The area shown in the image varies depending on the focal length of the lens.
A low value corresponds to a wide-angle (wide field of view) focal length. As the value gets smaller - for example, 35 mm to 28 mm and further down to 24 mm and 21 mm - the angle grows wider, eventually reaching the super wide-angle range, which lets you capture an even broader scope.
A higher value indicates a focal length on the tele (telephoto) side. As the value increases, the focal length gets longer. This restricts the angle of view, but also allows you to capture faraway objects at a larger size.
Changes in wide-angle (wide field of view) and tele (telephoto) rendering
The values that actually appear on digital cameras, such as "f=4.3-15.3 mm F1: 3.1-5.8," are smaller than those on normal 35 mm film cameras.
This is due to the fact that unlike film cameras, image sensors (CCD, CMOS) differ according to camera and/or manufacturer. Even focal lengths in the same zoom range vary from camera to camera.
That's why the value displayed on the digital camera does not always correspond to the actual focal length.
It's a good idea to take note of the zoom lens focal length written in your camera's manual or specifications. Ricoh Digital Cameras come with a convenient "Step Zoom*" feature that indicates the corresponding focal length when you use the zoom function.
*Some models do not support Step Zoom. Refer to your camera's manual for more information.
What are the Benefits of Wide-Angle (Wide Field of View)?
For mechanical reasons, a digital camera requires a lens with a higher precision and better resolving power than a conventional film camera. Long before its competitors, Ricoh immediately mounted its compact digital cameras with a smooth lens that covers the 28 mm wide-angle (wide field of view) range - and to see the difference in angle of view (the area visible in the image), all you have to do is compare the 28 mm and 35 mm examples. Wide-angle pictures, which used to be such a challenge with conventional compact digital cameras, are now a piece of cake.
The differences between 24 mm, 28 mm and 35 mm angles of view (the area visible in the image)
People often complain that when they try to take commemorative photos of 4 or 5 people in a room, the people on both ends get cut out of the picture. Sometimes there's not enough room for the photographer to back up. Maybe you're traveling abroad and want to snap a picture of a famous building or a broad landscape, but you can't get the shot you want to fit in the image. These sorts of things tend to happen when the wide-angle side is at a 35 mm-equivalent zoom.
With a 28 mm or 24 mm wide-angle lens, you can capture large images without having to move the camera back. Instead of worrying about whether your subject will fit, choosing a camera that covers the 28 mm and 24 mm ranges not only makes your footwork easier, it also helps you concentrate on choosing good subjects and finding the perfect shutter chance.
Zoom lenses built into cameras are normally classified by "zoom magnification," which is calculated by dividing the tele focal length by the wide-angle focal length. For instance, the CX2 has a lens with a 10.7X zoom factor that covers the 28 mm-300 mm range.
Higher zoom magnification means a more complicated lens design. Lenses have to meet a variety of requirements for each focal range, including resolution, distortion correction, coloring, and macro mechanism standards, and also fit these features into a small camera body.
Models with high magnification zoom give you the ability to choose your angle of view freely.
[Wide-Angle Features - 1] Enhanced Perspective
As shown in the earlier examples, a lens with a 28 mm focal length can capture a broader scope than a 35 mm lens. A smaller focal length gives you more space to frame large buildings and other large-scale shots that were difficult to capture before. Also, as you move further into wide-angle territory, objects near the camera continue to appear larger, while objects in the distance appear extremely small, thus enhancing the perspective of the image. Perspective is what gives flat pictures a spatial (three-dimensional) quality.
The 24 mm wide angle of view enhances perspective, highlighting textures and bringing out the unique flavor of a rain-soaked Hanami-Koji (Kyoto)
Wide-angle photography makes objects nearby look larger and objects in the distance look smaller, so slight movements of the camera (even one step forward, backward, left or right) can change the look and size of the objects close to you. Distant objects, however, are not affected. When taking pictures, keep in mind that subtle changes in camera angle and position can affect your image.
Camera position and angle affect the size and appearance of the chairs, but not the scenery in the background.
Camera: Caplio GX100 24 mm
[Wide-Angle Features - 2] Improved Depth of Field
As focal length moves down from 28 mm to 24 mm and 21 mm in the transition from wide-angle to super wide-angle, depth of field (the focused portion of a scene) becomes deeper.
Decreasing the aperture diameter further improves depth of field, creating a pan focus image focused on the entire range. This is another benefit of wide-angle lens photography, and just one of the many choices wide-angle provides. Make sure that the subject you've selected is well-situated. With a fixed aperture value, depth increases as the angle widens, so you can achieve faster shutter speed by adjusting the required aperture value. It's also an effective way of preventing blurring and getting sharper images.
24 mm wide-angle brings the grounds of the shrine to life and sharpens the entire range, both foreground and background.
Using a dedicated wide conversion lens for super wide-angle
The Ricoh Digital Camera GR Digital and GX series include an optional wide conversion lens, for use with a hood and adapter. This accessory pushes past advanced 28 mm wide-angle, expanding the wide-angle range even further. These super-wide angle lenses provide 21 mm-equivalent capability for the GR Digital series 28 mm model, and 19 mm-equivalent capability for the GX series 24 mm wide-angle model.