Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wide Angle

When I worked in a camera store many years ago, we were encouraged to try out all of the new cameras, lenses, and films, that came into the store. I quickly fell in love with wide-angle lenses. The wider the better.

Wide-angle is the opposite of telephoto. It is any lens that gives a field of view wider than about 45 degrees.

In the 80's & '90's it practically became an obsession with me as I bought a number of specialty cameras with names like Plaubel Veriwide and Widelux.

I still love wide-angle lenses. One of the main reasons to buy a camera with interchangeable lenses is to be able to use some of the marvelous wide-angle lenses that are available.

Alternately, multiple pictures can be spliced together to form an extreme wide view. The above photo of the interior of Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is made from three images merged together forming a view of about 180 degrees.

Most people discourage using wide-angle lenses for portraits because they tend to be unflattering, but in photography, it is OK to break the rules. Below is a photo of steel guitar player Fred Uzzell made with a 16mm lens on a Pentax which gives an angle of view of about 90 degrees. I was standing less than a foot away from the front edge of the steel guitar.