iPhonetography: Fisheye Photography with the Olloclip iPhone Lens Clip-On System

Hey there point-of-viewers! My name is Erik and I’m an employee here at Point Of View Camera. I love everything to do with photography and videography and will be writing a weekly column about iPhone photography, or as I like to call it, iPhonetography. As we all know, whether you like it or not, the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile phone world; and with the advent of the iPhone 4 and 4s, it has also revolutionized the photography world as well. No longer are we forced to carry around a point and shoot camera to compensate for our mobile phone’s sub-par camera; we now have phone cameras with high megapixel counts, larger sensors, quality glass, and all sorts of other optical enhancing goodness. Inevitably, due to the iPhone’s (deserved) popularity, and its awesome camera, there are now a bevy of products out there to enhance the already stellar pictures you can take with it.

A really cool perspective looking “inside” an old delivery van:
helmet cam

Last week I talked about the amazing macro lens included with the Olloclip, today I’m going to talk about the fisheye lens. The fisheye is the largest of the three lenses included, and has an incredible field-of-view; it is seriously wide, I kept having to ask my assistant (AKA Dad) to move back as he was in the frame even though he almost behind me! Fisheye gives a very distinct look, I’d say this is the first lens to try of the three, as it gives the most initial ‘wow’ factor. Some people aren’t fans of the distortion it causes, personally I really like the curved lines and huge field of view it gives you, not for every photo of course, but it is a cool effect to have once in a while. Having such a wide field of view can be very helpful; if you need to capture a whole room shot for example, a normal wide angle lens would just not cut it, but the fisheye would allow you to capture 3 corners, roof and ceiling of a small room. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Fisheye view of canyon:
helmet cam

I took the Olloclip on a recent hike and got some great photos. There is a really cool trail near my house that I like to hike on occasionally, it starts at the top of a large dam and basically follows the top edge of a deep canyon for a couple miles. The coolest part is the “car graveyard” as we call it, in the forested section of the trail. In the ‘30s and ‘40s the area was logged, so people would just drive up to the steep incline above the cliff and push their cars, wheels, washing machines etc. down the edge of the incline. Fast forward 60 years and the forest has reclaimed the area. It makes for a very eerie setting, great fodder for the camera, especially with a fisheye lens! You’ll be walking through the forest, and all of the sudden you’ll come upon an old delivery truck with a tree going through it, or even find an old studebaker on a cliff’s edge. It’s a very unique area, perfect for testing out new camera gear!

Cool perspective on an old car in the woods:
helmet cam

Below are some images that I took with the fisheye lens. One thing that I don’t like about fisheye lenses is that their image circle doesn’t fill up the whole sensor so you’re left with a circular image in the middle with black borders around it, this of course comes with the territory and is necessary to display that wide of a view. On a few of the photos below I’ve provided examples of images that have the image circle issue corrected, via lens correction, cloning and a little cropping. Thanks for tuning in!

An old car before correction in photoshop:
helmet cam

Use the lens correction filter in photoshop, perhaps clone in some areas in the corner, add a little crop and voila!:
helmet cam

My dog Dexter after applying the same treatment to the image above:
helmet cam



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