When to Use a Wide Angle Lens

One of the most asked questions in regards to photography is ‘What is the purpose of different camera lenses? Our answer is going to look quickly at the different types of lenses available, and when to use them. Primarily, our answer will specifically look at when you would use a wide angle lens.

Lenses are one of two components you need to photograph a scene. First, you need a way to record and capture the light from the scene (photographic film, digital sensor) which is held in the camera body.

Second, you need a way to let the reflected light into the camera body to be recorded. Here, the lenses are king.

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Type of Lenses

There are many different types of lenses. Each one has a range of capabilities that make it perfect for a photographic field. There are no rules, so you can of course use lenses for a photographic theme for which it was not intended.

The lens guidelines I will point out are for ease of use, as a portrait session may be difficult to photograph with a super telephoto lens, but not impossible.

Note: All of the following numbers are true on a full-frame camera. A cropped sensor, such as the APS-C system will magnify all lenses used by x1.6. For example, a 35mm lens used on an APS-C system will become a (35 x 1.6 = 56mm) 50mm lens.

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