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Posts Tagged ‘fisheye lens’

Bullfrog Among Lily Pads on Horseshoe Lake Nikon D800 (with 1.5 sensor crop activated), Sigma EX DG f2.8 15mm Fisheye Lens ISO 800, f8 @ 1/60 sec

Bullfrog Among Lily Pads on Horseshoe Lake
Nikon D800 (with 1.5 sensor crop activated), Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens
ISO 800, f8 @ 1/60 sec

Without a doubt my most often go-to lens for Bullfrog in the wetland on Horseshoe Lake is my Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, and more often than not I select the Nikon D800’s 1.5 sensor crop when creating these images. By selecting the 1.5 sensor crop I am effectively using a 22mm fisheye lens with a close focusing distance of 5.5 inches. The close focusing capabilities of the Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens are hard to beat when it comes to creating these Bullfrog portraits. To view a larger selection of my fisheye imagery on the Sigma Canada website please click here.

Please remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

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Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along the Rugged Fitness Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

I did another scouting trip along the Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario. This wonderful trail follows the shoreline of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The Georgian Bay shoreline is noted for its impressive rock formations. You can see a touch of fall color starting to show in the trees along the trail. I will be visiting here again very soon to photograph the peak colors of Autumn. My scouting trips have been conducted to note the best spots along the trail so that when I return I will no exactly where I want to be. In the photo above I use the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens  (my new favorite landscape lens)as I lay flat on the rock, resting my elbows on the granite for added stability, while I created the handheld image.

Rugged Fitness Trail Along Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 second

Rugged Fitness Trail Along Georgian Bay, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/125 sec

I could not resist using the fisheye lens again to create a rounded perspective of this granite ‘staircase’ as it makes it way out into Georgian Bay. When a fisheye lens is pointed downward the horizon will become rounded, this makes me feel as though I am seeing the curvature of this planet. While this look is not everybody’s cup of tea, I think it is pretty cool 🙂

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Granite Rock Formation Along Georgian Bay Coast on the Rugged Fitness Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200, f16 @ 1/100 sec

Once again I used the fisheye lens to create another rocky scene along the trail. The Sigma fisheye lens focuses down to 5.5 inches, which can be very effective at emphasizing foreground elements such as this wonderful granite formation covered with orange lichens. Note that there is very little distortion to this image as I held the lens perfectly square with the world to minimize the distortion causing properties of the lens.

Please remember to click on each photo to see the larger, sharper version.

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American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/100 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/100 sec

One of my favorite ways to photograph smaller critters with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens is to utilize the sensor crop feature on the Nikon D800. For each of the images in this post I selected the DX 1.5 crop. which is the sensor size of  DSLRs with the APS-C size sensors. When this crop is selected the 15mm fisheye lens becomes the 35mm equivalent of 22mm. Considering that the Sigma fisheye lens already focuses down to 5.5 inches once the sensor crop is selected you have a very effective tool for creating up-close-and-personal portraits of small critters that also give a sense of the habitat in which these critters live. Do note that the Sigma Fisheye lens will focus almost twice as close as the Nikon 16mm Fisheye Lens and for the type of imagery I like to create with the fisheye perspective this is what makes the Sigma lens such an important tool that now follows me everywhere I go 🙂

Here are a few American Toad images and one Spotted Salamander photo that were created a couple of weeks ago while exploring the woodlands for toads and salamanders. You may note that the salamander only has one eye, which is either a deformity or a past injury now healed. I purposely photographed the good side in hopes of hiding the closed eye. Interestingly enough I photographed this same salamander last fall, so the deformity allows me to monitor this particular one, which resides beneath a log on the cottage property at Horseshoe Lake.

Please do remember to click on each of the photos to view the larger, sharper versions.

American Toad on Haircap Moss. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/250 sec

American Toad on Haircap Moss. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/250 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f 2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/40 sec

American Toad. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f 2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/40 sec

Spotted Salamander. Nikon D800, SIgma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/160 sec

Spotted Salamander. Nikon D800, SIgma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 1250, f11 @ 1/160 sec

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Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/100

On the afternoon of August 22nd as a storm was approaching I ventured over to the North Shore Rugged Fitness Trail in Parry Sound, Ontario with the fisheye lens. This was my first visit to this section of the Georgian Bay shoreline and it will most certainly not be my last. In fact, I am planning to organize some landscape workshops at this location – stay tuned for more info on this. Georgian Bay is noted for its spectacular and photogenic scenery – a photographer’s paradise. The rugged and rocky terrain  has been carved by glaciers and battered by waves, which have led to some very cool rock formations and patterns. During my visit I had a blast using my new Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens for an up-close and personal look at some of the splendid vistas I encountered. For the image above I had to precariously position myself and my feet to avoid seeing my toes on the bottom edge. Below are a few additional images, all created with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye lens.

Each of the images in this post received a touch of Nik’s Detail Extractor Tool from Color Efex 4. I will often use this tool on photographs that do have a significant amount of rugged and rocky terrain in them as it helps give the rock a nice boost in details.

Please remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version. And please take a moment to let me know which is your favorite.

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 200 – f16 @ 1/125

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline, Parry Sound, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens, ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

As you can see in the above image, the sun came out and created a somewhat harsher than desired light on the scene. I did however feel that it was not all that bad, but that it would also be perfect for creating a black and white conversion with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 f16 @ 1/100

Georgian Bay Shoreline Parry Sound, Ontraio. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. ISO 100 – f16 @ 1/100

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Winter Wheat_487Winter Wheat Field near Thornton, Ontario

As mentioned in my previous post I recently spent a week photographing with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens that was on loan to me from Gentec International, the Canadian distributor of Sigma Lenses. I had a ton of fun using this lens and the creative possibilities that it offered me were virtually endless. I enjoyed using the lens to capture bullfrogs, landscapes, water lilies, rusty old wrecks, and waterfalls too. In fact, I photographed roughly 1,500 images with this lens during the week in which I used it. The main subject I sought to photograph with the lens was the bullfrogs on Horseshoe Lake, in the Parry Sound region of Ontario. I will share many more of these with you in future posts.

The Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens is a diagonal fisheye lens in that the scene is shown full frame within the field of view. Circular fisheye lenses are shown as a circular image within the field of view. Fisheye lenses are noted for their extreme wide angles with significant visual distortion. Yes, distortion can be your friend when used creatively. When a fisheye lens is pointed downwards the field of view will have a convex appearance and when pointed upwards a concave look. This aspect of the fisheye lens creates unique perspectives and intriguing effects on a wide variety of subjects. I personally love the rounded look that can be achieved as it resembles our planet, which is round.

Bullfrog_8922Male Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

This lens was an outstanding performer for the bullfrogs that I sought as it has a close focusing distance of 5.9 inches. Nikon’s version will only focus down to a tad over 10 inches, while the Canon equivalent will focus to slightly more than 8 inches. That’s a huge variance when you are photographing smaller subjects.The lens was used on my Nikon D800 where I was able to play around with the sensor crop features of the camera to capture both full frame and 1.5 sensor crop images. The latter was useful for images such as the one above, while the former captured the bigger picture seen below.

Bullfrog_9257Male Bullfrog on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario

And with the Fragrant White Water Lilies in full bloom I could not pass up the opportunity to capture such beautiful blossoms with the fisheye perspective.

White Water Lily_227Fragrant White Water Lily Blossom

One evening after supper I decided to give the lens a work out with some low light conditions over at Lower Rosseau Falls. I created numerous compositions at this location with the camera firmly mounted to my tripod to capture the flowing motion of the river. Due to the extreme wide angle it is often tricky to compose images with a downward pointed fisheye lens as the tripod’s legs will be poking into the frame however, with a little practice and patience you will get the hang of it. For the B&W image of Lower Rosseau Falls I could not compose the scene without one leg in the frame, so back home in photoshop I cloned out the leg, which was in the lower right area of the frame.

Rosseau River_8530Rosseau River in Ontario’s Muskoka Region

Rosseau River_8568-B&WRosseau River in Black & White

My next excursion with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens was on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park. The rugged shoreline here is note for its wind swept pines and beautiful pink granite. I really enjoyed the creative possibilities that the lens offered me here. The significant distortion qualities of the lens were used for artistic purposes which can be seen in the Killbear Provincial Park images below.

Killbear Provincial Park_9839Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

Killbear Provincial Park_9720Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

Towards the end of my photography trip, a family function led me to the Peterborough area of Ontario. I decided at the last minute to take along the fisheye lens one last time before returning it to Gentec International. I was glad I did as I was staying near Millennium Park and the design of the park lends itself well to the distortion qualities of fisheye lenses. Due to the over-cast, white sky conditions I chose to convert the image to black and white.

Millenium Park_Peterborough_Ontario_358-B&WPeterborough Ontario’s Millennium Park

The fisheye perspective is my new favorite way to create imagery. When the distortion qualities are used to accentuate curves in the landscape they can often have a very pleasing effect. The majority of the photos I captured using the lens were done so handheld. All of the bullfrog-scapes were done using the Live View function of the D800 with the camera held millimeters above the surface of the lake. To maximize my depth-of-field I tended to stay in the f11 – f16 range of the lens. Each and every frame I captured the auto-focus was accurate, any blurred images were a result of errors on my part or by pushing the hand-holding limits too far and shooting at shutter speed that were just too slow. If you don’t push these limits you will not know what you can accomplish in given situations. While reviewing the images on the computer at home I did notice some chromatic abberation in the extreme corners but for me this is no biggie as it can easily be corrected in photoshop.

I do not test or review lenses by photographing charts and such to examine their sharpness from corner to corner. I much prefer to take the gear into the field and see how it will perform with my style of shooting, with the subjects I love to photograph, and to genuinely find out will it get the shot I want. I can honestly say that I loved using the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens and will certainly be adding it to my tool kit in the near future. It far exceeded my expectations and the lens literally spent the better part of my travels attached to the Nikon D800. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone wishing to explore the wonderful world of the fisheye and unleash their creativity.

Do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let us know which is your favorite and why.

Throughout my travels I did come across a new rusty old wreck, with bullet holes nonetheless, and another wreck near my home, which I decided to give a quasi-grunge look. See these images below.

Old Rusty Mercury_8604Rusty Mercury Truck with Bullet Holes

Rusty Old Chevy_420-alternateOld Cheverolet Truck with Quasi-Grunge Treatment

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Storm clouds over farm and winter wheat crop_565Storm Clouds Over Winter Wheat Crop, Bradford, Ontario

Sorry for lack of posts lately folks, I have been away on a photography trip through Ontario’s Parry Sound region. During this trip Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma Lenses in Canada was kind enough to loan me a Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. I will be doing a full review of this lens in an upcoming post soon, but I can quickly sum it up with one word – WOW! I had a ton of fun using this lens for everything from bullfrogs, rusted old wrecks, urban scenes, landscapes, forest interiors, water lilies, and agricultural scenes (as you can see above).

The image accompanying this post was captured yesterday using the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens on a Nikon D800 handheld as the wild and wicked storm clouds were swiftly moving across the sky, above a golden field of winter wheat. Yesterday southern Ontario, particularly the Toronto area, was hit with a massive amount of rain which caused significant flooding. The rainfall amount came close to beating the record set when Hurricane Hazel rolled through the area in 1954. Fortunately I live north of the hardest hit areas and only received a small amount of rainfall at home however, as I was driving down a rural road near my home I noticed these ominous clouds and just had to pull off to the side of the road and grab a few images.

Do remember to click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

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