10 things to watch out for
There are specific things you need to consider when you’re looking for an ultra-wide lens…
1 How wide?
The lens’s focal length is a good indication of the angle of view it gives, but at any given focal length some lenses may give a slightly larger or smaller viewing angle than others.
2 Difference of millimetres
For ultra-wide lenses, differences of just one or two millimetres in focal length can have a substantial effect on the viewing angle.
3 3 Aperture alternatives
Constant-aperture lenses, where the widest available aperture remains fixed throughout the zoom range, are often preferable. It’s particularly useful in manual shooting mode.
4 Going deep
Ultra-wide lenses can give an enormous depth of field, helping to keep very close foreground objects and distant horizons simultaneously sharp.
5 Get a perspective
By moving in close to foreground objects when using a wide-angle lens, you can really exaggerate perspective effects, giving a dramatic look to images.
6 On the level
When taking architectural shots, it’s especially important to keep the camera level. Even slight upward or downward tilting with an ultra-wide lens can give the appearance of leaning buildings.
7 Portrait orientation
When shooting in portrait (upright) orientation, it’s surprisingly easy to end up with your own feet in the shot. Holding the camera at arm’s length and using Live View is a handy solution.
8 Less distortion
At the long end of their zoom ranges, ultra-wide lenses typically give much less distortion than when using a standard zoom at equivalent focal lengths.
9 Filter foibles
Circular polarising filters tend to give poor results with ultra-wide zooms, especially at their shortest focal lengths. The extreme angle of view results in the strength of the polarising effect varying across the image frame.
10 Well contained
Unlike most telephoto zooms and superzoom lenses, the physical length of ultra-wide zoom lenses changes very little, if at all, throughout the zoom range.