There are definitely some unusual pieces of glass out there, but have you ever considered shooting portraits with a ridiculously large projection lens that was originally designed for IMAX screens?
Photographer Jay P Morgan from The Slanted Lens (opens in new tab) recently published a video where he took an IMAX lens and adapted it to the Canon EOS R. This unusual combination produced some stunning results at his local skate park, where he captured some street portraiture.
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The IMAX lens in the video is a projector lens produced by a company called Iwerks Entertainment. The company was founded in 1985 and is currently known as SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, the lens itself has an incredibly wide field of view of 180º. Morgan even mentions that the lens is wide enough to capture a figure, even when they're standing at the extreme edge of the lens.
Adapting this kind of a lens is a tricky proposition, as it doesn't have any mounting system that's similar to DSLR or mirrorless cameras. To get around this problem, Morgan used his DIY skills to mount the lens onto the camera with some plywood. The IMAX lens is a fixed focus lens, which means that there is no way to control the focus from the lens itself. This meant that Morgan had to adapt it to the camera in a way which allowed him to move the camera closer and further away from the lens in order to focus on his subjects.
As you can see in the image above, the lens produces images that have an incredibly shallow depth-of-field for such a wide angle lens. Even the way the lens blurs the background and foreground feels unique and Morgans discusses how his face is in focus but the area around is all out of focus. "it almost has like a tilt-shift type quality – like it's focusing on one point".
While this isn't the most practical lens we've ever seen, it certainly looks like a great deal of fun! We would love to see what else Morgan is able to produce with this unusual bit of kit.