what is a wide angle lens used for

what is a wide angle lens used for

When to make use of a large angle lens

Large-angle lenses are surprisingly troublesome to make use of. I’ve seen individuals discuss them on blogs like they’re the key weapon of each single panorama photographer, however in my opinion, they’re nice at some issues, and actually unhealthy at others.

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A large-angle lens is most helpful for exaggerating perspective in panorama images. Large-angle lenses elongate options and make shut objects bigger whereas additional objects turn out to be smaller within the body.

The principle cause that I don’t use vast angles all that usually is as a result of they make every part distant look small. When you’re photographing mountains on the finish of sweeping plains, a wide-angle lens will flip these mountains into molehills. However there are in fact many locations the place they’re merely the very best instrument in your package.

I’ve carried round my 24-70 f2.8 lens for years, as a result of it’s the right wide-angle zoom lens. I not often have to take photographs wider than 24mm, And 70mm on the telephoto finish is ideal for stitching collectively panoramas that present amazingly detailed scenes. However the very best half is that it’s a tack sharp lens even when taking photographs with a large open aperture. On this article, I’ll present you my biggest ideas for getting essentially the most out of this lens, and the way I select which focal size for the scenes that I’m capturing.

What’s a wide-angle lens?

At its most elementary, a wide-angle lens is any lens that has a wider discipline of view than the human eye. In actuality, wide-angle is often known as any lens 35mm or wider on a full-frame digicam physique, or 24mm on APS-C cameras.

Extremely-wide angle lenses are these wider than 24mm on full-frame, just like the 16-35mm f/2.8 lens for Canon, or the 14-24mm f/2.8 on Nikon cameras.

These lenses produce a discipline of view that’s wider than a human’s pure discipline of view— even when accounting for peripheral imaginative and prescient. For panorama images, these lenses are unimaginable instruments that help you seize sweeping landscapes that embody the foreground all in a single picture. Which is likely one of the most important the explanation why they’re so beloved by photographers and viewers all around the world.

What scenes work with a wide-angle lens?

When persons are first beginning out with images, they usually assume the right lens for the job is a wide-angle. That’s normally the primary piece of kit that individuals rush out to purchase — whether or not it’s the 24-70, and even the broader choices, like 16-35mm or 17-40 f4 relying in your package. And these lenses are unbelievable to have, however I usually discover that individuals don’t know the right way to correctly use them to take gorgeous pictures.

There’s one thing to be stated about having the ability to get every part within the body. However there’s some extent the place there’s a lot within the body, that there’s no point of interest. That is what you need to keep away from.

Large-angle lenses work finest when you may get near your topic, and nonetheless need to see the foreground and background. Check out the mountaineering picture above. I took this {photograph} in Nevada, and the wide-angle lens is the rationale it seems so dramatic. The lens elongated the rock, making it seem a lot taller than it was in particular person. Nevertheless it additionally had the added impact of constructing the climber seem smaller as they moved additional away.

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This impact is used on a regular basis in promoting. Take into consideration shoe commercials, the place the photographer makes the shoe look enormous. However then the runner, regardless of being a lot bigger, takes up solely a fraction of the body compared. Taking the identical picture with a telephoto lens would make the shoe seem proportional in dimension to the particular person carrying it.

One other frequent instance is in Antelope Canyon and the grand canyon lookouts. In these circumstances, getting low with a wide-angle lens will make the ridges look completely large.

See how the ridges just below the arch have shadows alongside the ridges? This impact creates distinction and brings the viewer into the picture. And it solely occurs round dawn and sundown when the solar is lowest within the sky,

What’s one of the simplest ways to make use of a wide-angle lens?

Most individuals use a wide-angle lens to seize extra of the sky. However that’s not one of the simplest ways to make use of a wide-angle lens.

By far one of the simplest ways to make use of a large or ultra-wide-angle lens is to seize the foreground together with the background. Particularly in circumstances like mudflats, fields, or seashores, the place you need to seize as a lot element as doable within the foreground.

By angling down your wide-angle lens, you’ll be capable of seize sufficient of the foreground to offer the viewer a way of place. A sky picture could be taken anyplace on this planet, however the floor in entrance of you is what varies.

Taking photographs this fashion at sundown or dawn will create extra drama within the picture by elongating the shadows. These shadows present distinction together with the textured areas of the foreground, by darkening one aspect and highlighting the opposite. See the picture of the Mesa Arch on the high of this part for an instance of this impact, the place the dawn mild accentuates this foreground.

When your picture wants that contact of drama.

When must you put the wide-angle lens away?

Large-angle lenses usually are not helpful when your topic is way away. The one exception to this rule is in the event you’re within the Dakotas and your topic is the sky. It is because even the most important objects within the distance will look small when utilizing a wide-angle lens.

So in the event you’re on high of a hill, and try to get a picture of a sweeping panorama, a wide-angle lens will truly be extra of a hindrance than a assist. For one, the picture might get crowded if there aren’t main strains, outlined topics, or different shapes that add distinction and convey viewers into the picture.

It’s worthwhile to be sure that if you’re making that composition, that it truly has some substance. What pulls your consideration into this scene? Is there a ridge, branches, a fenceline, or one thing that’ll lead your eye to that object? In that case, discover a manner to make use of these strains and emphasize your topic. When you can’t get shut with out breaking the main strains, you then’ll want an extended focal size to carry that component nearer to you.

One in all my favourite examples is desert images. It is a case the place the wide-angle lens looks as if the obvious selection. However the reality is, you might want to seize particulars and drama. And whereas there’s loads of drama within the desert, it’s very troublesome to see with a wide-angle lens. That’s why I at all times use a telephoto lens once I’m within the desert — it permits me to make the backgrounds look bigger than life. But, wide-angle lenses make these similar dunes seem like anthills.

This picture is pretty much as good as it’s due to a meticulous workflow to get every part completely stage and centered.

What issues do Large-Angle lenses create in panorama pictures?

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At this level, we’ve gone over the very best occasions to make use of a wide-angle lens, however we didn’t get into one of the apparent downsides of those items of kit. Large focal lengths usually create distortion within the picture. Now, the higher-end variations just like the 16-25 f2.8 have gotten manner higher over time, however the corners will at all times be much less sharp than the middle, and the strains on the surface of the lens are inclined to get a bit curvy.

I edited structure photographs for a few years, and this was the most important problem that we encountered over and over. You want high-quality pictures of small areas, which is the place a wide-angle is meant to shine. However you may solely right these pictures a lot.

Whenever you’re photographing metropolis streets, the curvature within the lens turns into much more obvious. Rise up near a park bench to border your picture, and the center part of the again could be barely bent at a weirder form than it ought to have been. You may sit there getting it excellent for hours, however tiny fluctuations in your place will create unfixable points. It’s not as unhealthy as fisheye lenses of the early 2000s or GoPro-level, however it’s simply sufficient to be annoying.

In fact, some individuals need these curves of their pictures, as a result of they’ll create drama and attention-grabbing textures that wouldn’t be there some other manner. Right here, as at all times, experimentation is vital.

Panoramas are make these pictures come alive, and help you seize a complete scene with an extended focal size.

Find out how to get a wider perspective with an extended focal size

So at this level, you’re most likely questioning how one can match every part right into a body utilizing an extended focal size. As a result of let’s be actual, there are literally thousands of compositions on the market the place you want a wider focal size to actually make it shine. But when the topic is just too small, it received’t be interesting. And in the event you’re too zoomed in, there’s nothing to actually draw the viewer in, proper?

The excellent news is that it’s a simple problem to repair. All you want is an efficient, sturdy tripod, and create panoramas. That is truly a way that I exploit on a regular basis in my images as a result of it solves each issues — get telephoto outcomes with a large discipline of view.

The principle factor to contemplate if you’re taking a panorama {photograph} is to show off all computerized settings. It’s worthwhile to maintain the identical white stability in each picture. And the publicity settings like ISO, shutter velocity, and aperture can’t change — in any other case, you’ll find yourself making a patchy picture.

When your digicam is regular and stage on the tripod, take the fist picture within the middle of your body. Then pan the digicam to the aspect, overlapping the earlier picture by 25-30% in order that it may be simply mixed in Lightroom or different software program. And take the subsequent shot. It’s also possible to tilt the digicam so that you simply create a picture in a extra common side ratio. Some photographers additionally put the digicam in portrait orientation in order that they get extra vertical real-estate per {photograph}. This could cut back the variety of occasions you need to tilt the digicam, which is the place you’re extra prone to make errors.

This method does require a number of apply to get proper! I like to recommend first attempting it via your bed room window, or near residence. That manner you don’t mess up an epic sundown since you forgot to show off the automated settings!

Among the best occasions to make use of a wide-angle lens. This stone doesn’t look as massive in particular person because the wide-angle makes it seem.

What’s subsequent?

The Photography Transformational MasterclassIf you wish to study extra about capturing panoramas to get previous the problems with wide-angle lenses, I created a useful Youtube video on panoramas right here. My YouTube channel is stuffed with a big number of content material. On the channel, I discuss my images adventures, in addition to plenty of ideas which can be nice for freshmen and even superior panorama photographers.

However if you’re prepared to actually get all the way down to enterprise and jumpstart previous all of this, I’ve plenty of images programs that present you the entire strategies that took me from being an newbie to profitable Panorama Photographer of The 12 months again in 2017! You can begin these programs by signing up for my free net class. Right here you’ll find out about my 4-step course of for creating fine-art panorama images and even get entry to my free e book!

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