Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. RELATED: How to Manipulate Depth of Field to Take Better Photos. What are the differences between Wide Angle, Normal, & Telephoto Lenses? 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. This is the start of “ultra” wide-angle. The answer depends on the lens format. A "telephoto" lens is one that has a longer focal length than normal, which produces greater magnification of the object and creates a narrower field of view than the normal lens. This makes them unsuitable for some kinds of photography. As for 35 mm film or full-frame cameras, the ‘wide angle’ term applies for any lens not exceeding 24 mm. The terms "wide angle" and telephoto" are not exact in describing a lens. What is important is an understanding of the effect on the image as lenses shift from the "wide angle" to "normal" (or "standard") to "telephoto" ranges. This photo was taken at 17mm, which is as wide as my lens will go. Once again, even more of the scene is captured in the photograph. This photo was taken at 50mm, a normal focal length, on a full frame camera. While they’re used by landscape photographers to capture the scale of nature, this also has other uses. This photo was taken at 35mm. Photos taken with a telephoto lens draw people closer together, while photos taken with a wide-angle lens shows how far they really are, they say. Typically smartphone cameras have much wider angle lenses as standard traditional cameras. 2020© Videology Imaging Solutions, Inc.® All rights reserved. Note that a lens never actually magnifies an object, since the lens takes a large object and images it onto a very small sensor. The focal length required to do this varies with the camera format, and magnification will vary depending also upon the size of the monitor screen. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek. What Is a Wide Angle Lens. Lines that are straight in reality appear curved in the image. Wide-Angle lenses vs. Standard lenses Oct 1, 2008 Conceptually, I understand … Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. On a crop sensor camera, wide-angle lenses start at a focal length of around 24mm and go down from there. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens, Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens, How to Change the Theme and Accent Color of Instagram DMs, How to Record Shows and Movies on YouTube TV, How to Get Cycling Navigation Directions in Apple Maps. You can just capture a huge amount of a scene in a single image. VIDEOLOGY IMAGING SOLUTIONS is a global OEM camera developer and manufacturer serving Medical, Industrial, Government security and other OEMs for over 25 years. Keep in touch with us via the social networks: Americas, Middle East, Far East & Australia: 401.949.5332. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero. Any lens with a focal length lower than 24mm may be referred to as an ultra wide-angle lens. A "wide angle" lens is one that has a shorter focal length than a "normal" lens, which produces less magnification of the object and a wider field of view than the normal lens. For example, a 200mm lens is usually described as a "telephoto," but an 80mm lens might be described as "near telephoto" or "telephoto" or "moving toward telephoto." For some subjects, this will matter more than others. By submitting your email, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. A regular lens usually called a normal lens generally has around a 45 degree field of view. It’s an entirely different look to what we see with our eyes. The lower the focal length, the wider the field of view and thus, the wider the lens. Wide-angle lenses for 35 mm format. The most obvious effect of wide-angle lenses is their massive field of view. Normal focal lengths approximate an angle of view roughly that the human eye sees sharply. a field of view significantly wider than that of the human eye A " wide angle " lens is one that has a shorter focal length than a "normal" lens, which produces less magnification of the object and a wider field of view than the normal lens. If you’re shooting somewhere tight, like a busy street, nightclub, or party, a wide-angle lens makes it much easier to capture everything. You can be just a few feet away from your subject and still get everything you want in the image. The focal length of fisheye lenses, as mentioned in our in-depth article on fisheye lens culture and usage, normally ranges between 8 … Wide-angle lenses have a dramatic effect on perspective too. With a normal lens, you’d need to step back much further, and this just isn’t always possible. They’re quite specialized, so they won’t always be the right tool for the job, but I’m a big fan. At very wide angles this can result in what is called a "fish-eye effect," which means that the image is curved and distorted at the outside edges of the frame. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Wide angle lenses are often broken down into three sub-types depending on the focal length: This photo was taken at 24mm. Wide-angle lenses can give you beautiful photos that capture more of a scene than you can get with standard lenses, but sometimes they can fall short of producing exactly what you’re looking for. Notice how each mistake flows into the next? Photos taken with a wide-angle lens can have a slightly surreal quality. That’s the main reason they’re popular with landscape photographers. Trying to fit too much stuff in your image. One potentially unwanted side effect of wide-angle lenses is that they can introduce distortion—particularly at wider focal lengths and with cheaper lenses. Look at the photo below, it was taken at 17mm. How to Create and Manage To-Dos in WhatsApp Using Any.Do, © 2020 LifeSavvy Media. The photo appears pretty similar to how things look with your eyes. Mainly, it is angle of view. The first (flawed) argument for human vision being the starting point for what is a “normal” lens is angle of view. It just qualifies as wide-angle. With wide-angle lenses, it’s very easy to get a large depth of field. Notice how much more of the scene is showing. The image looks completely different than the one taken with the normal lens. 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. The big advantage of wide-angle lenses is just how much of a scene you can show in one photo. The big disadvantage of wide-angle lenses is how they shift perspective and introduce distortion. Here are some of the best starting options for different cameras. All Rights Reserved. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Portraits taken with wide-angle lenses often make it look like the subject has a very large nose. The wide angle is similar to the way our eyes see. They are all … How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. I’ve added a straight horizon line in Photoshop, but you can see that the straight lines of the radiator curve away from it. A wide angle lens will have a wider angle of view. This is much more difficult with a lens with a longer focal lens.