If you’re a travel photographer, chances are you probably know how crucial it is to invest in a good collection of lenses in the long-run. Lenses are to DSLRs what butter is to toast, after all! But, building a vast collection of different lenses in your travel photography kit can be a pretty costly endeavour. So, if you’re a bit confused about whether you should invest in a wide angle lens or a zoom lens for the primary purpose of capturing the breathtaking locations you visit, here’s the answer – wide angle lens. Here’s why –
1. Wide Angle Lenses Are…Well, Wider!
As the name implies, since wide angle lenses have a wider field of view, you can capture a larger area in any frame from with lesser distance between you and your photograph’s object. In contrast, a zoom lens, for example, has a narrow angle of view – hence, you’d actually have to step back a lot farther to capture the same frame as a wide angle lens, which isn’t always possible. Take museums and monuments, for instance – the space inside is really tight, so stepping back is challenging – a wide angle lens does the trick.
Pro Tip – If you want to zoom into a distant object with your wide angle lens, you can! With a high megapixel camera, cropping images to get a more zoomed-in frame is totally doable. Nope, it won’t impact the quality – you’ll still get enough detailing with a zoomed-in photograph.
2. Great For Sight-Seeing
When you’re travelling, you probably want to capture a variety of elements to do full justice to the location. Cityscapes, skylines, architecture, streets, landscapes – a wide angle lens helps you photograph it all with ease.
3. Capture Dramatic Landscapes
A great landscape photograph should have a bit of drama to it – wide angle lenses can do great justice to this (it allows you to take a more exaggerated point-of-view). You can capture a huge scene in one frame, which enables you to add more elements and give audiences more context to each snap. In essence, wide angle lenses have a smaller focal length, so it allows you to pack more into a frame.
4. Perfect For Group Photos
If you’re travelling in a large group, getting everyone to huddle up really tightly to capture group photos can be a bit annoying. A wide angle lens allows you to take great group pics, without cramming everyone together – your photos can look more animated and fun!
5. Capture The Glorious Night Sky
If you’re fascinated by the stars, moon and astrophotography, in general, a wide angle lens with low aperture is the most popular lens to capture dramatic photographs of the night sky – you can really capture its expansiveness in a thought-provoking manner.
6. Conveniently Light-Weight
If you’re travelling to locations where you’ll be trekking for several days with just one backpack, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is carrying bulky lenses. Wide angle lenses are comparatively less bulkier than, let’s say, zoom lenses. Give your back a rest!
In case you’re wondering what wide angle lenses are not ideal for, we’d like to forewarn you they are not very suitable for portraits – the part of the subject that is closest to the wide angle lens will appear much larger than it really is. Thus, using a wide angle lens (anything wider than 35mm) is not advisable, because it distorts facial features.
We hope you make it a point to add a wide angle lens to your travel photography kit, moving forward. If you’re keen on trying one out before making a purchase, we’ve got plenty of options available right here on Bragpacker.Happy travelling and photographing!
Is there a particular wide angle lens you swear by? Comment below and let us know.