One Year’s Lens – Part Five – Wider

One Year’s Lens – Part Five – Wider

If you are a dedicated landscape shooter – or and architectural fan – you don’t even need encouragement to place a wide-angle lens on your camera and leave it sealed there for a year. You probably do this anyway. But play along with me and then you can tell other people of the advantages of the idea:

a. The lenses may be smaller than the other choices – but not necessarily. Some professional wide-angles with fast apertures are substantial tubs of expensive glass. They need care with carrying and deployment as their front surfaces can bulge alarmingly.

b. The lenses will make sharper – looking pictures, on the average, than their longer counterparts due to the smaller image placed on the sensor. Oh, you can still shake them into failures, but it is harder to do. You’ll be able to get away with hand-holding at slower shutter speeds and lower ISO’s.

c. The lenses may be surprisingly inexpensive for the smaller sensor lines.

But beware:

a. The lenses may also be surprisingly expensive for the larger sensor lines. This is known as ” the rule of just your luck “…

b. The lenses will likely require larger filter sizes for the fast designs. And polarising filters may work in a spotty fashion with the widest ones. You might find yourself having to leave them off.

c. Everybody will look tiny unless you get in close. Then they will look less tiny..but their noses will look enormous.

d. Landscape photography is expensive because they keep the landscapes outdoors. You have to go there and petrol is expensive. You will also get cold, hot, and bit by bugs.

e. Not every part of a wide scene will have the same exposure, and in many cases may also have variations in white balance. Be prepared for some post-production.

f. Be prepared to deal with distortions at the edges of your pictures – either by careful Lightroom corrections or by blatently ignoring them and calling it art. You’ll get more chromatic aberration out at the corners too.

The adventurous or artistic soul who does portraiture can also use a moderate wide angle to show more around the main subject – environmental portraiture, if you will. This can be immensely instructive in regard to the sitter – in some cases filling in our knowledge of their personality far better than just the tight head shot. Of course you can get lost in the surroundings, but that is where the vignetting tools of our post-production program come in. When in doubt, darken.

So that’s the plan – and a number of variations on it. It requires courage and dedication but it gives you a good excuse to come into one of our shops and buy another lens. If you’ve been watching the 12 days Of Christmas  sale you will have done just that. Now it’s time to practise with it in preparation for Jan 1 and your one-optic year…


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