A fisheye lens is designed to capture hemispherical or panoramic images with its 180° field of view. It was first invented by the physicist Robert W. Wood in 1906, but you probably notice the look most from 90s music videos.
Fisheye lenses fall in the curvilinear lens category which is a fancy way of saying that the image replicates a fish’s vision of the world from underwater. It’s a lot like looking through a peephole.
Having a fisheye lens opens so many creative doors, and it adds a unique focal length to your toolbelt. However, finding the right lens might be hard, especially if you’re an Android user.
How Is a Fisheye Lens Different From An Ultrawide Lens?
You’re probably wondering why you may want an add-on lens when your new phone already has a great camera? It’s true that mobile phone cameras are of high quality, but the number of additional focal lengths you can get with add-on lenses is insane.
As for why to choose a fisheye lens, it’s among the best tools for creating visually interesting shots. Distortion isn’t something that many Android photographers seek to achieve, except when it highlights certain elements of the subject.
The unique distortion of the fisheye lens highlights certain areas within your photo or video. It’s just not possible to achieve the same tasteful distortion with the phone’s native camera, even with all the digital settings.
A fisheye lens can elevate a normal, boring image into a creative masterpiece. Its uses are versatile – from taking a closed-up, fun picture of an animal to creating a dramatic image of landscapes or architecture. Personally, I use a fisheye lens for any vlog-like video that I do because the look is unique and highlights me from the backdrop.
You might also recognize the fisheye effect on many album covers for rockstars like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Jimmi Hendrix Experience. Fisheye album covers have remained popular too – it wasn’t just a psychedelic era fad.
Our Top 3 Choices for Fisheye Lenses
We created a small list with various fisheye lenses. We chose three options with different lens qualities, mounting systems, and price points.
Moment is one of the best producers of high-quality attachment lenses. Their lenses are rated number one for five years straight by The Wirecutter, Tom’s Guide, The Verge, and more. Heck, we like Moment so much we wrote a whole post about all their lenses!
Their Fisheye 14mm lens is by far my favorite fisheye lens on the market. It provides you with a 170° field of view to get those super-wide images. Shots that are 30% wider than what you’ll get with the ultrawide phone lenses on the latest phones.
The images you can get with this lens are sharp with plenty of detail. As it allows you to use the full image sensor on the latest phones, you’ll get crisp edges with no dark corners or vignetting. The focus of the lens does go downhill the further outside of the center of the frame that you go.
The Moment’s 14mm lens is great in night mode too. I actually made a video about the Google Pixel 4a with 5G’s Night Sight and Astrophotography in which I included some photos that I shot on the Moment 14mm Fisheye Lens.
Also, the lens is made with aerospace-grade metal to withstand high impact.
This lens is compatible with Android phones, however, you need to buy one of their M-series photo cases which are available for newer Pixel and Galaxy smartphones. The Moment cases are designed to mount your lens in addition to protecting your phone. If you don’t have a newer Pixel or Galaxy, though, you can still use Moment lenses by purchasing the M-Series Lens Mount.
- High-quality images with taseteful fisheye distortion
- Great in Night Mode to provide an ultrawide field of view on your phone’s best camera
- Comes with a lens cap and a microfiber bag
- Made with aerospace-grade metal to withstand high impact
- A two-year warranty
- Requires an M- series phone case
- Slightly expensive
SIRUI is a well-known brand. They manufacture high-quality, budget-friendly lenses that compete with more expensive brands.
Their 170° fisheye lens is insanely sharp even at the edges. The only thing that could be improved on it is a tiny amount of chromatic aberration. This chromatic aberration issue is why we give the edge to Moment when it comes to image quality.
Additionally, using the multi-purpose clip-on mount that comes with the lens decreases its performance. You’ll notice more chromatic aberration and less sharpness. If you want to mitigate the chromatic aberration issues, I recommend using their mount adapter or their protective cases.
The lens material is durable, though, as it’s made of German manufactured Schott glass and aircraft-grade aluminum. The Sirui Fisheye Lens is a great option for beginner vloggers who shoot on their Android phones.
- High compatibility
- Decent sharpness
- Made of German manufactured Schott glass and aircraft-grade aluminum
- Requires an additional purchase of a phone case for optimal performance
- A bit of vignetting on the corners
This great lens kit from Criacr comes with three lenses: macro, fisheye, and wide-angle. For the purposes of this post, though, we’ll focus on their fisheye lens.
Their fisheye lens isn’t the best on sharpness. But, you’ll still capture those wide curved images and be able to compare them with those captured from the wide-angle. If we’re comparing it with the Moment fisheye lens or the SIRUI lens, you won’t get much detail. What you will get, however, is an introduction to what each of these lenses does to your phone’s camera. If you’re new to mobile photography and filmmaking, then a starter kit like this one from Criacr can help inspire what sort of creator you will become.
With their clip-on mount, you can attach their lenses on most smartphones. The clip is made of PVC to avoid scratching your phone. The professional HD lens is made of high-quality glass to reduce any flares or ghosting caused by reflection.
- Compatible with most smartphones
- PVC-made clip to avoid scratching your smartphone
- A professional HD lens for no flares or ghosting caused by reflection
- Decent lens quality
- Image quality is not impressive
Fisheye Lenses for Android Smartphones
Before buying any fisheye lens, consider the reason why you need it. If you’re a pro and need to add abstract but aesthetic images and footage into your work, then lean towards the Moment 14mm Fisheye.
If you want a high-quality fisheye lens to see if mobile photography or filmmaking is for you, then consider investing in the SIRUI Fisheye Phone Lens. And, if you’re totally new to taking photos and videos on your Android then go with the Criacr Lens Kit as it’s a great introduction to Android lenses.
Have any questions, comments, or concerns about the lenses discussed in this post? Comment them below – I’d to chat about them!