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Photography Question 
Fran Dollinger

Wide angle lenses

I have an obsession with taking pictures of lighthouses. Im not a professional and have never taken a class(no time). I bought Nikon 18-35 lense for those times when you just can't take a couple of steps back. Makes picture distorted. Any suggestions. Also love that blue sky. Any sugestion on the best way to figure out time of day mourning or afternoon.

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6/14/2004 3:06:54 PM

doug Nelson   What kind of distortion are you getting? When you point the lens upward to take in all of the lighthouse, you get the converging lines effect, resulting in a pointy top. You'd get that with any lens. To prevent that, get back far enough so that the lens is horizontal, and/or get a little level to go onto your camera's shoe.

If the distortion is in the form of lines bowed outward toward the sides of the frame, it's barrel distortion found at the wide end of some zooms and even with some prime focal length lenses. The cure for this is a good prime; Nikon and Canon (others as well) make 20's and 24's with minimal barrel distortion. You still must hold the camera level.

Finally, you might want to dedicate a used Canon FD body to the old FD 35mm Tilt and Shift lens. You can actually adjust the lens to allow for perspective distortion (first paragraph above), even if you point the lens upward. Get one of these lenses on eBay or from It's not a cheap lens, but it's cheaper than a new Canon EOS or Nikon autofocus version.

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6/15/2004 5:30:58 AM

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