Large Angle Lenses

Merely put, a broad angle lens is one particular which has a broader angle of see than a standard lens. This enables you to suit far more into the frame, or to get closer to your matter with out chopping the edges off.

They are available in a variety of focal lengths. These vary from medium extensive angles, which give a a little bit broader discipline of perspective than usual, to extreme wide angles which distort and warp the impression in all sorts of intriguing, summary techniques.

Huge angle lenses are suitable for photographing expansive landscapes, cramped interiors, and subjects which would not match into the discipline of watch of a normal lens, these kinds of as a significant setting up shot at comparatively shut selection. Extra serious huge angles are made use of to give an inventive, dynamic edge to a shot, these kinds of as in extreme sports activities photography.

Focal Duration

Any digital camera lens with a focal duration of fewer than 35mm is viewed as extensive angle. A lens with a focal size of considerably less than all around 24mm is viewed as an ultra large angle lens – these are commonly referred to as fisheye lenses simply because of the extreme angle of view.

Canon wide angle lenses

Vast angle lenses have a tendency to be 35mm or lessen.

Prevalent focal lengths are 35mm, 28mm, 24mm, 21mm, 17mm, and 14mm, whilst some producers make lenses which go down as far as 6mm or even lower.

You can get huge angle lenses in both equally set focal length (primary) and zoom formats. The moment you get underneath about 28mm, key lenses are likely to have the superior picture good quality in phrases of sharpness, but zooms give much more overall flexibility.

Crop Issue

The focal lengths outlined earlier mentioned all apply to a whole-body camera with a 35mm sensor or film. For cameras with smaller sized sensors, the angle of look at will not likely be as excessive. To obtain the equal focal length on your camera, you require to multiply the lens’s focal size by the camera’s crop issue.

Crop factor affecting the viewing angle of a photo

Your camera’s crop issue influences your lens’s efficient focal size. Right here the viewing angle is lessened when shifting from whole frame (left) to a digital camera with a crop element of 1.5 (suitable). Graphic by dgphilli.

Because cameras with scaled-down sensors reduce the large-angle result, lots of brands provide lenses with an even shorter focal duration than ordinary, to compensate and give you a true large angle see.


Simply because of their ability to seize a massive area, extensive angle lenses have an effect on your image’s point of view:

Subject matter Sizing

When utilizing a vast angle lens, you can expect to frequently be positioned really close to your topic. This will make foreground objects surface quite big in the frame, and distant objects extremely small. Extensive angle lenses also exaggerate the length involving objects, generating topics at moderate and much distances look more absent than they really are.

Wide angle landscape

Making use of a extensive angle lens puts additional emphasis on near subjects and helps make distant once scaled-down. Impression by mike138.

You can use this result to emphasise foreground subjects, isolating them from the qualifications and earning them fill the body for added effect. Even so, the vast angle even now lets you to capture a good deal of background detail in your photograph, which can be handy for incorporating fascination and context to the main subject.


Simply because of the exaggerrated big difference in size among close to and considerably objects, extensive angle lenses are inclined to produce a distorted picture, with topics showing up elongated.

Goat photographed using a wide angle lens

Huge angle lenses make your matter appear distorted. Picture by Eliya.

This can give your photos a dynamic, abstract experience, but it can also develop some unwanted effects. For instance, if you photograph a person’s confront by a vast angle lens, their functions will surface to bulge and bloat – appealing but not specifically flattering!

Rectilinear vs Curvilinear Design

A lot of extensive angle lenses are made to create what is identified as a “rectilinear” graphic. This implies that straight lines are held a lot more or significantly less straight in the ultimate image, somewhat than remaining bent and distorted. Nevertheless, with these types of lenses, topics around the edge of the body are inclined to be stretched unnaturally.

For super huge angle lenses, this kind of as fisheye lenses, this stretching will become incredibly apparent and distracting, so manufacturers are inclined to use a “curvilinear” design instead. Curvilinear lenses you should not have the same edge distortion than rectilinear lenses do, but alternatively they induce straight lines to curve, an outcome known as “barrel distortion”.

The same scene in rectilinear and curvilinear variations

A rectilinear lens (left) preserves straight lines, but results in stretching at the edges. A curvilinear lens (appropriate) cuts down stretching but brings about straight strains to curve. Graphic by Marc Lacoste.

Depth of Discipline

Wide angle lenses have a better clear depth of area since they protect a wider viewing angle. This tends to make them good for photographing scenes where by you have topics at distinctive distances, these types of as a landscape with animals in the foreground and mountains in the background, and want them all to be sharp.

Amsterdam canal scene

Wide angles lenses have a huge evident depth of area, enabling them to capture both foreground and qualifications subjects in emphasis. Graphic by Werner Kunz.

The draw back to this is that you can’t isolate your issue by applying depth of subject to blur the qualifications. As an alternative, you need to have to fork out additional attention when you frame your shot, selecting a composition with an uncluttered background.

Image Excellent

Quite a few variables have an effect on the image quality generated by a vast angle lens:


Mainly because of their extensive viewing angle and large evident depth of area, wide angle lenses normally generate shots which are sharp through. On the other hand, this can be a bit decreased when capturing at incredibly wide apertures, as with any lens. At very slim apertures, mild diffraction can also cause edges to seem a little bit fuzzy.

To make certain most sharpness all through your scene, intention to use an aperture in the center of the lens’s array anywhere doable. This may signify employing a sluggish shutter speed, so be absolutely sure to use a tripod to lessen blurring from digicam shake.

Mild Variation

In any scene, mild ranges will normally differ in unique areas. For case in point, the sky may perhaps be vivid, even though the floor is rather darkish. This will become really obvious when shooting at these kinds of wide angles, and can consequence in photos which are underexposed in some locations and overexposed in many others.

You really should be informed of this when framing your scene, and be cautious to expose the essential locations appropriately, sacrificing detail in much less critical locations. A graduated ND filter can be helpful in balancing the brightness of the sky and foreground.

Lens Flare

Because of the large region included, it is also prevalent for the solar to be bundled in your photographs, and this can lead to lens flare or incorrect publicity. Lens hoods are not a functional resolution mainly because they can block aspect of the view.

Most wide angle lens manufacturers recognise this problem and make their lenses to minimise lens flare, but they are not great, so you ought to do your most effective to continue to keep the solar out of the body, or cover it driving one thing in the scene.


A vignette is a darkening of the image towards the edges and corners. It is is typical in all wide angle lenses, although it is significantly noticeable in the more affordable types.

There is certainly no real way to avoid it, so it is significant to try out any lens before getting, to see how substantially it is afflicted. Thankfully, modern-day software package offers such as Photoshop have made it straightforward to take out this result from digital shots.

A beach scene with vignetting around the edges

Pictures taken with a broad angle lens often show darkening near the corners, recognised as a vignette. Picture by Matt Hintsa.


Capturing this kind of a huge angle can produce unwanted results from filters. This is specially true for polarizing filters, where by the impact depends on the angle concerning the lens and the sun. With a wide angle lens, this angle can change drastically inside of a solitary shot, and your shots will show a obvious variation in brightness from just one aspect to the other.

Wherever attainable, it is ideal to steer clear of utilizing filters with broad angle lenses. If you do use them, keep a near eye on the outcome they’re developing.

Alternate options

Canon wide angle converter" class="right

A less expensive alternative to a suitable extensive angle lens is a huge angle conversion lens, also recognised as a huge angle converter. These are a style of accent lens which screw on to the filter thread of your existing lenses. They and act in the reverse way to a magnifying glass, shrinking the objects in a scene and letting you to see a broader angle.

Even though these are considerably more cost-effective than huge angle lenses, the optical quality is normally quite bad. They also really don’t settle for filters, have to have you to aim manually, put up with from lens flare, and can stop the lens from zooming.

Due to the fact of these downsides, wide converters are a exciting toy to perform and experiment with, but ought to not be found as a significant different to a broad angle lens.

Obtaining a Large Angle Lens

If you shoot making use of a Canon or Nikon digital camera, then the greatest quality lenses are those built by the exact producer. Having said that, these have a tendency to be the most costly, so if you are on a funds you really should also take into consideration the superb options produced by other reputable businesses like Tokina, Sigma, and Tamron.

Right before purchasing, go through on the internet reviews and question thoughts from other house owners. If feasible, pay a visit to a shop and test the lens out for by yourself. After you’ve got designed your decision, you can obtain some outstanding selling prices on the internet at destinations like Amazon and Adorama.

Cover picture by Alex Holyoake.