lines inwards at the right and left sides of the frame while a UWA would tend to just converge vertical lines steeply giving rise to a strong perspective distortion at the right and left sides of the frame. The Marina Barrage shots taken with both a FE and an UWA from the same position would best illustrate this.


    Fisheye


    UWA

    Compare the appearance of the columns on the left and right sides of both shots. The 'eye' is also rounder in the FE shot than in the UWA shot. The FE and UWA therefore gave different impressions of the same shot. Which one a viewer prefers would depend entirely on his own taste and preference.

    Another shot that illustrate the enhanced visual impact of a FE when shooting curvy subjects is this one...


    It would be really, really difficult to get the same look with a UWA without carrying out extensive post-processing work.

    Of course, if you really must have a straight horizontal lines at the top or bottom of the frame, then a FE is not the right choice of a lens to use. After all, a lens is only a tool to a photographer. You should use the right tool for the right job.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Difficulty choosing... Fisheye vs UWA...

    shots where uwa > fisheye, i.e. when distortion is not desirable, and you need the wide coverage













    you can try imagining these shots with a curved horizon, and see if they work for you.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •