Going Ultra Wide / by Marcos Macedo

Since I started to develop interest in photography I remember being very intrigued by a certain type of image where the field of view was much wider than the images I took with my cellphone or my point-and-shoot camera, back then I didn't know how that was done nor I knew what a "wide angle lens" was, nevertheless those images fascinated me.

But when I started developing an interest in real estate photography and started to learn more about it, suddenly one of the tips that seemed to be in every article and every tutorial I read was how important it was to use wide angle lenses in real estate photography to be able to widen the perspective and show entire rooms in one photo, as well as to be able to photograph smaller/tighter rooms and make them seem more spacious.

In time, I started to realize that these magnificent lenses were not only used for real estate photography, but they were also heavily used in landscape as well as in street photography, all of this eventually led me to buy my first one and start shooting wide... that was the moment photography changed for me and I never went back!

Technically a "wide angle" lens is any lens that goes below a focal length 50mm, which is the conventional standard, but any lens with a focal length that goes below the sensor size of your camera is called an "ultra wide angle", in my case that is 35mm (since I usually shoot with a full-frame sensor) and you can go even wider than ultra wide by using  "fish-eye" lenses. Personally, I like to go as wide as I can without getting my images distorted and for this reason I never really ventured into the realm of fish-eye lenses, although this is merely a matter of creative choice and personal taste, since there is astonishing art being made out there with fish-eye lenses every day.

Nowadays my Canon EF 16-35mm lens is my go-to lens, it goes everywhere with me and whether I am shooting landscapes or interiors, 90% of all the shots I take are wide angle shots. Most photographers will tell you that the best "general use" lenses are the most flexible lenses with a good medium-range (like the Canon EF 24-105mm) because they will have a little zoom and at the same time go a little wide, but for me any wide angle lens is the perfect general use lens!