Second Outing With the Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens

After my very quick test of my new fisheye conversion lens the other night, I was impatient to give it a better test. Last Saturday afternoon had great weather and great skies so I put the fisheye on my EOS 400D and took a walk up to Birthorpe and back.

Here is the result:

Fisheye to Birthorpe


New Toy: Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens

Ever since I got to play with one back in the 1980s (using it on my Zenit 11), I've wanted a fisheye lens of my own. Trouble is, they're generally expensive, especially given the limited use they have.

And then, a couple or so weeks back, while browsing for something else on Amazon, I stumbled on the Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens:

It turned up yesterday and, last night, just as the sun was setting, I managed a very quick walk around the village to give it a quick try:

Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Test

My initial reaction is very favourable. There's very obvious fringing as you move away from the middle of the image (which I expected), but the sweet spot is very sharp and, overall, it's nice and easy to use.

Great little toy that will get more use.


Seen by Me -- An experiment with video slide shows

For a long time now I've wanted to have a go at creating a video slide show. While I did have a quick dabble with Animoto a while back, and while it was fun, it wasn't quite what I had in mind.

I've wanted to be able to take a piece of music, ideally an instrumental, and try and weave my images around it. To this end I've spent some time, over the months, looking for instrumental tracks that I love and which are also licenced in a way that would permit using them as the backing of such a video. That was the really important part, that I was legally permitted to use the music.

And then, last week, one of my favourite singer/songwriters released a couple of instrumental versions of her songs via her newsletter. She also said that anyone was permitted to use the music in other works as long as full and proper credit is given.

One of the tracks was the instrumental of I'm Yours. I *had* to do something with that. And so, last Saturday night, I fired up Windows Movie Maker and started having a dabble.

This is the result:

And please, if you like the music, go visit Marian's website and have a listen to her music. Better still, why not treat yourself to some of her music?

Even better, if you're looking for instrumental tracks that are licenced in a way that let's you use them while passing on the news, why not join her mailing list and keep up with what she's doing?

PS: If you didn't click through to the original song, and you're done watching the video, have a listen to the original here:

<a href="http://mariancall.bandcamp.com/track/im-yours">I'm Yours by Marian Call</a>