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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-26-2014
Accepted Solution

Would a Wide-Angle Lens work here?

Hi, everyone! This is my first post and excuse my ignorance but I need to see if you guys could help me with something. I just bought a T3i and I have no photography or video production experience but I'm really interested in getting my feet wet in both fields.


But anyway, I have a tripod and want to film my brother and I playing tennis. I always set the tripod up from a considerable distance but if we set it up in the middle we can only film one side of the court. Would a wide-angle lens be able to film both sides of the court at once?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,374
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Would a Wide-Angle Lens work here?

More likely you'll need an Ultra Wide Angle (UWA) to get the job done but the results may be a bit odd looking at the extreme sides. On a crop body you'd be shopping for a 10-20 range zoom & on a full frame something in the 16-35 or 17-40 might work or the Sigma 12-24 may work with either. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Posts: 13,295
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Would a Wide-Angle Lens work here?

"I always set the tripod up from a considerable distance ..."

The frame (what you see in the view finder) will be the same. Smiley Indifferent 

The only difference will be how far back the camera is.  If that is your goal than, yes, a wide angle lens of some sort will work.  You will have to do a little math to find out the exact relationship between what lens you have now and the distance you are working with.



"Would a wide-angle lens be able to film both sides of the court ..."

If you are getting that now, a 'given' WA lens will do the same thing at a closer distance.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 790
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Would a Wide-Angle Lens work here?

[ Edited ]

Look online for sample photos illustrating angle of view.


You could get a 180 degree fisheye lens and sit it right at the net, but all objects other than those right by the lens will appear pretty small. Fisheye lenses also have fairly strong curvature effects. Also, there are two types of fisheye lenses... one type renders a full frame, rectilinear image, while the other type renders a round image.


While fisheye focal lengths appearsimilar to ultrawide lenses, at any given focal length actually a fisheye gives wider AOV than a non-fisheye lens. Canon now offers an 8-15mm fisheye zoom for example. But since it's designed for full frame cameras, it won't be as wide on your crop sensor camera (I don't have exact specs for it on a crop sensor camera, only full frame specs are listed). Tokina offers a 10-17mm fisheye zoom designed specifically for crop sensor cameras, and as such it can render 180 degree angle of view on your camera.


A non-fisheye ultrawide lens will have less curvature distortion, but will still have some at the extremes and also will have less wide angle of view. For example, the EF-S 10-22mm is the widest available Canon lens, giving 107 degree AOV at the 10mm setting. The widest non-fisheye lens made by anyone for use on your camera is the Sigma 8-16mm, which gives a 114 degree AOV at it's widest. With these ultrawide lenses, perspective distortion will still exaggerate perspective, making more distant objects look very small in comparison to closer ones... though it won't be as extreme as it is with a fisheye lens.


If this is a one-shot deal and the fisheye appeals to you, because a fisheye is a fairly specialized lens and you may want look into renting a lens for the purpose. An ultrawide non-fisheye such as the Canon 10-22mm is often more widely useful, so might be something you'd find a lot more use for in the long run, and want to purchase instead of renting.


Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories

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