A new lens called Sphere promises to turn any interchangeable lens camera body into a 360 camera by capturing a 36-degree view horizontally and a 180-degree view vertically.
In more technical terms, the lens operates by revolving a conventional fisheye lens with a field of view of 180 degrees around a central conical mirror to capture a 360-degree horizontal field of view and a 180-degree vertical field of view.
Developed by Sphere Optics Company, the new Sphere lens uses a toroidal design, the company says, to capture its extreme wide angles of view.
As a result, photographers can use the Sphere lens to shoot 360 video without the need for stitching.
Sphere Optics Company founders tell our friends at Newshooter that the “single lens, single camera 360 solution allows users to shoot extremely close (up to 1mm) without seams or parallax issues, requires no stitching, and works with almost any DSLR camera (Nikon F mount, but adaptable to most others).”
What’s more, they state that while the final image resolution largely depends on your camera, you can roughly expect to achieve roughly 5/8th the total resolution available on the camera when using the attachment.
So if you are using a camera with an image sensor capable of 4K resolution, the image resolution will be quite low. But as sensors improve in the coming years higher resolutions like 6K and 8K should become more readily available in prosumer gear.
The Sphere lens offers a fixed aperture of f/8 and a fixed focus of 40 inches.
Other key specifications include a 35mm full frame image circle, a length of 198mm, and a weight of 1.8kg.