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Shooting with a ultrawide?
Old 09-11-2009   #1
MarkoKovacevic
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Shooting with a ultrawide?

Anyone have tips for me shooting with the 15mm heliar? I'm finding it bad for people photography, and surprisingly it has much more distortion than the 17-40L I used on a canon. Pretty much, get closer?
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Old 09-12-2009   #2
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Marko,

I'll give my 2c given no one has responded to this thread yet. I tend to be a wide angle person so I do have some views about it. The first is that shooting with a 15mm focal length does tend to require being very close, although not always. When required to be close I have come to the opinion that an SLR is much better at this focal length ...and I do agree that the Heliar distorts a lot and doesn't flatter people.


This is an example of people, especially at the edge, that distorts - people look like cardboard cutouts with no depth.

The following is the Nikon 15mm f/3.5 AIS lens which does a much better job at a similar distance or even closer.


The next 4 shots are 15mm. The first 3 are, again, the much better corrected Nikon 15mm f/3.5 lens and the last is the Heliar. Each one of them is about 1ft (30cm) away from the main subject but each actually look further away in the shot. The problem I would have with the first 3 shots if with the Heliar would be the framing due to the parallax.









The following 3 shots are at a greater distance with 15mm. The first with the Nikon and the last 2 with the Heliar.







In these shots I think the interest is with either the weather or the lead in of the foreground.

In general I find it very hard to explain but I do just tend to see wide angle shots very well. However, that being said, I do still take some shots experimenting that just don't work. If I think back more to a 20/21mm lens I tend to find that n a lot of my work I end up so close that it doesn't really feel like a wide angle; it just feels very involved. Having a good eye for wide angle I will also say that I find a 15mm extremely difficult to get a great shot. My suggestion would be to practice with inanimate objects until you get a good feel for what work before you go to people.
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Old 09-12-2009   #3
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Great explanations, Craig. I carry a 21mm for tight situations only. A few yrs ago at the edge of a volcano crater my 28mm couldnt do justice to the view. I got the 21mm to fulfill that mission. For people I never go wider than 35mm. Thanks -
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Old 09-12-2009   #4
rxmd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkoKovacevic View Post
Anyone have tips for me shooting with the 15mm heliar? I'm finding it bad for people photography, and surprisingly it has much more distortion than the 17-40L I used on a canon. Pretty much, get closer?
Get closer. Much of the distortion is not lens-speciic, but specific to the focal length, the way off-center objects are depicted when they're more than 20-30 degrees off the optical axis. The 15 is wider than your 17, so of course it looks less distorted.

To be honest in craygc's shot I find the people at the edge look like cutouts on either lens. If people shot with the Nikon look a bit better, it's because they were closer. Then again, it's easier to get closer with an SLR where you have no parallax problem.

For people photography ultrawideangles are challenging. If your subject is people, it looks metter if you keep them in the center.
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Old 09-12-2009   #5
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Yes I feel the 15 heliar is great for dramatic landscapes,and funny people shots














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Old 09-12-2009   #6
MarkoKovacevic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxmd View Post
Get closer. Much of the distortion is not lens-speciic, but specific to the focal length, the way off-center objects are depicted when they're more than 20-30 degrees off the optical axis. The 15 is wider than your 17, so of course it looks less distorted.
It's only 2mm difference though, and I heard Leicas should be better with wides, because the closer film to lens distance makes the optical formula simpler, and less distorted. And I guess I must keep people in the center. When I get back some photos from the lab, I'll scan and post. Also, people in the corners of the shot are really distorted, especially up close, with the 15mm f4.5
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Old 09-12-2009   #7
Al Kaplan
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For the last several years I've shot almost everything with the 15mm. I just don't worry about the distortion. It's mostly something that only other photographers notice.
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Old 08-07-2011   #8
huyvuvn
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my heliar 15mm f4.5

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Old 08-07-2011   #9
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My advice: be careful of your knuckles. Mine are always showing up in unwanted places.

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Old 08-07-2011   #10
Rob-F
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I'm using the 15mm Nikkor AIS and find it has very low distortion in architectural shots. There is no curvilinear distortion. How does the Heliar compare in that respect?
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Old 08-07-2011   #11
semrich
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Here's one using the CV level and finder on a double shoe with the Zeiss 15/2.8.



And another forgetting the level and adding a tilt to the composition.

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Old 08-07-2011   #12
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When photographers who are used to standard and moderate wide-angles pick up a super-wide like 18 mm on 35-mm format or wider then all they produce mostly will be boring trash. Super-wide lenses do require some practice before you can do convincing work with them. The basic rule is: Get damn close, and have something going on in your foreground. The second rule is: Get even closer!

When shooting outdoors then usually there is nothing above you than the sky. For a super-wide shot, however, you need something going on everywhere around you ... including above you, that's the trick. You'll need, for example, a roof, or an arc, or the branches of a tree, or dramatic thunderstorm clouds, or whatever. If there is nothing but blue sky (or, worse yet, grey sky) then the super-wide usually will render just a boring picture.
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Old 08-07-2011   #13
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2011_06_18_002Scan-110618-0004 - Version 2 by Rogier Diver, on Flickr
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Old 08-07-2011   #14
Juan Valdenebro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I'm using the 15mm Nikkor AIS and find it has very low distortion in architectural shots. There is no curvilinear distortion. How does the Heliar compare in that respect?
I see none... And that was the reason I bought it: it was my first RF lens, with an R4M... I don't use external finder, and -just for that lens- I frame as with an SLR... M version takes 52mm filters and is RF coupled: very nice for precise close focus...

Cheers,

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