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Canon 8-15mm workout in Truk Lagoon


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#1 bmyates

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

I just returned from Truk Lagoon, and spent almost the entire trip using the Canon 8-15mm circular fisheye lens (on my 5D MkII). In all cases, I was extremely happy with the results (other than problems caused by the photographer). The lens focuses quickly and accurately, and photos were generally very sharp (especially those shot at f/8 or higher)! In fact, I believe that from now on, this will be my go-to lens for ultra-wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) angle photography. You can read my brief report on the trip on MY BLOG, or go directly to my TRUK GALLERY on my website. But here are a few examples:

I unscrewed and removed the hoods on my Aquatica megadome so I could (with the proper ext. ring) use it wide open at 8mm.
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I also used it at 15mm as a replacement for my Sigma 15mm FE.
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I even added a 1.4TC (and extension ring) and used it with the tiny 100mm dome port to try a little "wide angle macro" (although I struggled a little searching for subjects).
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Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#2 Don in Colorado

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:08 PM

I am very impressed!

Those are some really unique shots. Bravo!

#3 elbuzo

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:03 AM

Bruce , the first one is really cool , i like it very much ! The only thing to improve is the cyan halo on the border , is this some sort of chromatic aberration ? If so , maybe can be solved . I think image will look better without that halo .

#4 Longimanus1975

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:23 AM

Wow, some really nice shots.

I am relatively new to this fisheye shooting, can I ask how you did the first shot, I would really like to try one next time I am out

#5 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:07 AM

Very nice, Bruce.

Regarding the circular fisheye - do you think you'll continue to use the circle option - once the "ooh, this is new, circular pictures" phase wears off?

I have long considered buying one - but feel that the fun wouldn't last.

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#6 ErolE

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:49 AM

Very nice, Bruce.

Regarding the circular fisheye - do you think you'll continue to use the circle option - once the "ooh, this is new, circular pictures" phase wears off?

I have long considered buying one - but feel that the fun wouldn't last.

Alex


Have been considering one of these but am wondering the benefits of the 8mm end, particularly as uptake of this lens increases and the uniqueness of the circular image is well and truely lost.

The other benefits would appear to be better image quality and improved focusing compared to the Canon 15mm. Can you comment on that Bruce?

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#7 bmyates

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:13 PM

Very nice, Bruce.
Regarding the circular fisheye - do you think you'll continue to use the circle option - once the "ooh, this is new, circular pictures" phase wears off?
I have long considered buying one - but feel that the fun wouldn't last.
Alex


Alex, there's no doubt that part of its appeal is the "fun" of getting to play with something different. But I think I will continue to use the lens at 8mm even after the novelty has worn off because it allows for composition that simply isn't possible otherwise - not that the viewer of a photo taken that way will really be able to appreciate its scope (unless you tell them) - but to permit more flexible or unique compositions. OTOH, I already (on this, its maiden voyage) began using it almost as an adjunct to the 15mm end. IOW, I would first try to get the shot I wanted at 15mm, and then take the same - or very similar - shot at 8mm to see what, if anything, it added. Often, I liked the 15mm better (the 8mm perspective just added "junk" top and bottom). But I quite liked some of the results, such as the shot below, which doesn't really look like a wreck shot, but reminded me of a garden path. I couldn't have gotten the full "feel" of that shot with an ordinary (15mm on FF) fisheye.

Frankly, if I can get nice photos using it, I can't even imagine the unique shots you could create with one!
BTW, I thought you were a Nikon shooter (are you thinking of changing "teams"?)! :lol:
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Edited by bmyates, 24 February 2012 - 10:46 AM.

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#8 bmyates

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:35 PM

Answers to several questions:

"...The only thing to improve is the cyan halo on the border , is this some sort of chromatic aberration ?"

I'm not sure what caused that...or how to get rid of it. But I agree the circular shots would look better without it! If anybody has a solution, I'd love to hear it!


"I am relatively new to this fisheye shooting, can I ask how you did the first shot?"

Well, you need to have a fisheye lens, and for the circular shot, you need a circular fisheye lens like the Canon 8-15mm lens I used.


"Have been considering one of these but am wondering the benefits of the 8mm end, particularly as uptake of this lens increases and the uniqueness of the circular image is well and truely lost. The other benefits would appear to be better image quality and improved focusing compared to the Canon 15mm. Can you comment on that Bruce?"

I think I addressed the first part in my answer to Alex. I personally think people will actually get SICK of seeing circular images after awhile, so you really need to feel you can get something (special compositions) out of the 8mm end of the lens that "transcends" the fact that the images are circular. Frankly, I'd love to see a "rectilinear circular fisheye" lens :lol: where you had the 180 degree view in all directions but a square or rectangular image (of course, that's never going to happen, since the terms themselves are contradictory)!

As for image quality and focusing, I can't compare quality to the Canon 15mmFE because I have a Sigma 15mmFE, but those two 15's are considered quite similar for image quality, and my SUBJECTIVE opinion is that these images are somewhat sharper than my Sigma (which is no slouch).

As for minimum focusing distance, there's a definite advantage (the Canon 15mm is 7.9", whereas the Canon 8-15mm is 6.2"). Whether that's worth the extra money, I can't say. If all you want is closer focusing distance, you could just switch to the Sigma 15mm, which is 5.9" and a heck of lot cheaper than the 81-15mm.

Bottom line: I feel like this lens gives me a combination of benefits that add up to it being worthwhile: higher quality than my Sigma 15mm for regular fisheye images, close focus, more solid "L" quality build, and the flexibility of a zoom lens, specifically the option to use the circular fisheye (8mm) when I think it might help create a unique image. BTW, I sold my Canon 14mmL II lens, which was "OK" underwater, i.e., not discernably better than my Sigma 15mm, and the proceeds were slightly more than what I paid for this new 8-15mm lens. I feel like that was a definite "step up" for my underwater photography kit. :rofl:

Hope that helps!

Edited by bmyates, 24 February 2012 - 10:43 AM.

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields