To Wide Zoom, or not to Wide Zoom?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
OP thiefofpresence Contributing Member • Posts: 862
Re: To Wide Zoom, or not to Wide Zoom?

VisionLight wrote:

When you leave the world of "normal" focal lengths and go to telephotos, your main reason is to isolate a subject and record it. Yes there are the variables of distance and compression of space and the effects of depth of field. But you isolate a subject and record it.

Yes I have quite the telephoto range obsession in part of my practice. As you know, in the COVID era, 85 is the new 35 . . . #socialdistancing

When you go to wide angle focal lengths, the variables are much more complicated, and the wider you go, the more exacting the workflow becomes to control those variables. And thus also the creativity you can exercise by playing with those variables.

What is too wide? That depends on what are your subjects and how precise are your techniques for handling a wide angle lens. A wide angle lens that is not held perfectly level and perfectly plumb will distort an image. The wider the angle, the quicker and more pronounced this distortion will appear, especially if people are your subjects.

The other factor is still versus video, when you pan a camera at 16mm or wider, it creates quite the distortion vortex around subjects. With a stills approach, that can be managed a little more easily.

But you can also skew that level or plumb to show sweep or visual movement in your scene, a creative process that is accentuated as the FOV increases. But also harder to compose a visually interesting composition of a precise subject. UWA is definitely an artform that takes diligence to command and a sense of creativity to more than successfully pull off.

As it was last on my lens list, it remains the practice I know the least about. So I have heard people tell me to avoid the UWA extremes until I get a hang of it, which I guess is well intentioned enough. That said, you have to break some eggs to make an omelette.

And how much of that diligence and creativity a photographer is willing to contribute will define what is or isn't too wide for that photographer. No one else can tell you.

Personally, I love Ultra Wide photography. And I love my Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN lens on my A7R IV.

I have their 24-70 standard trinity zoom for FE mount, and I love that lens. The 14-24 would complement it nicely.

But I also have a Rokinon SP 10mm f/3.5mm UWA prime to go the next step further. In all facets of UWA photography, both lenses punch way above their weight class. But then I have been shooting UWA since my Sigma 12-24mm lens on my Canon 5D fifteen years ago, so I have some experience.

So it's up to you to decide. If it's any help, here is a link to my Collection of images with the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN on my A7R IV. The 10mm lens is much newer, so ther are only a few example with that lens you can find here .

Thanks very much for sharing images. Will give them a looking over.

Feel free to ask any questions.

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Sony A9ii | Sony FE 20/1.8 G; Minolta M-Rokkor 28/2.8; Sony FE 35/1.8; Sigma 45/2.8 C; Sony Sonnar 55/1.8; Samyang AF 85/1.4; Sigma 70/2.8 Macro Art | Sigma 24-70/2.8 Art; Sony FE 24-105/4 G; Tamron 28-200; Tamron 70-180/2.8; Sony FE 100-400 GM; Sony FE 200-600 G;

 thiefofpresence's gear list:thiefofpresence's gear list
Sony a9 II Sony 1.4x Teleconverter Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art +9 more
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