Life Inside a Fishbowl

The Lomo Fish Eye 2, photo courtesy of amazon.com

We took Lomography out for a spin a few months ago and wound up with some pretty neat results. We tested out the Lomo Fisheye 2. The Fisheye 2 is a second generation fisheye lomo camera, complete with a new look.

Wait, what’s a fish eye? Back up. A fish eye, formally a super wide-angle lens, is a camera lens that has such a wide angle that it bends, or appears to look like you were shooting from the inside of a fish bowl. These lenses don’t come very cheap and can be extremely expensive if bought in glass for SLR cameras. Lomography decided to make a plastic version so we could all enjoy a day in the life through your goldfish’s eyes.

Moving on. Since I wanted to get this post uploaded as soon as possible after our last one, we didn’t have time to go out and buy the actual Lomography film to re-shoot. I know I said don’t use professional film but I had a few extra rolls lying around when I shot these, so I cheated.

The product description from Lomography’s website says,

This is what your view looks like through the viewfinder of the Fisheye2. Taken with my iPhone but it does the job.

“The world’s greatest compact Fisheye camera is now more amazing than you ever thought possible! Not only does it have the same 170-degree wide-angle view and stunning fisheye barrel distortion, but the Fisheye No. 2 adds a bulb setting for long exposures and a switch for multiple exposures on the same frame. It also has the ability to fire both a hotshoe flash and a built-in flash. In addition, it features a true fisheye viewfinder, and a “full metal jacket” body treatment. With this new arsenal, the possibilities for your Fisheye Lomography are endless! Uses normal 35mm film that can be developed anywhere.”

The metal outfitting is pretty sweet, allowing it to be way more durable than plastic. The flash was cool and useful but also posed some problems we’ll discuss in a minute. First, let’s get to those results!

Maryland State Fair, photo courtesy of Andrew Windham

Kinetic Sculpture Museum

Light Street Firehouse

Double Exposure of Downtown Baltimore, the Fisheye2 has a new double exposure setting just like many of the other Lomo cameras.

Now, those look pretty cool taken outside in bright daylight. Right on. We ran into some problems when using the flash. The lens is so big that it creates a shadow on the subject if not held a certain way…..

Double Exposure w/flash, note the shadow on the right.

Meow.

How do you fix the shadow? My only suggestion would to be mindful of how you are holding it relative to your subject. Lomography also has a ring flash that attaches to the lens on the front which can be helpful since the flash is located to the right of the lens which is where the shadow is cast. A ring flash will go around the lens, not off to the side.

Like our results? The Fisheye 2 retails for around $80, which isn’t too steep. I had a lot of fun shooting and getting distortions of reality. The double exposure setting was pretty neat as well. Happy shooting 🙂

14 thoughts on “Life Inside a Fishbowl

    • Andrew Windham took that a year or so ago and it’s one of my favorite photos to date. It’s actually hanging in a glass frame in my bedroom. Crazy how such a cheap little camera can produce such an awesome photo. 🙂

  1. This is pretty cool. I love this effect. Fish eye. I believe I’ve heard the term before but didn’t realize what it meant. Quite appropriate considering the result.

  2. Yes, for sure! Fish eye is the easiest way to distort reality in my opinion. Maybe next time I’ll take a fisheye photo of a fish in a fishbowl and really blow people away.

    Just kidding.

    Kind of.

  3. It’s disappointing that the flash on the Fisheye 2 wasn’t placed properly so the shadow attacks the framing of the photo. Regardless it’s a fairly sturdy camera built for 80 dollars, can’t complain about the price. Lomography gives the chance to try a little bit of everything. Excellent post and examples!

  4. Thank you! And yes I agree, I don’t know why they would put the flash so close to the lens. There ARE ways around it but the time it takes to test it out on roll after roll of film isn’t really worth it to me. I think I’ll skip the flash part and use it during the daytime.

  5. Which “professional” film did you use? The camera does have a hot shoe so you can use a cable and get the flash off a camera. The problem of the lens blocking the flash is common, even my DSLR has this with really wide lenses.

    • Kodak Portra 400. The amateur photographer who decides to pick up and buy this camera is not going to know to do that. They are going to load the film and snap away. I have had a number of people complain about the shadow that the large lomo fisheye lens creates and the camera does come with a book explaining how to get rid of it. For people who aren’t photographers on a regular basis aren’t going to know what a “hot shoe” is or how to overcome the problem before shooting. This review was done solely on loading the camera and shooting, nothing extra added.

      I have not had this problem of the lens blocking the flash but then again I do not normally use flash when shooting film.

      • “I have not had this problem of the lens blocking the flash but then again I do not normally use flash when shooting film.” – I realize this sounds a bit contradictory. To clarify, I was referring to your comment about the DSLR not the Lomo Fisheye I tested out.. I have never had a problem with the flash casting a shadow with a wide angle lens on DSLR or any slr cameras. For digital I typically use an external.

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