Fisheye lenses are always nice to have in your bag. Though they may not always be applicable, especially for professional work, having a nice fisheye lens adds a certain spice to your photos.
Today, we take a look at this new fisheye lens from Venus Optics Laowa, a circular 4mm lens with 210° angle of view. I don't think anyone has gone wider than that, and honestly, I don't think anyone should.
Build and Design
Output and Angle of View
If it hasn't occurred to you yet, this lens has 210 degrees of vision; that's 30 degrees backwards. Imagine raising your arms to the sides and trying to reach back even farther. That's how wide the angle of view actually is. That means that it's bound to capture on the outermost portion of the photo anything that is in front of the glass. That includes most commonly the grip of your camera and ultimately, your fingers. But don't worry, those details are going to be too minute to be bothersome anyway. This is the consequence of going that wide.
That said, the resulting images are actually quite sharp. At f/5.6, about 85% of the entire image is sharp, 10% moderately sharp, and the outer 5% blurred out. That 5% is actually beneficial to blur out distracting elements in front of the camera anyway.
Ease of Use
A fisheye lens like this is really quite easy to use. As the markings on the focus ring suggest, either you focus on something close (around 0.2 meters) or you focus on everything else (focus to infinity). That means that missing focus really should not be a problem.
What I Liked
- Easy to use
- Small and portable
- Extreme angle of view
- All-metal build
What I Didn't Like
- Frame includes camera grip and photographer's fingers