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The Role of Fisheye Lenses

Fisheye camera lens is a type of lens with a very short focal length and a viewing angle close to or equal to 180°. It has a focal length of 16mm or shorter. It is an extremely wide-angle lens and is usually referred to as a fisheye camera lens. In order to achieve maximum photographic viewing angle, the front lens diameter of this lens is shaped like a parabola protruding forward, which is very similar to a fish's eye. Therefore, it is called a fisheye camera lens.

The Main Function of Fisheye Lenses

The main function of a fisheye camera lens is that it offers a wide viewing range, usually up to 220° or 230°, which creates conditions for shooting a wide range of scenes up close. Second, it can produce very strong perspective effects, emphasizing the contrast up close and making the images incredibly attractive. Third, it has a very long depth of field, which is advantageous for displaying the long depth of field effect of a photo. Fisheye lenses produce two images, one like other lenses and the other circular. No matter which type of imaging, the fisheye camera lens image is quite striking and has a strong sense of perspective. So it is often used as a special effect lens, stretching an arm toward the fisheye camera lens can make it look twice as long. For example, Wong Kar-wai's Fallen Angels (1995) uses a lot of fisheye lenses.

When using fisheye lenses, you can achieve:

  • Interesting foregrounds that can create a strong visual impact;

  • A depth of field range that can go from a few centimeters to infinity;

  • Choose as few lines and surfaces as possible as the shooting object; when composing the image, try to place the shooting object in the center of the image to minimize distortion;

  • Conversely, selecting as many horizontal lines and easily recognizable objects as possible at the edges of the picture can maximize the distortion effect;

  • Pay attention to the edges of the viewfinder when framing the shot to see if the photographer's hands, feet, camera strap or the photographer themselves are in the shot, so as not to affect the artistic effect of the image;

  • Common color filters cannot be used with most fisheye lenses;

  • It can be used to create panoramic images based on real scenes, and is widely used in entertainment, real estate, museums, schools and other institutions for promotional display projects. Google Maps' street view feature can also use it.

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