Wide angle lenses tend to be under-appreciated by amateur photographers. “Surely to get a good photo you need to have a long lens: the longer the better!”
No, not so. A wide angle lens (say, a 10-20mm lens on a crop camera, or a 16-35mm lens on a full-frame camera) allows for interesting pictures.
Wide lenses are great for creative reasons:
- You get depth, three-dimensionality – we call that “close-far” technique.
- You get leading lines, strong diagonals.
- You can make great “environmental” portraits, with a person surrounded; enveloped, as it were, by their environment.
And for technical reasons:
- It is easy to focus “everywhere:”: depth of field is extensive.
- It is easy to use slow shutter speeds without motion blur (rough guideline: a 15mm lens can be used at 1/15th second, while a 200mm lens needs 1/200th second).
If I were to have to choose one lens (admittedly this would have to be with a gun to my head: life is not that simple) – but if I had to choose one lens, then I would choose the wide angle zoom as my lens of choice.