Saturday, August 7, 2021

Defishing for visual impact

Everyone knows what a fisheye lens does for a scene: like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I personally prefer the defished look.

In this post I'll look at how easy it is to defish a focus stacked fisheye lens.

The set up is the 7.5mm, f/2 fisheye TTArtisan lens on my Canon M3: in this test case I didn't try and cover exposure braketing as well, just letting the highlights blow out.

Because it was raining and windy outside, I simply concocted a test set up indoors, with a very close subject, forcing me to focus at the lens minimum focus distance of 125mm.

Having set exposure, using an aperture of f/8, I used the Lens DoF scale to take two other images, for a three image focus stack:

Having adjusted a few things on the first RAW, I synced these settings to the other two and exported the three images to Photoshop, where I stacked and aligned them, before focus blending them.

I then used the Photoshop Adaptive WA lens filter to defish and straighten out some of the focus blended image. Note I should have spent more time in Photoshop.

After returning to Lightroom, I toned the image, accepting the blown out window, to arrive at this final version:

One observation is to ensure there is space around the near subject of interest, as you will likely lose a lot of the image in defishing and straightening.

For those that like wide angle photography a fisheye is a great way to get a unusual WA look. In addition, because of the focal length, if you do need to focus bracket, for deep depth of field, you will only need to take two or three focus brackets.

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