Fisheye Hemi Plugin review
Fisheye-Hemi Plugin review
A Photoshop plugin for ‘fixing’ fish-eye lens distortions
Keith uses a Canon 15mm fisheye lens for some of his professional work.
Whilst we’ve looked at using a program like DxO optics pro for things like this, the Fisheye-Hemi Plug-In from Image Trends works with any lens on any camera to ‘de-fish’ images – it’s a fraction of the price as well.
So what can it do?
What’s in the software?
The plug-in comes in three versions depending on the sensor size of your camera and the amount of fish-eye effect your lens (or camera + fish-eye attachment) gives.
Move your mouse over the image to see the effect of the fish-eye-hemi plug-in
I’m looking at using the Canon 15mm fish-eye on a full frame Canon 1Ds in this review. That lens has a 180 degree field of view from corner to corner, but has serious distortion compared with the ‘normal’ rectilinear projection of standard wide angle lenses.
Pacific beach – North California coast
Rectilinear means that straight lines stay straight, while with the fish-eye, only straight lines passing through the centre of the field of view remain straight.
One aspect of this that people forget, is that means -any- line running through the centre axis, such as this shot which captures the whole 180 field of view of the horizon.
There is a very good explanation of the geometry on the Image trends web site
Cropped out part of the image above (~170 degree field of view)
I’ve covered more details about wide-angle correction in the DxO review, but the important thing to note about the Fisheye-Hemi Plug-In is that it has no adjustments, no sliders, just three versions for different lens/camera combinations.
It just works…
Taking the example shot from the top of the article, you can get three different amounts of correction – there is no ‘right’ amount – just what works best for your image.
The Version names refer to their suggested uses (more details later)
Fisheye-Hemi 1 (Circle) works best with a lens and camera combination that covers 180 degrees horizontally across the field, such as a Nikon D80 with an 8mm lens.
Fisheye-Hemi 2 (Full Frame) works best with a lens and camera combination that covers 180 degrees diagonally, such as a Nikon D80 with a 10.5mm lens or Canon 1Ds with a 15mm lens. This combination is commonly called a “full frame fisheye image”.
Fisheye-Hemi 3 (Cropped) works best with a lens and camera combination that covers less than 180 degrees diagonally, such as a Nikon D80 with a 16mm lens.
For this picture, version (2) of the plugin works best for faces (it’s the one suggested for my lens/camera combination)
Getting people in the image to look right is one of the key strengths of this plug-in.
I’ll now show some recent examples taken with the Canon 15mm.
In both the images above I like the look of the corrected versions better, but with something like this it’s what the client likes best that counts.
Use of a fish-eye lens is always a bit of a risk – sometimes the effect works and sometimes not.
In the examples below, the software has corrected verticals and allowed this view of the (right angle) corner of a building
The view below, shows the interior view
Hotel bar interior
It’s always in my camera bag on a job, but if you get one I’d suggest a lot of experimenting (best not on paying jobs ;-)
In the example below for example I prefer the curved pipe above – it frames the shot better. Then again it was 1am in the morning and I was just out having a drink and trying out a new lens.
The example below shows what can be done with more complex (and more expensive) software – even so I’ve managed to clip the top of the building…
For something like this I’d be much more likely to stitch multiple images together.
The Canon 15mm is ideal for web use, where the loss of sharpness at the edges that can come with ‘correction’ is not important.
Other cameras and lenses
A key feature of the software is that it works with any lens-camera combination. There is plenty of useful information on the Image Trends web site.
This table shows the suggested choices for plugin version with different camera/lens combinations (I didn’t have any of them to try…)
|Nikon Models – Nikon D1, D1H, D1X, D2X, D2Xs, D2H, D2Hs, D100, D200, D40, D50, D70, D70s, D80|
|Canon Models – 1D, 10D, 2D, 20Da, 30D, D60, Rebel XT, XTi|
|Canon Models – 1Ds, 5D (full frame sensors)|
|Sigma Models – SD9, SD10, SD14|
|Pentax Models – K10D, K100D, K110D, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS, *ist DL2|
|Olympus Models – Evolt E-300, Evolt E-330, Evolt 400E, Evolt E-500, Evolt E-1|
|Sony/Minolta Models – Sony DSLR A100|
|Kodak Models – DCS SLR/N, DCS SLR/C, DCS 14N|
NOTE: * means this combination of camera and lens requires the image to be cropped prior to using a Fisheye-Hemi Plug-In.
You can also vary the amount of correction by varying the canvas size of your image – see the Image Trends web site for more info (and examples)
Fixing an already good lens…
I often use a Canon 16-35 2.8L lens on my 1Ds, frequently for interiors and architectural work where straight lines are quite important.
At full width (16mm) it preserves straight lines (rectilinear), but as such, distorts images of people.
In the example below, I deliberately added some barrel distortion to the image (Filter>Distort>lens correction) -before- applying Hemi-3 to it. The idea is to introduce more distortion to the view, so that when you apply the plug-in, it only corrects some of what you had added.
Move mouse over image to see the result of adding some distortion -before- ‘fixing’ the image – the version you see is the result of both actions.
If you have a good ‘normal’ wide angle lens, this means that the chances of taking usable shots with people in them are increased…
Very effective image processing for quite a specialised use – just the sort of software that should help persuade more people to try the creative flexibility of a very wide angle lens and digital processing of the resulting images.
For images with people it really does look good. I fiddled around with settings on more advanced software for some time to get similar results.
Considering the amount of image processing it’s doing, there is relatively little impact on image quality.
At under $30 it’s excellent value for money – just one extra picture that a client likes would more than pay for the software.
There is a free trial (watermarked) version of the software available on the Image Trends site
A very effective Photoshop plugin for quick and simple correction of images taken with very wide (fish-eye) lenses.
Good value at under $30 – free demo available.
Available in both Mac and Windows PC versions.
Different lenses and sensor sizes
A portrait of Michael Westmoreland
Taken at the opening of his 80th birthday exhibition (more details). If you didn’t know, Michael is one of the key figures in the history of panoramic photography.
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