On my blog, a lot has already been said about camera bodies, about building a composition, about exposure. It’s time to touch on an equally important part – lenses. Surely, each of you wondered what a wide-angle lens is for and the advantages of wide angle lens? It is in this article that I will talk about its purpose, features and use cases.
First you need to understand what a wide-angle lens is. As a rule, a wide-angle lens or, as photographers say, “wide” is considered to be a set of lenses, the focal length of which is within 24-35mm, which is true for full-frame cameras. For crop matrices, the parameter will be somewhat large, and it depends on the crop factor, which you may have read about earlier.
Ultra-wide-angle lenses are similar in concept to those considered in the article; however, they cannot be called the same type. This is due to the radically different results when working with each type. It is also worth noting here that the ultra-wide angle is associated with “barrel” aberration, and the shorter the focal length, the more pronounced it is.
If we talk about dry numbers, then a lens with a focal length of 14-21 mm is considered to be ultra-wide.
Inexperienced photographers often don’t understand how professionals use wide-angle lenses. It should be noted right away that a beginner cannot always correctly set a task for himself and, as a result, not fully reveal the potential of the equipment.
So, the first ones usually use the type of lenses considered in the article due to the lack of the ability to move away from the object being shot. Professionals use them to approximate. In other words, the latter do not plan to move away from the subject as much as possible.
This is due to the fact that only an experienced photographer knows about one of the main features: wide-angle lenses have special lenses that make the main subject seem too large and the background one too small. Simply put, shiriks indirectly distort reality, which is sometimes extremely useful.
Now it is worth talking in more detail about this parameter. Most often, users play precisely with the prospect to get an interesting result. The feature described above is related precisely to perspective. This feature is most clearly shown in the following images:
So why is reality distorted indirectly? The fact is that by itself, a wide perspective does not change much. It all depends only on the photographer, or more precisely, on his position relative to the subject being shot. If you get as close to it as possible, then the rest of the objects will seem too small.
What is it for? Most often, this feature is used to better demonstrate the subject of photography while maintaining a beautiful background image. The photo attached below shows that the boats turned out to be disproportionately large when compared to the catamarans located slightly to the left. This effect was achieved precisely due to the wide angle.
Among other things, it should be remembered: when shooting a camera with a wide angle, you need to place an object in the center of the frame in the foreground, otherwise the pictures will seem overloaded and the viewer’s eye will have nothing to catch.
You may also like to read: Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S Review: Best Lens for Landscape Photography & Wide Angle Applications
Yes, even vertical subjects can appear slanted when shooting with this type of lens. To avoid this, you should choose the correct direction of the camera – strictly along the horizon. If you send it higher or lower, then in the image, the initially vertical lines will begin to converge.
This statement applies to all types of lens sets, even telephoto lenses. However, on the latter, a similar pattern is less noticeable than on a wide angle. Basically, because of this, this type is considered the most difficult to learn, but these flaws are easily corrected in graphic editors, which you can read about in earlier articles.
Despite the frequent avoidance of the vertical convergence effect, it can also be used as an art. This is clearly seen in the picture when photographing in the forest: the trees seem to converge closer to their crowns, although, in reality, they are located absolutely parallel to each other.
Of course, there are many ways to avoid this effect if it is undesirable:
- The first is the direction to the horizon. He has no shortcomings, solid advantages.
- The second way is to increase the distance to the object. Of course, this is not always possible, in addition, pictures with increasing distance will lose detail.
- The third method is to stretch the image using editors, however, when using it, the image can be greatly distorted and lose the correct perspective.
- The fourth and final method is a lens with perspective control (tilt-shift function). Its main drawback is its high cost.
Simple Tips by An Expert
Why do many people say that polarizing filters should not be used with a wide-angle lens? As you know, their efficiency directly depends on the angle of incidence of light. If, for example, the lens is positioned perpendicular to the sun, this effect will be maximal, and when looking “in the forehead” it will be completely excluded. The effectiveness of the polarizer in different areas will differ due to the strong convexity of the lens, which can negatively affect the resulting frame.
Why should you use a gradient filter? Wide-angle sets of lenses often have such a feature: pictures with different levels of illumination of objects can be overexposed in some areas and underexposed in others.
Such a filter solves the problem: it can absorb excess light or, conversely, add it where necessary.
Why does the shirik make the DOF too big? He doesn’t do anything big, it’s just a delusion. This is due to the way such mechanisms are used. Rarely do photographers get as close as possible to the subject, which is why the frame is filled in differently from the usual lenses with a medium focusing distance.
Shooting Wide Portraits
Do you think you can use a wide-angle lens for portraits? And I’m pretty sure you will say no. You say the image will be distorted. And in part, you’d be right. But I can tell you that you can do portraits with this lens. I also previously thought that this was complete nonsense, until I got acquainted with the works of the famous photographer Joe McNally. Joe broke that stereotype.
He recommends shooting very close with this lens. And if you take pictures from a very close distance, then there will be no visible distortions in the portrait. Distortion in the form of stretching is possible only at the edges of the photo, which is not very important. These are just additional objects that will only add zest to the photo. Therefore, everything is in your hands, experiment.
These are the main advantages of wide angle lens, try these in your photography and share your experience in comment.