M got me a "wide angle" lens for Christmas because that's what a friend told her I wanted. It was my fault really, I told the friend I needed either a wide angle lens or a fish eye lens. What I really wanted was a fish eye lens, but just didn't understand the differences initially when I spoke. So after getting the wrong lens, returning it, then forgetting to order the other lens for a while, I finally got the fish eye lens. You've likely seen photos taken with a fish eye lens before but didn't know what you were looking at. Depending on how close you are to the subject, you can get that round effect in your picture because the fish eye lens shoots 180 degrees. So shooting straight ahead, you could also get a shot of the floor in front of your feet at the same time.
I wanted this particular type of lens because I'm an old architecture nut. I love taking pictures of old buildings, but often you can't get the whole building in, in one picture because it's too tall, too wide, or on narrow city streets, you can't back up far enough away from the building to get the whole building in the shot. I experienced this problem when I was taking shots of an old building downtown for that friend who told M which lens I needed. He's working on a project concerning old downtown buildings and their revival. I offered to take the pix for the website he was building on that topic.
The other problem I experienced, besides not being able to get the whole building in, was that, not being a professional photographer with extra lights and screens, inside some old buildings, there isn't enough light to get a good picture. I was in the attic of one of these grand old buildings and other than a single light bulb fixture hanging from the ceiling, the only light was coming through the windows. When I used flash, it only covered a narrow field of vision. A fish eye lens is great for taking wide angle shots in low light. In that first shot of my dining room, the lights in the room were turned down on the dimmer and there were no other lights on in the house. It actually was quite dark, but the picture came out vivid and bright.
The reason I haven't posted pictures sooner with this new lens is because I was able to take great indoor shots, but I couldn't take outdoor shots. All my outdoor shots were completely bleached out to the point you couldn't even see the picture. I had to find time to read the manual and figure out the aperture settings to cut down on the amount of light coming into the camera. Now that I've figured that out, I can take outdoor shots. In this picture, I'm taking a shot of the whole back yard; with my regular lens, I'd only be able to take half of that picture at a time. I'm planning on going back downtown on Friday with a friend and my new lens and take more shots as I figure out how the lens works. I'm so excited.