Going Ultra Wide

Many of us love ultra wide-angle lenses but when exactly are they useful? As Ian Plant reveals, he has always viewed such lenses as his ‘big sky’ lenses, perfect for moments when dramatic clouds fill the sky

I have always been a wide-angle junkie – the wider, the better. Shooting with an ultra-wide lens comes with some very specific challenges, and the generous angle of view offered by such lenses doesn’t work for all scenes and circumstances. But when the time and the place are right, ultra-wide lenses can yield uniquely spectacular results.

For purposes of this article, I am defining ultra-wide as rectilinear lenses (not fisheyes) wider than 16mm on a full frame camera (or its equivalent on a cropped sensor camera). Of course, this is a somewhat arbitrary distinction, and many consider 16mm or 17mm to be ultra-wide. For cropped sensor format cameras, Sigma’s 8-16mm zoom (which offers the equivalent view of a 12-24mm on a full frame camera) is currently the widest. For full frame DSLR cameras, Canon’s new 11-24mm currently offers the widest angle of view for a rectilinear lens of any format. Anything wider …

Read this and many more articles in High Definition inside Issue 52 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author


Ian Plant is a full time professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, books and calendars, and he is a frequent contributor to Popular Photography and Outdoor Photographer magazines, among others.

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