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Fisheyes: The Low Down

1/23/2010 6:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/23/2010 6:57 PM

Alright so i've seen a couple of questions on fish eyes so I figured id throw down some stuff about them.



Fisheyes are lenses that give ultra-wide angles and barrel distortion.



Fisheyes normally consist of 3 parts: The shell, Inner Element, & Outter Element. The inner element helps widen out the shot and then the outter element help widen it even more and the outer element is were most of the barrel distortion comes from.



With fisheyes you will get something called vignetting or "vig". This is the black edging you see and this is caused by the shadowing of the multiple elements of glass in your lenses.



To figure out what type of lens you will need you need to check your cameras lens on the front and look for the little circle with a line through it and next to it will say your filter size.



(example: canon vixia series uses 43mm filter size so you would want normally a fisheye thats threaded for a 43mm.)



You dont "have" to get the same size lens as your camera although it helps reduce vignette and in some cases its a must when you are using a smaller size lens on a bigger camera.



Some people like to use say a 37mm fisheye on a camera with a 43mm filter what this does is it sometimes makes the barrel distortion greater. But to do this you need to have a step-down ring. With this though vig is increased.



Other methods of widening or making barrel distortion better is by using spacer rings. These are just rings that litterally space out the lens from the camera.



There are many different fisheye brands, they come in all different prices. The "major" brands now are:



Raynox:They make affordable lenses with decent glass quality. They are used alot on Sony VX's as a substitute for a century death lens since they are about 1/3 the price.

http://www.raynox.com/



Opteka: They make affordable lenses with great lens quality as well and are very well priced. There a new company but have gotten ALOT of recognition in the past year. There most famous for there generic century optics "death lens".

http://opteka.com/...forvideocameras.aspx



Century Optics: They are pretty much the industry standard for fisheyes. They're glass quality is great, but they'll really hit you hard in your wallet.

http://www.amazon.com/...heye&x=0&y=0





Heres some tips for when filming with fisheyes or any other lens attachment:

-Turn steady shot off ( a must or your lens will appear to "move" in your shot )

-Don't keep the camera stationary with a fisheye.

-Try to stay close to your object your filming, but watch out for getting your camera hit

-Keep your lens clean, this is very important. Use a microfiber cloth, and not a t-shirt..the cotton in shirts is abrasive enough to cause scratches.

-Get creative and have fun



One more thing: Don't be lured into buying a fisheye just because it says its a "High Definition lens" There is no such thing, there only designed for HD 16:9, its a trick that many people fall into thinking that the glass they get it on there fisheye is "HD".







I ride 2 wheelers for stacks.

1/23/2010 11:22 PM

Very good post! Thanks for clearing some of this information up for our members.

1/25/2010 12:40 AM

Opteka isnt bad, similar to a Kenko but better.
I own a Kenko and it is pretty horrible/

Trinity Bikes Freestyle Team! Bike Check Nigga!

1/27/2010 7:46 PM

yes very good post! i had an opteka lens on my old camera and it worked out quite nicely. (it even took a plastic bar end right in the center.. lol)

1/28/2010 1:10 PM

century lenses all the way! praise the death lenses.

2/2/2010 7:33 AM

ya pretty much

3/10/2010 10:56 AM

I think i am the only bmx filmer who hates to use fisheye...

3/10/2010 11:10 AM

holy shit bro. very informative. you get +20 points for this haha

Got any questions about my attitude towards riding? Here's a good idea

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3/10/2010 12:28 PM

THank you siR!!!!!

I do stuff and I'm not good at it.

3/10/2010 3:24 PM

i hate fisheyes too, they ruin the shot and make it just look nasty
but nice anyways on the post

3/10/2010 3:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2010 9:57 AM

alex08 wrote: i hate fisheyes too, they ruin the shot and make it just look nasty
but nice anyways on the post

all depends on the fisheye you use... the baby deaths are very nice look at this video for example. (watch in HD)

http://vimeo.com/10545291?hd

you can call me Paulo...
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3/13/2010 9:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/13/2010 9:41 AM

ChrisWilmshurst wrote: I think i am the only bmx filmer who hates to use fisheye...

But when a fisheye is used properly you can't beat it. I feel like there are very few bmx filmers that really know how to use a fish. Tony Ennis is a prime example of how a fish should look.







I'm normally not one to post bnqt stuff. But, this video is done to well and a prime example of how you should film fish.

3/14/2010 4:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/14/2010 2:01 PM

I don't know terrell. That just looked like every other skateboard video to me. I feel a fisheye is a quick solution to filming.



People should take the time to plan out filming. a line etc.



I know in a big majority of those clips a fisheye were necessary due to the long lines on those ledges.

3/14/2010 8:10 AM

ChrisWilmshurst wrote: I don't know terrell. That just looked like every other skateboard video to me. I feel a fisheye is a quick solution to filming.



People should take the time to plan out filming. a line etc.



I know in a big majority of those clips a fisheye were necessary due to the long lines on those ledges.

This dude knows whats up, I feel the same way, most of the time a filmer just uses a fisheye because he's too damn lazy to film something with a little flare..

I ride 2 wheelers for stacks.

3/17/2010 9:09 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/17/2010 9:10 AM

ChrisWilmshurst wrote: I don't know terrell. That just looked like every other skateboard video to me. I feel a fisheye is a quick solution to filming.



People should take the time to plan out filming. a line etc.



I know in a big majority of those clips a fisheye were necessary due to the long lines on those ledges.

I dunno man, fisheyes are only the quick way out if you don't know what your doing with it. I think it is almost more difficult to film a proper fisheye angle then it is longlens. You gotta look at it as a tool for filming. Fisheyes exaggerate reality, make that rail look longer, that drop look bigger, the jump farther, etc. and when you don't use it right it does the exact opposite and can kill a shot. But, when put in the right hands you get feeling of excitement, like that rail is to big to be true, that air was way to high. We are making films (short ones at times), we are allowed to stretch reality to wherever we want to make a trick or line look as we please. If everything clip was an overly thought out long lens I think you would be bored to death by the end of the video.



While we aren't skateboarders, I do think we share many characteristics with their filming. Look at the Nike AM video. It is probably one of the best videos to date for filming whether it's skateboarding, BMX, rollerblading, skooters, whatever. Jason Hernandez is one of the best filmers of all time. For him, every shot has a purpose, there was a thought process that went into it, why a shot is the way it is. And while he kills long lens stuff, his fisheye stuff is what shines and separates him from everyone else. Even he says he works the hardest on making his fisheye stuff look good. Most of the time BMX is playing catch up with skateboarding anyways. I think that more people should look towards skateboarding for inspiration. The average bmx video is so below par of anything that would acceptable in skateboarding production wise. Just think, the last 3 bigger budget BMX videos were basically flops, yet the last 3 bigger budget skateboarding videos changed the industry. Food for thought I guess.



Back to the real topic, when used correctly I think that a fisheye can be one of the most valuable tools is your bag of filming tricks. And when it is properly executed it can make your next project go from just your next project to something memorable with a lasting impression on it's viewers. And that's my opinion on the topic.

4/13/2010 11:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/13/2010 11:39 PM

While I do agree that skateboarding videography in general is ahead of bmx videography, I'd say that's just a matter of how many more videographers there are in skateboarding, in turn causing them all to improve themselves at a somewhat exponentially faster rate than those in bmx, due to them constantly communicating with one another and criticizing each other mainly through the resource skateperception.com, something that I admittedly wish BMX had a worthy counterpart to. Whereas in BMX, I'd assume there around 20 videographers who are actually committed to trying to make quality works, and the community for them is so tightly-knit that we all somewhat know each other, and there isn't much constructive criticism going on.



As far as fisheye shots go, I can agree with both Chris and Terrell. There have been times when I get to a spot I've never been to before, and can't really think of a creative shot for. In that scenario, the fisheye is the easiest way out in terms of capturing the trick and making it look good without having to put much forethought into it. Conversely, there have been shots I've envisioned beforehand about a spot that included a fisheye and a number of other elements included in order to make the shot look exactly how I want, so a fisheye definitely isn't always an easy way out. In the end, it just comes down to how you use your tools. It's really up to you to make the basic equipment you have at your disposal to create something amazing.



4/20/2010 12:08 PM

i have a sony HDR XR200 and i dont know much about cameras but when i had no wide angle lense it was zoomed in for some reason and when i put the wide angle on it was zoomed out and wider angle i loved it! i use a thread on fisheye for my nikon

fuck trends

4/21/2010 3:08 PM

johnhicks wrote: While I do agree that skateboarding videography in general is ahead of bmx videography, I'd say that's just a matter of how many more videographers there are in skateboarding, in turn causing them all to improve themselves at a somewhat exponentially faster rate than those in bmx, due to them constantly communicating with one another and criticizing each other mainly through the resource skateperception.com, something that I admittedly wish BMX had a worthy counterpart to. Whereas in BMX, I'd assume there around 20 videographers who are actually committed to trying to make quality works, and the community for them is so tightly-knit that we all somewhat know each other, and there isn't much constructive criticism going on.



As far as fisheye shots go, I can agree with both Chris and Terrell. There have been times when I get to a spot I've never been to before, and can't really think of a creative shot for. In that scenario, the fisheye is the easiest way out in terms of capturing the trick and making it look good without having to put much forethought into it. Conversely, there have been shots I've envisioned beforehand about a spot that included a fisheye and a number of other elements included in order to make the shot look exactly how I want, so a fisheye definitely isn't always an easy way out. In the end, it just comes down to how you use your tools. It's really up to you to make the basic equipment you have at your disposal to create something amazing.



there is accually a bmxperception.com but its not nearly as good as SP.

I ride 2 wheelers for stacks.

6/7/2010 7:26 PM

im sick of seeing kids super glueing peepholes to their flip video camera or whatever they`re using haha

Anti-scooter dude. Ride for life.

8/3/2010 2:24 PM

i like that video kingshawty posted...doesn't look too distorted or "stretched"

8/13/2010 10:45 PM

if there is one bmx company that is ahead of everyone else in filming(and editing), it would definitely have to be Mutiny, seriously every one of their videos are a fuckin epic piece of art, heres a couple of their edits, remember to watch in FULL HD haha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb3lGdFD-LM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy6p9PB_fAU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD_rtK_8lP4

oh and this one isnt mutiny but also is amazing....ya i know this is a lot of videos haha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCRixobt8k8&feature=related

8/29/2010 3:06 AM

Can we get a fisheye guide for D-SLRs?

FTW!


I'm cooler than a polar bear's toes.

12/7/2010 3:29 PM

so if i get a fisheye with the same size as the camera lens will there still be that vig. or not. and if i want to get rid of all the vig. do i get a bigger size?

1/15/2011 1:23 AM

bmxkid192 wrote: so if i get a fisheye with the same size as the camera lens will there still be that vig. or not. and if i want to get rid of all the vig. do i get a bigger size?

you zoom in a little. most times the vignette only shows when zoomed completely out.

trails are not skateparks, they exist solely from the work and dedication of local riders. so next time you start complaining about not having local trails to ride, you only need look at yourself.
Bike check?

4/11/2011 6:19 AM

great post! i have an opteka platinum and its pretty sick

Mothaducker.

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Go to my channel, sub, and click a couple of the ads, would be mightily appreciated!

6/22/2011 1:33 PM

I think fisheyes ruin films when... they are used used for an entire edit and/or they are cheap quality glass, not well looked after etc.
I think that there is a time and a place for fisheye lenses and I completely agree with Achin 4 Bacon that they shouldn't be used in static clips, but when fisheyes are used correctly I think they can elevate the level of a video in conjuction with standard lens shots. It is also personal preference since when I have a real job and the cash flow I'm investing in a 60d and then a Samyang 8mm fisheye, at the moment I film on compact camera which does the job I guess at the moment but I apsire to make better films.
Good examples of well filmed edits, which I'm pretty sure have some fisheye footage in are Mike KIng, John Young, Dylan Pfohl, Will Stroud, Oton Bacar and whoever the fuck films the Mutiny videos. These people consistently impress me with their films.

10/27/2011 10:21 PM

If anybody is shooting HDSLR highly recommend samyang 8mm f3.5 fisheye or any 8mm f3.5 fisheye that looks like it on amazon, same thing different brand....
Bower 8mm F3.5 Fisheye
Bower 8mm f3.5 Fisheye Raw
bottom picture is a raw unedited file showing colors and sharpness, pretty good if you ask me! this was shot with a canon T1i

you can call me Paulo...
Flickr
*Vital's official Filipino!*

12/7/2011 9:20 PM

I hate fish eyes

5/1/2012 7:27 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxpzDpZF1To&feature=g-all-c What u think its a opteka o.43x hd lens

11/26/2012 7:19 AM

bmxray wrote: I hate fish eyes

Cool bro
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