I am interested in taking an image which has an appearance like a convex lens.

The image has a distinct feature: a noticeable bulge in the center and tapering at the edges.

Here is a link to a sample image which I found in Facebook: Sample convex lens image

So, I plan to take similar photograph. How do I do it?

I own a Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd camera.

  • can you clarify if you'd like to modify a picture to have this appearance after the fact (as the "software" tag implies), or would like to take pictures like this right out-of-camera, or if you don't care either way? – mattdm Jul 1 '11 at 20:05
  • After seeing the responce and with my camera, I think without a lens it wouldn't be possible to take such picture. So I am trying to do it GIMP software – www.sapnaedu.in Jul 3 '11 at 23:22

I used to take a lot of pictures like that and you have the same make of camera as me. The Fuji Finepix doesn't have interchangeable lenses so it's not as easily done as on other SLRs where you just buy a new super-wide lens.

I used a fisheye adapter that screws onto the front filter thread of the camera. This is a 0.42 times converter so a 30mm lens becomes a 18.6mm lens. The adapter is not too expensive so is a cheap option for people who can't afford a dedicated fish-eye lens. However, it is not as optically perfect as the dedicated lens would be. You may find it a little soft at the edges and there is quite pronounced vignetting, sometimes producing an almost round image.

The picture below is one of mine. In this shot I put the horizon dead centre so it wouldn't distort but you can see the bending effect on the trees. Simply moving the horizon up or down in the frame will cause it to bend like the photo you linked to. Trossachs in Scotland.

  • Nice pic.. Thanks for your help. Hopefully I will be able to take some picture like that one day. – www.sapnaedu.in Jul 3 '11 at 23:19

That's a fisheye lens (or a simulation thereof -- I didn't look very closely).

You can get fisheye lenses for most SLRs. I'm not sure about one for your Finepix though. I believe there are some wide-angle converters around, but I'm not sure 1) if there's one to fit that particular camera, 2) how well they work in general, or 3) whether any even attempt to give nearly that wide a view anyway.

You can simulate a fisheye in software fairly easily, though the exact quality varies fairly widely. Just for example, Hugin will let you enter lens parameters to describe its distortion. This is intended to be used to remove the distortion, but if you enter the right values, you can just as easily use it to produce distortion.

  • Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, as you said, my camera does not support it. I tried doing post/processing with GIMP software. Didn|t turn out as I wanted but nonetheless it wasn't bad. – www.sapnaedu.in Jul 3 '11 at 23:18

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