What is a wide-angle lens?

A wide angle lens, is the exact opposite of a telephoto lens. It is a lens whose focal length is short.

wide-angle lens

Click to enlarge: Wide-angle lens

Shrinks and pushes away

The wide angle lens shrinks objects, apparently moving them away from the photographer. But it will also allow him to capture a much larger view of a large object or a landscape.

Brings more things into the picture

It permits the inclusion of objects in the image, that it would otherwise be impossible to include all at once, unless the photographer moved quite a long way out.

Moving away without backing up

This is not always possible in the real world, since barriers often stand between the photographer and his subject or around it, preventing the photographer from moving freely.

Most cameras have one

The majority of fixed lens cameras, such as low-end compact cameras and smart phones, feature a moderate wide angle lens, i.e. it sees larger than normal, but not in an exaggerated way, to point of creating distortions in the image.

The “Fish-Eye”, the ultimate wide-angle lens!

At the other end of the spectrum wide angle lenses, lie the objectives “Fisheye”, or “fish eye”. These objectives are practically spherical and are able to see almost 180 ° around, creating a circular and very distorted image on the periphery, except in the central zone.

Nikon 6mm Fisheye lens (Photo: Nikon)

Click to enlarge: Nikon 6mm Fisheye lens (Photo: Nikon)

Expensive and specialized

These are therefore fairly limited utility lenses, principally used to create special effects. They are also among the most expensive lenses offered by the various lens manufacturers. The one shown above costs a whopping $160,000 U.S.!

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