How to use Wide Angle Lenses

How to use Wide Angle Lenses

 

Wide angle lenses refer to lenses with shorter than normal focal length and have the effect of increasing the angle of view rather than decreasing it. At the same time, wide angle lenses also can decrease the image magnification at the same camera to subject distance. There are several basic reasons for using lenses of short focal length. Not all of these are concerned primarily with the idea of increased angle of view, but all use it.

  • Wider Angle of View

  • A lens of normal focal length has an angle of view ranging from 45 to 55 degrees, give or take a little. But, from a given camera position, not all subjects will fit into this acceptance angle. Examples of subjects that are likely to require wider angles are landscape views and architectural studies. They are also useful in circumstances that force you to position your camera unusually close to the subject. Wide angle lenses are often used in landscape photography because when people look at such views they normally sweep their eyes across it to take it all in; the view as photographed with a normal lens tends to look cramped. In architectural photography the perspective effects induced by a close approach tend to make the picture look more dramatic, even if not actually needed.

  • Apparent Distance

  • Because wide angle lenses have a greater angle of view than normal lenses, they produce less image magnification than such lenses when both are used at the same distance from the subject. Thus, wide angle lenses are useful when you desire to make it appear that a given camera to subject distance is greater than it actually is.

  • Perspective Arrangement

  • Another such use occurs when you wish to exaggerate the relative sizes of subjects at different camera to subject: distances (the opposite compared to the one produced by telephotography). This technique can be used to place visual emphasis on the nearer subject, when there is no need for direct size comparisons. It is quite an effective technique.

  • Wide-Angle Techniques

  • Just as all serious photographers should take a medium capability telephoto lens along on each session, so should they take a moderate wide angle lens. It is not extreme demands that cause us trouble in most circumstances, but rather those demands that just slightly exceed the capacities of our equipment. The most useful wide angle lens seems to be one with about 70% of the normal focal length. In the 35 mm format or the full frame formal of DSLR, this would be a 35 mm focal length (70% of 50 mm focal length).

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