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I own Fuji X100T; it's 35mm equivalent. Now I am looking at wide angle WCL-X100 conversion lenses, it is 0.8x. Here is one review, just to know what I am talking about.

What is the purpose of this 0.8x wide angle? I mean, you get wider image, but isn't that the same if I just go some steps back?

Where I would use it? I guess it pays of for shots in nature, when subject is far away? Or? Where I would use it?

marked as duplicate by dpollitt, mattdm, scottbb, Dan Wolfgang, Michael C May 2 '16 at 3:35

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    What are you supposed to do if there is a wall/cliff/other obstacle behind you and you can't just take some steps back? – whatsisname May 1 '16 at 20:27
  • @whatsisname - agree, thats why I said 'shots in nature', so going back few steps is not so possible. But besides that? – igor May 1 '16 at 20:28
  • I have always said that Fujifilm should have skipped the 0.8× wide-angle converter and made a 0.66× one instead. 0.8× doesn't differentiate itself enough from the base focal length IMO – osullic May 1 '16 at 21:04
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What is the purpose of this 0.8x wide angle? I mean, you get wider image, but isn't that the same if I just go some steps back?

No, it is not the same. A wider angle lens (whether due to a front-attached wide-angle converter like this or simply from a lens with a wider focal length) has a wider angle of view, fitting more into the frame, but perspective is solely dependent on where you stand (that is, where the camera is in relation to the subject).

If you stand in the same place but switch to a wider angle, the center area of the image will be (ignoring some likely detail loss) exactly the same as the whole frame with a narrower lens. If, instead, you step back to get more in the frame, the relationship between closer and further parts of the scene will actually look different. So, a wider-angle lens lets you get a composition you just can't get otherwise — whether or not the environment gives you room to move.

For more, see What does the term "sneaker zoom" mean?, What is "angle of view" in photography?, and especially What's the difference between zooming in on a subject vs moving closer?

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The angle of view of a camera is determined by the focal length of the lens and the size of format. In this case format is the dimensions of the imaging chip (film). The typical full frame (FX) sports an imaging chip that measures about 24mm height by 36mm length. The compact digital is a smaller cousin measuring about 66% of this (16mm height by 24mm length).

Now each format has a focal length that is considered "normal". Such a lash-up delivers an angle of view of about 45° with the camera held in horizontal (landscape) position. If we mount a shorter than "normal", the angle of view is expanded and we call this view wide-angle. Conversely if we mount a longer than "normal" lens, the angle of view is narrowed and the resulting image on the sensor (film) is enlarged. We call such a lash-up a telephoto.

A 50mm lens mounted on a full frame body delivers a 40° angle of view. If we mount a 28mm, the angle of view becomes 65°.

Now when we take a picture, the distance camera-to-subject sets the perspective of the image. Now things close to the camera reproduce large and things distant reproduce small. If the camera is too close to a human face, the nose will reproduce too big and the ears too small. Such distortions cause the subject to look weird. They say things like, "I break cameras" or "I don't photograph well".

The answer is: We can enscope more of the subject if we just step back but as we do, the perspective of the image will be changed. We use wide-angles for landscape photography and when stepping back is not an option.

Many camera lenses will accept a supplemental lens. This is an add-on that increases the angle of view. If we mount a .8 wide-angle supplemental to a 50mm "normal", the working focal length alters to 50 x .8 = 40mm. The angle of view changes from 40° to 48.5°.

Lenses are tools, we need different tools because we are doing diverse tasks.

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