A surreal view of Australian surrealism with the Olympus mZD 8mm f/1.8 fisheye lens

Written by Gary on October 31st, 2015

Fisheye lenses are rather unique creative niche lenses and until I went to Palm Cove I didn’t really think I had a need for one – but up there, a fisheye was the only way to capture the tall palms on the beach with the ambience and field of view I wanted. For those images I used the cheap Samyang/Rokinon fisheye but it is manual focus and the front of the lens isquite close to the camera body meaning I often imaged my left hand in the shot inadvertently, nevertheless, this is a great lens if you are on a budget.

Now that Olympus has created a superb weatherproofed pro quality Olympus f/1.8 fisheye lens, I just had to test it out, and what better test is an indoor art exhibition of Australian surrealism at Melbourne’s Ian Potter in Federation Square titled Lurid Beauty – Australian Surrealism and its Echoes. I highly recommend anyone interested in art to see this very affordable exhibition, I really enjoyed it.

These were shot hand held without flash using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera.

A fisheye view of Lurid Beauty:

doorway

Anne Wallace Sight Unseen:

doorway

Tom Moore Self-preservation 2014:

still life

Dusan Marek Equator 1948:

painting

Herbert McClintock Three Faces 1940:

painting

painting

Tim Schultz :

painting

Hein Heckroth Australia painted whilst a “German enemy alien” during World War II at the camp in Hay, NSW 1941:

painting

There are many more wonderful works including more from James Gleeson – do yourself a favour and check it out.

Architectural uses:

Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in Collins St which is so contrasty it is very hard to photograph:

theatre

theatre

Melbourne’s Federation Square:

building

and to show how well the lateral CA is controlled:

building

Melbourne’s famous back alley ways:

alley graffiti

the very popular Hopetoun Tea Rooms:

alley graffiti

 

Obviously I have applied some post-processing on the above images to make them a touch more surreal still.

This lens is not for everyone, but does add another very useful tool to a photographer’s kit.

I am looking forward to shooting some Milky Way Astroscapes with it as the f/1.8 aperture plus wide field of view should allow nice long 40-60sec exposures without star trailing.

If you do not like the fish eye effect, there are some de-fishing processing options to flatten the image out to a more natural looking image.

 

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