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Why I use the Fisheye-Hemi plugin

  |   Article, Articles and reviews, Composition, Fisheye, Image Editing, tutorials   |   8 Comments

Making use of the Fisheye Hemi plugin

Why there are many ways to make more use of fisheye lenses

People often think fisheye lenses a bit of a one-trick pony. Keith looks at some other ways of handling images.

Update: See Keith’s 2017 review of the Samyang 12mm fisheye for more examples.

A quick example of fisheye lens ‘correction’

Fisheye lenses are great, with their extreme wide angle and their distinctive perspective.

Note that I don’t call it a ‘distortion’ since it’s an inherant feature of the way that a wide angle view is projected in this particular lens design.

I now use the excellent Canon EF 8-15mm F4L zoom fisheye lens, and it’s always in my camera bag as an option when doing interior or architectural work.

An understanding of just how a fisheye lens projects the scene is important in moving beyond just using such lenses for dramatic impact. Not that such an effect doesn’t have its place, but it’s perhaps the most significant reason that people quickly tire of the ‘novelty value’ of the fisheye.

Examples from a visit to Lincoln Cathedral

A 180 degree view – the circular view (8mm) can be limiting, but making use of the fact that any straight line that passes through the centre of the field remains straight, can make for a striking image. There is just the issue of what to do with that black surround…

Looking upwards, under the main tower ay Lincoln cathedral

Looking upwards, under the main tower ay Lincoln cathedral [click to enlarge]

Zooming out to about 13mm almost fills the frame (on my 1Ds mk3)

Inside Lincoln cathedral - wide view

13mm – uncorrected

Applying lens correction in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop tries to convert the image to a rectilinear projection – note how all the columns are straight, but towards the corners of the frame, objects are being increasingly stretched, and we’ve lost quite a bit of the original image.

looking upwards in the entrance to Lincoln cathedral

rectilinear correction

The Fisheye Hemi plugin is widely marketed as a way of correcting wide angle shots with people in them (see the ImageTrends web site for examples), but I use it to selectively straighten verticals, or, in this instance, by rotating the image 90 degrees before applying it, horizontals (rotated back for display here).

looking along the interior of Lincoln cathedral

General straightening of horizontal lines

I’ve a more detailed review of Fisheye Hemi written up a while ago, that shows more of the ways it changes images.

Both DxO Viewpoint and Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide Angle filters offer different versions of corrections, such as the AWA here.

wide angle adjustment

However neither perform the same type of complex transformation as Fisheye Hemi does – that’s why it’s so useful to me. There are more example images taken with the 8-15mm in my EF8-15mm zoom fisheye lens review.

There is a free demo of the software.

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  • Marcus Murray | Jul 19, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    How do i download the fisheye hemi plug in?

  • Kjeld Olesen | Nov 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

    It may be added that the same effect may be aquired using RectFish:

    • kacoooper | Nov 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Interesting software, but Windows only, so not for me I’m afraid (we only have Macs here)

      It’s also a standalone application and only 8bit, which are even bigger problems for me workflow wise…

      Make a proper Photoshop plugin and you’ve got a winner – I’d buy a copy!

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