Canon 28mm 1.8 worth it?


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Aug 12, 2015
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Hello, I have been wanting to get myself some wide angle lens. I have none, and I feel like I need at least one. I found someone selling theirs for 300$. Are they worth it, or should I invest in another. I would like a wide angle lens that can shoot well sharpened images. I was thinking about the 14-24, 16-35, 35mm. Unless there are other recommendations.

Main usage for these lens are family portraits with a scene, single subject/person with a scene. I don't care about landscaping photography.

Thanks in advance everyone!:)
Which camera body do you have? If you have a camera with an APS-C size sensor, then 35mm isn't wide angle. The "normal" angle of view on that camera is about 28mm and anything below 28 will seem 'wide'. Anything above will not be wide. A 35mm lens is only 'wide' on a full-frame body (such as a 6D, 5D, 1Ds or 1Dx).

Very wide angle lenses come in two variants... most lenses are "rectilinear" wide angle lenses, but there are also "curvilinear" wide angle lenses (more commonly referred to as "fish-eye" lenses.) The difference is that if you take a photo of an object that has straight edges (such as a doorway), in a "rectilinear" lens each side of the doorway will remain "straight" (the entire doorway may become highly distorted and look like a trapezoid, but the sides themselves will remain straight. If you took a photo of the same doorway with a "curvilinear" lens then the sizes will be curved -- straight lines become rounded in a fish-eye lens. The ONLY exception is if a line just coincidentally happens to pass through the center axis of the lens then that line will remain straight -- anything not precisely in the center will curve.

These lenses RARELY are good for portraits because of the strong effect of wide-angle distortion on body parts. This is because wide angle lenses aren't just "wide" (compressing a wider angle of view into the frame), they also stretch the sense of the depth in the image. Everything will appear to be farther away then it really is... but close objects will only seem slightly farther away... mildly distant subjects will seem like they are a LOT farther away. The farther it is in reality... the greater the exaggeration of distance. When you shoot someone's face, parts of the face that are just mildly farther than others (ears or eyes as compared to the distance of their nose) will seem elongated and it's not a flattering look.) But if you can play a very close foreground subject against a slightly more distant background subject then the juxtaposition of the two subjects can seem interesting. SO... for example you have a subject who likes their car. You pose them leaning on the front fender with and shoot so that the rest of the car is behind them. They will seem very large and the car will seem small.

Getting this shot isn't as easy as it sounds... because a fish-eye lens is going to distort you subject (people will become curved if you place them at a "rule of thirds" position). But if you use a "rectilinear" wide angle, then the camera lens usually needs to be level to the ground. If the lens is pointing even slightly upward or downward then any verticals in your shot will lean in toward the center (if lens is pointing upward) or lean away from the center (if lens is pointed downward) and will only be remain vertical if the lens is PERFECTLY level to the ground.

I have an ultra-wide lens and I find that I do not use it very often. I mostly like it for astronomy (e.g. images of the milky way stretched across the sky). I've seen some beautiful landscapes -- which are almost architectural landscapes that look stunning with an ultra-wide (do a google images search for Coyote Buttes, AZ "The Wave" and you'll see what I mean.)
The 28mm f/1.8 was the first extra lens I bought. I had a XSI back then, so the idea was that it would be close to a "normal" lens for my crop sensor since the 1.6 conversion puts it right around 45mm. I like the lens a lot, and I think it would suit you well if you're in the same position I was in.

I can say, though, that it quickly became obsolete when I bought a 16-35mm f/2.8. I have to make myself take the 28mm out of the bag. It's no longer my "street" lens since I have more flexibility with the 16-35, but it does still do a bang-up job in more controlled environments, like shooting portraits of the family. I also think $300 is a fair price.

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