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4.2 Wide Angle Zoom Lenses

If you need to fit a lot of the world in your shot, you want to have a wide angle zoom in your bag. In this lesson you will learn about wide angle zooms and see what they look like. You will also see the difference between a wide zoom and the standard zoom lens.

4.2 Wide Angle Zoom Lenses

If you need to fit a lot of the world in your shot, you wanna have a wide angle zoom in your bag. In photography, a wide angle lens refers to a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller then the focal length of a quote, unquote normal lens. This type of lens allows for more of the scene to be included in the image, which is very useful for architectural, interior and landscape photography where the photographer may not be able to move further away to compose the image properly. Another use is when you wanna emphasize the difference in size or distance between objects in the foreground and background. Nearby objects appear very large and objects at even a moderate distance appear to be very small and far away. This exaggeration of relative size can be used to make the foreground objects more prominent and striking while capturing expansive backgrounds. This is something that we'll explore later in this course. Again, depending on your camera's sensor size, you will have some options here. For a full frame camera, you are looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of a 12 to 24 millimeter lens. For an APS-C you can get down to ten to 20 millimeters. And for a micro four thirds camera, you can get down to seven to 14 millimeters. For APS-C and Micro four thirds cameras about the widest field of view that you can find, not including a fish eye lens, is going to be about 114 degrees. For a full frame camera, you can get as wide as 122 degrees. It's worth mentioning that all of the wide-angle focal lengths that I just mentioned are rectilinear lenses. A rectilinear lens creates an image where straight features, such as walls, buildings, or lines, appear to be straight, as opposed to being curved. At particularly wide angles however, the rectilinear perspective will cause objects to appear increasingly stretched and enlarged especially as they near the edge of the frame. This is different than a fish eye lens, which dramatically distorts everything but has a freakish 180 degree or more field of view. Let's check out what one of these wide angle zooms looks like in action. All right, in this example, we're gonna have some fun with this ultra wide zoom lens. This is a Tokina 11 to 16 millimeter F2.8 lens and on my crop sensor bonnet, this is a Canon 7D, this is a pretty wide angle lens. Now it's not the widest you can get but, this is the lens that we're gonna use for this example. And it is pretty wide. So what we're gonna do, is we're gonna take advantage of that really cool exaggerated perspective with this lens and get it right down on the ground, and then I'm gonna call my wife in here and we're gonna stand right in front of it. And we're just gonna jump in the air. And even though we're gonna be close to the camera, it's gonna look like we're actually farther away because of that exaggerated perspective and that really cool thing that happens when you use an ultra wide-angle lens. I'm gonna come over here and set this up here, you can see I have two speed lights here. And the sun is actually right over here, you can probably see me squinting a good bit. And we're gonna use that as kind of a backlight, as a, as a hair light. And we're gonna try and expose the sky, which right now does not have any clouds in it. We're gonna try and expose that down to a nice deep blue to do that I'm gonna be right at F11 here and 1250th of a second at ISO 100. So I'm just gonna set this on the ground here and I'm, I'm actually gonna use my tripod here as just a as a prop here to just to prop up the front of the lens because this tripod doesn't go this low, obviously no tripod goes as low as the ground. I could hang upside down on this tripod, but it's just going to be easier just to set it on the ground for a second. So, Rachel, can you come on in here for me and then, jump in your position here and I'll get this set up. Just gonna try and get the sun right at the edge of the frame here. Now leveling this shot is gonna be a little bit tricky because it's just kind of sitting on the ground here, but we're gonna give it a shot and see what happens. So I'm gonna put this on ten second timer. Oops and then jump over here. Alright so that's gonna go solid and then we're gonna jump. Ready, jump. [LAUGH] That's tricky. All right let's check out what this looks like here. [LAUGH]. Your hair is a little. [LAUGH]. Let's just do another one. Just because. Okay this time come back here. You're gonna jump towards the camera, you ready? You're gonna run and jump. >> All right. >> Ready go. Jump >> [LAUGH] You caught me off guard. >> Try again. Jump. Jump. Okay. [LAUGH]. I really look like am jumping over you. [LAUGH]. That was a tremendous amount of fun. Let's check out a few more examples of a wide angle zoom in action. So let me take you through a few more pictures here that I shot with this 11 to 16 millimeter lens. You can see I did a few more jump pictures and as interesting as you think it might be to watch this actually was quite difficult to do because I made my kids, my oldest daughter Ella, and my next oldest Lincoln. I made them jump about a hundred times in front of the camera to get, you know, just a hand full of cool shots here. But, you can see how cool these look with the exaggerated perspective, especially as they get really close to the lens. This again was the same setup, but this time we had a really nice sky to work with. We did these in a parking lot, at about 9:30 at night here. Here are a couple of playground shots that we did, using the same lens, and this was really cool, because I get right under him, and he still looked pretty far away. Really cool lens to use outside, because it gives you, just a huge field of view. It's really great for getting big skies in your shot and really getting some distance between objects. And we also used this lens for some light painting which was very fun to do. You know, just real basic stuff, at this point it was pretty close to 10:00 o'clock at night so the kids were about ready to go home. And you know if you're using a lens with a higher focal length, it wouldn't have worked quite as well because we would have a smaller area to work. But a big, wide lens like that made it really easy. Now for interiors, I'd say a wide-angle zoom is almost essential. Because, interiors you just don't have the space to move around, and to capture stuff with a nice, wide perspective, you need a really low focal length lens. So all of these were shots of a few local churches in my town. Did some of the stained glass here, and then I got some nice interiors here. These three right here, I just put on a tripod, and I was able to put these together into a pretty nice panoramic with just three shots. In photoshop you can see that coming up right here. [BLANK_AUDIO] Then I moved down the street just a little bit, and I found this really cool old church that was built, I think, in the mid 1800s. It has some really, really nice stained glass windows, I mean, you know, a lot of times when you're working inside, you don't have a lot of space to work with. Especially, you know, you might not have enough room to get back, but also, you can't quite position yourself. This shot in particular I wouldn't have been able to get with a higher focal length lens, because I couldn't get it close to the mirror there and still get the same perspective in the background. I took a few shots and made this really cool panorama with just three shots from the back of the church. But I was able to capture all these really nice stained glass windows and, you know, when you're limited in space, having a wide angle lens or wide angle zoom like this is really, really cool because it just allows you to capture so much more. Here's another panoramic that I shot with just three images. Now wide angle zoom is not only for interiors, although that's one area where it really shines. It's also great for outside, check out these few pictures of this giant tree that I found in this really old cemetery. This lens in particular, this 11-16mm, yes at 11mm it does have some distortion but corrected its actually not that bad and you don't really notice it. And I couldn't get these shots any other way. If I moved back any further I wouldn't have been able to get underneath the tree so it would have looked completely different. These wide angle zooms give you a fantastically wide very unique perspective on the world in front of you. Now that you know all about wide angle zoom lenses, you're ready to move on to the next lesson where you're gonna learn about medium telephoto zooms.

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