Wide-Angle Lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by scrutiny1, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. scrutiny1

    scrutiny1 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon D-70 and I am wondering what a good wide-angle lense for landscape photgraphy is. As always, the cheaper the better!

    Thanks
     
  2. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I picked up a Sigma 17-30mm 2.4-4 used from KEH and am really happy with it. For the price, I think it is a great option.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, the cheaper the worse. There aren't many options for true wide angles. look at the Tokina 12-24 or the Sigma 10-20. They are in the $500-$600 range and that is about as cheap as it gets.
     
  4. scrutiny1

    scrutiny1 TPF Noob!

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    Well, fmw, I think you know what I mean.
     
  5. ball

    ball TPF Noob!

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    Would a prime be more expensive than the zooms mentioned?
     
  6. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    17 is not nearly wide enough i use sigmas 10-20 and love it real sharp and produces great blue skies. it goes for around 500 but is worth it.
     
  7. scrutiny1

    scrutiny1 TPF Noob!

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    Well I know I sound like a noob but could someone please explain to me how the mm stuff works with lenses.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nobody knows. There aren't any single focal length wide angles for digital sensors. Nobody has made one yet.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The mm stuff is the measure of the focal length of the lens. I won't get into a scientific treatise with you. But the smaller the number the wider the perspective and the larger the number the narrower. If normal lenses reproduce a perspective similar to what the eye sees, then wide angles provide a perspective that tends to draw closer objects closer and push distant objects even further away while having a wide angle of view. As the focal length decreases (mm get smaller) this perspective becomes more and more pronounced.

    Perhaps this will help you visualize it. These two shots were made at Death Valley National Park in California within 20 miles of one another. The first one was made with a 24mm wide angle lens on a 35mm camera. Notice how the vista is spread out. You can see some plants near where I was standing and you can see some mountains that are about 50 miles away ahead and other mountains that are 10 miles away to the left.

    [​IMG]

    The second shot was made with a long 500mm telephoto lens on the same 35mm camera. The mountains you see as a background are the same ones you see in the first shot at the upper right of the frame. But they are looming and appear close even though they are about 25-30 miles away. This perspective is called foreshortening.

    [​IMG]

    Long lenses with high mm stuff tend to compress perspective while the wide angle tends to spread it out. Hope this helps.
     
  10. scrutiny1

    scrutiny1 TPF Noob!

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    When it comes down to it, do I want high mm or low mm?
     
  11. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    That depends on what you're trying to shoot. If you're shooting a lot of architecture or landscapes, you'll probably want a very wide-angle lens. (Low mm) This will give your photos a much wider field of view. If you're shooting things much farther away, you'll want to get a long telephoto lens. (High mm) This will allow you to get clear shots of more distant objects without having to walk closer, but the field of view will be narrower, sort of like tunnel vision.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    with the tunnel length being the focal length ;)

    interesting analogy, technically not really correct, but not truly totally wrong either ...

    so a short tunnel gives you a wide angle of view, and a longer tunnel a narrow angle of view ...
     

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