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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Tips on using wide-angle lenses.

    I'm terrible with wide-angle lenses. When i am in a beautiful location I have a hard time relating that feeling onto film. I once asked a notable photographer for advice and he replied that i need to use a wider lens. Somehow i just didnt think that was the case. Can you guys offer any advice?

  2. #2
    KenM's Avatar
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    Get low, and use a wide angle lens to present relationships.

    Near/far compositions are easier with WA lenses due to the increased depth of field (shorter focal length, more DOF). You can also exaggerate elements in the photograph with a WA lens - again, near/far compositions. Having a near/far relationship will also introduce a sense of depth into your photographs.

    Your best bet is to just play around with a WA lens - either borrow one, or purchase one. Then have at it!
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  3. #3
    Ole
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    I never managed to make a good WA picture - until I started with large format. Somehow the large ground glass and the big film came together, so much that I now find myself using WA lenses about 80% of the time!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I am quite often disappointed with my pictures using wide angles. I think the more successful images have something in the foreground, middle and distance.

    When looking through the viewfinder it is easy to concentrate on the middle and distance but the foreground gets forgotten.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #5
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I find that it can be important to have an object near field to get a good/great wide angle shot. Examples:
    the object [no, I do not know the name] that a ship ties up to, from just inches away, showing the lines leading to the bow


    sage brush in the foreground for red rock in Arches National Park or Moab

    see my avitar of Niagara falls to the left of this posting


    General panoramas in 135 tend to show little detail and get boring real fast.

    Try it! You will like it!

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    It helps if you think of wide angle lenses as exaggerated perspective lenses.

    I usually don't use them just to get everything in the photograph. You can often do that by just moving back with your standard lens.

    Instead, use them to permit getting closer, while still getting the whole scene in.

    Wherever possible, I try to use a lens for the purpose of choosing perspective (which is determined by camera to subject distance), rather than field of view.

    Take a look at the "colour in winter" photograph in my APUG gallery for an example - that was shot on 35mm using a 24mm lens because it permitted me to get close to the bridge, and emphasize its depth.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt

  7. #7
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    My most successful wide-angle pictures are ones where I have something both near and far. Wide angles exaggerate the perspective and apparently magnify the distance between the objects (or the object and the horizon; a strong horizon can be the far "object").

    Don't be afraid to get close to the ground. Wides seem to work well when you shoot from a low perspective.

    Mount a 28 and shoot an entire roll with it. Force yourself to use it. Experiment and see what you get!
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  8. #8
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    It would depend on how wide and what the subject is and your desired goal. Have you tried putting the lens on and using it exclusively for a short period instead of using it when you think you need it? I have a 55mm wide angle for my 645 and use it rarely. When I need it I know it, meaning it's the only coverage that will yield the image I need. Sometimes a "normal" lens just won't do. It's a tool in your kit that takes practice in its application.

    Good Luck,
    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  9. #9

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    I use WA's alot doing wet belly photography. get in close and down low.
    When it goes wrong its mostly because of a cluttered background or opjects you didn't notice doing the shot. I also did some frog perspective flowershots lying on my back using a 20mm.
    Cheers
    Søren
    Send from my Electronic Data Management Device using TWOFingerTexting

    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
    Denmark

  10. #10
    AgX
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    One advantage wide angle lenses yield is bringing things into relation over a wide angle of view. For instance something real near and at the real edge of the picture and the rest of the image filled with the rest far away. (Not exactly the golden rule…)
    Small angle lenses in contrast give you the chance to relate things to each other which are staggered behind each other (compression effect). But here there could arouse the problem of out-focus blurring of one of the objects. For this technique you should be far off to all of the objects.

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