General Question

blakemasnor's avatar

Is a 'Wide Angle Lens' what I want?

Asked by blakemasnor (317 points ) July 14th, 2008

I do not know much at all about cameras but I’m in the market. I’d really like as wide a picture as possible. The pictures I’d be taking would be in odd locations such as abandoned hotels and hospitals, under bridges, on top of sky scrapers, and the like. I need as much in the photograph as possible. If a ‘wide angle lens’ isn’t what I want, can you tell me what is?

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10 Answers

XCNuse's avatar

lol mind telling us the first thing to make our lives easier?: what camera do you have?

blakemasnor's avatar

of course. Fujifilm finepix e550

Upward's avatar

A wide angle or for really wide shots a fish-eye lens. The fish-eye will distort the image, like looking into a fun house mirror.

XCNuse's avatar

oh god, a point an shoot…

Okay well they have these attachments for point and shoots that attach at the body point, and it’s basically a plastic tube with a rounded off chunk of glass at the end which attempts to make a wide angle view.

Don’t expect much at all, point and shoots with the wide angle attachments still are still above 30mm on a 35mm film camera.

Let me see if I can find a link to one of those things

blakemasnor's avatar

I’d really rather just get a new camera, this one is getting old. And just so I understand correctly the lower the mm number the better- wider the shot will be?

XCNuse's avatar

I know this is a UK store, but here’s a list of all the fujifilm wide angle “adapters” for the finepix lineup

http://www.twenga.co.uk/dir-Photo,Lenses-and-filters,Wide-angle-converter-lens-89

Just know, the higher the price, most likely the better, the cheaper ones probably have horrible glass and for sure give bad choma and chromatic aberrations and all sorts of great stuff.

the lower the mm, yes the wider the view.

The problem is, P&S cameras will never see true wide angles, unless you want to pay a hefty price and do a conversion and make it use SLR lenses, which in the end probably wouldn’t be worth it, as you’d have a great piece of glass and a horrible sensor.

I just got a 10–20mm (15–35mm in 35mm film) lens for my Nikon D40 and it’s great, it provides a 102 to 68 degree view, which is fairly darn wide (not sure if this link will work: http://photos-039.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-snc1/v263/173/57/1127310039/n1127310039_113542_1211.jpg)

Just know, when you go that wide (which is almost as wide as you can go except for the true fisheyes which are like the 8.5mm lens which is over 180 degree view), the sides and corners get not so pretty. My Sigma lens, no complaints about it so far, it’s insanely sharp in the center, and ridiculously sharp all over at 20mm.

blakemasnor's avatar

Thank you Very much

XCNuse's avatar

Not a problem, I mean if you want to upgrade cameras, low end amateur dSLRs are real cheap these days, you can get the Nikon D40 for under $500 quite easily ($400 if you search), and get the lens I got, a 4.5–5 Sigma DC EX HSM 10–20, for just under $500 which is a steal while Canons and Nikons wide angle zooms are well above the $1,000 range (although I will admit are that expensive for a good reason), but yea $500 is excellent, it’s insanely sharp at 20mm, and is still very sharp in the center at 10, but like all wide angle lenses starts to blur off around the corners at some point. Plus the canon and nikon lenses are made for full frame cameras, meaning a ton more glass inside!

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If you look hard enough though you might be able to get real fisheye (not wideangle) lenses, but prepare to pay a nominal price ~300ish I believe, I wish I could find that though. I’ve seen them around, but I dunno, search around amazon for them.

justin5824's avatar

A wide angle lens is a lens that has a focal length of 20mm or less. 50 mm is about 1:1 size ratio. The lower the focal length, the more the more area the lens is able to squeeze into the sensor.

tigran's avatar

I didn’t know the definition of a white angle lens, but thats interesting, thanks!

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