37

Broadly speaking wide aperture lenses are easier to design the longer the focal length. The reason that you don't see any 400mm f/1.4 lenses is due to manufacturing difficulties, e.g. keeping dispersion low while producing elements of the size required for such apertures. It's worth restating that the designation f/1.4 means that the size of the aperture ...


24

Yes. You can do things with a wide angle that can't be done with photo stitching. This photograph could not have been stitched; whilst I had time to take a few shots, I would never have had the chance to stitch it together. Also the wide angle has a distortion effect, and this can be used for its specific composition effect and to draw attention to ...


18

There is overlap between the two terms, as you'll see as you browse the lists of both at LensHero. Basically, they're two different directions from which to approach the problem of narrowing down lens choice, and the site offers both approaches. A wide angle lens has a specific definition without much flexibility — it's any lens with a wide field of view, ...


18

The terms are fisheye (circular distortion) and rectilinear (straight edges). Fisheye lenses are often unfairly branded as "special effect" lenses by some photographers, due to their near ubiquitous use in skateboarding magazines in the 90s, and the ease at which you can create unusual images when trained on nearly any subject. However fisheyes have sever ...


16

The two types of lenses you refer to are: Rectilinear - lenses which produce straight horizontals and verticals across the image Fisheye - lenses with circular distortion Rectilinear lenses produce more 'natural' looking images but tend to stretch features towards the edges of the frame, so some subjects, e.g. faces, look odd. But they work well for ...


15

Great question. A little over a year ago, I bought an ultra-wide (10-24mm f/3.5) lens with an eye toward landscape shots and quickly saw that generally, I can stitch images taken on a longer lens and produce more satisfactory panoramas. So, as you ask, what's the point of an ultra-wide? Well, to answer it, the best approach is probably to discuss what an ...


15

I don't understand why anyone would buy it Optical quality, build quality, and overall durability. The EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is an "L series" lens -- essentially professional grade, while the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is a consumer grade "kit" lens. L lenses are made with better materials, better designs, and more features. They're weather sealed to keep out ...


14

'End' in this case is just referring to the end of the zoom range available. So zooming in on an 18-55 lens would take you to the 55mm end of the zoom range, which would be the telephoto end, and the 18 mm end of the zoom range would be the wide angle 'end' (although on this lens the telephoto end isn't very telephoto). So while it may sound like a physical '...


14

Strictly speaking, image stabilization (IS) is not a necessary feature for any lens. For the vast majority of the history of photography IS as we refer to it did not exist. Plenty of remarkable photos were taken in spite of the lack of IS. The ultimate method for camera/lens stabilization will always be a stable tripod with a quality head attached and a way ...


13

You would actually get at-par to somewhat better image quality using this lens on your cropped sensor, than using a lens designed for crop sensors, in some aspects: You would get rid of most of the vignette, as the DX cropped sensor is effectively stopped down 1.23 stops compared to full-frame. (ref. Wikipedia). Thus, from the review link you provided, the ...


13

The advice you read is an example of the phrase, "A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing." There are filters known as Variable ND filters that are basically two polarizer filters stacked on top of each other. As the axis of polarization is altered between the two polarizer filters the total amount of light allowed through will vary. If an ND filter is ...


12

If there is anything moving in the shot, then there isn't a substitute for a good wide angle lens. In addition, the difference in angle of the lens is going to result in a characteristically different feel from multiple shots at a longer focal length than a wide angle lens would have given on it's own unless you use a specially built mount that can rotate ...


12

It's not so much a defect as a property of wide-angle lenses: they distort things on the sides. This distortion is why they are not recommended for portraiture. Of course, the very same distortion is what gives wide-angle its power, making it great for photographing interiors (making them look larger) or when going for an "artsy" effect.


12

What would I have to do to take such photos from a 50mm lens of a Dx camera? You can't take those pictures with a 50mm lens and a DX (1.5X APS-C) camera. To fit all of what an 11mm lens will give you you'd have to back up five times as far. But that would change the perspective, or distance relationships between the various parts of the scene. To get those ...


11

When a large group sits on a straight line the subject distance from the center position to the sides varies by more than the distance from the first row to the last row. If they are standing in a rounded fashion, the distance is more uniform. Say, the group is taking a space of 2m depth and 12m wide - the distances will look like this: The worst case is 12....


11

Canon EF-S 10-18 or Tokina 11-16/2.8. :D Sorry. Neither one of these is ideal on a crop body as a landscape lens. The fisheye has too much distortion and would require defishing if you ever wanted a straight horizon anywhere other than the center of the frame. And defishing will cost you the edges of the frame, so it won't be super-super-wide (which is why ...


10

The crop will eliminate anything that happens outside of the sensor area. At worst you'll lose the worst of the vignetting, at best you'll lose all of it. Because the worst of the barrel distortion is right in the middle of the sensor, you're going to be getting all of it. (Edit: Anindo Ghosh correctly points out in his answer that the edges are actually ...


10

You're comparing ultra-wide versus "simply-" wide. It's as if you'd compare a 200mm tele to a 600mm one. Those 8mm do in fact have a great significance, for example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brynolf/754640788/ I do think this illustration is a tad exaggerated, but you get the feeling.


10

It's all about foreshortening, the effect by which the depth of the scene appears compressed. Different focal lengths just permit you to be different distances from your subject and still give the appropriate framing. Subject distance is the key value here. If you are a kilometre away from your subject, then the tip of their nose is a kilometre away, as are ...


10

Distortion caused by a lens's optics would give you barrel distortion (objects appear to bulge outward) or pincushion distortion (squishing inward). The skewed lines you are observing are straight; this is perspective distortion, and is not a problem caused by the lens nor fixable with better optics (you can fix it with a tilt-shift lens, but that's a ...


10

This is simply where the market is converging to at the moment. The typical kit lens is still 18-55mm on an APS-C sensor but most people find wider angle more useful, so some manufacturers made a few lens that start at 16mm. Olympus still sells many of their entry-level cameras with a 14-42mm which is equivalent to 28mm, while the 18-55mm mentioned earlier ...


9

Wide angle is in comparison to 'normal'. On a full frame camera normal is considered to be 50mm and wide angle is 35mm or less. Using these numbers we can determine that the accepted ratio for wide angle is less than 0.7 times that of normal on a given format. On APS-C the normal focal length is 35mm, making wide angle start at 23mm. Most SLR cameras have ...


9

First off, although the sellers label it as a wide angle lens, in reality what you are considering purchasing is more properly called a wide angle conversion lens because it screws onto and converts your existing lens to cover a wider field-of-view. In general the products sold in this price range aren't very good, and that is putting it nicely. There are ...


9

You would need a step-down adapter, such as this with a 55mm thread into your kit lens, then a 52mm thread for the wide-angle converter. Unfortunately... you will very quickly discover that these wide-angle adapters are not worth the money, however tempting they may appear. I'm certain their entire purpose in life is to teach poor unsuspecting newbie ...


8

This question already has nice answers. I'll just address one sub-question inside your question. Namely: I can see why this might be the case and that for the most part that it might be undesirable, but is it really that much of a problem? Yes, it can be a problem. Painfully obvious in this photo of mine: Here the reason is not only the wide angle of ...


8

Actually to avoid distortion the opposite of what you said holds true. Move faces or features you don't want to distort such as fingers away from the edge of the frame Keep the lens parallel to the subject if at all possible Step back and shoot, planning to crop to the desired framing later Consider using the distortion to your advantage for "fun" shots; ...


8

For an image like that, a "fisheye" lens was used. This is a specialized lens that covers an extreme wide angle. What can a fisheye lens be useful for?


8

Graduated ND filters are usable with wide angle lenses. They should be big enough to cover the complete field of vision. There are certain wide angle lenses that have a protruding front element that make it difficult to use regular filters (Nikon 14-24 2.8). Polarizer filters are not recommended for wide angle lenses, because the bigger field of view may ...


7

You may be reaching the limits of your equipment. A 18-200mm lens is not a lens known for edge sharpness at that focal length. I would use a prime lens, probably a 35 mm lens for edge sharpness. Wider lenses are usually less sharp in the corners. On a cropped-frame camera, you will still need to back up quite a bit. You will need a great deal of light to ...


7

There are plenty of techniques to distort the size of objects in photographs or cinema that are as old as the hills. The best and most used is forced perspective. The brain is hardwired to make scale conversions based on distance, so if you can place an object close to the camera but conceal it's actual distance then the brain will perceive the object as ...


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