Lensbaby Circular Fisheye Lens

If you’re reading this on Facebook, make sure to click the link, or you’ll miss some photos, not to mention the whole point of the post.

If there’s one thing I missed following my switch from the big Canon 5D Mk III to the Fujifilm cameras, it’s this:

Tyne Bridges - Fisheye

Tyne Bridges – Fisheye

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Aperture: ƒ/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/320s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 100
Taken: 28 January, 2010

Yes, that ultrawide fisheye lens that captured those lovely circular images. It was a moderately expensive thing which I used only occasionally, but I enjoyed it, and loved those insanely distorted images, and the challenge of keeping myself out of the frame. But it had to go when the 5D went, and so I moved on.

Now I do have the lovely little Samyang fisheye, which creates images like this:

Fisheye Sage

Fisheye Sage

Camera: X-E1
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 26 June, 2013
Location: 54° 58.0836′ 0″ N 1° 36.1358′ 0″ W

and while that’s rather nice, and still offers the opportunity to include my feet and fingers in the image, it’s never been quite the same. So when I saw that Lensbaby, makers of popular “toy” lenses had produced a circular fisheye lens in the Fujifilm X mount, I was interested. I read up on it, saw some sample images, and was even more interested.

Now let’s get one thing clear – this is not the same kind of lens as those made by Fujifilm, which are things of such optical beauty that their eye-watering prices are easily forgiven. It’s not even the same kind of lens as the Samyang. For a start, it’s cheaper – typical UK price is £209 including the dreaded VAT. At that price, it’s obviously not of similar build quality to my old Sigma 8mm, having a plastic mount, and relatively crude focus and aperture dials. It also, quie deliberately, and in a typical Lensbaby move, has a reflective inner barrel, designed to pick up lens flare and reflect parts of the image in a ring around the circular image.

Like the Samyang, it’s strictly manual focus, though as it generally the case with really wide lenses, depth of field tends to be huge, so focus isn’t too much of an issue. I’ve just had a quick play, and I plan to take it to work with me tomorrow so I can take my traditional wide lens test shot.

But for now, here are a few samples of what it can do. Here’s a Dalek (photographer’s foot included at no extra charge):

Exterminate!

Exterminate!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/25s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 30 June, 2015

And here’s a close view of a keyboard:

Fishy keys

Fishy keys

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 30 June, 2015

And, errr, I might use this as my profile picture. I think it’s really captured me nicely….

Selfie!

Selfie!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/110s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 30 June, 2015

I haven’t included the Amazon link I generally use for product reviews as they don’t seem to have the Fujifilm version listed. If you’re in the UK and want to buy one, try Wex Photographic – they’re very good.

One thought on “Lensbaby Circular Fisheye Lens

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