Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Living with a super wide angle lens

A few months back I bought the Zuiko ZD 7-14 f/4 to provide myself with a challenge (and because I quite fancied it as well). There have been plenty of reviews of this lens so i'm not going to repeat that trick here (it's been araound a fair while after all) although it is worth noting that:
- it's heavy
- that big front element looks scarily expensive when it gets close to things
- getting to grips with 7mm (14mm in full frame terms) is challenging.

The next thing to note is that although some consider a super wide angle to be a special effects lens, it's easy to get very bored, very quickly, with giving people (and pets) large noses. Ditto very wide angle landscapes where everything is too small to see. Then again - I wanted a challenge - or more to the point that's what I thought I wanted.

Truth is - whenever i went out to shoot it was always easier to fall back on a more familiar lens. So I hit on the idea (probably pinched it from a magazine if I'm honest) of restricting myself to just the wide angle - making it a point of pride not to resort to an 'easier lens' - and what a difference that makes.

Obviously that required me to exercise more will-power than previously, but I think it's paid off. It makes look at a subject and work out how to present it with a wide angle, and as a result I think (hope) that i'm beginning to get to grips with the creative potential.

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e.g in this one which I took at a local vintage rally - the distortion has emphasised the almost comic flimsiness of the car. The result is a much closer representation of my reaction to the car than might have been provided by a more standard focal length.

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