A few weeks back an amazing Nikkor 6mm fisheye lens resurfaced for sale in London for an eye-popping $160,000. The lens was quickly snatched up by a camera collector. For those of you who missed out on buying the lens but would still like to see how 160 grand worth of fish-eye performs in real life, the folks who were selling it at Grays of Westminster put together a video just for you.
Two years ago, we reported that an extremely rare Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 fisheye lens had been put up for sale on eBay for a cool $34,020. If you balked at that price, get this: another copy of the lens has turned up in London, and this time the price tag is a staggering £100,000, or roughly $160,000. The lens became the world’s most extreme wide angle 35mm lens when it was released in 1970, and boasts a field of view of 220º — it can literally see behind itself! If Grays of Westminster does manage to sell off the lens at that price, you can bet collectors will be kicking themselves for passing up on the eBay deal two years ago.
Japanese architect Hideyuki Nakayama teamed up with door knob manufacturer UNION to create this funky glass globe knob that gives you a fisheye view of the next room. Now all Nakayama needs to do is find some way to incorporate film and a shutter…
Aside from this uber-rare lens being uber-expensive, it’s also ridiculously heavy, weighing in at close to 11.5 pounds. Here’s what Photography in Malaysia has to say about this lens:
You are looking at one of the most gorgeous looking lens in 35mm SLR photography – a lens that can actually see behind itself! This series of lenses were originally developed for special scientific and industrial use where wider-than-180° picture coverage is required in surveillance work, photographing the interiors of pipes, boilers, conduits, cylinder bores and other constricted areas. But in applications such as advertising and commercial photography they are used extensively for dramatic effects.
To put the field of view in perspective, human vision is about 180°.
Here are some sample photographs taken with the “tin cam”:
Built using a fisheye peephole as the main lens element and a decapitated soda can as the lens body (!), this attaches directly to my SLR camera. For well under US$20, I ended up with a lens that has nearly a 180-degree field-of-view, adjustable focus, a canon EOS mount, and due to it’s stylish and sleek exterior, can generate limitless amounts of admirationridicule confusion.
To learn how to build one of these for yourself, head on over to the tutorial through the following link: