I absolutely adore my wide angle lens. It gives me such a unqiue shot that can’t be replicated with any other type of lens.
Wide angle lenses have many pros that will help you as a photographer to broaden your abilities. I highly recommend adding at least one to your camera bag.
Let me tell you all about why you should shoot with a wide angle lens.
Table to Contents
What Does a Wide Angle Lens Do?
A wide lens allow you to see more of the entire scene, rather than just a cropped version.
Additionally, they have a unique way to make the viewer feel like they are really there.
What is the Focal Length of a Wide Angle Lens?
What makes an angle “wide” you ask? Wide angle lenses are 35mm or less.
35mm is the closest focal length to our human eye. Everything smaller than that is going to show some distortion but give you a wider field of view.
This goes for prime and zoom lenses alike. If it is less than 35mm than it is considered a wide angle lens.
Types of Wide Angle Lenses
There are generally 3 different types of wide angle lenses. Wide, Ultra Wide, and Fish eye.
A wide angle lens is 24mm-35mm lenses. These are going to give you the least amount of distortion out of the wide angle lenses.
Ultra wide lens is 18mm-24mm focal length. These will give you a bit more distortion but not as dramatic as a fisheye.
And lastly the fisheye type of wide angle lens is anything wider than 18mm.
More for you: Lens Distortion: What Every Photographer Should Know
When to Use a Wide Angle Lens
A wide angle lens can be used in a variety of ways. Probably more than what you’re aware of. Here are a couple.
Take a group shot of all your friends or family.
Take photos of full buildings or street photography.
Read more: Top 9 Tips for Remarkable Street Photography
Wide angle lenses can be used for so many different types of photography: landscape, wedding, portrait, urban, and even real estate photography. I’ve used mine for all of these!
Capture the Skies
Skies are one of the many things that inspire me as a photographer. They are a huge part of my work.
I wouldn’t be able to capture their dramatic, colorful clouds without my wide angle lenses.
See more here: Essential Landscape Photography Tips for Breathtaking Photos
The sky really puts on an amazing show night after night, and it’s one of the aspects of nature that I love to capture!
Wide-Angle Lens Benefits
Allows you to shoot in tight spaces
I live a short one hour drive away from Disney. Disney World can be a very crowded place at times, leaving little space between my camera and my subjects.
If I bring a longer lens, I have to stand too far back from my subjects in order to capture them and this can be impossible with the hundreds of people walking around us at any given time.
My ultra wide fisheye has come to the rescue in these instances and has allowed me to capture so much more in the frame while standing very close to my subjects.
I used my fisheye here to capture my daughters making the extremely difficult choice of which lollipop to pick. This was a very tight space and without my ultra wide lens, I wouldn’t have been able to capture just how tall the lollipop structure was.
The lens distortion adds to the fun whimsical look of the image.
I shot this in a parking lot. I had no space behind me. My back was literally popped up against a car. If I had a longer lens, I wouldn’t have had the space behind me to allow for me to capture the entire oak tree and all of the beautiful branches.
One thing I love to do with my wide angle is to use it to compare my subjects with the size of the landscape around them. I love showing how little my girls are compared to the massive ocean. This obviously cannot be done using a longer lens that will crop the scene around them.
You’re a Part of the Action
Often times, I really like to capture images that make the viewer fell like they are right there with my subjects. I love when images can evoke feelings from the viewer! This is one of the characteristics that I feel make an image stand apart from just a snapshot.
Using my fish eye to capture my daughter’s happiness on Dumbo the Elephant makes the viewer feel like they are sitting right next to them. You can’t help but want to be on Dumbo too, laughing as they fly through the sky!
Wide Angle Lens FAQs
Any lens 35mm and smaller is considered a wide angle lens.
Full frame is 50mm whereas 35mm and smaller is wide angle.
A wide-angle lens is a perfect addition to anyones camera bag as it allows you to capture more than the eye can see. It is a very versatile lens.
Do you have a favorite lens? Please share in the comments why you love to shoot with it!