Sunday, 13 February 2011

Self portrait with a fisheye lens

Most of what I write in this blog is non-personal. While the technical analysis is generally based on fairly objective observations, it is supplemented with subjective comments. But it's still far from personal.

With this post, I take a turn towards the more personal side with a self portrait:

It was taken with the Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens. It has an amazingly short minimum focus distance of 0.1 meter. This is measured from the sensor, which means that the distance from the front lens element is around 2cm, or approximately one inch. The field of view is still very wide, so it cannot be called a macro lens. Here is one example where I used the lens to photograph a LEGO figure up close.

At this distance from my face, the perspective gets very distorted. You can see this in the self portrait, since my nose and eye looks enormous compared to the rest of the face. Of course, the fisheye lens is far from what you would call a portrait lens.

To get as much as possible in focus, I set the aperture to f/9. There was still enough light to get a shutter speed of 1/20 second at ISO320.

Composing the image was fairly easy. I could just flip out the LCD screen on the Panasonic Lumix GH2 and see how the resulting image would be, while holding the lens towards my eye. I used autofocus, which is very fast with this lens, even at this close distance.

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