The Arch

I’ve been enjoying the Meike 7.5 mm circular fisheye I got as a birthday present. My original intent was to use this lens for astrophotography but, while that remains a goal, I need to search out a better location to take long exposure photographs. There’s just too much light pollution around my home.

I’ve been spying more and more opportunities to use this lens while out and about, however, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite. I find myself seeing more and more scenes where the lens could be useful, and I have put it on my G7 for my walks around the neighborhood just to see what kind of photos I might capture with it.

One of my more recent trips with the Meike was to capture the new entry arch to the Bandshell park 1. This space was renovated over the winter, and the arch is a new addition 2.

First I’ll share the fisheye version of the photo. The Meike lens was developed for a APS-C sensor, so on Micro Four Thirds the circle is cropped a bit at the top and bottom, but it works well with my G7. The wide-angle distortion is so great the two roads, which are perpendicular in reality, look as though they are running parallel to one another 3. The full space of the park is in view, with the band shell near the center of the lens so the distortion is minimal.

Entryway Arch to Palmyra’s Band Shell Park
Panasonic G7 with Meike 7.5 mm circular fisheye lens • ISO 200 • 1/2000 sec

The image below is after the photo has been run through a plugin called “Fisheye Hemi.” I actually ran the plugin twice, once with the circular version, and a second time for a crop sensor. Overall, this photo looks more natural. And yet the lens distortion, still easily spotted at the lower edge of the field, continues to make its surreal presence felt. The pillars for the arch, for example, are not angled away from one another in reality. They are, in fact, parallel. I love the effect of this photo, grounded in reality and yet being unreal at the same time. It’s photos like this which make this lens so appealing to me.

Entryway arch to Palmyra’s Band Shell Park
The same image as above, “defished.”

  1. The official name is “Chief Peyton I. Flournoy, Sr., Park.” It’s in honor of the first African American chief of police in Palmyra, who by all accounts was much-loved. The honor is well-deserved, but it’s a mouthful to say and quite a bit to type. 
  2. And I’m heading back with my camera when our farmer’s market starts up for the summer. Because that will look amazing
  3. Well, almost. They do look like they’ll converge at some point, but it’s still a wild effect.