10 things to watch out for

There are spe­cific things you need to con­sider when you’re look­ing for an ul­tra-wide lens…

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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.

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