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Fish Eye Lens
A typical fisheye shot.

The extremely wide-angle lens. Used to produce a sense of disorientation.

The lens in a door's peephole is a fish-eye, so this lens is used when a visitor is viewed outside an apartment. Makes anyone look ugly. May also be used from a low angle to spice up long-winded dialogue sequences in anime.

Also frequently used when shooting skateboarding and other extreme sports, as it can make big air look bigger from the appropriate angle.

Since less-expensive security camera set-ups are often fitted with wide-angle lenses to allow one camera to cover more area, the resulting footage may show a fisheye effect. Simulated security-camera footage, therefore, is also often shot with a fisheye.

Note that when seen in an animated format it is often a False Camera Effect, although a technique for drawing this way exists independently and can be used for the same sense of disorientation.


Examples:

Anime
  • Pani Poni Dash! used this effect to emphasize Miyako's gigantic forehead.
    • The same gag is used on Yue in Negima!?, as both were made by the same studio - one of the OAVs opened a scene with a fish-eye view of Nodoka as she talks to someone, then pulls back to show it was the reflection off Yue's Forehead of Doom.
  • The first two Patlabor films have this on occasion, usually (but not always) when a character is getting reamed for screwing up.
  • Done a couple times in Naruto when a character is going crazy or about to succumb to his dark side (or both).
    • Mostly it's done just to show off, it seems, as many of the shots are completely gratuitous..
    • The manga often uses this for the traditional effect, or a lesser version for particularly intense full-page spreads (this is probably the best example).
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion did this often in Shinji's internal sequences, to heighten the sense of isolation around him.
    • They're used in real-life scenes as well. There's a shot in episode 11 that's used to emphasize the implied menace of a locked door AND to visualize Asuka's self-centeredness.
    • It's part of the Signature Style of Hideaki Anno.
  • In Ghost In The Shell Standalone Complex, the Major and Batou are shown this way while they're piloting Tachikomas.
  • In Digimon Tamers this is used both to enhance the idea that the world shown is a mindscape (When focused on a character) or that the characters are alone (when focused elsewhere). The technique is used sparingly.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was quite infamous for using the fish-eye effect on the most mundane of scenes, such as, for example, when a character is standing besides a fridge. These were fixed on the DVD version.
  • Invoked for a moment in Magical Pokaan, to make you think Aiko had snapped. She didn't, but it was terrifying nonetheless.
  • Used a few times on Kyubey in later episodes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • Becomes increasingly frequent in Steins;Gate with Okarin's close-ups whenever something particularly traumatic happens or he gets closer to snapping from stress.

Film
  • A shot like this occurs in The War Of The Worlds (1953), when the scientists are testing the Martian probe viewer device.
  • The film Hot Shots! had a character afflicted with "Walleye Vision" that made the world appear this way. This was a problem because he was a pilot.
  • HAL 9000's POV shots in 2001: A Space Odyssey. His infamous glowing red eye was in fact made with a real fisheye lens.
  • The entirety of How the West Was Won was shot through two paired fisheye lenses, a purposeful choice by director John Ford to show the open, sweeping landscape of the West. It works beautifully for its intended purpose, but when used for close-ups inside buildings... not so much.
  • Just about every scene in Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme uses it.
  • Used in Ernest P. Worrell to make Ernest look all the more obnoxious.
  • Enter the Void
  • Brazil
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The City of Lost Children
  • Action sports Films, such as skateboarding, used fisheye lens to capture the ride tricks while still be able to see the surroundings and the riders themselves in the action.

Live-Action TV
  • Doctor Who director Graeme Harper has done this with nearly every new series story he has directed. Example from "Journey's End".
  • When Kramer decided to put his peephole in backwards (so people could see in his apartment), we saw him like this.
  • This is often used in establishing shots on TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, because massive, all consuming piles of stuff apparently aren't freaky enough on their own.
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Mind's Eye" used fisheye lens in a scene featuring Geordi La Forge when he was being manipulated via mental reprogramming to assassinate a visiting governor.
  • As Tosh0 shows, everything looks cooler through a fish eye lens!
  • Used in The Conditions of Great Detectives in the "backstage" room where only characters who are aware of their fictional existence can discuss the story.

Music

Music Videos
  • This technique was used a lot by music video director Harold "Hype" Williams in the mid- to late-1990s, especially ones that he directed for Busta Rhymes' songs.

Video Games

Webcomics

Web Original
  • Appears in Marble Hornets as the chestcam Jay and more recently/earlier on (as the 'recent' footage is actually supposed to be from old tapes around 7 months ago), Alex wears.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons once had Marge look out the peephole at Skinner to produce this effect.
  • The Critic also did this, with Jay's ex-wife looking out the peephole at a grotesque Jay. She was even more disgusted to find he looked exactly the same when she opened the door.
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast has one of these with Gaston through a peephole.
  • One episode of Home Movies revolved around Brendon trying to buy a fish-eye lens to use in his movies.
  • A Very Special Episode of Family Guy, Peter looks at a distorted, puppy-eyed Quagmire though the peephole on his door. He's surprised to find that Quagmire really does looks like that, having gotten that way from the lack of sleep due to the domestic violence that had kept him up all night.

Faux First Person 3DUsefulNotes/Graphical PerspectiveForced Perspective
Filming For Easy DubCamera TricksFly-at-the-Camera Ending
Firemen Are HotImageSource/PhotographyFlag Bikini

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