Surreal Circular Landscape Photos Using a Homemade DIY Ultra-Wide Lens Hack

Surreal Cactus Landscape in the Huntington Gardens
Surreal Cactus Landscape in the Huntington Gardens

Surrealism in Landscape Photography can be enhanced by using a non-standard lens. I built a super-wide angle lens hack assembly specifically designed to produce a circular image on film.

Ultrawide surreal tree image
Ultrawide surreal tree image

I like that the full circle creates a frame for the subject.

Surreal Landscape in the Huntington Gardens
Surreal Landscape in the Huntington Gardens

After trying several variations, I settled on this version which has a nice roll off of sharpness and linearity at the edges.

Preternatural Cactus Landscape
Preternatural Cactus Landscape

A friend, upon hearing that we were going to visit the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, recommended the cactus garden area. Living in a desert region myself, I was loathe to shoot yet more cacti, but, the Huntington Gardens cactus collection is fabulous in every way.

Close-ups Are Possible with this Lens Hack - Succulent
Close-ups Are Possible with this Lens Hack - Succulent

The POV (Point of View) with any very wide lens can be challenging. With a full circle ultra-wide, where everything will show (read: NO CROPPING) camera position is critical. Note how well it works in close-ups as well as landscape wide shots.

Succulent in Ultra-wide Close-up
Succulent in Ultra-wide Close-up

I mounted the lens assembly on the great Nikon F100 camera body.

Nikon F100 with Circular Wide-angle Lens Hack
Nikon F100 with Circular Wide-angle Lens Hack

This rig allowed me to retain metering and manual focus with viewfinder clarity.

Super-wide Angle Lens Assembly
Super-wide Angle Lens Assembly

Neat, sweet, petite.

Film Negative on Kodak T-Max 400 TMY Film
Film Negative on Kodak T-Max 400 TMY Film

This particular lens hack produced the best images on film. Digital sensors require a different configuration for best imaging and resolution. (maybe the subject of another post?)

Cheers,

Ken Storch

Author: P U

8 thoughts on “Surreal Circular Landscape Photos Using a Homemade DIY Ultra-Wide Lens Hack

  1. would you be willing to share more information on how you created the Surreal Circular Landscape camera, especially how to do create an Ultra-Wide Lens Hack. I am currently digging deep on the internet to try to find DIY ways to create a camera that creates circular images. My preference is to use 120 film. I have a kiev, pentax 67II. any ideas?

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