A fisheye lens is quite specialised and not generally used for every day photography due to its highly distorted imagery. However it’s extremely wide angle of view is very useful in some applications.
why is it called a fisheye lens?
The term fisheye was coined in 1906 by American physicist and inventor Robert W. Wood based on how a fish would see an ultra wide hemispherical view from beneath the water.
How was a Fisheye lens originally used?
Their first practical use was in the 1920s for use in meteorology. Formerly known as “whole sky lenses,” they were originally used to study cloud formations because of their extreme wide angle of view. Mass produced fisheye lenses for photography first appeared in the early 1960s.
How is a fisheye lens used Today?
These lens have high distortion, but there are a few ways to use a fisheye lens effectively. Favorites are landscape and travel photography. With an angle of view between 100 and 180 degrees, it will allow you to capture panoramic photos of landscapes, architectural buildings, and urban settings.
Fisheye lenses are also great for getting shots that you’d otherwise miss. Let’s say you’re shooting a city from the perspective of a rooftop. Using any other lens, it would be almost impossible to fit a whole city in your frame, but a fisheye len will distort the scene so it works. Plus, the distorted lines will add drama and meaning to your photo. The key is to use the curves to attract the viewer and draw their attention to a specific part of your photo.
The use of fisheye lenses in science
Fisheye lenses are also used in highly specialized scientific photography areas to study plant canopy geometry, to calculate near-ground solar radiation and for recording aurora and meteors. A common use is peephole door viewers to give the user a wide field of view.