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Camera technique Questions and advice on how to improve your picture taking can be posted here. This board is discussion beyons the basics, which are catered for in the 'Help and advice for beginners' board.

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  #1  
Old 14-02-08
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Wide Angle Lens

A few years ago I bought this:




for my Canon G3.

I don't really think I know when to use it.

I used it in a fairly long distance shot of fishermen loading their catch, whereas my husband used just say 35mm equivalent and got a lot better pic. Also, I thought it should be used, say for landscapes to get more of the picture in, but now I think I see people using WA lenses on buildings, fairly close up to get more dynamic angles or low angles on cars to make them look more arty.

What should WA lenses really be used for?
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Old 14-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

I bought a wide angle lens as a Xmas present for myself! I am going on a European Tour in September this year & I wanted to be able to get more of the buildings in, particularly in Italy & France! I also thought that it would help with landscapes to a certain degree! I bought it that far in advance to give me time to learn how to drive the darned thing! The test pic I did the day I bought it, wasn't in focus properly as I hadn't changed the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 3:2 to enable superzoom!
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Old 14-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Are you saying that you would also like some help then Jocelyn or have you now cracked it?
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Old 14-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post

What should WA lenses really be used for?
Creative photography Audrey

Wide angle lenses are not just for use in tight spaces or photographing the big landscape. Its not just a case of trying to get more in the viewfinder.

You obviously bought it because you felt the field of vision on the G3 was lacking a bit. Of course its going to help you get more in the picture, especially when there is not room to get back far enough. Its not the ideal lens for photographing buildings unless you want to use the converging verticals and distortion they tend to create.

Wide angle lenses have other characteristics though that enable you to add some interest and dynamism to your shots. One of the main things for me is the greater depth of field they allow. This means for example that you can use foreground objects more creatively and keep them in focus as well as more distant things. This shot for example illustrates what I mean



This shot too simply wouldn't be possible with a standard or even medium wideangle. Yes you could get back further, but the whole perspective of the image would change, which is why longer lenses are usually used for portraits.



Here is another shot where the wideangle lens is used to create extreme depth of field and also to somewhat distort the foreground making it very prominent yet carry the eye over it to the distance. The perspective created with the WA can't be achieved with longer focal length lenses.



Another couple of shots just to emphasise the effect of of WA lenses. Hope they are all of some help and give you some ideas of how you can use the WA lens




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Old 14-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Thanks so much Stephen. I have learnt more in your two minute tutorial that I have learnt in 10 years. You have explained and illustrated it so well.

I am attaching the image mentioned previously. This is unadjusted. I have since cropped it, but I could have got more detail by taking a couple of shots and making a pano.

I see now that I was not using it correctly.




BTW it's good to see your images again. They still look stunning.
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Old 14-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

I think some people (i.e. me) just somehow see the world at a wide angle.

My main lens on my film OM1 was a 24mm. My most used film camera is a Ricoh GR1 with a fixed 28mm lens.
My next lens for my E-1 will be an 8mm fisheye or 7-14mm zoom.
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
Thanks so much Stephen. I have learnt more in your two minute tutorial that I have learnt in 10 years. You have explained and illustrated it so well.

I am attaching the image mentioned previously. This is unadjusted. I have since cropped it, but I could have got more detail by taking a couple of shots and making a pano.

I see now that I was not using it correctly.

BTW it's good to see your images again. They still look stunning.
Thanks Audrey.
Yes you are trying to use the lens to capture the whole scene, yet by doing so it seems to me you are not really capturing what the scene is about, the hustle and bustle of the river side market, with throngs of people and boats busily coming backwards and forwards. Perhaps what you needed to do was zoom in on the action and therefore crop out the unnecessary water area, which is the by product of using the wideangle. I've attached a crop of your image to show what I mean
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WA_eg_g30038.jpg  
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Thanks Stephen. I had subsequently made a similar crop.

By zooming in to 100% to various parts of the picture, it is really delightful to see so much activity and I suppose that is what I saw on the day. I wish I could have made a better capture. It is the sort of picture I would have liked to print as it is so colourful.

BTW can you see the Exif because I haven't been able to see the Exif on anyone's pictures (even my own) for months.
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
Thanks Stephen. I had subsequently made a similar crop.

By zooming in to 100% to various parts of the picture, it is really delightful to see so much activity and I suppose that is what I saw on the day. I wish I could have made a better capture. It is the sort of picture I would have liked to print as it is so colourful.

BTW can you see the Exif because I haven't been able to see the Exif on anyone's pictures (even my own) for months.
Yes all the Exif data is there if you click on the little camera icon
Attached Thumbnails
Exif.jpg  
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Thanks again. That little camera icon didn't used to be there, but I didn't look today - I assumed it still wasn't there.
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Old 16-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

I guess I would like some advice, if theres anyone willing out there to help! I would however need to know specific to Panasonic Fz30 & the person who really knew his oats, (George) no longer participates in the forum unfortunately! I know there are a couple of people that have/had FZ20 that possibly could advise which ratio I would have to use when wide angle lens used! ie 4:3 3:2 at 5 Megapixels or 16:9 at 3Mp? Would going right down to 3Mp cause huge quality loss? If using for landscapes, would it be better to use a telephoto lens rather?
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Old 16-02-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Thank you Stephen....the effect you explain is exactly what I would give my right arm to achieve! That kind of photo I think I could only aspire to in another life! It seems there are Wide angle lenses & there are WIDE ANGLE lenses....the more ya pays....the bigger & better they are! Your picture of the steps looking over hill, dale & yonder is fantastic! One can almost feel the atmosphere of solitude, sound of the wind & smell of nature! It reminds me a little of the view from the church opposite my sisters home in Devon!
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

A few more questions:


In your images, would you focus on the nearest part of the scene or about midway?

The last one, of the rocks, is so clear so I wondered if you had focussed on those.

Is there a special rule when focussing.

My Canon manual just says it must be kept at Wide Angle (not zoomed). I did once zoom in and the image had a vignette. It was the first time I used it and I thought it was broken.

Another thing, is there any way of telling when an image has been taken with a wide angle lens. I hear Judges say "Good use of the WA lens," and I wonder how he knows. Also, can you tell from the Exif and if so what would you be looking for?

If you have a look at my avatar, I think I remember using a WA lens on that, but I can't see in my Exif.
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Old 19-03-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
A few more questions:


In your images, would you focus on the nearest part of the scene or about midway?

The last one, of the rocks, is so clear so I wondered if you had focussed on those.

Is there a special rule when focussing.

My Canon manual just says it must be kept at Wide Angle (not zoomed). I did once zoom in and the image had a vignette. It was the first time I used it and I thought it was broken.:

Another thing, is there any way of telling when an image has been taken with a wide angle lens. I hear Judges say "Good use of the WA lens," and I wonder how he knows. Also, can you tell from the Exif and if so what would you be looking for?

If you have a look at my avatar, I think I remember using a WA lens on that, but I can't see in my Exif.
focussing - typically you'd set your focal point 1/3 of the way into the scene / area you want in focus. the rule of thumb is that at a particular focal point, your depth of field is split 1/3 in front of the focal point, 2/3 behind the focal point. so, say the lens settings gave you a depth of field of 30m and you were focussed on an object 20m away. the limits of the areas of the photo in sharp focus (depth of field) would therefore be 10m 40m (1/3 of 30m in front of the focal point [20m - 10m] and 2/3 of 30m behind the focal point [20m + 20m]).
manual focus lenses used to (and probably still do) have marks adjacent to the focus ring to indicate depth of field for a given aperture. when i used to use my fathers old minolta x300 slr on rallies, i never focussed through the lens, but always used the DoF marks on the lenses.
with digital it's more difficult as AF lenses typically don't have these markings. canon dslr's have an aperture-dof setting (Av-dep) whereby you tell the camera what you want in focus. it then sorts out the aperture setting for you.

no real other special rule when focussing other than taking into account that a WA lens / adaptor will give a greater depth of field thanks to the laws of physics. taking my sig 10-20 as an example, (from memory) if i manually set the focal distance to 1m, the aperture to F8 and the zoom to 10mm, then everything from about 1ft to infinity is in focus. makes shooting with that lens a no-brainer!

exif - for bolt on wide angle adaptors, the info is unlikely to show in the exif. for a dedicated WA lens, then it should show. e.g. with the sigma 10-20mm on my canon it'll accurately report the lens settings in the exif

judges - you can typically spot a WA shot from the perspective distortion and the amount of the scene that is visible etc. the photos that stephen posted above clearly show this exaggerated perspective
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Old 20-03-08
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Re: Wide Angle Lens

Thanks for that information Devilgas. My camera and WA lens don't show the markings, but it helps me to know where to actually focus and when to use the lens.

I have never used it much and keep taking it on holiday and still not using it. I must get out more locally and give it a try. It's a shame to have these lenses and not use them.
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