Create a magical world with a fisheye lens

Shooting with the effect of a magic mirror: a world in which everything that's straight becomes crooked, and in which perspective is taken completely out of context. A completely different perspective, that's the effect of a fisheye lens. Creative, a gimmick, or can you work with it professionally? And when you choose a fisheye lens, what do you look for? Read all about it in this article.

What is a fisheye? | When do I buy a fisheye? | Buying a fisheye: what should I look for? | Pros and cons | Which brand?

What is a fisheye lens?

When you take pictures with a fisheye lens, they will stand out immediately. It creates an alienated world in which everything close by seems huge and everything further away appears tiny. A fisheye lens has a large angle of view, with as much as 180 degrees of view. As a result, you really have to keep an eye on what's in the image while shooting.

A fisheye lens is a super wide-angle lens with a short focal length, the distortions are created due to the wide-angle view. Since the 1960s, this type of lens has been produced on a large scale for both consumer and scientific applications.

The fisheye lens is known for its spherical lens, which ensures curves in the image field. As a result, images produced are distorted and differ completely from the reality. This distortion is useful when you want to record architecture, landscapes or means of transport in one image.

For lenses with an image angle of 180 degrees or more, it is even possible to record the entire sky dome in one photo.

The possibilities of fisheye lenses are endless and realy force you to think outside the box. Get creative and go super-wide! Ready to purchase? Continue the article for some tips before buying.

When do I buy a fisheye lens?

As with any lens, it is an artistic choice of the photographer. A fisheye lens gives you an unique effect in your photography. When shooting a portrait, for example, choose to stand slightly above your subject. The fisheye lens makes the head appear big and the body small. This allows you to be infinitely creative.

Another way of recording beautiful images is by combining buildings which already have curves with straight lines from surrounding buildings. When you want to capture a very wide composition, the fisheye lens can offer the solution, because it works with a larger angle of view than the standard wide-angle lens.

Buying a fisheye lens: what should I look for?

There are two types of fisheye lenses, the circular lens and the diagonal lens. The first fisheye lens that was developed, was the circular lens. The lens is capable of projecting 180-degree images as a circle in the camera frame. The subjects are given a distorted image and are enveloped by a black surface. The typical well-known fisheye look.

With the diagonal fisheye lenses, the complete image is used to display the projection. This results in even more pixels being utilized, which results in less bulbous formation in the photos. This type of fisheye lens is effective for recording cityscapes, the interior of buildings and performances in concert halls.

"A fisheye lens is a super wide-angle lens with a short focal length, the distortions are caused by the large angle view."

Pros and cons at a glance


An advantage of the perspective of a fisheye lens is that the distortions give precisely the effect with which images become a whole. A fisheye lens is ideal in a situation where a large area needs to be captured. This is due to the wide angle of view of the lens. The huge angle of view and brightness also make the fisheye ideal for Astrophotography.


Despite the images looking strange, the fisheye lens corresponds with the perspective from the lens of the human eye. The only difference is that our field of vision is only limited to one angle of about 45 degrees and therefore the reduced image of a fisheye lens does not feel realistic. Also, a fisheye lens is not suitable for serious portraits because of the distortions.

Which brand will you choose?

Do you want a particular brand? We have several top brands:

Samyang | Meike | Laowa | 7artisans

Canon RF 5.2mm F/2.8L Dual Fisheye
  • Dual fisheye lens
  • ultra-sharp 180° VR content
  • F/2.8 - F/16
View here

Kenko Realpro Fisheye Lens Clip Black
  • Suitable for most smartphones
  • Easy to use
  • Multilayer coated
View here

Olympus Body Lens 9mm F8.0 Fisheye
  • Lens cap and a fisheye lens
  • Viewing angle: 140°
  • Unbelievably thin and compact
View here

Not what you're looking for? Check out all our fisheye lenses here.

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