A wide-angle camera lens can make for some pretty interesting photos, but how is it different from other lenses, and when should you use it?
What Is a Wide-Angle Lens?
A wide-angle lens has a field of view significantly wider than that of the human eye. In other words, it’s got a wider field of view than a normal lens, which has a focal length of somewhere between 40mm and 58mm on a full frame camera.
This means that, on a full frame camera, any lens with a focal length of less than 35mm is considered to be a wide-angle lens. The lower the focal length, the wider the field of view and thus, the wider the lens. Any lens with a focal length lower than 24mm may be referred to as an ultra wide-angle lens.
On a crop sensor camera, wide-angle lenses start at a focal length of around 24mm and go down from there. Ultra wide-angle lenses start at around 16mm.
Let’s look at this in action. This photo was taken at 50mm, a normal focal length, on a full frame camera. The photo appears pretty similar to how things look with your eyes.
This photo was taken at 35mm. It just qualifies as wide-angle. Notice how much more of the scene is showing.
This photo was taken at 24mm. This is the start of “ultra” wide-angle. Once again, even more of the scene is captured in the photograph.
This photo was taken at 17mm, which is as wide as my lens will go. The image looks completely different than the one taken with the normal lens.
How a Wide-Angle Lens Affects Your Images
The most obvious effect of wide-angle lenses is their massive field of view. You can just capture a huge…