A Guide To Wide Angle Lenses
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? Do 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 lens, try the Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 EX ASPHERICAL HSM wide angle. An incredible lens at a much lower cost. 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, Sigma’s recommendations can be a bit pricey. We recommend B and H Stores in New York.
What do you have in YOUR bag?
Well, as I am a Canon user, (as of 2014) have the following lenses.
- Canon EF 15mm fisheye
- Canon EF 16-35L F2.8
- Canon EF 24-70L F2.8
- Canon EF 50mm USM F1.4
- Canon EF 100mm Macro F2.8
- Canon EF 70-200L IS USM F2.8
- Canon 1.4x Converter
As I primarily shoot weddings, portraits, landscapes 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
- Does quality matter?
- What lenses do I need? – Wide Angle – You are here!, Telephoto, Zoom, Standard, Prime
- “Walk around camera lenses”
- “How many” do I need?
- “How much” will they cost and where can I buy them? – You are here
- “Is it safe to buy online?”