What to Consider When Buying a SLR Wide Angle Lens

An SLR wide angle lens provides photographers a different view from the standard kit lens. This type of lens captures more of the scene compared to the standard lens included with the camera.  Purchasing a wide angle lens requires an investment. The following are a few considerations to think about before purchasing a wide angle lens.

The Camera Make

Identify the make and model of the camera being used as well as the size of lenses compatible with the camera. Some camera lenses are only built for specific brands and makes of cameras. Consider buying wide angle lenses made by the same company that manufactured the camera for a perfect fit.  

The Purpose

The goal of the photographer can affect the type of wide angle lenses needed in the field. Generally speaking, lenses with a focal length of less than 28mm are referred to as a wide angle lenses. In photographing interiors, the best focal lengths are between 16mm and 21mm because of the lack of space available to move around and work with. Landscape photographers will need to include as much of the scene into a single photograph. The foreground may also be exaggerated to bring attention to it and make it distinguishable from the background. For landscape photographers, lenses with a focal length between 21mm and 28mm are useful.

The Budget Available

Wide angle lenses are expensive. High end models can cost at least $1,000 or more. Cheaper alternatives are available starting at $600 from key lens manufacturers. Rent a lens or borrow one if unsure on what brand or type to use or purchase.