Is automatic focus always better than manual focus? The answer is “not always”. Photographers who like to master all the factors and want to get more details, usually avoid activating automatic focus. When automatic focus is enabled, the camera will automatically choose which part of the scene to be focused. That’s why this process doesn’t fit the photographer’s ideology in photography.In landscape, documentary, news and sports events etc .photography field.manual focus still plays a very important role. All the best wide angle lenses described below have fine manual focusing feel.
They usually need comparatively longer focus rotation, precise distance scale as well as depth of focus. Through these markings you can easily achieve hyper focal distance focus. Whereas it’s not really easy to realize such kind of things using Automatic Focus Lenses.
- Comparison Table For 9 Best Wide Angle Lenses 2018
- 1.Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Blackstone Wide Angle Lens
- 2.Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro Lens
- 3.SamYang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens
- 4.SamYang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED AS UIMC Ultra Wide Fixed Angle Lens
- 5.Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton Lens
- 6.Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Lens(Only For Sony)
- 7.Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Manual Focus Lens
- 8.Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 Lens
- 9.Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens
- Manual Wide Angle Lens Buyer’s Guide
Comparison Table For 9 Best Wide Angle Lenses 2018
|Name||Available Mounts||Image Circle||Aperture Range||Price|
|Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Blackstone||Canon EF;Nikon F;Pentax K||Full Frame||f/2.4-22|
|Venus Laowa 15mm f/4||Canon EF;Nikon F;Sony E; Alpha; Pentax K||Full Frame||f/4-32|
|SamYang 10mm f/2.8||Almost all mounts||APS-C||f/2.8-22|
|SamYang 14mm f/2.8||Almost all mounts||Full Frame||f/2.8-22|
|Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95||MFT||M4/3||f/0.95-16|
|Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8(Editor Recommend)||Sony E||Full Frame||f/2.8-22|
|Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8||Canon EF;Nikon F||Full Frame||f/2.8-22|
|Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8||SONY E ;Fujifilm X||APS-C||f/2.8-22|
|Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5||Canon EF-S||APS-C||f/3.5-27|
The magnesium and aluminum body of this manual wide angle lens (Available mounts :Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K) ensures full proof lens protection, even in the most extreme situations and weather. The front end of the lens is also added with closure design. Easy operation is achieved in sort of lightning conditions as engraved florescent markings and infinity clicks are available on the lens body which is very friendly.
These markings include distance scale, depth of field scale. They can significantly improve the operability. A finetuning ring is also located at the front part of the lens which allows the photographer to calibrate distance scale accurately.
The focus ring of this manual wide angle lens is all-metal anodized with grooved surface and moderately damped. The 150-degree focus rotation makes ultra-high-precision focusing possible. Automatic electronic chip is able to activate focal point of Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera. While in focusing, corresponding point location will light up.
Besides, the aperture setting can be completed from the camera body which allows full aperture framing. While using small aperture to shoot, no need to endure dim viewfinder. Due to presence of focus lock switch, photographer can quickly adjust to the preset focus distance. All of these cool features make photo shooting extremely convenient which you can find in this excellent manual wide angle lens.
|√ Easy operation |
√ Excellent photo quality
|⊗ Not Found|
Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 is a marvelous manual wide angle lens(Available mounts :Canon EF, Nikon F,Sony E and Sony Alpha, Pentax K).and even being a Super Wide Angle lens, possesses an ultra-wide angle of view and 1:1 magnification, undoubtedly it is also a macro lens.
Based on this special feature, it can make unique “macro environment” photos. At the nearest focus distance, the lens is only half a centimeter away from the object; that’s why should handle it with great care.
Other than the functions mentioned above, this lens also has tilt-shift function. However, this function is relatively basic. Only allows photographer to shift in two directions(up and down).
This super wide angle macro lens is completely free of any kind of electronic components and definitely a manual wide angle lens. Aperture ring doesn’t have any sense of segment level, so it’s relatively more suitable for video recording. As a manual macro lens, it only has 90-degree focus rotation which drives photographers crazy.
|√ Tilt-shift function |
√ Macro photography
|⊗ Tilt-shift function will cause vignetting|
This is an Advanced Photo System Type-C (APS-C) wide angle lens. It can be mounted on almost all mountable camera versions. The view angle on Advanced Photo System Type-C (APS-C) camera and that of full frame 15 mm camera lens is quite equivalent.
Despite the smaller image circle, this manual wide angle lens is still larger in size than the Laowa lens. The larger aperture also makes its front lenses glass larger and more prominent.
It is important to note that, the Nikon version of this lens has an electronic chip and an aperture coupling alloy lever which allow photographers to control the aperture as well as enjoy in focus notification from the camera body. However, such a lucrative feature is limited to Nikon only. On all other mountable versions, it’s full featured manual wide angle lens.
As the lens hood of this lens is fixed, it’s not easy to install the filter system.Craftsmanship of this manual wide angle lens is excellent. Focus ring rotation has reached up to 140-degree and rotational damping is moderate.
|√ Available for most camera mounts||⊗ Not easy to install filter|
Like SamYang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS manual wide angle lens, it also possesses identical maximum aperture as it supports full frame camera. So the view is also very similar to the 10mm lens. The rare thing in this full frame manual wide angle lens is that it is lighter and smaller in size than 10mm lens.
The Nikon version of this lens has electronic contact and chip. But the price is a little bit higher than the other versions. We tested with the Canon manually version controlled lens. This means that after the aperture is contracted, the viewfinder will also darken accordingly.
The compact styling benefits from the excellent optical design: 2x aspherical lenses (an aspherical glass element, an aspherical hybrid element) as well as 2x Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element lens. Unfortunately, the circular has only 6 blades which leads to drab starburst shot. This is the only lens in this review that does not have depth of field scale.
Compared to SamYang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS manual wide angle lens, this lens has longer focal rotation (240 degree), easier fine focusing operation. Imaging quality is also very similar to that of SamYang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS manual wide angle lens, central imaging is excellent, weak edge angle, dark angle isn’t that critical as SamYang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS manual wide angle lens. It is worth mentioning that, the coma control of this manual wide angle lens is really stunning and very suitable for shooting stars.
|√ Great photo quality |
√ Highly cost performance
|⊗ Not found|
Equivalent focal length of 21mm can be provided on the miniature 4/3 camera and the aperture is 3 times larger or equal to other manual wide angle lenses. Still the size and weight of this lens is within reasonable limits. Although it’s a fully manual wide angle lens but many additional features found when mounted on 4/3 miniature version Mirrorless Cameras makes it’s uses relatively easier than that of other best manual wide angle lenses on Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Camera lenses.
While retracting the aperture, both the electronic viewfinder and camera screen will not darken . During the test process, this manual wide angle lens matches with 4/3 miniature camera and it’s very convenient to use.and there is no difficulty for beginners.
There is a unique ring on the lens tube which is used for switching the segment of the aperture. The damping of the focusing ring is moderate. 265-degree long rotation allows this large manual wide angle lens to focus very precisely.The depth of field scale is truly remarkable and the main aperture is marked from f/1.4 to f/11.
As for a f/0.95 extra-large aperture lens, central imaging is very commendable. Fantastic images can be captured in full frame. and the corners of the picture are also great, availability isn’t high before f/4. However, the dark angle control of this manual wide angle lens is excellent. This manual wide angle lens is even better than all other lenses with similar focal length mentioned here in this review.
In addition to this manual wide angle lens, the Loxia series also includes 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm lenses. This is a traditional manual focus lens and different from the automatic lenses launched earlier by Sony and ZEISS. Although the focus rotation is only 90 degrees, but fitting with the local zoom function on A7 camera still able to achieve accurate focus.
Under normal circumstances, every 1/3 part of the aperture ring has a segment . However, the sense of segment can be switched through a device on the lens mount. At this point you need to dismantle the lens from camera. Thanks to the traditional ZEISS Distagon design . Even being lens of such a compact shape, it’s still able to deliver excellent picture quality. Design concept fit with the Sony A7 is very high. The CONS of this lens are: angle of view is not as wide as the other best manual wide angle lenses and the price is relatively higher.
|√ Excellent photo quality |
|⊗ Price is relatively higher|
Since it was launched in the market till now, ZEISS Milvus series has 10 lenses in total whose focal length covers the classical focal length from 15mm to 135mm whereas two of those are quasi macro lens with 0.5x amplification.
From the provide mount version it can be seen that this series is only suit for Canon and Nikon Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Cameras. This 21mm manual wide angle lens features a classic Zeiss Distagon structure. Due to its non-reflective and almost undistorted f/2.8 maximum aperture, this ultra-wide lens is ideal for shooting variety of spectacular, dramatic contrasts and colorful images. Further optimized lens coating reduces phantom and glare effects in low light conditions.
This lens uses a sealed design and supports manual focus. It has 9 aperture blades and filter thread. Canon mount version weighs 851g, focus length is short to 1.22m (0.72 inches). 21mm as ultra-wide angle, it does provide enough depth of field. For shooting landscapes, building, this lens is an excellent choice.
|√ Excellent photo quality||⊗ Not found|
This lens is specially designed for Advanced Photo System Type-C (APS-C) mirrorless cameras and comes with 2 versions mount of SONY E and Fujifilm X . This lens has a focal length of 18mm, features Zeiss Distagon structure and uses step motor as the driver unit.
The focus ring of this lens has no physical connection with the lens (lens tube). Manual focusing is the rotation of the focal ring triggered by sensor. Then the electric signal is used to drive the step motor. Even though the operation process doesn’t look like manual focus but combining local magnification function with the electronic viewfinder on mirrorless camera can also achieve ultra-fine focus operation.
However, focus ring without any physical connection also means distance scale, depth of field scale marking can’t be engraved on the lens body. Fortunately, some mirrorless camera displays focal length information on the screen or electronic viewfinder.
As the depth of field scale is missing, it is not an easy way to determine the depth of field using such kind of lens. However, photographer can use the electronic viewfinder to open the local magnification and check the focus of each part of the screen without changing the gesture. This is also an effective way.
|√ Excellent photo quality||⊗ Without depth of field scale|
The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is specially designed for the development of Electro-Optical System (EOS) digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras using Advanced Photo System Type-C (APS-C) camera frame image sensors. It is a wide angle lens capable of bringing true wide-angle shooting . If converted to 35mm specifications, it can cover ultra-wide-angle range equivalent to about 16mm angle of view.
Photographer can capture picture of a wide view. A wide range can be photographed even in rooms that do not have enough back space. There is no need to worry about the impact of the shooting distance.
A major feature of this lens is that the entire zoom range has very little distortion, the edges of the picture are also imaged with little natural ripples. Therefore, landscape photos also have good representability towards the horizontal line. Picture quality at the edges are stable.
The entire frame can be effectively used. Free composition can also be made during shooting. There is no need to worry about the position of the subject in the frame. The lens is driven by an annular ultrasonic motor (USM). The focus sound can hardly be heard.
|√ Excellent photo quality |
|⊗ Can not be used on Full frame camera|
Manual Wide Angle Lens Buyer’s Guide
In order to avoid such problem, some photographers prefer to activate the central focus. This setting allows them to lock the focus first and then recompose by holding a half-pressed shutter button in order to place the subject in the right place of the frame.
Modern Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras don’t have traditional manual Single Lens Reflex (SLR) split screen viewfinder. That’s really hard to confirm whether to in focus or not in optical viewfinder. But the good thing is, some of the manual lenses comes with electronic chip. While doing in focus, the focal position of the focal point can be seen as it lightens up.
For some lenses, the structure of the aperture is completely independent from the camera body. That’s why the aperture should be adjusted from the lens as it’s independent from the camera body. Even though this aperture adjustment process takes some time but when it has been adjusted correctly, you can fully concentrate on shooting and relieved from worrying while using autofocus if going to lose the contact with the focused object.
a)What is manual wide angle lens?
Manual wide angle lens is manually regulated, with shorter focal length, larger angle of view than a standard lens and longer focal length but shorter angle of view than a fish-eye lens.
b)What are wide angle lenses suitable for shooting?
Focal length of wide angle lens is very short and angle of view is relatively wider and depth of field is truly deep. That’s why it’s more suitable for shooting larger scenes such as buildings, landscapes and other subjects.
c)What features does wide angle lens have?
The basic feature of best wide angle lenses is that it has a wide viewing angle. The range of view observed from a point of view is much larger than that of the human eye at the same point of view. depth of field scale is deep. Can show a fairly large range of clarity. Can emphasize the perspective effect of the picture. It’s good at exaggerating the foreground and showing the sense of distance of scenery, this helps to enhance the appeal of the picture.
d)What are the advantages of autofocus lens?
Autofocus lenses can realize almost all the functionalities of a manual lens. When you need to use autofocus feature, this kind of lens doesn’t make you miss the golden opportunity.
Focal length is comparatively longer. When aperture is larger, narrower viewing angles and shallower depth of field make manual focusing more difficult. Auto focus will be more effective at this kind of situation.
Full time manual function allows the user to switch between auto focus and manual focus at any time which provides greater flexibility to the photographer.
e)What are the disadvantages of an autofocus lens?
The size and weight of an autofocus lens is often greater than that of a manual lens of the same level. Not very friendly to photographers seeking for lightweight lenses. Besides, durability is even worse than its weight and size.
An unconnected focus ring causes the absence of focus distance scale and depth of field scale. Also leads to unintuitive ultra-focal length operation. The focusing ring of an autofocus lens cannot be simulated with a sense of weight. There will be a difference in feel.
Because of its exquisite and compact in size, the high-end and full featured Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Lens stays ahead of any other lenses reviewed in this article. It’s portable and doesn’t affect the picture quality at all. medium focus feel, complete logo and markings on the lens gives the photographer a perfect use experience. It’s a perfect combination for the Sony A7 series camera.
Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Manual Focus Lens also has a great feel and super photo quality. But it lacks some compact features. Electronic viewfinder is not added to this lens. and less convenient in use.
New brand irix 15 mm f/2.4 Blackstone Wide Angle Lens has surprised people with their “Blackstone”. Many thoughtful little design and excellent quality makes this lens stand out.
The two lenses from SamYang individually be used with Advanced Photo System Type-C (APS-C) and full frame cameras. Both of them have excellent manual operation feel as well as decent photo quality. Price is also outstanding in comparison to other lenes.
Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton Lens has extra-large f/0.95 aperture and equivalent wide angle view of 21mm. It can be paired with M4/3 cameras while shooting a real low light image.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens can be easily adjusted to the focal position by manual focusing. An internal focusing method is adopted in this lens. The total length of the lens will not change during focusing. Front end of the lens doesn’t rotate but still has operates smoothly.
Finally, the Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro Lens has diversified its functions close to perfection. It’s 15mm manual wide angle lens with 1:1 macro and tilt-shift functions simultaneously. It is able to capture unique effects that other lenses cannot bring into.
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