short lenses and the wide angle

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0llym

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Im a total newbie and have been reading up and practicing alot recently.

I have a question about short lenses and wide angles. It occurs to me that a short lense (say 20 or 28mm) would have a wide angle effect when compared to a longer lense that has a narrower field of view.

If this is so, are lenses advertised as wide angle lenses costing more because they allow longer lenses to have a wider field of view? Or is it that I am getting a wide field of view (due to shortness of lense) mixed up with a wide angle lense ?

Olly
 

Ed Sukach

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The "Wide Angle" *is* the angle of the field of view. A shorter focal length lens will cover a wider field of "view". A lens of greater focal length will necessariy cover a smaller area, given the same film size - only a matter of simple geometry.

The cost of a lens is far more closely connected to the design ... at the exteremes of focal length, the design problems become more difficult which translates to "more money".
 
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0llym

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So an advertised 20mm lense would be the same as a 20mm lense advertised as a "wide angle" lense ?

I only ask because im looking at getting one and theres seem to be massive cost differences between lenses that dont seem too dissimilar.

Olly
 

Robert

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Check things like speed. A faster lens is harder to make well then a slower lens. You'll also see difference in price between the lenses made by the camera makers and those made by third parties.

But any lens shorter then a normal lens [say 43mm ] is wide.
 

benjiboy

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Please note, that a few millimetres difference in a wide-angle lens focal length can make a huge difference in the angle of view, for example, a 24mm one is only 4mm wider than a 28 mm but the angle of view is very much wider.
 
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Dan Fromm

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Olly, this forum's context -- lenses for 35 mm cameras -- all lenses of the same focal length have the same angle of view.

In a broader context -- all formats -- not all lenses of the same focal length have the same angle of view. In the broader context, a lens' coverage (the diameter of the circle of good definition) depends on design and focal length.

An example: a 35 mm lens made for a 35 mm camera has to cover 43 mm, the diagonal of 35 mm's 24 x 35 mm frame, when focused to infinity. A 35 mm lens made for a 2.25" x 3.25" camera (abbreviated to 2x3, 6x9 is a poor but widely used metric approximation) camera has to cover 100 mm at infinity.

The "normal" lens for most formats -- 35 mm still is an exception -- covers around 53 degrees. Regardless of format, lenses whose focal lengths are shorter than "normal" for the format and that cover it have wider angles of view than the "normal" focal length for the format and are called wide angle lenses.

By convention, the normal focal length for 35 mm still is 50 mm. All lenses for 35 mm cameras whose focal lengths are shorter than 50 mm are seen as wide angle lenses.
 

xkaes

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A 28mm lens will always be a wide-angle lens -- whether or not it is called a wide-angle lens -- assuming you are talking about the standard 24x36mm format of 35mm film.

If you are talking about other formats, it will be different.

You never mentioned what format you are using, but since this is the 35mm FORUM, I assume you are using the standard 24x36mm format of 35mm film.
 
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Paul Howell

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Another factor is the make of your camera, auto focus, manual focus, auto exposure? A late mode G lens for Nikon F6 will cost more than a early AF lens, a Canon EOS mount lens will run more than most non AF Fd lens.
 
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Please note, a few millimetres difference in a wide lens focal length can make a huge difference in the angle of view.

And price. Also, angle of view is not tied on how big the lens is. It depends on the design. Example, rangefinder (and now mirrorless) lenses are usually smallers since they can be closer to the film because there is no mirror in the camera like on SLRs cameras. A lens that is harder to design and made will make it more expesive to manufacture. Thus those would have a higher sale price and fewer would be made since not everyone will buy one.
 

Sirius Glass

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I found that the 35mm lens is too close to 50mm to make it worth buying. I prefer the 28mm lens. After that I like the 20mm or 21mm lens but that is less useful. Next I like the 24mm lens. While I have those lenses most often take my 20mm to 35mm lens instead and that means carrying only one lens instead of a mob of lenses.
 

benjiboy

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I have 17, 24, 28, 35 and a 20 - 35 mm L zoom, but if I could carry only one wide-angle lens it would be the 35 mm f 2.
 
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I'm on the same boat here. My general use focal length is 35mm. 24mm and shorter for wide angle and 50 and up for portrait. I suppose it varies on cameras and taste.
 

GRHazelton

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A wide angle lens for a SLR or DSLR is always more expensive that the same focal length lens for a rangefinder camera, since it needs to furnish clearance for the mirror to swing. This assumes that the lens will allow through the lens viewing, IRRC some exreme wide angle lenses for SLRs or DSLRs require the mirror to be locked up, and an auxiliary viewfinder be used.
 

ciniframe

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Is Olly even on photrio anymore? The original post was nearly 19 years ago.
 

Sirius Glass

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A wide angle lens for a SLR or DSLR is always more expensive that the same focal length lens for a rangefinder camera, since it needs to furnish clearance for the mirror to swing. This assumes that the lens will allow through the lens viewing, IRRC some exreme wide angle lenses for SLRs or DSLRs require the mirror to be locked up, and an auxiliary viewfinder be used.

There also need to be open until the shutter is fired, then the lens closes, opens for the exposure, then after the shutter opens and closes the lens opens again. A rangefinder lens remains closed, when the shutter fires opens and closes. The rangefinder lens is much simpler.
 

Helge

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I found that the 35mm lens is too close to 50mm to make it worth buying. I prefer the 28mm lens. After that I like the 20mm or 21mm lens but that is less useful. Next I like the 24mm lens. While I have those lenses most often take my 20mm to 35mm lens instead and that means carrying only one lens instead of a mob of lenses.

A fast 35mm or a very good 35mm is worth it.
Especially for low light.

The focal length is tainted by overfamiliarity.
Point and shoot’s, phones and journalists have all used it to death.

But it is a useful FL, since it doesn't necessitate standing too close to the subject of interest, at the same time as allowing indoor and close scenes, which includes a clear subjec while at the same time giving a sense of space and context.

Even a 50mm can have difficulty with that at close quarters.
 
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Sirius Glass

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A fast 35mm or a very good 35mm is worth it.
Especially for low light.

The focal length is tainted by overfamiliarity.
Point and shoot’s, phones and journalist have all used it to death.

But it is a useful FL, since it doesn't necessitate standing too close to the subject of interest, at the same time as allowing indoor and close scenes, which includes a clear subjec while at the same time giving a sense of space and context.

Even a 50mm can have difficulty with that at close quarters.

But a 28mm can do the same better.
 

Helge

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But a 28mm can do the same better.

They are harder to make as fast, sharp and not vignette.
And no, they can’t do the same thing.
In a setting where you’d stand close to your subject you’ll need to be even closer, to have it dominate the frame, with all the distortion and, if it’s a living subject, social problems.

That said, I love 28mm, especially as a kind of inclusive pseudo macro/close up lens.
 

250swb

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I always buy lenses by weight and none of this fancy 'focal millimetre' stuff. So I have a light one, a medium one, and a very heavy one that can be long or short but that doesn't seem to affect it's weight, I had hoped it would be lighter when it was shorter, maybe it is faulty (?). They are fine for me, I've never had a problem with them but ymmv.
 

Helge

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Now that's a recommendation, if I've ever heard one!

I don't see how it's not. A 35mm 2.0 or lower, or one of the über sharp, cheap and very small 35mm 2.8 (like the Rokkor kit lens or the Series E) is not to be scoffed at.
 
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xkaes

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I have both the Rokkor-X 35mm f1.8 (my favorite lens) and the f2.8 -- I'm just not sure I would have gotten them if I knew that they were "tainted".
 
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