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Old Jun 22, 2005, 1:02 AM   #1
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Is it possible to get wide angle lenses without excessive perspective distortion?
(by perspective distortion, I mean things appear more stretched front to back than they really are, especially when the subject is relatively close to my camera. I use a Canon S1 IS, and at full wide when my face fills the frame I look like I'm shaped like an egg.)
I'd like to know if it's possible to get an ultra-wide angle lens (for ANY camera - don't be S1 IS specific) - something on the order of 18mm or wider, in which subjects do not look like eggheads, or with a single-digit-millimeter focal length, there isn't fisheye distortion?
(One reason I'm not thinking seriously right now about getting a wide angle lens for my S1 IS, is because I don't have enough resolution to warrant its use, and the amount I WOULD use it in spite of the above limitations wouldn't be worth the cost of a wideangle converter. With a wide-angle lens, I'd like to be able to: 1, aim at something like a 45 to 75 (or even up to or more than 90) degree angle AWAY from my subject, 2, get her in the frame, 3, capture her with as much detail as if I had taken an S2 IS or FZ20, pointed the camera straight at her, and filled the frame with her face, and 3, also gotten her feet in the frame too. I don't know of ANYTHING that does that. I'd mainly want to use an ultra-high resolution ultra-wideangle shot for group pictures (including candid groups).)
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 10:58 AM   #2
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pianoplayer88key wrote:
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Is it possible to get wide angle lenses without excessive perspective distortion? ...
No.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 3:32 PM   #3
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Hmm...

What can I do then, so I can point the camera's lens at a 45 to 75 degree angle away from the subject, and capture as much detail as if I had pointed straight at the person and zoomed in?
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 2:19 PM   #4
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Post some pictures so we can get a better idea of what you want and what you're getting.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Jun 23, 2005, 2:35 PM   #5
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Use a view camera, or lens with perspective controls.
Scheimpflug :-)

Peter

pianoplayer88key wrote:
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Hmm...

What can I do then, so I can point the camera's lens at a 45 to 75 degree angle away from the subject, and capture as much detail as if I had pointed straight at the person and zoomed in?
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 11:16 PM   #6
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What do you mean by that, Peter?

I know I could get an angled lens for my camera - should I get one of those?
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 2:14 PM   #7
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Using a view camera movements with rises/falls swings and tilts you can adjust the image plane so things are in focus and undistorted at any angle. Even when using a wide angle lensinstead of pointing the camera and lens up at a tower which causes perspective problems you use the cameras movements to keep the film plane and your subject plane aligned whichproduces nice straight lines, and no building toppling over effect

Canon makes some PC (perspective control)lenses for their DSLR's they are well over a 1000$ each though.

Another rather odd one is called a lens baby http://www.lensbabies.com/ . not quite sure what to make of them, I think they go for around 100$.

If you were asking what the Scheimpflug rule is, it is a view camera term describing the condition that occurs when the film plane and subject plane intersect forming a 90 degree angle, halved by the lens plane :-) .

Peter.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 1:57 AM   #8
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If your intention is to take a picture of the subject/ object without pointing the lens directly at her/him/them/it, you are better off with an angled lens (with 45' mirror). Although you can use a fisheye (or "near-") lens to capture the whole object at the periphery of the field, there is so much distortion (stretched and curved) and loss of detail (scrunched up), it cannot be repaired by softwares that correct barrel/ pin cushion distortion or perspective. You also have to remember: even with a very wide angle lens, you need to get as close to the object as possible to capture enough details. That's why an angled lens with a telephoto (stand away as far as possible) is probably the way to go.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 2:58 AM   #9
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Blindsight, I think you probably have the right idea.

One of the things I was thinking about using a super wide lens for, btw, would be taking pics of multiple people.

However, I don't think the technology exists now in the typical price range of a pocket digicam to be able to do that.

For example, I would want to be able to capture as much detail as when you use a Panasonic FZ20 at full telephoto (and maybe with a Crystalvue LX teleconverter), when shooting this image at wide angle. I'd basically need:
a 3mm lens (to capture a wide area and get lots of people in the shot)
a 100 plus gigapixel CCD (or CMOS) (so I have room to crop down to get people's faces blown up to 24x36 (or whatever a museum size print is, or blow up so on my monitor I just see the pupil of their eye viewed at 6.25% zoom in Photoshop)
an F/0.064 lens (it would have to be that wide of an aperture because I'd have to run the ISO at 1.6 or something like that to keep the noise from being objectionable
But, with that wide aperture, it precludes me from having everything from 0um to infinity being in razor sharp focus.
So, it looks like it's impossible to do my original idea, for now.

So... what's a good angled lens to get that preferably doesn't advertise the fact on the lens barrel that that's what it is? (although I could probably cover it with tape that's the same color as the lens barrel)

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Old Jul 2, 2005, 5:02 AM   #10
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. . . . so it seems you're not really interested in take photos that cover a wide angle, you want to take photos covertly by not having the camera aimed at the subject.

Many years ago there were front-adapters advertised that had a mirror built in so that it photographed at right-angles to the lens tube
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