Is A Fisheye Lens Worth The Expense Or Just A Gimmick
For a long while I sat on the fence about getting a fisheye, on one side was the novelty value and how different it can make your image look. On the other is how often would I use it and would it pay for its space in my already crowded camera bag.
I have a very talented friend from my degree course who has turned it into his trademark, Harry is brilliant at cityscapes and uses his fisheye very effectively along side a really good added colourcast to create stunning and original work. It really depends on what you are photographing, it seems to work well on subjects with some symmetry and a central focal point. This is mainly because the curve is almost undetectable on the central axis, somehow our eye needs something "normal" to focus on to make sense of the rest. When done properly it can really work.
The flip side is overuse on totally unsuitable subjects with the most common error leaving to foreground empty. To much grass, concrete or even sand and a tiny subject in the distance can lead to at best average shots. Unless there is an understanding of how the strange perspective works, I could see this lens more than most, being quickly discarded as a waste of time and money.
I am terrible for being indecisive, and often take months to make up my mind when buying new equipment, but this has probably been the worst. I finally bought my Nikon 10mm fisheye second-hand having made up my mind to have a go at shaking up my architecture shots. I found you really can get very close to your subject which is great for avoiding people wandering in front of you in mid shot, or even worse standing right in the way snapping with a mobile.I still need to work on subject matter but am happy with the first few images and am glad I finally took the plunge.
As always it's about personal choice and research, I found it made me think in a different way about my subject, which is always a good thing.