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Imadio Fisheye-Hemi V2 review

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Review: Fisheye-Hemi V2

Fisheye hemi plugin update enables adjustment tuning


Fisheye-Hemi – one of Keith’s favourite basic plugins – has been updated to version 2.

The Image geometry correction software now allows for fine tuning of adjustment parameters whilst still keeping the three basic adjustment options for correcting the distortions of fisheye type lenses.

Fisheye Hemi V2 is available from Imadio for Mac and PC
There is a free trial version to test.

fisheye-hemi-adjustment

Fisheye-Hemi updated

Several years ago, when I first got a fisheye lens (EF15mm F2.8) I went through the normal phase of thinking it looked great and how much I could use it in my photography. Then the ‘New Toy’ effect started to wear off and I started wondering if it really was worth keeping in my bag…

Then I discovered the Fisheye-Hemi plugin for Photoshop. The original is actually three plugins, one for each sort of adjustment it does. It’s one of the best examples of plugin design I know “Do one thing, but do it very well”.

The original review is well worth a look since it covers the three basic adjustments in both the original and new version.

I’m testing the plugin in Photoshop here, but it will run with a wide variety of applications – see the required system info at the foot of the review

At its heart, the plugin partly corrects the geometry of a fisheye image – it straightens vertical lines. Take this example from the cloister at Wells Cathedral.

Note: There are a lot of large images in this article – click on them to enlarge

cloister fisheye look

It shows the characteristic bending of lines that is associated with Fisheye lenses (the EF 8-15 F4L in this case)

Applying the ‘Full Frame’ setting of the new software (or using the Full Frame plugin for fisheye hemi V1) I get the vertical lines straightened.

cloister- corrected view

Note that there is some curvature in other lines visible, it’s the verticals that we’re ‘fixing’.

To get true verticals after correction, you do need to have taken the shot with the camera level. There are many adjustments available in version 2, but a bit of forethought will often make corrections easier.

Whilst I mention ‘corrections’ I do prefer to think of the results as changing the image projection geometry, since fisheye lenses can be very low distortion – they are simply not the normal wide ‘rectilinear’ projection we associate with wide angle lenses.

Installing the software

The software is available from Imadio and has a free (watermarked) demo version for you to try (Mac or PC – see requirements below).

If you’ve got the old version of the software (3 plugins) it’s not affected by installing V2.

installing

It works with several different imaging software packages – I’m testing with Photoshop CS6

applications

Distorted people

In the software’s documentation and examples much is made of its ability to ‘fix’ images of groups of people taken with a fisheye lens. I’m mostly an architectural and industrial photographer, so rarely do much ‘people photography’.

However I do sometimes get to take photos of groups of people at business networking meetings I’m at and the fisheye is a great way of getting a lot of people in the shot in a crowded bar…

group-of-people

The original shot – taken with the EF8-15 on my EOS RP

It a full frame shot (no black edges from a shorter focal length setting), so the plugin’s Full Frame setting uncompresses some of the people towards the edge.

feh-people-FF-adjust

A little bit of ’tilt’ adjustment (right hand side slider) lets me adjust the positions of people in the shot if needed.

feh-people-FF-tilt

A bit of ‘Radius’ adjustment  (bottom slider) will fine tune the edges again.

radius-adjust

Fortunately, you can selectively revert any adjustment back to the default settings.

revert-options

You can also offset the centre of the image, but note the areas (left/below) where new ‘fill’ has been added.

This isn’t usually an issue since I’m very likely to crop such shots later anyway.

adjust-alignment

The software now works with images in landscape and portrait formats, but you can override this if need be.

type-of-correction

Where V2 of the software differs considerably is that you get access to all the underlying adjustment parameters that go into the transformation process.

full-adjust-options

There are handy tool-tips giving more info about the adjustments, but experimenting is your best bet…

v1-adjustment

V2-adjustment

H2-adjustment

The reversion option lets you selectively reset things.

revert-options-full

Why might you want to do all this?

save-presets

Well not all fisheye lenses use the same projection geometry – see my review of the rather nice Samyang 12mm f/2.8 fisheye  for an example of why the projection geometry can matter.

A small adjustment of the radius may be all it takes to give the best results.

Fortunately, you can create your own presets.

Fine tune correction for your fisheye on your camera, save as a preset and away you go…

Interior spaces

Over the years, I’ve most made use of fisheye hemi to expand my use of fisheye lenses for architectural related photography, where a full rectilinear projection may not work well at extreme wide angle.

For this example I’ll use a couple of shots of the Roman baths at Bath (landscape and portrait) since they give a good feel for how the software can work.

The first is shot at a shorter focal length (~11mm) than the 14-15mm needed to fill the whole frame (camera was a 21MP Canon 1Ds mk3 with EF8-15mm)

FE-bath

The ‘Full Frame’ setting is not strong enough

bath-FF-not-enough

The ‘Circle’ setting is just a bit too strong – note the outwards curve of the columns.

bath-circle-too-much

A bit of tweaking (mainly the radius setting) gives me good verticals.

bath-fine-tune

Here’s the resulting image – note the dark side areas.

corrected-bath

A bit of a crop and I have the view just inches above the water surface.

water-level

Now for a shot in portrait orientation…

FE2-bath

The full frame setting is OK here.

bath-vertical-FF

By all means experiment – there are some settings that will produce quite odd looking versions of your shot…

too-far excess adjustment

Here’s the processed version.

FE2-bath-adjusted

Inside Wells Cathedral

Two more before and after looks at the interior of Wells Cathedral

wells-uncorrected

The circular setting should work for this shot.

wells-circular-1

A slight adjustment of radius improves the bottom and top edges.

wells-circular-2

With a crop, I get a view that includes looking straight up to the tower and along the aisle to the entrance.

arches

The scissor arches give a really strong look to the image and a feel for supporting the tower.

A view back from the entrance emphasises the ceiling and view towards the arches.

wells

The circle setting work just fine here.

circle-adjust-wells

A slight crop and I have two images of the interior of the Cathedral that give a very good feel for the vastness of the space,

wells-2

Conclusions

What has been one of my favourite little plugins just stepped up in usefulness, especially in handling variable focal lengths such as with my EF8-15mm

An essential tool for anyone wanting to get past the fisheye lens’s reputation for being a bit of a one-trick pony.

Note: The version I tested had a minor glitch in handling the colour of the display of images in large colour spaces – the results returned from the plugin are just fine though – this is known and a fix is on the way.

Fisheye Hemi V2 is available from Imadio for Mac and PC
There is a free trial version to test.

Minimum requirements

Applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and higher versions
  • Adobe Lightroom 3.0 and higher versions
    see also Using FEH in Lightroom
  • Apple Aperture 2.1 and higher versions
  • Photoshop Elements 2 and higher versions
  • PaintShop Pro 7 and higher versions
  • Affinity Photo 1.4.3 and higher versions
  • Note: Mac applications must be 64-bit

Operating Systems:

  • Mac OS X 10.9 and above
  • Windows 10, 8, 7

Image Modes:

  • RGB, CMYK, Lab Color
  • Gray Scale, Multi-channel
  • 8 bits and 16 bits

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