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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 14 Jul 2013 (Sunday) 02:28
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Getting a feel for UWA

119 posts
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Joined Jun 2013
Location: Chicago
Jul 14, 2013 02:28 |  #1

I bought a UWA lens (tokina 11-16) because I wanted a wider perspective than the 28mm my zoom was offering me. I am having a hard time taking good shots with this lens. Here is one I took this afternoon. I think the shot would have had a nicer feel with an ND filter, it's not currently in my budget. Any opinions/advice for this shot, or using a UWA lens in general would be appreciated.


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Location: Sydney, Australia
Jul 14, 2013 02:38 |  #2

It's kinda snapshotty. Try getting lower and shooting at sunrise or sunset. The colours will be nicer and you will be able to slow your shutter a bit.

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Jul 14, 2013 09:14 |  #3

I'd opt for a more interesting subject.

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Jul 14, 2013 09:34 |  #4

UWAs can be very useful but you need to be aware of their limitations. For instance, look at the tilted buildings on the horizon. Unless you take care to keep the camera perfectly horizontal, you'll get that effect every time. So you have to watch for it so that you only get it when you need it for a reason. I posted an example here where the distortion of relative sizes helps to put some emphasis on the subject: Wide angle lens question

And it will make things in the distance tiny. Sometimes it's better to shoot a panoramic shot instead.

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Jul 15, 2013 12:23 |  #5

The above covers it pretty well. I've rented the Tokina a couple times and while it can be very useful, it can be limiting as well in some cases, especially when the landscape does not provide good depth. You've got to have a strong interest in the foreground, and it has to be closer than you'd think. You've got some foreground, but the angle and/or time of day just isn't playing nicely here.

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Jul 15, 2013 12:27 |  #6

To get the most from an ultrawide you need to have a subject element in the frame close enough that the altered perspective is revealed. In your shot the only thing that makes is seem wide is that everything seems far way. Find some subject element to anchor your shots to so they have more impact.

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Joined Jul 2013
Jul 19, 2013 09:31 |  #7

Actually this image could work if you change your position a bit - try shoot them in a triangular shaped framing (the things sticking out from the water [Sorry, don;t know how they're called, english is my second language]) - basically going to the left and turn the camera 90 degrees to the right. Then a slow shutter, even during daytime with an ND10 filter, and you have a keeper.

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Jul 19, 2013 10:38 as a reply to  @ georgi's post |  #8

I struggle with my UWA. It helps at times when you just need that kind of wide, but its tough. I am drawn to use it in wide open spaces... for me it comes out as a mistake. I personally have only had any reasonable success with it when I am shooting up close to something large. (The reason I even own it was for a trip to Manhattan, where you often times cannot get far enough back from a building to take a shot of it).

Even then, distortion correction tools in Lightroom are critical. Even in your shot, you could straighten the buildings in the background.

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Getting a feel for UWA
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
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