How to choose a good wide-angle lens
Mar 12, 2020
Wide-angle lenses are ideal for capturing scenes such as cramped interiors or expansive landscapes as they allow you to fit more into the frame. Just like other types of lenses, wide-angle lenses come with different features and parameters. That’s why you need to take certain things into consideration so that you can buy the one that fits your particular needs.
The following are some things you should consider when you are buying a wide-angle lens:
The Trim Factor
The type of sensor of your camera is the first thing you should keep in mind when you are buying a wide-angle lens. The size of the sensor determines the actual focal length of the lens. If you have a camera with a complete format or full frame sensor, then the focal length of its lens is the effective focal length, which allows you to take full advantage of it. However, if the sensor is smaller, then you will need to take the trim factor into consideration. For instance, if the trim factor is 1.5x, then the actual focal length of a 50mm lens would be 50 * 1.5 = 75mm. It would be like you mounted 75mm on a complete format sensor. Look up your camera model on the internet to learn about its sensor. The trim factor is very important when making a decision.
Whether you will use filter holders is another aspect to consider when choosing a wide-angle lens. If you plan on using filter holders, then you will need to make sure that the lens you buy will not make the image vignetted. Since wide-angle lenses have much wider angles as compared to normal lenses, a filter is likely to cause this problem. This is particularly the case with screw-on filters. You will need to use a slim filter to make sure that the image doesn’t vignette. This will obviously cost you money as you will have to buy a thinner filter. However, if you already own one, then this aspect shouldn’t concern you.
Brightness is another important aspect. Brightness can be very crucial depending on the type of photography that you do. If you do night or indoor photography, then you will surely need a bright lens to help with low lighting conditions. Wide-angle lenses are generally not very bright. There are bright wide-angle lenses available but they are more expensive. So, you will need to take the cost factor into account as well.
Zoom vs. Fixed Focal
Since you cannot always scroll, a zoom lens is more versatile. The conditions don’t always allow photographers to place themselves where they want to be, so zoom lens proves to be highly valuable. However, in other situations which allow more mobility, choosing a wide-angle fixed focal lens is a suitable option. Wide-angle fixed focal lenses are usually high quality and affordable. They are also compact and lightweight as compared to their zoom counterparts. Whether you choose a zoom or fixed focal wide-angle lens will depend on your specific needs.
These are some of the things you should take into consideration when choosing a wide-angle lens. It is recommended that you invest in a good quality lens as they can last a long time with proper care.