Why do wide angle lenses have f1.4?

Started Sep 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 15,156
Re: Why do wide angle lenses have f1.4?

PaulD1980 wrote:

Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a wide angle lens soon to take some landscape photography.

Is there any point in purchasing a lens that has a fast aperture of something like f1.4?...as normally a landscape photo would be shot at something around f/8 to f/22 to get everything in focus.

Well, there are very few occasions where one would want f/1.4 for landscape photography but there are other uses for wide angle lenses such as street photography and photojournalism. Also, top-grade professional lenses tend to be fast because that gives the photographer more flexibility. So, for example, Nikon sells a 24mm f/1.4 for $2600. If you need it, you need it. If you're shooting landscapes, you would most probably be happier with a 16-35 f/4 zoom.

I assume that the f1.4 would only be used to achieve some good bokeh?

Wide angle lenses tend to have poor bokeh; maybe Nikon's 24 f/1.4 is good (it should be for that price). But there may be some occasions where you want shallow depth of field for a wide angle shot and a fast lens allows this. There are some sample photos on the Nikon site showing this lens used to good effect. None of these photos are landscapes. But again, one would not typically purchase a 24mm f/1.4 for landscapes.

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