The First Five Minutes with My New Toy

When I made the switch from film to digital, I sold my 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Nikkor, and missed it ever since. I thought I made some pretty exciting images over the years with it.

Since Abby was unable to shop for either my birthday or Father’s Day, we decided that we would get a new fisheye for the digital age, the Tokina 10-17mm AT-X. I like Tokina lenses; they are a little cheaper than Nikkors, very well-made, and this one has the quirky advantage of being a zoom, which the Nikkor is not. I don’t know how useful the zoom feature will be. Time will tell, I guess.

Approaching summer storm, Byng, Oklahoma, shot with 10-17mm Tokina fisheye
Approaching summer storm, Byng, Oklahoma, shot with 10-17mm Tokina fisheye

Within a few seconds of getting it out of the box and on my D100, I heard thunder, and stepped out onto the back porch to see. A gust front was approaching from the west, and in the course of a couple of minutes I had made some nice images, including this one.

It’s simply not possible to capture this kind of image without an ultra-ultra-wide lens, or a fisheye.

This image has not, by the way, been “de-fisheyed” in software. Anyone new to the fisheye scene should be aware that any straight lines that pass through the center of the frame, like the horizon in this image, are rendered straight. Straight lines that are farther from the center of the frame are rendered with more and more curvature. (The horizon is below the center of the frame due to my cropping some of the yard out.)

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