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Nikon fisheye lenses 10.5mm and FC-E8 (link to article)
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:49 am
Fisheyes are some of the most fun, most extreme and most challenging lenses you can work with. Here's an article I wrote, including sample photos and a simple flash animation demonstrating Nikon Capture's rectilinear correction feature:
Enjoy, and feel free to comment.
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:56 pm
Very nice article; I enjoyed it.
I also enjoy fisheye photography; there are numerous examples, mostly full-frame or remapped to panoramas using Panorama Tools, on my Pbase site.
It is worth experimenting with the FC-E8, which is an extremely high quality optic, mounted on a DSLR wideangle lens. I bought a 28mm to 52mm adapter on eBay, jury-rigged a 52-62 adapter that gets the rear element very close to the front element of my 20/2.8 AIS Nikkor (using an empty 62mm filter mount and a 62-52 adapter screwed into the rear of it, with the 52-28 adapter then screwed into the rear of the 62-52 adaptern, now effectively the front), and have done some nice circular fisheye shots. The only problem is that the rig does not focus quite to infinity with the 20 wide open; it has to be stopped down to f/11 or 16 before objects at great distances are sharp, but the whole system is extremely sharp, coping even with the resolution requirements of the D2x. One amazing thing that can be done with this is place the camera flat on the ground pointed up, take a single shot, and use Panorama Tools to unwrap it into a 360 degree panorama. It would work even better with a 6mm fisheye, but I don't think I could justify the purchase price, sadly.
FC-E8 on D2X
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:03 pm
Ross_Alford wrote:It is worth experimenting with the FC-E8, which is an extremely high quality optic, mounted on a DSLR wideangle lens.
Very interesting. I have everything I need, except for the 28 - 52/62mm adapter. Would be interesting to see some photos of your setup (and sample shots). I'd love to try this on my D2X.
Another question: How would this work with a 20mm f/3.5, with its 52mm filter size? You could then get away with only one step up ring..
Thanks for the feedback! Glad you liked it.
Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:12 pm
It would certainly be worth trying with a 20/3.5. It seems to be somewhat unpredictable exactly how well it will work; I have tried with a number of lenses and so far the 20/2.8 is best in terms of focuses almost to infinity and the image circle is big but still entirely within the frame. The 52 to 28 adapter is easy to find on eBay, usually searching for FC-E8 will locate one or two.
I'll try to put together some photos and post them somewhere soon, but it may be a little while as I haave a particularly large number of projects going at once right now.
Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:44 pm
Ross_Alford wrote:It would certainly be worth trying with a 20/3.5. It seems to be somewhat unpredictable exactly how well it will work; I have tried with a number of lenses and so far the 20/2.8 is best in terms of focuses almost to infinity and the image circle is big but still entirely within the frame.
Would be fun to try, but having thought about it I can't defend buying another 20mm just to test this. I can easily see myself spending way too much time and money on this project..
Have you tried any lenses/combinations that will produce a smaller image? Using a D2X, you can do a lot of cropping and still get a result better than the Coolpix can produce. Just a thought.
other focal lengths?
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:55 am
intrigued by this discussion, I put the hood of my 85mm f/1.8 on my AF 20/2.8, lay the camera on its back and slid the FC-E8 in. While the optical alignment was not perfect, I was able to take an all-sky panorama from our rooftop.
20mm seems a little too short, i.e. the image circle is very small. But with my 35mm f/2 the combination would not focus correctly (only very near objects are in focus). And the image circle is already cropped.
Did you try 28mm and 24mm lenses? With which lenses does the FC-E8 NOT work (so I don´t have to try them out...)
This looks as if there is a correllation between focal lenght and the ability to focus to infinity. Maybe due to the amount of necessary retrofocus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrofocus
I am trying to get my hands on a 28mm to try next.
The 28mm to 52mm adapter is already ordered!
thx for the info, I keep you posted on my success
Re: other focal lengths?
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:59 am
Hi Philipp and welcome to the forum! I've visited your web site a few times in the past. Nice to have you with us.
Using a lens hood to "mount" the FC-E8 on a regular lens was a good idea. Thanks for the tip. I just tried this with a HS-10 (for my 85mm f/2) mounted on a Nikkor 28mm f/2. This brings the fisheye pretty close to the front element of the 28mm.
With the lens wide open, the image circle is slightly cropped on top and bottom (not much), and I can't seem to get a sharp image.
I need to stop down to around f/11 to get everything in focus. Stopped down, I get a perfectly round fisheye image, caused by some slight vignetting along the sides of the image circle. This means that you won't see the full image that the fisheye is capable of, but you'll get a relatively sharp, and completely circular image.
I'm not sure if it's a perfect solution (would be interesting to try with a 24mm as well), but it looks like it could work. I've just ordered a 28 to 52mm step down ring to test it properly (bought on eBay from Hong Kong, costing £7.47, incl. shipping).
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:13 pm
yes, we "know" (in the internet way) since the days of hale-bopp, do you remember?
here is the example image:
the fc-e8 was literally resting on the front lens of my 20mm. (the 20mm front element is already scratched, I haven´t had it fixed yet). The sky was very hazy, the light pollution therefore looks much worse than normally.
here is the full resolution version: http://salzgeber.at/articles/fce8/image ... 5_full.JPG
I am looking forward to experimenting with the step-up ring.
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:38 pm
astrograph wrote:yes, we "know" (in the internet way) since the days of hale-bopp, do you remember?
Yes, sure. Now I remember! I even posted one of your images on my Hale-Bopp website (the original URL is gone, but the pages are still out there: http://www.aasland.org/hale-bopp
Your test shot doesn't look too bad. Will be interesting to test with the step down ring.
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:53 am
hmm, it just occured to me that if a lens could be modified to actually focus beyond infinity, focusing with the fc-e8 should be possible...
one would need to disassemble the lens and file off or remove the infinity stop for the focusing mechanism...