Talk:Wide-angle lens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Film (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Film. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see lists of open tasks and regional and topical task forces. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the guidelines.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Filmmaking task force.
WikiProject Glass (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Glass, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of glass on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.

Project Filmmaking[edit]

I disagree; the attached article on wide-angle lenses does not belong in Filmmaking. Why? Because wide-angle lenses are not unique to motion picture making, either film or digital. In fact, they are probably less used in filmmaking than in still photography because of the ability of motion picture equipment to pan the scene. If the article is moved anywhere, it should be to one of the sections on photography. Anoneditor 22:28, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I know it's old, but I might as well answer. You've probably noticed by now that projects overlap. There are lots of articles on photographic optics, for example, that are part of both project filmmaking and project physics. It doesn't hurt, except that their banners are obnoxiously large and distracting. Dicklyon 01:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks.Anoneditor 03:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Angle of view for different camers types[edit]

I've created table when you can see the differences in angles for the 35mm format, 4/3, DX, APS-C

It should be good enough, and maybe wanted for some people (I hope).

Thank's —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Normal lens[edit]

Dicklyon, I edited your edit of the second paragraph of the article because it left out the rationale for the use of the diagonal measure as the arbiter of the "normal lens." It also didn't mention the image sensor of digital cameras, an omission that might be confusing to readers who have less familiarity with the subject.Anoneditor 02:53, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I left out the rationale because it is not correct. I used "film format" because I mis-read note 1. The "image aperture" terminology is pretty non-standard and confusing, in my opinion, because most people still don't get that an aperture is a hole, and the term aperture is so loaded in the meaning in photography already.
There are, unfortunately, some books that repeat the rationale about "more or less normal perspective", or "approximately as the eye sees it", neither of which makes any sense when you look at it. It's really just a convention to call a lens "normal" when its focal length is close to for format diagonal. Most books that tell you so don't include a "rationale" since there's really not one. The notion of a "normal" lens is over 100 years old, but the stuff about the perspective of the human eye seems to be only in more recent books. Dicklyon 04:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I did some more book searching on, and don't find any books that use the term "image aperture". But lots that use "film format" including some that use "camera/film format". We should really adopt a more standard term. As to the "rationale", if you'd like to include it, please do at least attribute it to a source, since it's not so widely accepted. Dicklyon 04:56, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't guess it really matters, given the minimal significance of the issue, but my recollection is that this rationale was given repeatedly by the editors of Popular Photography and Modern Photography in the 1960s. Also, I think there's another consideration involved with "normal" perspective, i.e., the distance at which the photograph is viewed. Perspective distortion arises because photos are all viewed at a more or less standard distance. At a closer viewing distance the apparent perspective distortion of a wide angle lens disappears, giving the perspective one would see if standing at the camera when photo was taken. I don't think the issue of viewing distance was discussed in Perspective distortion (photography) to which this article links. Do you think is should be? Anoneditor 17:33, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
The idea of "correct perspective" has been around even longer than the idea of a normal lens, I think. You're right, it depends on viewing distance. The old derivations of DOF often assumed viewing at the distance that would give "correct" perspective, in calculating an acceptable COC. The distance is equal to focal length when you're making direct-view or contact prints. The COC was taken often as FL/1000, or later as 1/1000 of the focal length that would normally be used on that format. Eventually it was generally admitted that correct perspective was irrelevant, that photos are viewed all different ways, and that COC more like diagonal/1000 or diagonal/1500 would make more sense. Check out my draft paper on DOF all this history at and maybe you'll find some bits worth quoting or some appropriate sources if you want to work on it; I'll look for a good source of the early use of format diagonal as "normal". Dicklyon 17:55, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Here's a good bit from Dallmeyer, 1874: (book). He talks about the viewing distance for correct perspective, but also introduces the notion that the angle of view of the eye is only about 60 degrees. If you reduce this a bit more, as many have done, it can be used as the basis for a "normal" lens. But there is absolutely no basis for this 60 degree limit in human eye vision, so it's really a rationale that's just made up. People who have looked at it at all critically have simply dismissed it. Dicklyon 18:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


What does it mean to be a 0.7x wide angle lens? That the real image is 0.7x smaller than the filtered image? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Technical Language Used[edit]

I submit to the authors that this article is largely irrelevant to the majority of readers due to jargon. The use of "rectilinear image" in the opening paragraph shows this article is simply explaining simple terms to experts. Anyone who knows what "rectilinear image" means has no need for an introductory discussion of "wide angle lens." Please step back and use terms and illustrations that reach your audience. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kenion (talkcontribs) 15:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree. I am not a professional photographer. I read something mentioning wide angle lenses, and decided to look it up here. After reading the entire article, I was none the wiser for what a wide area lens does, and why photographers might use it. A large part of that is because I'm unfamiliar with the terms used on this page. It seems that contributors are trying to describe optical concepts using the written word, where diagrams or schematics might be more appropriate. I've added some diagrams to clarify the concepts I struggled with. I also revised the introduction, so that it describes the device's purpose; as it stood, it was just a definition of what constitutes a wide area lens. Used as my inspiration. Discboy 21:21, 27 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Discboy (talkcontribs)
Thanks for that -- I think it's an improvement. Your source is a good one but I think it's ludicrous of it to say that it's a misconception that the most common use of a wide-angle is to get the whole of your subject in the frame without being able to shoot from farther away. Quite apart from anything else, if most people believe that this is what wide-angle lenses are for, then it is what most people will use wide-angle lenses for! Wide-angles are widely (haha) used in architectural, interior and landscape photography precisely because it is impossible to move farther back, either because of another building, a wall or some aspect of the terrain. I've reworked your opening paragraph a bit, including information on what a wide-angle lens does (give you a wide angle of view that allows objects to be photographed from closer than normal) followed by your material on what this allows the photographer to achieve (emphasizing separation or giving a prominent foreground with a wide background). I've used the phrase “zoomed-out” (in inverted commas) to describe a wide angle of view. That's not strictly accurate as a wide-angle lens is not necessarily a zoom lens so, if anyone can think of a more technically accurate way of describing it that's equally accessible to the lay person, please do so. Dricherby (talk) 19:58, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Thought your point was better understood with a simplification of the sentence starting "Typically ..." Discboy 11:50, 7 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Discboy (talkcontribs)

Focal length update required[edit]

Rectilinear lenses in 35mm can be made far wider than a focal length of 12mm. Terry Gilliam has been using rectilinear 9.8mm Kinoptic lenses since at least Brazil in 1985, and his latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is shot with a rectilinear 8mm Zeiss allthroughout, even. -- (talk) 04:50, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

So find a reliable source and make the changes! Dricherby (talk) 20:06, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Redirect at article head.[edit]

The article head claims that "Wide Angle" redirects to this article. It does no such thing. It is an entirely separate article that has no relevance. I don't know how to fix the redirect such that the reference to the TV series remains, so maybe someone else who does could oblige. (talk) 17:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Fixed. Mindmatrix 18:35, 27 March 2012 (UTC)