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6 Tips To Get More Out Of A Wide-Angle Lens For Phone Photography

6 Tips To Get More Out Of A Wide-Angle Lens For Phone Photography.

Most beginners have a wide-angle lens but they don't really understand how to use it. In fact, most people don't know what they can achieve with their wide-angle lens. It is easy to see a lot of beginners using this lens without understanding how it works.

If you have always been fascinated with a wide-angle lens and you will like to find out what they do, how to use them, and how to get the best from your wide-angle lenses, this article will give you exactly what you are looking for.

What is a Wide-angle Lens Anyway?

Well, any lens that has a wider field of view than what the human eyes see is a wide-angle lens. If you are used to smaller lenses, you will be happy to find out you can do more with wide-angle lenses.

Back in the day before digital photography became popular, the 50mm lens was considered "normal" since it is closest to what you see with your eye normally. 

With phone photography a wide angle lens is considered anything below the 29mm field of view.  Most phones come standard with a 29mm field of view that is comparable to having a 35mm lens on a SLR camera. So in order to get a wide angle shot on your camera phone you need to purchase a wide-angle lens that attaches to your phone. The wide-angle lens will widen the field of view considerably compared to the already pre-built-in lens on your camera phone. 

When you purchase an external wide-angle lens for your camera phone look for a lens that is below 29mm. It is usually a lens in the 16mm length. Be careful not to purchase a fish-eye lens if you want just a wide-angle lens. A camera phone fish-eye is closer to a 7.5mm length lens.  

The confusing part of external lenses for camera phones is they are basing the field of view off of the traditional 35mm format camera. Your phone actually comes standard with a lens that is only 4.5mm. This is due to the sensor size and proximity to the lens. The 4.5mm lens is equivalant to a 29mm on a standard 35mm format camera. The best thing to do is just search up wide-angle lens for your camera phone. 

Why Wide-Angle Lens Can Make Your Photography Better

Fortunately, a wide-angle lens has a number of characteristics that will make your photos better.

1. Makes Subject Closer

The wide-angle lens tends to make subjects look nearer than they actually are. This is to say they exaggerate perspective. With a wide-angle lens, the shorter the focal length the greater the effect.

2. More Depth-of-Field

Wide-angle lens has more depth-of-field at any given aperture than longer lenses. This is perhaps one of the reasons portrait photographers love this type of lens. It will help you to keep everything within the frame.

Wide angle Lens

How to Get the Most Out of Your Wide Angle Lens

If you are looking to make your photos better with a wide-angle lens, you will find the tips below very helpful:

1. Make Use of Lines

One thing you should understand is that lines are a powerful compositional tool you can use to your advantage. As a photographer who wants to do better with every shot, you can train yourself to look for lines and exploit them in your photos when shooting with a wide-angle lens. This will help you create dramatic images.

2. Make Foreground Interesting

If you are a landscape photographer, one great way to use a wide-angle lens is to ensure that your foreground is interesting. The trick is to avoid boring empty spaces. Find a way to make your foreground interesting when shooting with a wide-angle lens and your photo will turn out better.

Wide angle Lens

3. Find Converging Verticals

Just like you make use of lines to make your wide-angle lens shots better, you can exploit converging verticals by tipping your camera backwards when you take photos of buildings. This will help you add some dramatic effect to your photo and make your image more interesting. When you tip your camera back, you can be able to get a snail's eye view.

4. Environmental Portraiture

Wide-angle lenses are best for environmental portraiture, the reason is that you can take the portrait of your model and even include the surrounding environment into the photo at the same time. In fact, most documentary, portrait, and fashion photographers use this trick to tell a story.

5. Add Human Element

You can make your photo stand out by adding a human element and you can easily do this with a wide-angle lens. Landscape photographers can use the human element to add a bit of drama and mystery to any photo with a wide-angle lens. You need to be creative and work with a good model to achieve this objective perfectly.

6. Documentary Photography

A great way to use wide-angle lenses is a documentary photography. Their design will allow you to fit a lot of things into the frame. With a wide-angle lens, you will get a better result than when you are using longer lenses for documentary photography.

Now that you've known various ways you can get more from your wide-angle lens, let's summarize various ways you can utilize your wide-angle lens:

  • Make subjects stand out composing your shots carefully
  • Get close to your subject
  • Ensure you don't shoot people close-up
  • Pay attention to distortion in the frame
  • Pay attention to your exposure
  • Always check for lens flare
  • Check for distraction at the edges of your frame
  • Watch for converging lines
  • Watch for extreme depth of field
  • Mind how your polarizer filters work
  • Ensure you use the corrective means in post-processing​


A wide-angle lens can help you to achieve some great effects. If you understand how to use this lens, you can be able to add an extra dimension to your compositional work. However, to use wide-angle lens well, you need to get some practice. Continue to practice and with time, you will get better with wide-angle lenses and your overall photography skills will improve.​

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