How Wide a Wide Angle Lens is Needed?
A Guide To the Wide Angle Lens
Do you need a wide angle lens need to shoot interiors or landscapes? Do you want ultra-wide or semi-fisheye for some creative effects? Perhaps you need something just a bit wider than your standard lens for using at parties/family gatherings etc?
Specialist lenses, especially of good quality, can cost a bit more. Like telephoto lenses, photos taken with the poorer quality wide angle lens will stand out a mile! The edges can be blurred whilst the centre is pin-sharp, wasted photo. Again, fringing can occur but worst of all, the wide angle aspect could distort your photographs unnecessarily. This is called Spherical Aberration.
If you are on a budget, I would recommend the Sigma range of lenses as the best alternative to Canon or Nikon. I have used these, and it is very difficult to tell the difference in the quality of the photos.
As a starter wide angle lens, try the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM wide angle. A superb lens at affordable price compared to pro counterparts. In fact while you are there, have a look at all their lenses, there is quite a range! The only thing I would say is to shop around for the best prices as Sigma’s recommendations can be a bit pricey. We recommend Amazon every time.
What do I have in my bag?
Well, as I am a Canon and Panasonic user, (as of 2021) I have the following lenses:
As I primarily shoot weddings, landscapes, stock and commercial, this covers the spectrum quite nicely for me.
Canons "L" series lenses are the finest (and most expensive) that they make. IS means image stabilisation which gives you a couple of extra stops in low light. The lens has a built in stabiliser motor which is extremely handy when you don’t have a tripod. USM means Ultrasonic Motor. It is a patented technology from Canon which makes the focussing rapid and quiet, great for weddings.
So when choosing a wide lens, think about your budget, what camera you will be using and what focal range you want to cover. An important point here is that, as always, a prime lens such as the Canon EF 15mm, will always have the edge on quality. However, with a zoom wide angle lens, you can cover a wider spectrum.
These sample pics were all taken with the 16-35mm F2.8: