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Wide-Angle Photo Tips: Size matters!

In your daily photo practice, a slight difference in focal length can have a huge impact on your images. Does it adjust everything in the photo? Do I get that entire steeple on the image without having to go so far back and then shooting in the sun? How exactly does a fisheye lens work? Read on and find out the answer.

Photo by dopa

Wide-angle lenses, those with particularly short focal length, have a number of advantages compared to telephoto lenses. They are smaller thus easier to handle and capture more of the subject because of a larger acceptance angle. For this however, you have to get closer as you are not granted the magnifying effect of a telephoto lens.

The shooting angle applicable with wide-angle lenses or as you can say the field of view of your camera. purely and solely depends on two factors:

  1. Focal length
  2. Film format

In principle, the angle increases with decreasing focal length and increasing size of the negative. This is mathematically expressed this way:

α = √(a^2 + b^2) * 100° / 2f*

a and b correspond to the side length of the negative, f is the focal length. So you can choose which camera is easier for your next Lomo walk, I already did the math and made this table for some cameras:

  • LC-A & LC-A+ (f = 32 mm): ≈ 68° (24 × 36)
  • LC-Wide (f = 17 mm): ≈ 127° (24 × 36); ≈ 87° (24 × 17)
  • Lubitel 166+* (f = 75 mm): ≈ 55° (58 × 58); ≈ 49° (58 × 45); ≈ 45° (58 × 35 inkl. Sprockets)
  • Belair x6-12 (f = 90 mm): ≈ 65° (52 × 104); ≈ 52° (52 × 78); ≈ 41° (52 × 52)
  • Belair x6-12 (f = 58 mm): ≈ 100° (52 × 104); ≈ 81° (52 × 78); ≈ 63° (52 × 52)
  • Fisheye One & No.2 (f = 10 mm): = 170° (24 × 36,angle limited by the lens tube)
  • Diana F+ (f = 75 mm)*: ≈ 44° (46,5 × 46,5),≈ 40° (42 × 42)
  • Diana Multi Pinhole Operator (f = 29 mm): ≈ 113° (46,5 × 46,5); ≈ 102° (42 × 42)
  • Konstruktor (f = 50 mm): ≈ 43° (24 × 36)
  • La Sardina (f = 22 mm): ≈ 98° (24 × 36)
  • SprocketRocket (f = 30 mm): ≈ 133° (72 × 35 incl. sprockets)
  • Diana Baby 110 (f = 24 mm)*: ≈ 45° (13 × 17)
  • Fisheye Baby 110 (f = 13 mm): ≈ 82° (13 × 17)
  • LomoKino (f = 25 mm): ≈ 51° (24 × 8)
  • Colorsplash Camera (f = 32 mm): ≈ 68° (24 × 36)
  • Oktomat (f = 30 mm): ≈ 25° (12 × 9)
  • Actionsampler (f = 23 mm): ≈ 47° (12 × 18)
  • Supersampler (f = 20 mm): ≈ 64° (24 × 9)
  • Pop9 (f = 24 mm): ≈ 30° (8 × 12)
  • 35 mm SLR lens (f = 35 mm): ≈ 62° (24 × 36)
  • 35 mm SLR lens (f = 58 mm): ≈ 37° (24 × 36)
  • 35 mm SLR lens (f = 135 mm): ≈ 16° (24 × 36)

Thus, you can easily estimate what camera can get you your desired angle because even without a protractor at least 90° and 45°, this can easily be determined with your hands.

I hope the list will help you with camera options and brings light into the darkness of the angle calculation. I look forward to your likes and comments! Now go out and take pictures!

written by dopa and translated by dopa

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The original version of this article is written in: Deutsch.