Beginner’s Guide to Wide Angle Lenses: Capture Stunning Photos
If you’re interested in photography, you may have heard of this thing called wide lens. A wide-angle lens, to be precise, has a short focal length of only 35mm or less, and provides a wide field of vision. The more of the scene you can see in the frame, the wider your field of view which is why this type of accessory is a must. These lenses are useful in a variety of situations, and most photographers carry at least one in their arsenal.
When to Use Wide Angle Lens
Thanks to their ability to capture sweeping landscapes and starry nights, wide angle lenses are an essential part of the equipment of most landscape photographers. Aside from landscape photography, architecture, and real estate, photographers frequently use these lenses to make a room appear larger and more spectacular.
The typical focal length used by street photographers is 35mm, which approximates how your eyes see the world. Wide-angle lenses are also ideal for travel photography due to their short focal length, which allows you to capture a wider range of scenes.
On the other hand, they may impede rather than enhance your shots in certain situations too which is why it’s important to know when not to use them. Portrait photographers typically prefer a longer focal length to prevent the unattractive distortion caused by wider lenses. A telephoto lens is nearly always the best choice for sports, wildlife photography, or any other situation where you need to get close to the action.
Types of Wide Angle Lens
Ultra Wide Angle Lens
Fewer than 16mm focal lengths come into this group, and they’re often considered specialty lenses, used only in specific situations, such as astrophotography scenes. Therefore, fish-eye lenses are a type of ultra-wide lens with a full 180-degree field of view, giving them a characteristic, circular, distorted appearance.
Wide Angle Lens
These handy wide angle lenses which have focal lengths ranging from 16mm to 24mm, are wide without becoming fish-eye – responsible for excessive stretching of the frame. The sweet spot for most landscape photography sits between these focal lengths, although this range can also be used for a variety of everyday purposes.
Standard Wide Angle Lens
The term “standard” refers to focal lengths ranging from 24mm to 35mm. This is an excellent range for capturing wide photos with minimal distortion. However, if you want a lens that truly opens up compact locations, such as cityscapes or small rooms, you should consider going wider.
How to Get the Best Quality Lens
Because prime lenses have fewer moving components and can accept a larger maximum aperture, they typically outperform wide-angle zoom lenses. However, for the majority of scenarios and applications, the difference is negligible, and what you may lose in image quality, you gain in convenience with a zoom range.
Standard zoom lenses frequently cover a range of focal lengths, such as a wide zoom of 16-35mm or an ultra-wide zoom of 12-24mm, making them more adaptable than lenses that are locked into a single focal length. The best wide-angle lenses typically include features like a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or greater for a small depth of field, image stabilisation, or autofocus.
They may be constructed using an aspherical lens element, which delivers clearer images while reducing distortion. Their entire build quality is greater, but if you look for these characteristics on a lens, be ready to pay a high price. The good news is that used versions of most lenses may be found for far less than their retail price. And, despite their age, the glass’s quality does not deteriorate.
Even as newer models are launched, a quality wide angle lens from a major DSLR camera brand such as Canon, Nikon, Sigma, or Sony has a reasonable resale price. Whatever type of camera lens you’re looking for, go for the greatest quality you can afford. Although this camera equipment can sometimes cost more than the camera itself, it retains its worth better than cameras.
Things to Consider When Going Wide
When using a wide-angle lens, the most important thing to watch out for is distortion. Straight lines that appear to bow outward may frequently emerge in your images when you zoom in. And, vignetting, which is the darkness in the photo’s corners, is yet another issue that can be edited or adjusted using editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. However, keep this in mind when photographing individuals, and keep an eye out for anything at the edges of your frame.
Cropped Sensor Conversion
The focal length does not always correspond to the angle of view. The amount of space you can fit in the frame is determined by the size of your camera’s sensor. A 24mm lens, for example, converts to around 84 degrees of vision on a full-frame camera. However, if you used the same lens on a cropped sensor camera, such as an APS-C, the focal length would be reduced to around 38mm, and you would only obtain 61 degrees of vision.
Buying a high-quality wide-angle lens for your crop sensor camera is a terrific way to stretch your budget and get the best image quality out of your setup, but keep the crop factor in mind as you look for the optimal focal length. When purchasing a mirrorless camera, remember that these cameras require a lens that is compatible with their mounting mechanism. You can always utilise DSLR lenses on your mirrorless using a lens converter.
Just because you can fit the entire area into a single panoramic sweep doesn’t guarantee a strong photograph. Wide angle lenses can entice you to point and shoot at the entire scene, resulting in an image with no focal point or effective composition. A greater field of view necessitates the arrangement of more elements, which often leads to errors in the details.
Therefore, you see a lot more in the shot, so you have to pay attention to more things. When you pick up your wide lens, don’t forget to consider layers, the rule of thirds, contrast, and how the diverse shapes in your frame interact with one another. This will assist you to avoid creating a flat image that shows everything but emphasises nothing!