Learn more about the history of the fisheye lens after the jump.
Timeline of the fisheye lens:
1839 L.J.M. Daguerre (1789-1851) invents the first practical process of photography. The first lens to be used on a camera was the Achromatic landscape lens of C. Chevalier (1804-1859).
1840 J.M. Petzval (1807-1891) designs his famous Portrait lens. It becomes an all-time favorite and is produced for almost 100 years, right up until the 1930’s.
1851 Cast-iron aquarium frames are featured at the Great Exhibition in London and the keeping of fish quickly becomes popular all over Britain. Soon, curious people begin to wonder how goldfish see and live life, and how their extraordinary view can be imitated by humans.
1906 In his article “Fish-eye views, and vision under water” in the Philosophical Magazine, (12, Series 6:159-162, 1906) the American physicist R.W. Wood coins the term “fish-eye” for the wide-angle lenses that are later produced. He chose this name because a fish looking upward will see the whole sky as a finite circle. However, the precise perspective of goldfish remains a biological mystery.
1924 The earliest example of a fisheye lens is manufactured by Beck of London. The so-called “Hill Sky Lens” is used by meteorologists to photograph the entire sky on one single plate.
1932 The German AEG Company introduces a more elaborate fisheye lens.
1938 The Japanese manufacturer Nikon releases its first fisheye lens (16/8). It captures an amazing 180-degree field of vision in a circular image. 1940 (approx)Carl Zeiss of Germany develops a wide-angle fisheye lens named “Pleon.” This product was intended for (like many other wide-angle lenses) aerial photography.
1962 The Fisheye-Nikkor (8mm f/8) by Nikon is released and sold as an interchangeable lens for the Nikon F single-lens-reflex camera. It is known as the world’s first consumer-production fisheye-lens for 35mm photography.
1968 Nikon releases the OP Fisheye, which featured an outstanding new feature called “orthographic projection.” This gives the image a larger center and yields an even greater wide-angle distortion effect than previous fisheye lenses.
1973 As many photographers have discovered the advantages of the fisheye lens (prior to the late 1960’s, fisheye lenses were mainly used for scientific research, meteorology, urban planning and the like), the demand for a full frame fisheye-lens is overwhelming. With the Fisheye-Nikkor 16/3.5, Nikon is the first manufacturer to mass-produce a fisheye lens that covers the entire 24mm x 36mm film frame – not just a circle in the middle.
1992 The Lomographic Society International is founded in Vienna, Austria.
2005 Restless Lomographers discover the extraordinary view and life of goldfish.
2005 The Lomographic Society International releases the Fisheye camera.
2006 The Lomographic Society International releases the Fisheye 2 camera.
2006 The Lomographic Society International releases “Fisheye Photography: Rumble in the Pond.”
2006 You’re reading that book! You are now officially a part of the ongoing fisheye image movement. Better get cracking on shooting photos, sharing them around, and coming up with new techniques. We’ll follow up with your shortly to check on your progress.
“Rumble in the Pond” is a 368-page hardcover book bursting with 170-degree Fisheye madness. Inside your will find exclusive tips and tricks, Lomographer profiles & interviews, an informative history of Fisheye lenses and goldfish breeding, and several hundred eye-popping barrel-distorted fisheye images. Get your own ""Rumble in the Pond" Fisheye Book":http://shop.lomography.com/rumble-in-the-pond-fisheye-book now!