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Nikon 10.5mm DX Fisheye

Intro:

Nikon 10.5mm F2.8 DX FisheyeThis is a very cool lens. It will only work on Nikon Digital SLRs. You end up with a distorted rectangular image with 180 degree corner to corner coverage. This results in images that are not as distorted near the edges as if you were using a circular fisheye. It is a fairly special purpose lens given the amount of distortion. Any straight lines that do not pass through the middle of the image are bent outwards from the middle.
 
Build:
This lens is small. Tiny to be precise. If you have large hands, you have to be careful not to get your fingers in the show if you cradle the lens. Cradling the lens with a full-body camera such as the D2X or the D200 with grip attached just isn't going to happen. There is not enough to grab. The lens feels very solid.
 
Performance:
Focusing is achieved using the traditional screw type which means it won't work on a D40. Nothing moves during focusing. Auto focus is very quick and snappy.

The depth of field on when you use this lens is huge, on a D200 at F2.8 it's 5.9 feet. Stop down to F4 and and you're at 4 feet. That means that everything from 2 feet on is going to be in focus...very cool.

What's very cool about this lens is it's ability to focus super close to your subject. This creates an enormous amount of distortion and is generally best used for effect. Be careful if you are moving around while looking through the viewfinder, the distortion is very tricky, leading you to believe you have a lot more space between the lens and your subject than you actually do.

The distortion can be corrected in a number of programs such as Nikon Capture NX and a few others. Generally though I like to shoot with it for the effect, not for it's ability to "defish" in software. Defishing images has its drawbacks, namely distortion and loss of image quality towards the sides and corners.

The lens is very useful for mountain biking and skateboarding as it exaggerates your subject. It's very easy to get too close to your subject so be careful. It seems like you have a lot of distance in the viewfinder but in reality you don't.

I highly recommend this lens, provided it's effect is something you are after.

Cheers

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