How much does your lens see
Not what I thought it would be
I like taking landscape pictures. My first lens was the kit lens Nikon 18-105, and I really liked the wide end of it (18mm, 27mm in full frame) for that. I thought if I had a wider lens, I could make better pictures. Then when I finally had a really wide lens (Nikon 10-24), I realized, this does not really work like I thought it would.
Sometimes that can be a good thing, you may want to show how far something stretched. I like the following shot from Ladakh, India, but then again, this is Ladakh, all pictures are great no matter what you do there.
You need to come close
You need consistent light
There will be distortion
For long lenses, the problem is to hold the lens steady and you fight with exposure time. For wide angle, the issue is to hold the camera straight. The wider you get the more things go crazy. What you need to learn is to keep the interest away from things that are no longer that straight. See the picture below
This is a relatively close shot of the wall, and I believe for the most part it works well. However, look closely on the edge of the frames you see how much skew there is. I highlighted some with cyan lines.
I wish the scaffolding was not there, but still it gives a bit of perspective of how high the ceiling is in the Hagia Sophia (55m). This is one of those shots where the wide angle works quite good. However, it is important to keep everything aligned. If you are not centered correctly things go very wonky very fast.
- Come close, really close.
- Keep your camera straight and level. Especially for scenery things work best, if the camera points straight to the horizon. Problem are shots of city where you are at the ground level. Ideally you want to be in the middle of the frame, so balconies are your friend.
- Keep your subjects in the center (vertically or horizontally) as much as possible.
- The outside of your frame will get more distorted, try to keep the disturbing lines away in those
- Circular, round shapes do not distort so much. If your object is round (like the cook I use in example shots) latch on to that.
Now at 10mm, but this time much closer, see File:cook_close_setup.jpg to see how close I am for this picture
This is how close I was for File:cook_close.jpg
A view of Bosphorus, Istanbul Turkey. This is actually not a good shot. All the interesting part of the image is condensed in the middle of the picture. See Media:Wide.jpg for a cropped version at the title of the Wide angle page. This is a classical, "I thought wide angle would help me with getting more into my picture" problem.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey, this time in a shot that is really bad. Yes you get everything in one shot, but everyhting feels wrong about this picture (it is embarrassing to show it here actually). It is not natural, things that are straight are visibly skewed, and it disturbs a lot. It is a good example of what you end up with most of the time if you do not have much experience with a very wide angle.
Wide angle lenses actually work much better when you are close. They are good for interior shots, where you do not have the space to be able to capture such a scene with a longer lens.
Waterfall near Davos, Switzerland, a long exposure shot at 1/8s.
These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.