Geek alert: If you don't own a slr I suggest you pass on lens discussions such as the following.
Nikon's 10.5 fisheye is a sharp and fast lens that captures a small space like no other DX lens. About the size of a 50/1.4d, there is always room for it in the bag.
But being DX, it begs the question, how useful is it on a full-frame (FX) body? DX lenses, especially the shorter focal lengths, don't fill the FX frame. Some shave off this lens' built-in hood, but I'm a little hesitant to taking a saw to it.
To test it, I tried it on a succulent's flower. Close focus is a very small 6 inches -- the smallest of any lens in my bag. You can almost touch what you are shooting and still get focus.
Conclusion? I'm more than happy with the results on FX. Here are three images: the original (with the black outline), a light crop, and a heavy crop. Hand-held at f/9, ISO 560, 1/60 sec. Click on each image to open it up in a separate window.
I don't find it hard to choose the color of some things, like say a car or a lawnmower. Bright red, please. Or bright blue. But wall paint is different. There are so many choices of color, and so many choices of white. Making a decision is hard, and my choice changes depending on the light and the context. The paint sheen and the wall texture also factor in. So I bring home color swatches, lay them out, rank them, then narrow them down to a few from which I make my final pick.
As you can probably guess, I am repainting the interior of my house. It was built in 2004. Rooms on the first floor are largely sheet rock, so there is a lot of wall and ceiling with paint. The upper floors have wood ceilings and more glass, so less to paint. Until last fall it was all original paint, and all one color, a warm white.
So last fall I began. I painted the bath rooms in pure white gloss. Sounds boring but I like it. Next I painted the first-floor rooms in cool whites with flat white ceilings. After a break from painting, I resumed painting and have just finished the first floor hallway plus the stairs to the second floor. I have a lot of work riding on my color choice, especially the stairs with all the paint-wood interfaces.
The accompanying picture is of the first floor, and includes a bench that I also just painted. Unfortunately, after a coat of primer and three of red, the bench's color didn't turn out like I wanted so I'm to pick another. I want it bright red, just not this particular bright red.
The photo was taken with a 10.5mm fish eye lens, which should explain the distortion that is especially pronounced on the right and left sides. Shot at 0.5 sec, f/10, ISO 220, then cropped as the lens is DX whereas the sensor is FX.
I've been preoccupied with fisheyes of late and here is one more, an example of a fisheye shot that doesn't look like a fisheye shot. The key is to place the horizon in the middle of the frame and pick a subject that has no clear verticals or horizontals. A rocky beach such as this works perfectly.
But what a beautiful ride this is, eerily silent, just fluffy snow below and mountain peaks all around. The cable is called the Valle Blanche aerial tramway and it runs between the Aiguille du Midi in France and Pointe Helbronner in Italy. The tiny glass cars ride a 5 km-long cable, one of the highest and longest in the world, as they pass over a glacier dotted with ant-trails of mountain climbers.
I'm listening to Moby's Porcelain.
Its one thing for me to flush a toilet without knowing how it operates, and another for me to favor (or oppose) an immigration ban without knowing what Im talking about. Elizabeth Kolbert, Why facts don't change our minds
It seems a rule among camera manufacturers, at least all but Olympus and Panasonic, to use a proprietary lens mount. But there can be an escape from this lock in since some lens mounts can be adapted to work with a body expecting a different mount. Whether this will work depends on where the lens places its focus point.
My goal was to see if I could use a Nikon fish eye on a Fuji. The Nikon is designed for the same sensor size so I thought perhaps an adapter could save me the cost of a new lens.
Here is why some lenses can be adapted. Every lens focuses to a plane that is outside of the lens itself, it is where the sensor is positioned. If a foreign lens focuses too far into the camera body, behind the sensor, a spacer can be added to hold the lens away from the body, just enough to absorb this extra distance. But if the lens doesnt focus far enough into the body youre screwed, the lens won't work.
This distance, from the sensor to the body's lens mount, is the flange focal distance. Fuji's flange focal distance is 17.7mm whereas Nikon's is 46.5mm so a Nikon lens should work on a Fuji body (though not vice versa).
Since the base of a Nikon lens needs to be 46.5mm away from the camera sensor and the Fuji body provides only 17.7mm, it takes a 28.8mm spacer to position the Nikon at the correct distance from the sensor. Sure enough, there are several available adapters, ranging in price from about $50 (the K&F Concept shown in the pictures below) to almost $500.
I'm showing this 2014 photo as an example of why I like a fisheye. I bumped into it while looking for a photo of Mt Etna, it's erupting right now and it's quite view able from Castelmola.
The picture was taken from a patio near Castelmola, Italy, using the 10.5 lens on a full frame Nikon. The photo shows the path we'd just walked up, starting from Taormina which is the town just visible in the upper right. Taormina is located about half-way up the side of this mountain. It's an eye-candy town, every where you look it's pretty.
An alternative is to make a panorama but each has its pluses and minuses. The fisheye doesn't need stitching and it captures one moment in time but it's distorted. A panorama has less distortion but takes time to process and the components of the shot are captured at different points in time.
Coming up: testing the lens.
After a couple weeks shooting the Nikon 10.5 on the Fuji I'd say the combination works well, so well I might even take it on my next trip. But I'm not saying using any adapted lens is a cakewalk. It just so happens that this particular lens' strengths hide the adapter's weaknesses, which are the lack of auto focus and a poorly marked aperture control.
So why is this lens so well suited for this application? Even if you don't have the lens and the body you can go to dofmaster.com to run the numbers, and they show that this lens is going to be easy to use.
Let's try it out. Choose an APS-C body such as Fujifilm x100, x-pro1, select the 10.5mm focal length, a f/2.8 aperture, and then enter a subject distance of 2m. The results show something interesting: everything between 0.99m and infinity should be in focus.
Now change the subject distance to 2000m, which would be infinity on the lens. Dofmaster shows depth of field is 1.95m to infinity. In other words, if you just leave the lens on infinity and don't touch the aperture ring you'll get everything in focus from 6 feet to infinity. As a touristy landscape lens this pretty much covers most of my needs for a fisheye.
Mind you, If I didn't have the Nikon I'd buy the Fuji-mount Rokinon 8mm. Like the Nikon it's a fish eye and strictly manual focus, but unlike the adapter it offers a marked aperture ring. Even though you can shoot all day at 2.8 it seems a little odd to me not to step down a bit on a sunny day.
I'm in Ubud, staying with friends for a few days after which I'll be off on my own. This morning I woke early to the sound of ducks of roosters. Scroll past the maps to the photos which were taken from my bedroom deck.
Why is it that if you buy a camera you are a photographer whereas if you buy a violin you own a violin. Anonymous
While my friends Bill and Emily have been exemplary hosts I thought it best to move on, that whole fish and guests and how both stink after a few days.
So this morning I packed up, walked 15 minutes south on Jalan Kjeng to Starbucks, turned left on the main drag Jalan Raya Ubud, walked three blocks, then walked north about 15 minutes to a house on Jalan Sri Wedari.
My new lodging is a spacious 2 bedroom 2 bath house with a big kitchen, a large outdoor bathroom, a patio and deck, and a shared pool. More room than I need: I've room for guests should anyone want to jump a plane. Just be aware the whole island of Bali will be closed - and I mean literally closed, streets, sidewalks, airport, everything - this coming Tuesday. More on that later.
The house, or villa as they say in Bali, is in a complex of houses with a shared staff that takes care of housekeeping, gardening, security, and whatever else needs doing. Like breakfast: each morning someone will come cook me breakfast, then clean up. Nice, eh? I'm thinking labor is cheap. This multi-house, shared-staff model is common here.
Unfortunately, between moving and shopping for groceries at the Coco mart and accompanying Emily on another property inspection, between all this I didn't take any interesting photos so instead I've some uninteresting ones of where I'm staying.
I'm listening to Pangkur from Gamelan music of the Jasmine isle. And I'm reading A House in Bali, the Canadian composer Colin McPhee's story of his life and the music of Bali in the 30's. McPhee's pre-tourism Bali is quite different from present-day Bali, but the culture he describes is still here, and you still hear the distinctive trance-like Gamelan music.
There are two roads that pass near my house. One is wide enough for a couple of cars but the second, the one in this photo, is foot and scooter only.
My house is hidden behind the trees on the right. This rice paddy has a few really loud bull frogs.