© Mark LaMonica. All Rights Reserved.
Fisheye lenses and aerial photography
Text and Photography by Mark LaMonica
I was out testing a Nikon D200 for overall performance. The owner of the camera kept complaining about "flat looking pictures" that didn't have any pop to them. He also said the sharpness wasn't that
great nor was the ability to make really big prints. All digital pictures need some kind of processing to obtain a sharp picture for printing. Digital cameras have the option to add this sharpening as part
of the conversion in camera to a usable image if you're doing in camera jpeg output. . I personally prefer to shoot NEF/RAW and go with no sharpening and add what I need when editing afterwards in
Capture One or Lightroom. Print size is really a question of the file size. You can only go so big with any particular camera depending on the sensor size, how many megapixels you have and the
quality of those pixels. If you want to take that further, then you need to look at shutter speeds, apertures and quality of lenses being used.
I brought the 10.5mm Fisheye lens with me, I took that up to grab a few super wide shots during the D200 test. I had it set to Aperture Priority and dialed in F8.0 for the aperture and let the camera pick
a shutter speed. I like to use the lowest possible ISO, so I started at 100 with the first interior picture and came up with a shutter speed of 1/60, which I thought was too slow, so I bumped up the ISO to
400 for a second shot and had a shutter speed of 1/640, which is more than enough for doing wide work in the air.
1/60 - ISO 100
1/640 - ISO 400
1/320 - ISO 400
1/1600 - ISO 400
The 10.5mm Fisheye lens was introduced in July of 2003. The 10.5mm Fisheye lens is real sharp, focuses fast and gives you a wonderful Fisheye look without light falloff in the corners. The lens was
taking in so much light, that I had extremely fast shutter speeds and no problems making large prints from these images.

What's really nice about using a Fisheye lens is that you can create that I'm on top of the world look or use a precise composition and create a beautiful sweeping landscape like the last picture below.
1/1000 - ISO 400