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I want to experiment a little with fisheye lens and ultra wide angle. But I don't want to spend a lot of money on something I don't know if I will be using. Are this lenses OK for experimenting and get the taste of fisheye photography? Or should I save my money and get a real lens?

The lens I'm talking about is this. I will be using it with a Canon EOS 550D with the 18-55 kit lens.

Thanks.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's probably worthwhile for experimenting, but it likely won't give you the same quality or experience as a regular fisheye lens.

One option if you're looking to minimize cost while you experiment is to rent a lens... most larger cities have at least one camera shop that does rentals and there are also online rental outfits such as LensRentals.com or BorrowLenses.com

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If you buy a fish-eye you will use it, I promise!

I got mine just over a year ago, and contrary to popular opinion, I have not grown tired of sticking my (Nikon 10.5mm DX fisheye) lens 3cm from my subject, but still capturing the whole atmosphere of the scene!

I love mine so much: really really would recommend getting a 'proper' one!

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ouch, quite expensive... –  Andrei Rinea Oct 18 '11 at 12:10
    
@AndreiRinea: totally worth it! –  James Oct 19 '11 at 9:17

I've used one of those extensions lenses, don't expect any high quality images, but it can be fun to use and experiment.

Some sample pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davylandman/sets/72157624314644716/

One important thing is to set the metering to the center, else your photo's will look strange, luckily I shoot raw, so I can correct white-balance afterward, but the exposure is something to watch while making a picture.

But sure, get one to try it out, watching ebay might even get you a cheaper version of the same filter. (I payed about €40 via ebay)

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Maybe not excellent, but good quality, well-built and really cheap lens is Samyang 8mm f3.5 Fish-Eye. As I say it's not as good as system fishes, but I think image quality will be better than with ultra-wide converter. Oh, and it's dedicated for APS-C sensors so it's fine for your 550D, but don't take it if you're planning to go FF.

Here's a link to amazon

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I'm also considering a Peleng lens. It's fully manual, but it looks like a fun lens. –  Carles Nov 13 '10 at 9:18
    
I used one of those. It's fully manual, but if you set it at f8 and focus it on the hyperfocal distance, you will have quite a lot in focus, and not much to worry about :) –  JoséNunoFerreira May 3 '12 at 11:06

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