Take a wider view

Usually I use my 50-200 mm lens just about all the time, because I like its clarity and flexibility.  I often want to get a little closer to things, and it is a perfect way to do that.  I’ve gotten really used to seeing things through that lens, so today I decided to change it up a little and use my kit lens.  It’s an 18-55 mm, so it is a slightly wide-angle lens.  I took it a bit farther than just using this lens, though, and decided to use it at the 18 mm focal length for every shot.

Rather than exploring a new place with this assignment I set up for myself, I took my camera down to the lake to take some shots from previous vantage points.  If you look back through previous posts of the lake, you will see the boat above in photos, but this time there is much more of the surrounding landscape showing.

One of the reasons I don’t use this lens often is the obvious distortion.  Whenever you are taking photos, a focal length of about 50 mm will give you the least distortion.  Shorter focal lengths ten to bend a scene in toward you, while longer lengths have a tendency to flatten the scene.  The flattening is not as obvious, unless you are looking at a corner, so the longer focal lengths still tend to look fairly normal.   The bending from a short lens is almost immediately obvious, although it can be worked with.

What fascinates me about this focal length is that it can make a photo feel as if you are more in it, or it can put distance between you and your subject, depending on your point of view.  Distances are very distorted; what is close can appear to be right on top of you, while what is farther away seems so very distant.

*****

Am I convinced that I need to use this lens a lot?  Not really.  But given the ease of changing lenses on digital cameras, I probably will try to use it more often.

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