Fisheye Lens

A fisheye lens is an ultra wide angle lens that is designed for shooting wide angles generally 180 degrees. These lenses are also known as ultra wide or super wide lens. They are famous for extreme sport, landscape, and artistic photography.

The term fisheye was named in the year 1906 by Robert W.Wood. He was an American physicist and the inventor of this lens. It was first put to use in the year 1920 for studying the formation of clouds. The angle of view of fisheye lenses is generally present between 100 and 180 degrees. The focal lengths depend upon the format they are used for.


There are two main types of fisheye lenses namely full frame and circular frame. Each type will have a different effect and gives a different type of image. Let’s have a detailed look at them.

  • Full Frame Fisheye Lenses

A full frame fish lens is capable of capturing 180-degree field of view along its diagonal. The vertical and horizontal sides of the image do not exceed 180 degrees. Even though they are not capable of capturing wide angles, they are widely used because image produced by this lens is rectangular and will not have black edges.

  • Circular Fisheye Lens

The circular fisheye lens is capable of capturing a complete 180-degree view in all directions. So, the image looks like a circular image. But the main drawback of this lens is it forms black edges. These lenses are mostly used in artistic photography and skateboard photography.


  • These lenses are used in extreme sport, landscape, and artistic photography.
  • Many planetariums use this lens for night sky projection and to project digital content on the interior of the room.
  • Visual combat simulators and flight simulators use fisheye projection lens for air traffic controllers and to train military personnel.
  • Resource managers and scientists use these lenses for hemispherical photography.
  • These lenses are also used by astronomers to capture light pollution data and cloud cover.
  • Videographers and photographers use fisheye lenses to take action shots. For example, while skateboarding these lenses are used to focus on board and the skater.
  • These are widely used in computers graphics generally to create environment maps from the physical world.

Practise This Question

Which constellation appears like a big ladle or a question mark?