When to Use a Wide Angle Lens

Fish Eye Lens

A fisheye lens has the widest focal length of all lenses at between 4.5mm and 14mm. The angle of view is 180°, allowing you to see half of a full rotation.

They suffer from heavy lens distortion, as they cram in as much information into the sensor as possible. You can use these lenses for skyscapes and wide panoramas.

The Rokinon HD8M-C 8mm f/3.5 HD is a great example. 

Wide Angle Lens

A wide-angle lens is similar to the fisheye, just not as wide. The fall between 14mm and 35mm. Their angle of view typically runs from 64° to 84°.

These lenses also suffer from distortion. Their perspective is one of the largest and generally used for interiors and architecture.

The Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM is a good example. 

Standard Lens

A standard lens is a lens that is closest to the human eye in terms of angle of view. It is a 50mm lens with its angle of view of around 58°. 

Anything below this lens’ focal length is a wide angle, and anything above is a telephoto. These are the most versatile lenses, used for portrait, landscape and street photography.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a great example. 

Telephoto

A telephoto lens is used to photograph subjects from far away. They go from telephoto (70mm – 300mm and 34° – 8°)  and super telephoto (300mm – 600mm and 8° – 4°).

The telephoto is great for portraits, the super is perfect for action photography and astrophotography.

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM is a perfect example.

 

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