"Until now, the shooting method to realise 180° VR has generally been to use a dedicated camera compatible with 180° VR or to build a dedicated rig using multiple cameras," says the Canon Optical team. "The Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye
lens is a totally new and unique concept."
Photographers who use a compatible camera such as the Canon EOS R52
can simply add the compact lens to their kitbag and swap it in and out like any other lens, switching from shooting portraits to VR in an instant without the need for a dedicated VR camera. This also means they can offer clients 180° VR content within the same shoot as their standard images.
Canon's more versatile option is also much simpler, enabled by the RF mount system. "Setup is as simple as attaching the RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens to the camera and selecting your shooting parameters, with no specialist rigs, synchronisation of settings/image parameter or alignment needed," says Mark. Eliminating those otherwise time-consuming daily realities frees up VR creators to do what they want to do – create.
The effective angle of view of the dual fisheye lens is approximately 190°, meaning the camera operator can stand behind the camera and view the scene yet remain out of shot while recording. The same is also true for any on-set kit behind the camera, such as lighting. Composing, lighting and creating the shot is inherently easier and much more flexible than it is for 360° VR where everything in sight is in shot.
And while there is still a case for 360° VR, it is easier to keep the viewer locked into the action with 180° VR – where it is still possible to look up down, left and right via a compatible headset or viewing device – than it is for 360° VR, where turning around can mean missing the action happening in the other direction.