Creating 360° videos involves lots of complicated settings, multiple memory cards, and you can’t go without stitching software. But the Sphere Pro lens is about to change it. Thanks to this lens, if you want to shoot full-spherical video, all you need to do is attach the lens onto your camera and start shooting. And judging from the video, the results are quite awesome.
Sphere Optics Company has created the first lens for DSLR that “sees everything”. It captures a complete 360° sphere without gaps, and does it all in a single shot. It covers 360° horizontally and 180° vertically. As the manufacturer says, this is how it works:
(sphere) uses a special, patented toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a disc-like image on the camera sensor. Using a (sphere) pixel mapping, we then easily map the image to a spherical shape. Once the video is shot, converting it to a spherical experience is easy.
The product has a range of benefits. It allows shooting to 1mm distance without seams or parallax issues. It is designed to fit Nikon F mount cameras, but it’s adaptable to many other models, too. Last but not least, it’s easy to use and brings VR shooting closer to an average DSLR user, which I believe is the main purpose of this lens.
Format is 35mm full frame, and the resolution depends on the camera sensor. As the sensors progress in quality, so will the videos shot with this lens. As the entire sphere is recorded as a circle on a single sensor, the resolution is based on the smallest dimension of the sensor.
The only disadvantages are focus and aperture. The focus is fixed and it’s best at 40”. Aperture is also fixed and it’s f/8. Still, with an innovative concept like this, I believe it’s not much of a problem when you compare it with all the benefits.
In addition to the Sphere Pro Lens, the company plans to launch Sphere GoPro Lens and Sphere for mobile, as well as the mobile app. The Sphere Pro lens is available rent on the company’s website. If you want to buy one, note that they are not yet available for purchase. And if you plan to rent it, be quick – because there is only a limited amount of lenses available for now.