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Taking Advantage of Wide-Angle Distortion

Taking Advantage of Wide-Angle Distortion

Wide-angle lens is one of the most popular tools of photography. One you begin shooting with wide-angle, you vill never look at your subject matter the same way again. You will have fun discovering the wonderful images you can create, and discover the joy of photography by using a wide lens and a keen eye. Wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses are easy to use, care for and appreciate. Naturally, there are some adjustments you must make when composing a scene and deciding on your camera viewpoint. However, these are minor adjustments compared to the major advantages of using a wide-angle lens.

Features of Wide-Angle Lenses

An angle of view – The amount of area covered or viewed by a lens.

From the same distance, a wide-angle lens covers an area greater than that of a normal phone camera lens.
The angle of view is the specific degree of coverage of the lens. It is a diagonal measurement, in degrees, of the area in a scene covered by the lens at a given distance.
A phone camera lens limits the size of an area that is recorded because it has a 47 angle of view, which is narrow. This tends to isolate areas of a scene and can result in a static, claustrophobic images. The area of the scene recorded by a wide-angle lens is greater than that of a phone camera lens (at the same distance) due to its extreme angle of view.

The Amount of Coverage

Impressive amount of coverage

The amount of coverage ultra wide-angle lens record over the phone camera is impressive.

The BullyEyes ultra wide-angle lens has 50% more coverage than a phone camera lens.

Wide-angle lenses are invaluable when shooting indoors with restricted space, or shooting group shots, spacious scenic views, and large buildings. Most interior shots of homes and buildings are shot with wide lenses in order to fit in as much of an area as possible. You can not do that with any other lens.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field

Wide-angle also differ from other lenses in that they provide an increased depth of field.  The depth of field is the term given to the range behind and in front of, a subject you are focused on where the subject still appears acceptably sharp.

Image Distortion

Image Distortion

Image distortion – The inconsistency between subjects and their representation on the image.

The other major difference between ultra-wide angle lenses and phone lenses is the fact that ultra-wide-angle lenses produce image distortion. They increase the size of objects which are closer to the camera in relation to the background and decrease the size of objects that are distant. The wider the angle of the lens, the greater the image distortion becomes. Distortion becomes more apparent when close to the subject; the camera is not in a level position, and elements are near the extreme edges of the frame. As you can imagine, making size and perspective look realistic can be a challenge.

Distortion with ultra-wide-angle but more obvious when shooting indoors in confined spaces. When shooting horizontals from a close, level position to the subject, distortion appears in the form of elongated lines at the frame sides. When shooting from a low position and tilting up, the distortion is in the form of converging lines at the top of the frame. When shooting vertical close – not level to the subject – and the camera is tilted down, lines elongate in the foreground. Conversely, when the camera is tilted up, lines converge at the top of the frame.

Maximizing Distortion

Wide Angle and Image Distortion

You decide how much or how little distortion you want…
Remember to minimize distortion by shooting level to the subject, and placing the camera half way between the top and bottom of the scene. Because you can control the distortion to some extent, the best way to get the most out of your wide-angle lenses is to use the distortion to your advantage. Incorporate it into your photographs when it will enhance the image rather than detract from it. You decide how much or how little distortion you want through lens choice, camera viewpoint, and composition.

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