What makes a fisheye fishy?

Started Oct 29, 2012 | Questions thread
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hemi71cuda
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What makes a fisheye fishy?
Oct 29, 2012

I've been looking for a fun, super wide lens to fill out the short range of my kit. I've always liked using fisheyes but that was on 35mm film and now crop sensors complicate the matter a little. I have an a57. I've been looking at the Rokinon 8mm fisheye, the Sigma 10mm fisheye, Sigma 10-20mm, Sigma 8-16mm...

My basic question is: does focal length determine the way the image looks or is a lens designated as a "fisheye" designed differently? i.e. Will the 10mm Sigma fisheye produce the same image as the 10-20mm Sigma set at 10mm? From what I've been seeing/reading I'm thinking not. I've seen the term "rectilinear" and while I haven't researched it I'm guessing that has something to do with keeping the horizontal lines of a scene horizontal versus letting them curve like a fisheye does. Is that correct(vaguely)?

Complicating the matter is the sample images you can view on places like Amazon. Some appear to have the telltale fisheye look while others it's less prominent. Most of the time there is no camera info so you don't know whether it was shot with an APS-C or FF, or if it was processed through a program/plug-in to "correct" the fisheye distortion.

I guess in reality what I'm probably looking for is just a super wide, regular focal length but the fisheye effect can be fun at times so maybe I should get a fisheye and then choose to use correction software or not depending on the image...

Thoughts? Experiences? Examples?

I'm also gonna look into rental options to help decide.

 hemi71cuda's gear list:hemi71cuda's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony SLT-A57 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +3 more
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Sony SLT-A57
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