All lenses with a focal length less than 50 millimetres are classified as wide-angle lenses. If a lens has a focal length of 20mm or less, it’s classified as an ultra-wide-angle lens. The most extreme form of a wide-angle lens is the fisheye lens. These lenses have a focal length of less than 16mm and render it possible to take photos from a picture angle of close to 180 degrees.
The focal length of a lens directly influences the camera angle, and in wide-angle lenses, this camera angle in comparatively large. This makes it possible to take pictures with more picture detail.
Wide-angle lenses are comprised of several different kinds of lenses. Thanks to this complex system of different kinds of lenses, it’s possible to compensate for imperfections in the image. With a larger angle, however, things like blurred edges, reflections, and distortions become a growing problem.
Besides these challenges and the wide camera angle, wide-angle lenses have other characteristics photographers should be aware of. In photographs taken with a wide-angle lens, the fore- and background of the image appear to be far away from each other. This effect is produced due to the fact that objects located further away from the camera are depicted to be much smaller than they actually are.
When using a wide-angle lens, it’s important to hold the camera as level as possible. If you tilt the camera up or down, so-called converging lines appear. The vertical lines in the image then appear to pass through one another. However, this effect can also be purposefully utilised to generate creative kinds of photos. If you want to avoid this effect appearing in your photos, but still want to photograph something that is higher or lower than your vantage point, you should crouch down or find an elevated place from which you can take your photo.
Furthermore, when photographing with a wide-angle lens, there is a larger depth of field that makes the image plane appear sharp even with a larger aperture. This makes it possible to focus the camera on a person or object without risking other portions of the image appearing blurry. Stylistically speaking, it’s recommended to choose something in the image as a focal point when using a wide-angle lens. Due to the potentially large amount of image detail, bland and boring pictures can be the end result when you don’t focus on anything while taking the picture.
Since wide-angle lenses are very often used in landscape photography, sunlight plays a major role when taking photos. Points of light and sun reflections can be avoided by using a lens screen, however you should be careful that the screen doesn’t show up on the edge(s) of the image.
Besides being used in outdoor photography, wide-angle lenses are also often used for photographing real estate properties. Thanks to the wide viewing angle, it’s possible to photograph larger portions of a room. This results in a much more impressive photo than something taken with just a normal lens.