Slide1:
The Nikon 10.5mm f2.8 DX Fisheye lens was designed to work on digital SLRs with a DX sensor (also known as APS-C, half frame, 1.5x crop.) "DX" stands for "Doofus Xtremus" which is what all us guys who bought DX lenses are. Yeah, I took a beating when I sold my 17-55 and 12-24 and another beating when I paid close to $2000 for lenses I bought to replace them for the full frame or "FX" D3. No wonder I wanted to mutilate the only DX lens I still own.

Slide 2:
Here we have a picture with an unmodified 10.5 on a full frame (FX or 35mm) camera. This one was taken with a Nikon D3. Most of the vignetting is from the hood, not the lens itself.

Slide 3:
Cut off the hood and you get a picture that looks like this. You still loose the edges but the picture is usable with a more than 180 degree field of view. Now I can't promise that cutting the hood off your lens will make the sky clear instantly; but that's exactly what happened for me.

Slide 4:
Here is the lens with the hood intact. I had already begun the process of removing the hood before I decided to take these pictures. The cut looks pretty straight here, but it's crooked on the other side. That's what I get for trying to free-hand it.

Slide 5:
I thought it would be better to get a few things to help me make a clean cut. Two #36 hose clamps, a 32 tooth hacksaw blade, some gaffer's tape, and a utility knife.

Slide 6:
First I put the gaffer's tape around the lens to keep from scratching it with the hose clamps. Then I put the hose clamps around the lens leaving a small gap between them. This was my guide for cutting. (Tighten the clamps just enough to keep them from slipping. Be careful, make it too tight and your lens is toast.)

Slide 7:
I didn't put the blade in a saw so I could get a better feel for how it was cutting. I didn't cut all the way through with the saw I was only using it to remove enough material so I could cut easily with the utility knife. The guides did a good job of keeping the cut straight.

Slide 8:
Here is the lens with the hood removed. You can see where I messed up a little. This is from where the screws were on the clamps. I should have been more careful and rotated the clamps instead of trying to cut around them. See kids, it never pays to do the job halfway. You end up embarrassing yourself on the Internet.

Slide 9:
I put the hood inside the cap so that it would fit over the front of the lens. The hood keeps the cap from touching the front element but it also keeps the cap from staying on the lens. To fix this I put gaffer tape inside the cap with the adhesive facing outward, then put another strip of tape facing inward. This made a very tight seal. I made another layer with wider tape and now it holds on the lens as good as it did before I removed the hood. It isn't tight enough to pick up the lens by the hood but it never was in the first place.

Slide 10:
Finally, here is a picture in a situation made for a fisheye lens. This is a large banquet in a round auditorium with a domed ceiling. The fisheye distortion actually does a more faithful job of showing the scene than a rectilinear lens can.

Fin.


List of all the stuff I've written for photographers.

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All photos and content Copyright 1997-2008 Hassel Weems