How to use an Ultra-Wide lens?

heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I have the 12-24 F4 Nikkor.. Its a great lens .. But .. I cant get into it .. I see some
nice photos taken with these kind of lenses but when i am in the field nothing
seems to gel for me the results are dull and boring.

What makes a good ultra wide photographer?
1) what views are you looking for?.
2) what mind set ?
3) what emotions are you trying to convey?
4) what stories are you trying to tell?
5) What am I missing !
6) what things do you include how do you exclude all that stuff that the ultrwide captures and keeps in focus?
Post edited by heartyfisher on
Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    The 12-24 was the 4th lens I purchased with my D7000. I must admit, much like yourself, this lens did not do it for me. So I set my target on the 14-24. Once I saw it's performance, it was like night and day.

    With respect to your questions, I think deep down you know the answers to most of those question. You have seen wide angle shots so ask yourself: what do you see that attracts you when you see a shot used by it? What do you feel? What is the "awe" factor for you? Now that you see what attracts you...go find a setting and hit the shutter button.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    edited August 2013
    For me, an ultra wide is all about selective distortion and not about getting the 'big picture'.

    I prefer 'close and up' or weird angles (camera high, subject low and in a corner of the frame, for example), when I shoot ultra-wide.

    I think an ultra-wide is the most fun when it challenges the normal perception of reality, but unlike a fish eye that makes things somewhat hard to digest, ultra-wide shots can be normal 'enough' to easily get under a viewer's skin.

    An excellent ultra-wide shot can either unsettle a viewer through distortion or awe a user through abnormal perspective.

    Either can catch a viewer off guard, and so used sparingly and appropriately, can be a very powerful tool.

    Other schools of thought frown on the crazy aspect of ultra-wides (some of my architectural photos would make these people cringe), but for me, there's no other way to go.

    An ultra-wide should be fun to use, allowing the photographer to let loose creatively.
    Post edited by Elvishefer on
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    An ultra-wide should be fun to use, allowing the photographer to let loose creatively.
    +1 Almost all my HDR images are done using ultra-wide lenses.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    I was of the disappointed mindset when I first got an ultra wide but then I stopped using it to try to get everything in and started using it up close and found it all came together.
    Always learning.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I like my 10-24mm on my D7000, almost as much as I love my 14-24mm on the D800 now. As you can see by this picture, of the many points why, is especially that I am able to capture the grandness of it all. Beach, mountain, field, shoots all gain in this range.

    Take a pic...
    D7000 | Nikon 10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/320 | f/10 | ISO 200
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited August 2013
    Some thoughts as I use the wide lenses....

    24mm on full frame:
    At auto show...from about eight feet overhead....correct partially in post....
    Landscapes....I always want the center vertical accurate and perfectly vertical or severally off for special effect. A slightly non plumb center vertical is disturbing.
    Architectural....buildings do not tilt....correct at least to point of visually pleasing.....OR keep the back of the camera vertical
    Portraits... must be used with caution, avoid distortions of faces/heads unless one is really upset at someone.

    16-35mm on full frame...same as above

    Fisheye
    Almost anything goes here as long as the end is visually pleasing...

    Here is a fisheye of a yearbook staff which was a requested photo....most of the faces are reasonable in spite of the wild perspective.
    Grimsley Yearbook Staff '12-'13

    And, by very careful control of the camera angle...there is no correction in post if one screws up...
    Milwaukee Art Museum
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,314Member
    I certainly agree with the comments so far. Sometimes I think you do just need the width.

    Lisle Eyes to the Skies 06
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • YetibuddhaYetibuddha Posts: 388Member
    For me, much of the advantage of the wide angel, I have the 20 mm F2.8 and have used the 16-35, is not necessarily getting it all in but rather trying to get the photo viewer into the image. It took a while for me to learn this.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    The biggest advantage of having a wide angle lens is being able to be close to the subject, while still capturing it within the context of the overall scene.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • kathmandukathmandu Posts: 3Member
    HI,

    Have any of you ultra-wide folks tried an old 18mm f2.8 or 3.5 on FX with opinion of results? Love that 10-24 focal length on DX. Now moving to FX (D600) don't want the 14-24 (price/weight/awkward polarizing options), want to be able to easily polarize, keep cost down and quality as up as much as possible for mostly real estate work and I'm clueless if the old 18mm's are a viable option for these new cameras quality-wise? 15mm works out to match my fav 10mm focal length, so 18 is a little less than I'm used to and 20mm, though a great suggestion, is even less wide for my needs. Other suggestions welcome (non-oem's for instance)
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    Tokina is really the only third party manufacture to tackle wide angle full frame lenses as of late. They make a 17-35mm F4 and 16-28mm F2.8, both are available for under $900.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    I look for the low angles and weird ones too while keeping perspective. I also like to fill the frame. Switching to full frame and filling is still a work in progress.
    I really like these shots but when I upgraded to full frame it was either the 24-70 or 16-35
    Maybe in the future I'll get another ultra wide angle since I picked the 24-70.
    The shot below is with sigma 10-24/20 on d7000

    iLLinois center
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited August 2013
    For me, using an Ultra-Wide such as the Nikkor 14-24mm (on full frame) is as much as for telling a story as it is for conveying a sense of another dimension. True it doesn't always work for what you envision but when it does, oh boy!! I often show my photos at work and a picture taken with the UW almost always gets "wow, how'd you take that?". Reason is because it makes the mind see in a way that it normally doesn't. It's a truly creative tool. Learning "how" to shoot ultra-wide is the key. Shooting from a low position or from just behind an object renders some of the most unique photos. Also shooting a scene where there is something directly overhead and including the floor in the photo can drop a few jaws. Just continue to practice those wide angle shots and you'll come away with some great photos.

    Here at14mm and I'm laying flat on my belly on the ground.
    Shadow Cycle

    Here at 15mm on a tripod.
    Steamboat Art Company at Night

    A recent PAD submission at 14mm. Here I simply held the camera low close to the deck, not looking thru the viewfinder.
    Night view of Toronto from the Ferry
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    @PitchBlack: Get the 14-24...you will be amazed by it. There is a reason why many Canon shooter get this lens so they can shot with it. It is a very versatile lens...there is no question you (and your GF) will find it's usage very much rewarding. In short, scratch that itch.....

    Some sample images:

    HDR's:
    Napa Street HDR 1.jpg

    Thomas HDR 4.jpg

    Non-HDR:

    ARN_6109.jpg

    ARN_6187.jpg
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • NikonMickNikonMick Posts: 41Member
    edited August 2013
    Hi there Hearty,

    The Nikkor 12-24/f4 was the first lens I bought after ditching my kit lenses and then started acquiring good quality, secondhand, Nikon glass.

    I love this lens, as I've stated before.

    Here are a few of the pix that I've uploaded to my Flickr feed that were taken with the Nikon 12-24. You may see some elements of composition that help you in you desire to learn about using this lens.

    In particular I'd say in response to your final query "how do you exclude all that stuff that the ultrwide captures?" - learn to look around the edges of your viewfinder frame.

    Cheers

    Mick

    1. Cycle race start, panning, slow shutter, SB-400 flash, 12-24/f4 lens @12mm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/7762824812/in/photostream/

    2. Olive & peach prunings, tripod, 12-24/f4 lens @12mm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/7722265110/in/photostream/

    3. Small room, monopod, 12-24/f4 lens @12mm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/6834722634/in/photostream/

    4. Archaic French car, handheld, 12-24/f4 lens @12mm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/6281707721/in/photostream/

    5. Peugeot 404, handheld, 12-24/f4 lens @12mm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68039985@N08/6281707859/in/photostream/
    Post edited by NikonMick on
  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    I like my 10-24 DX but I find I'll only use one of it's shots when shooting concerts. It's neat to have one of these but it's like it is not about the subject you're shooting but the special effect of the lens instead.

  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    @heartyfisher - I think only you can answer your question of "What makes a good ultra wide photographer?" because it involves so much subjectivity. The posts above indicate a wide variety of opinions and preferences.

    I can tell you what I look for in an ultra-wide angle lens and how I use it but that does nothing to answer your question. To me photography is an art form with the camera being the tool for expression. The best images in my opinion are those captured by a photographer because that person saw or imagined something that triggered an emotive reaction and he/she was able to memorialize that on film or paper. We have all seen images that are very good technically but lack any pizazz. The memorable ones are those that kept bringing us back, kept us staring for long periods of time, allowed us to become immersed in the image, or stirred an emotion.

    Find a variety of ultra-wide angle images you like, and then detail what it is about each of them that you like and you will have your answer. My guess is you will find some common themes, even among widely diversified images, that will become apparent if you take the time to do this exercise.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Beso +1
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    Like Beso said. You want to keep coming back to a shot. My shot below was 9 bracket HDR with D300 and 10-24 DX.
    I would like to recreate that shot with D800 and 16-35. I have tried with the 24-70 but I got nothing close to it.
    I have sold several prints of this photo and one sits in large office with an orange/red wall and the contrast is awesome for viewing.

    (after it was uploaded to flickr I made some adjustments and it looks a bit diffrent and especially printed)

    Down the subway
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    edited August 2013
    I use mine for sports. It allows me to show the environment with the action. Sometimes I find my 10.5mm and 14-24mm to not be wide enough.image

    image


    In fact my prime shooter is my 14-24mm... I seldom use my midranges as they don't usually see the world the way I do
    Post edited by kyoshinikon on
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    @kyoshinikon

    We must see things in a similar fashion... @-)
    Msmoto, mod
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for all the helpful advice do far!

    Dusted off my 12-24 this weekend.. and tried some ideas posted here.. sigh may be i am just not made for Ultra wides ... :-( .. still had some reasonable shots but mostly %$#@&; .. oh well.. maybe I just need more practice.. but that feels like work :-(

    I will put up some photos soon. should I put up the crap ones too ??
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    @heartyfisher: By all means. As always, the comments, good or bad, are our attempts in trying to be helpful...not degrading. Tell us what you like or dislike about the image...let this chips fall where they may.

    Cheers
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited August 2013
    In using wide lenses there are a couple thoughts which might be helpful.

    With people, be cautious so as to not distort the body parts in an unattractive manner. Here is a fisheye with the sensor plane parallel to the plane defined by the arms, head...no huge distortion:

    NAIAS 2013

    Another, but note the vertical in the center line is vertical...important IMO to avoid a disturbing visual effect:

    NAIAS 2013

    And, a 24mm on full frame, positioned so as to have the elements balanced and the verticals very close to vertical in the center

    NAIAS 2013
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2013
    @heartyfisher yes put them up. Therefore we can see what you see. Also that's how I learn by CC.
    With ultrawide the pics tend to be a visual leader. In other other words find an angle that will lead the eye to the subject of interest. Like a road or like @msmoto pics above. The race cars photo shows the top and underside of a car showing to me what both looks like in just one photo while also being a nicely composed photo and I appreciate both worlds.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
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