Wide angle lenses are one of the most popular tools in DSLR photography. Wide lenses have a short focal length, which means the provide a wider field of view. If you like taking photos of tall buildings or shoot indoors, a wide lens allows you to come closer to your subject and fit more into a frame than any other type of lens would.
One of the most popular applications for a wide-angle lens is landscape photography. When we see nature, the image we see is almost 180 degrees wide. Only a super wide angle lens can translate this experience into an image on your camera.
When you are indoors, on the other hand, a wide-angle lens will let you frame your photo without having to back up a few steps. Frequently it will be the only way to take that shot as a wall or another object might prevent you from backing up.
When looking for a wide lens, it is very important that it matches your camera's sensor size. It is possible to use a full-frame lens on a camera with APS-C sensor, but your will only get a "cropped" image from it, effectively losing the widest angle this lens can provide on a full-frame camera.
The price of wide angle lenses, just like with any other type of lens, can vary quite a lot, from inexpensive ones suitable for learning, to more serious that provide almost perfect edge to edge sharpness. Below we listed for you some of the more popular models available today.
This wide angle lens was designed for Sony a7 series. It contains three extra-low distortion glass elements and has ZEISS T coating to help reduce flaring and ghosting effects. Maximum aperture of this Sony 16-35mm lens is F4 across the whole zoom range. It comes with built-in optical image stabilization and can focus at minimum 28cm. (0.92ft)
This lens is dust and moisture-resistant.
This lens from Fujinon has an angle of view from 110° to 61.2° and has a minimum focus distance of 24 cm (9.44 in). The aperture is constant at F4 in the entire zoom range. Fujinon 10-24mm has 14 elements, including 4 extra low dispersion elements, and a built-in optical image stabilization. Thanks to internal focussing, the lens length is constant throughout the whole zoom range.
This prime lens from Nikon offers a wide perspective at 20mm with a superb low-light performance thanks to f/1.8 maximum aperture. It comes with a number of aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements, which result in sharp images from edge to edge. It can focus from as close as 20cm (7.8 inches) and does so very quietly thanks to the silent wave motor (SWM).
This wide-angle zoom lens from Nikon has been designed to work well with both DX and FX sensor formats. It contains two ED elements as well as aspherical lenses to help reduce chromatic aberration and increase sharpness throughout the entire zoom range. In addition, a special nano crystal coating works to prevent ghosting and flare.
Nikkor 14-24mm comes equipped with the Silent Wave Motor that makes focussing fast, accurate and very quiet. (it can focus on objects as close as 10.8in/27.4cm) The focus itself is internal, which means the length of the lens doesn't change throughout the zoom range. The lens is rugged and dust/moisture resistant to allow professional work in outdoor environment. It weighs 2.1 pounds.
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G is a wide-angle lens that has been designed for demanding work of professional photographers. Aspherical elements of this prime lens virtually get rid of chromatic aberrations and the images are very sharp even at the widest aperture available. (ultra-fast f/1.4)
Nikon's nano crystal coating offers extra help in reducing ghosting and flare effects. Rear focus is smooth and accurate.
This is the widest zoom lens ever made by Canon. It has an impressive zoom range from 11 to 24mm at a constant maximum aperture of f/4, which makes it perfect for shooting landscapes and interiors. It comes with several UD lenses to reduct chromatic aberration as well aspheric lenses to correct peripheral distortions throughout the entire zoom range. Subwavelength coating and air sphere coating work to minimize flare and ghosting effects. The aperture diaphragm is circular with 9 blades which translate to spectacular bokeh backgrounds.
Focus is fast and silent and can be manually adjusted when in AF mode. The minimum focus distance is 28cm/11in. This lens belongs to Canon's L-series, it's made from rugged materials an is dust and water resistant.
This ultra wide-angle lens with maximum aperture of f/4 is considered one of the best value lenses ever made by Canon. It has three aspherical lens elements as well as a super UD glass element to deliver sharp images throughout its 17-40mm zoom range. The minimum distance to focus on objects is 11 inches. (~28cm)
Like other L-series lenses it is also weather-resistant and comes with a 1-year warranty.