Wide-Angle Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by rockstar, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. rockstar

    rockstar TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to cameras and photography. I've been thinking of shooting cars lately, as that's another hobbie of mine. Wide-angle lenses make cars look especially nice.

    I don't know anything about wide-angle lenses. Can anybody teach me and tell me a bit about them and how they work?

    I've got a Nikon D50 and it came with a kit lens (18-55mm zoom). I've seen some wide-angle lenses that are 24mm, etc. Seen as though I've got 18mm as my lowest, does that mean I can make some shots wide-angle-looking with my kit lens?

    Thanks!
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When people think of wide angle, they generally are thinking about focal ranges less than 35mm. Therefore, yes... your kit lens does have the focal range of a wide angle zoom.

    but...


    your D50 has a smaller than 35mm sized sensor... in fact.. its x1.5 smaller. As a result, your 18mm focal length is going to look more like 27mm on a full frame which is what most people are used to seeing. This translates to a less dramatic effect.

    APS sized sensors on new digital SLRs have always made it difficult for those who love to shoot wide anglers... its a blessing to those that shoot mainly telephoto.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wide is kind of a subjective term.

    If you are talking 35mm film, then anything shorter than 50mm might be considered wide. 24mm was indeed fairly wide and 17mm or 20mm was ultra wide.

    Now on to your D50. This camera has a sensor that is smaller than 35mm film. This means that lenses designed for 35mm film cameras (like a typical 24mm lens)...will 'seem' longer by a factor of 1.5. This is because the smaller sensor only sees the middle portion of the image projected by the lens.

    So your 18-55 lens at 18mm...is wide but because of the small sensor (crop factor)...you don't get an ultra wide view. What you do get is a some what wide view...similar to 28mm on a 35mm camera.

    They do have 10 to 12 mm lenses...which will give you an ultra wide view on that camera.
     
  4. rockstar

    rockstar TPF Noob!

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    can you guys tell me more about this sensor in digital SLRs? i'm not clear as to why they have them and why they're smaller? what are they?

    so getting things straight: the 18mm on my lens will appear to be approx 27mm in a film SLR?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's about right.

    Try a search of "crop factor" on the forums. Myself and many others have typed out explanations many times. Have a look at this as well.

    The reason they do this...is because sensors are hard to make and it's quite expensive to make big ones. Camera makers decided to use a size that is somewhat smaller than 35mm film in their DSLR cameras. (99% of digi-cams have a sensor that is much, much smaller.)

    Canon pro DSLR cameras (1Ds) have 'full frame sensors'...as does the Canon 5D. I don't think Nikon has a full frame sensor yet.
     

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