Seeing Wide

A wide angle lens (one that takes in more of a scene than a normal optic) is often the third or fourth choice in building a lens arsenal. Besides probably being less fun to use than a long lens, a wide angle lens isn't really needed as much for the type of subject matter pursued by the average photographer.

Compared to a normal lens, a telephoto lens takes in a narrower angle of view and thereby magnifies a subject. A wide angle lens performs the opposite function. It covers a larger viewing angle and renders the subject proportionately smaller. Whereas telephotos are used when a subject is too far away, wide angles comes into play when a subject is too close for all of it to be included within the picture area.

A wide angle lens makes possible complete images of large objects from surprisingly close range. However, for any given subject size, the shorter the shooting distance, the shorter in focal length the lens must be to produce the same coverage.

Wide angle lenses now run the gamut from a moderate 35mm focal length to super wide 15mm lenses and beyond. A change of 5 or 10 millimeters in focal length is hardly noticeable in a telephoto lens (because that is a relatively small proportion of the total length), but the same variation in the length of two wide angle lenses makes a tremendous difference - especially at the shorter end of the scale.

Today with the number and variety of wide angle lenses matching the telephoto lenses in scope, you can choose from among an enormous range of focal lengths for your interchangeable-lens camera. If you have the imagination and the inclination to use them, the lenses are available.


More about telephotos lenses

- Shorter wide angle lenses
- Moderate wide angle lenses
- super wide angle lenses
- tips about using wide angle lenses
- fisheye lenses
- tips about using fisheye lenses
- What is Wide-Angle Lens


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