This is a fisheye lens built by founder of Lensrentals, Roger Cicala. It is not just any fisheye lens. It is a hyper fisheye lens. Why hyper? Because it is so freaking wide that it can see behind itself. Well, that kind of make it a 360 camera, doesn’t it? That said, can you still call it ‘fisheye’? I mean, I am just throwing out there, you know. Anywho, Cicala built it the prototype 4.9 mm f3.5 hyperfisheye lens from scratch and he is sharing how he did it.
It is a purely mechanical lens, btw, and therefore, it has no electronics to help to create the magic. This is not the only fisheye lens that can see behind itself though; apparently, Nikkor once had a 6 mm fisheye lens in the 70s that did the same, but clearly, Cicala’s version is more superior. Cicala says that the C-4 Optics Hyper Fisheye Lens is “far sharper, have less distortion and vignetting, and cost somewhat less than those do today.”
To put things in perspective, the closest optics that can do the same mentioned earlier commands around $100K today. But we have no idea what “somewhat less than those do today” means. If anyone care to read, there’s an in-depth step-by-step look at the assembly of the lens in writing on Lensrentals’ blog, or if you have a shorter attention span like I do, you can watch the time-lapse video, which you can find below, of the assembly process which last for just 46 seconds.
However, there are no samples yet, but according to our source, Cicala will be putting out sample photos taken with this widest-ever fisheye lens “within the next week or two.”