Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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The vast bulk of fisheye lenses produced now are targeted at digital image sensors and so they aren't full frame on 35mm film. What are the best fisheye lenses that one can still buy reliably that are full frame on 35mm film? The particular measuring stick I care about would be how wide the aperture can be and maintain a good focus continuously from 1 to 5 feet (how wide can the aperture be and still have a 4 foot depth of field for very near subjects).

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Just so you know "targeted at digital images sensors" and "aren't full frame on 35mm film" aren't really mutually exclusive. There are full frame digital sensors. – rfusca Mar 9 '11 at 21:17
Your measuring stick isn't going to be much help, because depth of field at a certain focus distance is going to be the same at the same aperture and focal length regardless of lens. – mattdm Mar 9 '11 at 21:19
Shouldn't Depth of field should vary from one lens construction to another. I agree that for a single piece of glass type lens depth of field is determined by aperture and focal length, but once there are multiple pieces of glass involved I am pretty sure that is no longer true. – John Robertson Mar 9 '11 at 21:31
In short the answer is "nope, doesn't matter". But I've gone ahead and made that be its own question: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/9624/… – mattdm Mar 9 '11 at 21:53
I feel it my duty to point out that true fisheye lenses are not supposed to be full-frame on any format. If you can't see the whole image circle, then it's one of those new-fangled "full-frame fisheyes" -- which always translated in my mind as "we couldn't correct the barrel distortion on this design, so we changed the label". – user2719 Mar 10 '11 at 7:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

No camera brand was specified but here is the complete list of full-frame fisheyes. It's an easy search from the lens finder and you can use the Refine Result column (orange box) to get results for your mount. Note that there are not that many choices, only one for some mounts.

What you need to pay attention to is the row called Min Focus for these lenses, since you want focus at 1 feet (= 30cm) and some lenses cannot focus that close at all (EDIT: I see that all those actually do). You can use the refinement column again to narrow your results.

For more depth-of-field, you want to stop the lens down to a small aperture (represented by a big number such as F/11 or more), so the maximum aperture won't matter. Another point is that fisheyes have (because of their ultra-short focal-lengths) a huge depth-of-field compared to other lenses.

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