All My Life’s a Circle « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

All My Life's a Circle

This image was created this morning (11/28/2011) at White Sands National Monument outside of Alamagordo, NM with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stop: .8 sec. at f/16 in Av Mode. Gitzo 3530 LS tripod with the Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. Wimberley P-5 camera body plate. Live View (for mirror lock-up) with the 2-second self timer. IS turned off. Double Bubble Level in the hot shoe. Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

All My Life’s a Circle

All My Life’s a Circle. One of my very favorite Harry Chapin songs. Hear it here. The song is also titled a more simple, “Circle.” And now circle is one of my very favorite lenses….

I knew that I would be heading to White Sands with Robert O’Toole for a day or two so I asked to borrow the relatively new (and amazing) Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens. Thanks a stack to the kindness of Yechiel Orgel of B&H for the loan. When you use this lens with a full frame camera (as I did above) you can zoom between true 8mm circle and a 15 mm fisheye focal lengths; be sure to zoom out to the 8mm setting and remove the lens hood to prevent vignetting. With a 1.6 crop factor camera like the Canon EOS-7D you get a full frame fish eye image at the 8mm setting.

Note: Click on the link for the circle lens to enjoy $50 instant savings (expires 11/31/2011).

In the image above I worked in the soft pre-dawn light to avoid problems with either the sun or my shadow. With the 180 degree view you need to tilt the tripod forward to avoid getting the tripod legs in the frame…. It takes a bit of practice to learn to use this lens, but wow, it is great fun and the results as you see above can be spectacular. If you enjoy landscape photography and like getting up early or staying in the field after sunset you will love this lens. Here are a few of the features:

  • L-Series Optics
  • 180° Diagonal Angle of View
  • Produces Circular & Full Frame Images
  • Fast Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) Autofocus
  • Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) Glass
  • Floating Focus System
  • Close Focus – 6.2″ / 0.16 m
  • Rear Gel Holder Up to 3 Pre-Cut Filters
  • Subwavelength Structure Coating
  • Protective Fluorine Lens Coating<

To learn more about this lens check out the customer reviews by clicking on the appropriate tab here.

If you purchase this lens using our B&H link: Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens you will earn a free contest entry and in addition, I would be glad to send you a short tutorial on how to crop your circle images to a perfect circle. (Please request the tutorial via e-mail along with a copy of your B&H receipt.

Earn Free Contest Entries and Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

Comments and Questions Welcome

Please feel free to leave a comment on either the image or Harry Chapin or ask a question about the lens.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens An amazing piece of lens technology that is both a challenge and great fun to use.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera. Canon’s lightweight full frame body is perfect for serious landscape photography.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders :). And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. I spin off my Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head and mount the tiny ballhead whenever I need to use a short lens on the tripod. The camera goes in the clamp via the Wimberley P-5 camera body plate.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.

7 comments to All My Life’s a Circle

  • avatar cheapo

    Aye aye, that almost looks fishy to me. Strange how artificial a landscape can look with an ultrawide, yet underwater it can seem more natural. Hmm, maybe it’s because a lot of us are to familiar with TV and video that uses similar lenses.

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    Looks like fun! I’ve had this lens on my wish list for a while now 🙂

  • Neat image. I bet the lens it a lot of fun. I may have to see if I can get my hands on one. I wonder if some shading around the circle would make it look more 3D.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Neat image!!

  • avatar Sandy Rathborne

    Great image, great title, and great song!

  • avatar James Saxon

    I love the effect in the image above. This would be a great lens in a housing for underwater photography.

  • avatar Eric Thomson

    Very cool shot! I wanted this lens badly for my recent trip to Galapagos but it was only irregularly available. Probably just as well as I’d have been totally distracted with this awesome little jewel. Still in my wish list though . 🙂