Use them sparingly and when you want to either exagerate realtionships or fit in a wide angle of view. The wide angle is not a universal solution. Look thru the notes of many famous landscape photographers and it becomes obvious. It can be a bit of an easy route to achieving 'drama' and I for one am using them less than I used to. In 35mm terms, I use a 28 a lot a 35 quite a bit and the lenses up from that a little less when doing landscapes. I rarely need anything wide but occassionally do...sometimes a lot wider. A 28 however serves the majority of my wide angle needs with amoderate wide the 35 coming close behind. I suppose it depends on what you consider to be wide! I have some 21mm equiv lenses but have never really gone wider hn that.
A WA image seems to draw the viewer into the picture. NGS photographers make good use of this to get the reader involved in the story. A telephoto shot of the same subject framed much the same feels more aloof and analytical. Perhaps one's preference is based more on one's personality (extrovert or introvert) than on the intrinsic characteristics of the photo.
This introvert vs. extrovert aspect on choosing angles of view is new to me. Intriguing.
Well I'm off to the redwoods with my family tomorrow. I'll have to use the most of my 90mm and 65mm lenses (on 4x5).
Thanks for the advice i will do my best.
HCB said that the 28mm was too "shrill."
Wrong as usual, it's exactly the right level of shrillness.
GW, American Legion. 28mm.
Here's the deal about wide-angle lenses -- they usually cover a larger area than you can see in a single direct gaze. That is, they simultaneously integrate a region of the visual field that you would need to move your eyes back and forth to see (or look through the finder).
My rules of thumb:
- 50mm: one eye open, straight ahead
- 35mm: two eyes open, straight ahead
- 28 and down: outside the scope of "natural" vision
I often find it useful, when shooting with the 28, to simply let go of specific attention and focus, to walk in a sort of wide-angle swoon. Especially through dense crowds.
Moderate wide angles are extremely useful for grab shots--especially fast 35mm. lenses in the 35mm. format. As your angle of view gets wider, it becomes more difficult to take pictures of people, but the lenses become more helpful for specialized purposes such as architectural photography. I find it takes more time to visualize a picture using wider wide angles, so it pays to put the camera on a tripod and take more time with each shot. As your lenses get wider, the effect of any slight tilt will be exaggerated, so it helps to use a spirit level. I think that one of the reasons why larger formats are more helpful in taking wider angles is that they require you to slow down and take more effort in visualizing before you take the picture. Of course, the larger formats also let you crop more easily, which can save some shots that might otherwise be circular filed.
With my 8x10, my favorite WA lens is the 150mm Schneider Super-Symmar XL.
For 4x5 it's the 55mm Apo Grandagon and the 47mm Super Angulon.
For 35mm it's the 21mm Zeiss Biogon.
For 6x6, the 38mm Zeiss Biogon.