How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

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It is important to know how to choose the material that best suits your needs. From everything it is known that there is nothing cheap in photography, so I recommend before buying which values are used, if it is really what you need.

The lenses are the most expensive things in photography, sometimes even more than the camera itself. Therefore, it is worth reading and reading the analyzes and reviews available on the internet.

If you’re thinking about buying a wide-angle lens, I’ll tell you what criteria to consider when deciding on one or the other.

Wide Angle: Take into account the Sensor Size of your Camera

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses
16mm in a camera with Full Frame sensor. The angle of vision is quite large, even deforming the elements that are very close, and giving the feeling that the objects in the background are much smaller than they really are.

Before you buy a lens, you should first know what kind of sensor your camera has. The size of the sensor determines the equivalent (real) focal length of your lens. If your camera has a full-frame or full-format sensor, the focal length that marks the target is the effective focal length, which means you’ll take full advantage of your lens.

However, if your sensor is smaller, you must consider the clipping factor. For example, if the cutoff factor is 1.5, the equivalent focal length for a 50mm lens would be 50 * 1.5 = 75mm. It’s like having a 75mm full-frame sensor mounted. This is very important when making a decision.

To know which sensor your camera has, you only need to search your model on the Internet and look at the specifications.

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses
14mm in a camera with APS-C sensor with 1.5x trim factor (focal length equivalent to 21mm). If you compare it with the photograph above, you can see how we can not get the same angle of vision, even if we have 2mm less focal length.

If someone is looking for a wide-angle lens, this is because he wants to capture a very large viewing angle. These lenses are ideal for taking pictures indoors, in cities or in the countryside. The idea is to capture as much space as possible.

A wide-angle lens with a focal length of 24mm on an APS-C sensor with a 1.6x cutoff factor would really indicate an equivalent focal length of 24 * 1.6 = 38.4mm, so the viewing angle is much less 24mm in a full-frame sensor.

Everyone will know what he intends to photograph. To find out which focal length can be better, it is to look at the photos taken with each lens. There are many pages on which the EXIF ​​data of the photographs appear, d. H. The parameters such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, camera, lens and focal length. Some examples can be or It can also help to get an idea of ​​the quality of the lens.

So if I had a full-frame sensor, I’d have to look for targets that were between 14mm and 40mm, as that’s the actual focal length. If I have a smaller sensor, I have to use the clipping factor to know the appropriate focal length. For example, with APS-C you can search for a lens with a focal length of 10mm that would stay at 10 * 1.6 = 16mm.

Another aspect we should consider is when we use filter holders. If so, we need to make sure that it will not vignette us. These lenses have a viewing angle that is so large that all the elements on it are visible.

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses
The filter holder can be seen if we have a wide angle, so you have to buy the right material so that it does not happen.

The same goes for circular screw filters. You have to see if we need a slim filter, thinner so that it does not vignette.

The luminosity in the big angles

Another important factor can be how bright the lens can be. The type of photography we do determines this point. When I need a light lens, it’s because I’m going to work in low light. For example, for indoor shots or night shots.

If you do not get a lens with a fixed focal length, wide-angle lenses are usually not very bright and can not reach more than f / 2.8, where f / 4 is the norm. This would be ideal, especially if our purpose is night photography. Remember that one step means more light, that you have to illuminate half the time.

The brighter targets are more expensive, so you can always consider the option of uploading the ISO. If you have reached the maximum ISO and have fully opened the membrane, the speed is crucial.

When you take pictures of static elements, slow-speed photography is not a problem. There are even wide-angle lenses that have an image stabilizer or even the use of a tripod. The problem arises when people or objects move. Then a more open membrane makes the difference.

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses
The Canon 16-35mm f / 4 IS lens has a stabilizer. At first I thought that in a corner it was not necessary, but after several years with him it has served me on many occasions.

Wide Angle: Zoom vs. Fixed Focal?

A zoom lens is more versatile because you can not always scroll. In my case, when I do a lot of nature photography, the conditions do not allow me to place myself where I want, so I use a zoom.

In other situations, eg. For example, in social photography, where more mobility is present, the same is sufficient with a fixed focus lens.

The advantages of fixed focal point lenses are that they tend to be cheaper and provide more quality. They also have a smaller size and a lighter weight. Most importantly, there are models that are much brighter than a zoom lens and can even achieve a f / 1.4 ratio.

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses
Fujinon lens 14mm f / 2.8 that has a scale to focus on the hyperfocal. The distances appear in meters and feet.

Lens that supports the inclemencies meteorological

If you photograph in conditions in which the weather can affect the lens it is necessary that both your camera with the lens are sealed . So if it rains, nothing happens because it gets wet. Also dust can be our worst enemy.

If this is not a problem for you, then certainly you do not need to take this aspect into account, so it will be cheaper for you.

First of all quality

Quality is everything for me, even if that has a price. Quality is another factor to consider, and it depends heavily on how much money we want to spend on it. Before I noted that the fixed-focus lenses are more favorable. So if you want a quality target at a good price, this may be the best option.

The quality of a lens is determined by several aspects. Of course we talk about optical quality. What you need to keep in mind is both the optical quality of the glass in the middle and in the corners.

There are a number of graphics from the manufacturer that follow a standard. These are the MTF graphs. In any case, there are many pages that perform analyzes both at the theoretical level (MTF graphs) and at the practical level (field trials with real examples).

Where to buy your Wide Angle Lenses

Nowadays, buying footage online is not unusual. The prices are much cheaper and there are several shops that are reliable. Of course, before you buy in a store with an unbelievably low price, you need to make sure that you search the Internet for information.

There are many forums like Canonistas, Fujistas or Nikonistas where you can find references from other users who have already made a purchase. You have to check if the warranty for the product is offered by the shop. So if a problem occurs, we have to send the product or it serves us in our country and the brand would take over the brand.

Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

Then I leave you with some recommendations so that you have some reference depending on the budget of each one.

If you are looking for cheap lenses with a good quality these are the recommendations:

Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 EF-S USM

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

This lens is only valid for APS-C sensors, so its equivalent focal distance is 16-35mm.

The quality / price is really good, being able to find it new in Amazon 

Tokina 11-16mm f / 2.8 DXII

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

Another model that serves both Canon and Nikon that is considered the best wide-angle lens for APS-C sensors.

You can buy it in Amazon 

Canon 17-40mm f / 4

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

If you want to acquire a quality lens at a good price, you should definitely get the 17-40mm f / 4. You can buy this lens in Amazon.  Many professional photographers have used this lens for years until they released the new version.

When the premium is optical quality there is no doubt that prices skyrocket, but if it is what you are looking for there is no doubt that you have to do with any of these lenses .

Canon 16-35mm f / 4 USM IS

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

This target was put up for sale in 2014, replacing the 17-40mm F4, which had so many users and required an update. Canon was a bit lame with that lens, so he made the best wide-angle zoom for that brand.

The focal length varied slightly and remained slightly shorter than the previous model, but the optical quality far exceeds them. The biggest difference can be seen in the corners.

The Canon 16-35mm achieves an excellent resolution in the middle as well as in the corners up to f4. In addition, it is equipped with an image stabilizer, with which you can shoot very slowly. I have clear photos of less than 1 / 15s.

After all, the diameter is 77mm, as well as the previous model and other lenses of the same product line, so we do not have to buy any other filters or adapters.

You can buy in Amazon

Nikon 16-35mm f / 4 VR

How to Choose a Wide Angle Lens and 5 Highly Recommended Wide Angle Lenses

Like the Canon model, it has an image stabilizer, same focal length and same maximum aperture.

Sharpness is a feature of this lens, defeating even the Nikon 24-70mm f / 2.8G, both in the center and in the corners. It is without a doubt, the best option if you are a Nikon user.

You can find multiple reviews about this lens on the internet.

You can buy it in Amazon


When someone asks me about the purchase lens, I always ask him about his budget because price is a deciding factor. I always recommend investing in good lenses because if they are careful, they will take a long time. Cameras go out of style and technological development is progressing rapidly.

There are lenses for all prices, but it’s worth it to save the one you need. Basically, I buy a lens if I want to shoot with a specific focal length, at high angles, because I want to have a wide angle of view. That’s why I bought the 16-35mm f / 4. I can change myself by zooming The frame does not move, because I often have a lake, the sea or a precipice in front of me.

Another reason is usually for the luminosity. The more I can open the aperture, the lower the depth of field. If you want to blur the background, you will need a very bright lens. For wide-angle lenses, however, this is usually not one of the main requirements because the depth of field is very large due to the focal length.

I also recommend a look at the used market. There are brands that have a lot of market, and there are several reliable websites to perform this type of operation. Of course, make sure that the seller is reliable and stay, if possible, to see and test the target. The prices are much lower than a new destination and you could find a bargain.


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