I may be going out on a limb writing about Lensbaby’s new Circular Fisheye lens in a blog that’s read mostly by wedding and portrait photographers, and I admit that Lensbaby lenses are not for every photographer nor for every client. But, sometimes straying from the norm for a handful of shots is fun for you and your client. Even if you never use the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye on a paid shoot, you might enjoy playing with it on your own time.
Of all the Lensbaby lenses, the Circular Fisheye may be the most extreme, but that’s part of its cool factor. The lens is designed for APS-C sized sensors and is available in Nikon F and Canon EF mounts; it will product a smaller image circle on full-frame cameras. The 5.8mm (about 8.7mm 35mm-equivalent) Circular Fisheye has a 185-degree angle of view, can focus as close as 1/4″ (lens-to-subject distance) and has an aperture range of f/3.5 to f/22. And, if you like lens flare—as many wedding and portrait photographers do—the lens’ polished internal barrel makes it easy to add lens flare and interesting image reflections on the outer rim of the circular image.
What’s impressive is that this looks, feels and operates like a standard manual lens. It’s hefty at 10.5 ounces and measures 2.75-inches high and 3-inches wide. In addition to a focus ring, the lens also sports an aperture ring as well as focus distance and hyperfocal scales. Just set your camera to manual exposure or aperture-priority and you’re ready to have some fun. Oh, yeah, you can create some interesting videos with this lens, too.
Price: $300 www.lensbaby.com