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Wide-Angle Lenses for Digital
Wide-Angle Lenses For Digital
Yes, you can do wide-angle photography with a D-SLR!
Wide-angle photography opens up vast new vistas to the photographer, but "going wide" presents a special challenge to the digital-SLR user. That's because the image sensors used in most D-SLRs are considerably smaller than a 35mm film frame and thus "see" a smaller portion of the image produced by any lens than that seen by a 35mm SLR. As a result, a given focal length produces a narrower angle of view when used on a D-SLR than when used on a 35mm camera.
Most D-SLRs that are based on the 35mm SLR form factor have image sensors that measure around 23.6x15.8mm, close enough to the 25.05x16.7mm dimensions of an Advanced Photo System C-format image frame that these are commonly known as "APS-C" format sensors. Cameras in this category include all D-SLRs from Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Pentax and Samsung, plus all Canon D-SLRs except the EOS-1D/Ds series and EOS 5D.
There are two basic solutions for wide-angle fans. You could buy one of the full-frame D-SLRs, of course (currently, the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II or EOS 5D), on which all lenses frame just as they do on a 35mm SLR. The drawback here is that those cameras sell for around $7,000 and $3,000, respectively.
|The widest-angle lenses are the fish-eyes. These provide a 180-degree angle of view and come in two varieties: circular and full-frame. Circular fish-eyes produce a round image in the camera's standard rectangular image frame; full-frame fish-eyes fill the frame, producing a 180-degree angle of view measured from corner to corner.|
The only circular fish-eye on the market today is Sigma's 8mm ƒ/4, and it produces a circular image only with full-frame cameras (35mm SLRs and full-frame D-SLRs). On APS-C D-SLRs, the image frame cuts into the top and bottom of the circular image. (Sigma recently announced a new optimized-for-digital version of this lens, but it produces the same framing with APS-C D-SLRs.)
Three full-frame fish-eyes have been designed especially for APS-C D-SLRs: the Nikon 10.5mm ƒ/2.8, the Olympus 8mm ƒ/3.5 and the Pentax 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom. You can use full-frame fish-eye lenses designed for 35mm SLRs on D-SLRs, but that 1.5x magnification factor greatly reduces their impact.
Focal lengths for full-frame fish-eyes overlap focal lengths for rectilinear ("regular") superwide-angle lenses. The difference is that rectilinear lenses are corrected for barrel distortion and (in theory) render straight lines as straight lines no matter where they pass through the image. Full-frame fish-eyes exhibit barrel distortion and curve all straight lines in an image except those that pass through the center of the frame. And, of course, the fish-eyes have that 180-degree (diagonal) angle of view, compared to around 115 degrees for an equivalent-focal-length rectilinear lens.
A considerably les...
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