Native fish eye lenses can be very expensive, a cheap and nice alternative is a multiplier lens that you can attach to your native lenses.
Now, instead of attaching this lens to your camera like you normally do, this one is attached to your lens filter attachment ring and because lenses have different diameters for filter rings, the lens which connects to a 52mm ring, comes with adaptors to connect it to 58mm and 67mm filter rings and this is when I started having an idea.
You know, this lens is to be put in front of another lens, so what about attaching it to your webcam and have some wide fun with it? Nothing simpler!
For this hack, I need an external webcam as I need to be able to put an attachment ring in front of it and you can’t do this with the built in camera. So I’m using a Logitech E 3500 a central cylinder of a toilet tissue roll, the adaptor ring that came with the lens and some scotch tape.
The webcam choice is basically because my good friend James Broad, who has been very serious about photography lately, bought one on the cheap and it worked on his MacBook Pro. As a Mac user, I needed to be sure, but you can use any webcam that suits you, just remember thatthe shape of the camera is important, as you’ll have to attach the ring to it.
Cut the paper cylinder to about 5cm, make 8 regular longitudinal cuts of about 2cm each and open them, accommodate the adaptor ring on it and secure it with scotch tape. Attach the camera on the other end and secure it with more scotch tape. Yes is that easy.
Now, mind you that you have to put the lens in the right position which means parallel to the lens on the webcam, the easiest way of doing this is attaching the lens to the attachment ring and look at the image it produces using your favourite webcam application (I just used Skype configuration panel, since I was already using skype). Align it and use the scotch tape to firmly fix the paper cylinder to the webcam.
Thanks to this trick you can attach and detach your Fish Eye lens to your webcam, so you can still use your lens with your normal camera and use your webcam in the normal way.
Toilet tissue and Scotch tape — I hear you saying — isn’t there a neater solution?
There sure is, but this one costs pretty much nothing, you can do it in 10 minutes, you don’t need special tools and you probably have everything at home, other than the lens itself. Because you are not breaking or cutting anything you can undo it at any time you like.