wide angle lens

Wide angle German architecture

Westhafen

My Flickr contact Werner Schwehm took this great wide angle architectural shot in Frankfurt, Germany with a Canon 5D III and a 12-24mm lens at 12mm (very wide angle).

The wide angle gives the image more drama than it would have had otherwise and for those who don’t know, the Canon 5D, being a full-frame camera means that 12mm is actually 12mm instead of 12mm x 1.6 (a cropped APS-C sensor) which would be 19.2mm, still wide but not as wide and dramatic. I miss having a full frame camera and a wide angle lens.

Most point and shoot cameras have smaller sensors which means achieving angles wider than 24mm is near impossible without the addition of some kind of accessory in front of the lens, sort of defeating the portability of the camera.

Even 24mm adds more drama than the 28mm of my Ricoh GR and tempts me to revisit the Sony RX100 series which has a nice zoom lens on it that goes from 24mm at f/1.8 to 70mm at f/2.8. I hate the ergonomics of the Sony (flush mounted controls, terrible menu system) but it’s a fine camera with many excellent features.

For architecture, wide angle, while it adds distortion, also adds drama and I like that.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Flickr member David Williams took this wide angle shot of London’s Tower Bridge with his Fuji X-E1 and a Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4 lens opened wide to 10mm (about 15mm in 35mm terms).

What strikes me about this image, besides the fact that it’s a very nice composition of an interesting bridge and set of buildings in London, is that there is no visible barrel distortion on the left and right edges. This is impressive for a very wide angle image with any camera/lens system but I have to say, having owned a Canon 5D and a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens (a very high end lens) this is even more impressive.

London City Hall (the distorted building on the right) is shaped that way but if it weren’t it would be a tell for barrel distortion.

It’s possible he’s corrected distortion in Lightroom or another image editing program but I’m thinking not. I’ve asked him up on Flickr so we’ll see but I think the lens is very well made and he’s framed the shot perfectly.

Looking up at tulip trees

Two tulip trees

Two tulip trees

Appalachian Trail near Kent, Connecticut. This is a repeat of a group of trees I’ve photographed a lot as they’re quite spectacular. I wanted to try them with the Ricoh GR and wide angle adaptor and that’s what’s used here.

There are two groups of tulip trees: one with two trunks and one with three. The two trunk group is two separate trees close together, the three trunk group is a single tree with a single large base with three trunks growing out of it.

This was my first (solo) hike this season from Bull’s Bridge to Rt. 341 along Schaghticoke Ridge on the Appalachian trail. I’m happy to report I lived (joke, sort of). It’s a tough hike and not for the out of shape.

These trees are right next to Thayer Brook which is toward the end of the hike going south to north and stopping here with one hill to go takes will power. But, these trees and the brook are magnetic in any season and in the end, I needed to rest.

One tulip tree with three trunks

One tulip tree with three trunks

Race Brook above the falls

Race Brook above the falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts.

This was our first hike on this trail in a long while without snowshoes or micro spikes. There were patches of ice in places but it was easily traversed without slipping.

Race Brook was running high because of the snow melt which is just the way I like it.

These two shots were taken on Race Brook above the upper waterfall which is about one hundred yards behind me.

I’ve taken many images along this part of the brook when the water is high because it has just enough drop to create interesting micro-rapids and an occasional small waterfall.

The Ricoh GR wide angle lens attachment helped create a more dramatic landscape by capturing the forest on either side of the brook.

Race Brook above the falls

Underneath Citicorp (3)

Underneath Citicorp (3)

53rd. and Lexington, New York.

This was taken near the south west corner of the intersection to get both buildings in it. In the past I started on a series in New York I called “sky cutouts” because of the shapes these tall buildings left in the sky as they took up space. I might get back to that someday, I like the idea.

When I took this shot I lined up the bottom of the Citicorp building on the left with the left edge of the frame. I like to have some part of a building “grounded” to an edge of the frame. It’s just something I do, not some formal technique. What you might notice is that it’s not square anymore. That’s because in looking at the image in Lightroom I felt that the center lines were more important so I rotated the image counterclockwise to get the top of Citicorp and the edge of the building on the right close to vertical.

Also notice that the bottom of Citicorp and top are not in the same plane, but the building doesn’t twist, so why is that? In this case it’s the distortion that comes with using a wide angle lens.

There are other optical distortions in images like this that don’t come from the camera, like foreshortening (the sides of the building seem to be converging as they go up).

Lightroom has corrections for various DSLR wide angle lens distortions but alas, none that I know of for a lowly Ricoh GR wide angle lens attachment.

Underneath Citicorp (2)

Underneath Citicorp (2)

53rd. and Lexington, New York.

I’ve always been attracted to the Citicorp building (now called the Citigroup building). Less for its “shed” roof, more for the fact that it’s a big monolith up on pillars. I like standing under it and looking up at it floating above the space under it.

It’s an interesting building with an interesting history and this too attracts me to it.

I took many images of this cluster of buildings with the Ricoh GR and wide angle adapter and it was fun to look at them through this new setup. In the past I’ve shot it with a Canon 5D and various lenses but I was glad to return with a bit more experience and some different (and lighter) gear.

Underneath Citicorp

Underneath Citicorp

53rd. and Lexington, New York.

I’ve always been attracted to the Citicorp building (now called the Citigroup building). Less for its “shed” roof, more for the fact that it’s a big monolith up on pillars. I like standing under it and looking up at it floating above the space under it.

It’s an interesting building with an interesting history and this too attracts me to it.

I took many images of this cluster of buildings with the Ricoh GR and wide angle adapter and it was fun to look at them through this new setup. In the past I’ve shot it with a Canon 5D and various lenses but I was glad to return with a bit more experience and some different (and lighter) gear.

UNIQLO Samurai

UNIQLO Samurai

53rd and 5th Avenue, New York.

After deciding not to go into MoMA I was walking east on 53rd St. and noticed this great Samurai billboard for UNIQLO. It was tough to shoot from across the street without getting cars in the shot so I got right under it and the wide angle adapter on the GR gave it a dramatic look.

Architectural distortion aside, it’s a lot of fun to play with wide angle photography and I can’t wait to do more with this setup.