Today we’re going to take a step back and view the art of photography through a much wider perspective, which is a terribly pun-filled way to say that this article will examine the basic concept of broad angle photography. Nosotros’ll take a look at what wide bending photography is, why you should attempt information technology, some considerations to keep in mind and finally a few lenses to become you started.
Every few weeks, nosotros revisit some of our reader’s favorite posts from throughout the history of the site. This tutorial was first published in September of 2010.
What Is a Wide Bending Lens?
Just to make sure this article is understandable to accented beginners, a brief definition of our terms is necessary.
A “wide angle” lens is whatever lens with a brusk focal length. Focal length is the distance, in millimeters, from the optical center of your lens to the motion-picture show or sensor when your lens is focused at infinity.
Whoa, that’s a little intense, right? Practically speaking, the important thing to recollect is this: the shorter the focal length of the lens, the wider the field of view, and the more you lot’ll be able to fit in your frame. Some common wide-angle focal lengths for 35mm SLR cameras, from very wide to moderately wide, are 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm.
For a more detailed introduction, here’s a great lesson on focal length and field of view from David Bode’south course,
What Every Photographer Should Know About Lenses.
Why Not a Telephoto Lens?
When new photographers purchase their kickoff digital SLR and eventually set off in search of a few skilful lenses to buy, they tend to have only ane thing in mind: zoom.
A “good lens” is i that allows you to accept a close-upward shot of a fly on a horse’s ear from 30 yards. All that other stuff is only 2nd rate, right?
My answer is a resounding “no!” Don’t get me incorrect, telephoto zoom lenses are absolutely fantastic and I promise every lensman has a run a risk to own at least one expert i. They’re just not the simply, or even the kickoff, thing yous should consider in your quest to aggrandize your lens armory.
In a recent article I raved well-nigh the wonders of using my 50mm one.four, a lens that is by no means ideal for capturing your child’due south little league game from the acme of the bleachers. However, there are in fact several situations where information technology is hard to trounce for both convenience and quality.
This aforementioned logic applies to a good broad angle lens. While information technology definitely won’t be appropriate for all shooting scenarios, it is an incredibly essential slice of equipment that tin produce uniquely stunning photographs.
More than Than Landscapes
Oft, the first type of shot that comes to heed when you lot call up about a wide angle lens is a landscape. After all, what wider field of study could yous mayhap promise for than a mountain range or a vast windswept field?
In that location’s definitely a reason for considering these shots first: wide bending lenses are unrivaled in capturing the beauty of an immense landscape. Your eyes are capable of taking in nearly 180 degrees of a scene at in one case and when you’ve got a beautiful view, you typically desire a lens that can capture as much or more than what you’re seeing.
However, taking in the sites isn’t the only thing that wide angle lenses are good at. For instance, when you’re indoors, walls tend to prevent y’all from backing upwardly far enough to get everything you want in the frame. A wide bending lens volition enable you to actually have in the total room and capture the essence of the scene before you.
However, photographing with a zoom lens does tend to limit what you lot can have in. If y’all’ve ever walked around with i of these you lot know that there are tons of shooting scenarios when y’all but tin’t become the shot you want. Details, for example, are difficult to isolate and highlight.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when shooting with a broad bending lens is that you’ll quite often come upward with a result that surprises you in its clumsiness.
Considering wide bending lenses take in such a wide field of view, they tend to distort the apparent physical relationships between objects. This issue is virtually noticeable when you await at lines that should be relatively direct but are instead bent.
For this reason, you accept to monitor your results closely, particularly when you’re taking pictures of people. Keep in listen though that the baloney doesn’t have to be an unwanted side impact. Countless photographers use wide angle distortion as an important chemical element of the paradigm. Every bit long as you’re aware of the distortion and how information technology affects a given lens, you can use information technology to stylistically create images that you simply couldn’t capture past whatsoever other ways.
Depth of Field
Understanding depth of field is key to mastering wide angle photography. Wide angle lenses provide the appearance of a much deeper amount of focus (more depth of field) in the scene than telephoto zoom lenses. This is nice because it ways that well-nigh of your broad angle image appears in focus!
However, according to Alex Don, “if y’all enlarge a portion of [the zoomed out image] this apparent depth of field volition disappear.” Similarly, Cambridge In Color points out that what’s actually changing drastically with the focal length is the distribution of the depth of field, and that “a wide angle lens provides a more gradually fading depth of field behind the focal aeroplane than in front.” Considering longer focal lengths flatten your perspective, they announced to have a shallower depth of field.
Anyway, the best stride you tin can have toward understanding the technical side of wide angle depth of field is to experiment. Take the same photograph with multiple lenses at multiple aperture settings and compare so you tin can go a feel for how to produce the effect that you desire. All the technical articles in the globe can’t compare to really getting your hands on a camera and picking up some experiential knowledge.
Wide Bending Lens Prices
Equally with all types of lenses, wide bending lenses are all over the map in price. A Catechism 14mm f/2.8L Two USM will run you lot up of $2,000 and a Nikkor 14mm will typically be at least $i,200. Alternatively, y’all can grab a Sigma 14mm for only $700 and a similar Tamron for $800.
Contrast this with the lower end lenses which are plain much more affordable. A Canon 35mm f/two is pretty easy to find under $300 and a Nikkor equivalent at f/ane.8 is widely available for under $200.
These are all primes simply you can definitely option upwards some affordable multi-purpose zoom lenses that start at around 17mm and become up to anywhere from 85-200mm.
Offset With a 35mm Lens
My recommendation is to showtime with a 35mm wide angle lens. This lens provides a moderately-broad and useful angle of view, usually has less distortion, and is generally very affordable. 35mm lens designs have been around for a long time, and they’re basically perfect. Major manufacturers and third-political party lens makers offer new versions, and there are plenty on the used marketplace.
f/2 lens is both a great place to outset your lens collection and a great investment. This is the kind of lens that y’all can buy once, use all the fourth dimension, and never need to replace. The 35mm is likewise a atomic lens yous can just get out on your camera all the time for all kinds of photographing, from walkabouts and landscapes to capturing family gatherings.
For ingather frame cameras, you’ll demand a shorter focal length to get the equivalent field of view. For APS sensor cameras, get a 20mm to 23mm lens. For micro four/3, a 17mm lens is perfect.
To sum up, big fancy zoom lenses are both wildly impressive and highly applied in certain situations, but as a photographer you should always be prepare and able to capture the bigger movie, and you lot’ll demand a broad angle lens to practise it.
Though wide angle lenses are nearly often thought of in relation to landscapes, they really take a wide multifariousness of applications in all kinds of settings.
Finally, always be aware of the level of distortion also as both the apparent and literal range of the depth of field in your wide angle photos. With practice you’ll exist able to use these variables positively to create the shot y’all desire.
Leave a comment below and show usa your favorite wide angle shots. Be sure to include the type of lens you used and whether or not you would recommend it to others.
To see more examples of wide-angle photography, check out the broad-angle images on Envato Market.