20.08.2015

Taking a Closer Look at the Wide Angle Lenses

20.08.2015

Taking a Closer Look at the Wide Angle Lenses

This is the third installment of the eight-part series of posts on Manfrotto’s KLYP System.  Here are links to previous posts:

Part 1: Overview of Attachment Lenses

Part 2: Taking a closer look at the Fisheye Lens

This post will be taking a closer look at both of Manfrotto’s Wide Angle lenses that come bundled with the Manfrotto KLYP System.

iPhone Comes with a Wide Angle Lens

Without any lens attachment, you already have a wide-angle lens on the iPhone.  Most people don’t realize this but it’s true.  Right out of the box, the iPhone camera lens has a fixed aperture of f2.2, which is the approximate 35mm equivalent to a 30mm lens.  The approximate angle of view (AOV) of this built-in lens is 72˚. When attachment lens manufacturers call their lenses ‘wide-angles’, they generally mean that they are wider than the iPhone lens.

Let’s Review ‘Angle of View’

In mobile photography, the primary reason you use an attachment lens is not to improve image quality (because it doesn’t). It’s because you want to alter the ‘angle of view’.  You want a wider or narrower photograph.

In graphic form, the AOV of both Manfrotto KLYP wide-angle lenses look like this:

01LetsReviewAOV

The KLYP wide-angle has an AOV of 113˚  (which is wider than the built-in iPhone ‘normal’ lens).  The ‘super’ wide-angle has an AOV of 130˚.

Different ‘Angles of View’

It’s a lot easier to see the difference in AOVs w hen they are side by side and you can compare the different perspectives:

02DifferentAOVsOpt1

02DifferentAOVsOpt2

02DifferentAOVsOpt3

You Have to Manage Your Expectations

Just to be clear again, attachment lenses will not improve your overall image quality.  What it will change is the AOV.  I’m going to state the obvious here: for the sharpest possible image, you should shoot without an attachment lens.  There is just no way around the law of physics.  When you use an attachment lens, it will be centrally sharp and compromised on the edges.  Manage your expectations and enjoy them for the unique qualities they deliver.

My own personal experience with shooting these Manfrotto KLYP wide-angle lenses is quite good.  They are hands down better than the magnetic versions you can find online.  Manfrotto means quality and it shines through with these specialty lenses.

I’m Not a Fan of the Case

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m not a fan of the KLYP case.  The edges are too sharp and angular and don’t easily slip in and out of my pocket.  It’s more of a ‘production’ case for discriminating photographers than an everyday case for the general consumer.

Field Frustration

The biggest frustration I have with shooting these tiny lenses is keeping track of all the moving parts – taking end caps on and off, putting on the lenses themselves, pulling them in and out of my pocket, continually cleaning each lens before shooting.  Bottom line…it’s a lot of work and in slows down the creative process.  But for very specific shots, these lenses are invaluable.

My Personal Mantra for Using Wide-Angle Lenses

For the most part, I try to shoot ‘naked’ (without any lens attachment).  This ensures the best image quality since you are not putting ‘glass’ against ‘glass’.  If I find I cannot physically back up and I need a wider shot within close quarters, these wide-angles are the ones I go for.

The Wider the Angle, the More Edge Distortion

You quickly learn, when shooting any kind of wide-angle attachment, the wider the AOV, the worse the barrel distortion (lines are bowed and curved).  It’s an optical aberration and it’s what you get when you use wide-angle glass.

Your Turn: #frottoshoot

Okay.  Now it’s your turn.  Let’s see what you get with these Manfrotto KLYP lenses.  When you post your masterpieces, do so with the hashtag #frottoshoot and we’ll find them.

Jack Hollingsworth

Jack Hollingsworth is a world-renowned travel, portrait, stock and iPhone photographer.  His love for mobile photography is infectious.  Since his conversion to mobile at the Crane Hotel on the island of Barbados in 2011, he has traveled to over 20 countries and shot over 400,000 images with his iPhone.  He’s a regular contributor to the Camera+ blog (SnapSnapSnap.photos) and he is currently authoring a book on iPhone Photography (eBook and print).  Jack is a popular keynote speaker at mobile photography conferences and events and his approach to mobile is principally photographic in nature.  He lives in Austin, Texas with his soul mate and two beautiful teenage daughters.

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