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Thread: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

  1. #1
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    Default Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Hi Guys,

    Hoping someone could help me understand some basics with regards to wide or ultra wide angle lens. From what I can see, when you pay more for pro quality lens, you get larger aperture of lets say 2.8. I understand this is better glass and allows more light, but what I canít seem to get is why you would need such large apecture for wide angle lens, which are mostly used for landscape where people tend to use higher apertures to get more DOF? Am I missing something here?

    Example would be Nikon 14-24 2.8 vs 16-35 f4? Obviously there is the 3mm in length

    Hope your all able to help me understand this better

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    1, wide angle lens are not just for landscape photography only
    2, some time photographers need to shoot wide open aperture to get what he is looking for
    3, lens have large aperture, does not mean you need to shoot at wide open all the time
    4, large aperture lens bring more light, it also makes the view finder brighter and easier to do focusing, manually or auto
    5, wider aperture version lenses are usually classified as pro grade lenses, with higher optical quality and build, so come in a premium price tag.
    6,
    Last edited by catchlights; 4th October 2013 at 11:07 AM.
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    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Say, in a disco...

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    Member CasualBear's Avatar
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    More light more fun??

    don't think it's just wa lens.. even tele like 70-200, the manufacturer if cost no factor would try to have wider aperture..
    Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos..~ ;)

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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Hi Guys,

    thanks for the response, guess that answers my question. I as under the assumption that wide angle/ultra wide was primarily used for landscape so couldnt understand why people would spend the extra to buy the pro glass if its only for the extra light since you wouldn't should landscape with f2.8.

    I can understand why why wide apertcures are used for tele lens since they are used specifically to throw out the background or isolate the subject but cant find the reason for ultra wides. guess shooting at night hand held?

    Many thanks

    Ming

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Ming1388 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Hoping someone could help me understand some basics with regards to wide or ultra wide angle lens. From what I can see, when you pay more for pro quality lens, you get larger aperture of lets say 2.8. I understand this is better glass and allows more light, but what I can’t seem to get is why you would need such large apecture for wide angle lens, which are mostly used for landscape where people tend to use higher apertures to get more DOF? Am I missing something here?

    Example would be Nikon 14-24 2.8 vs 16-35 f4? Obviously there is the 3mm in length

    Hope your all able to help me understand this better
    As what uncle catchlight has mentioned above.
    Also..with 2.8...it gives the user more flexibility.. at least..he/she can go to F2.8 if needs/want to..but with F4..u cant go to F2.8..
    Right.. generally if shooting landscape photo..u would want or tend to use larger aperture..but if the scene is very far..
    You dont necessary need to shoot at >F8 or etc.. in this case..F2.8 maybe alright too. Depending what you want to achieve and how you would like your photo to look like.

    Last but not least..For people like me...who dont have or wish to carry a tripod around..i can just shoot at F2.8 can get pretty good results.. not F4..with higher ISO..

    Long story short..it is useful..but if u dont need it..then just get the F4 or variable aperture lenses..save you more money and less weight to carry.

  7. #7

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    Some genre of landscapes requires wide aperture, ie shooting the aurora borealis and australis.

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    There are endless opportunities for requiring a fast UWA lens. I've listed some below, some of which have been mentioned by other members. If you have a large aperture you will have an OPTION. If you don't you don't get the option. I myself don't need these OPTIONS that much, I like to travel light, and I'm a cheapo who doesn't like to spend too much on gear. So wide aperture UWA is out of the question for me.

    1. Weddings. More environmental shots (i.e. wider perspective) - YES you can try to do off camera lighting/assisted lighting - on-camera flash is out of the question, because you will cast shadow, more likely than not. Off camera flash/other form of lighting like continuous will not be so easy to set up on the spur of the moment.

    2. Certain places do not allow you to use tripod, or use of tripod will be hopeless. Some places ban use of tripods because they don't want people to trip over, etc. Having a larger aperture gives you more chance of nailing a shot. If you are on a MOVING OBJECT like a boat or the Singapore Flyer, having a large aperture will allow you to use a lower ISO - you will have to balance the loss in sharpness because of wider aperture use versus using a higher ISO.

    3. Stationary stars. Sure, you can do a 4 minute exposure in pitch-black darkness, but the stars will streak just a little. Very ugly. To get stationary stars you would need 30 seconds or less usually. Sometimes a fast aperture will allow you to avoid crossing that thin fine line for your camera where noise levels become unacceptable.

    I'm sure you can think of many other situations. Photography is a non-rigid thing, your choice of gear depends largely on your use, your preference. Cheers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    Some genre of landscapes requires wide aperture, ie shooting the aurora borealis and australis.
    Might help to elaborate why.

    Aurora borealis does "move", so having a large aperture helps to shorten exposure times rather than end up with a blurry looking aurora which will be "less clear". Just think of cloud trails or blurry water, and think of the beautiful northern lights shots that we've all seen. Having those colors become streaky would be really "ugh" more than "ahhh".

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Looking at how aperture is defined it becomes obvious that it is fairly easy to have f/2.8 lenses in this area of short focal length.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture
    In reverse, it also explains why lenses with longer focal length become expensive and heavy to achieve f/2.8. So it's not a matter of 'Who would need this?" but rather "It's easy to achieve".
    A second factor is phase detection focusing used in the AF sensors of many cameras. The wider the aperture the better and more accurate the AF system works. Having an aperture opening of f/2.8 or wider supports the accurate focusing of the lens (beside other factors that shall be skipped here).
    EOS

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    Might help to elaborate why.

    Aurora borealis does "move", so having a large aperture helps to shorten exposure times rather than end up with a blurry looking aurora which will be "less clear". Just think of cloud trails or blurry water, and think of the beautiful northern lights shots that we've all seen. Having those colors become streaky would be really "ugh" more than "ahhh".
    if the aurora is photographed with a rather long exposure, end up it will become a mess of light. the 'dancing' element will be lost through the extended shutter speed.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Ming1388 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    thanks for the response, guess that answers my question. I as under the assumption that wide angle/ultra wide was primarily used for landscape so couldnt understand why people would spend the extra to buy the pro glass if its only for the extra light since you wouldn't should landscape with f2.8.

    I can understand why why wide apertcures are used for tele lens since they are used specifically to throw out the background or isolate the subject but cant find the reason for ultra wides. guess shooting at night hand held?

    Many thanks

    Ming
    Wide apertures do not only throw out the background. Wide apertures also give your faster shutter speed.
    Ultra wides is not just meant for landscape...

    shot with ultrawide

    Weddings


    Also for travel


    Also for events


    In other words, how you use a focal length is really up to your creativity. The ultrawide is one of my most used lens.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 5th October 2013 at 10:52 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/24l/
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon24mm/

    For WA or UWA, large aperture means 2.0, 1.4 or less to me.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why ultrawide angle lens need large aperture

    Wow incredible pictures everyone.

    Thank you very much in helping my understanding. I think I finally understand especially seeing the pictures, the use of wide angles for indoor and low light areas

    Much appreciated.

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