What Is the Difference Between Fisheye and Rectilinear Lenses?


If you are new to photography, you might be wondering about fundamental differences between lenses. Many beginners are drawn to fisheye lenses, which offer a different perspective on the world and the ability to get a massive field of view in one frame. So, what is the difference between a fisheye lens and a more standard rectilinear model? This excellent video tutorial will teach you what distinguishes them. 

Coming to you from Dave McKeegan, this great video tutorial will show you the difference between fisheye and rectilinear lenses. «Fisheye» and «rectilinear» are terms that refer to the projection in use for a lens design. «Projection» is a mathematical term that essentially defines how the geometry of one world is translated to another, such as the real world to a camera sensor. A fisheye lens is one that translates a portion of a sphere onto a flat surface, which is what gives them their distinctive lens, whereas a rectilinear lens is one that tries to preserve straight lines. Because of this, you can’t really directly compare focal lengths between fisheye and rectilinear lenses directly. For the most part, rectilinear lenses will be the tool of choice, but a fisheye lens can be a nice occasional creative tool. Check out the video above for the full rundown from McKeegan. 

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