The first words usually uttered by somebody peering through an ultra wide-angle lens for the first time is usually something along the lines of “Whoa!”—and the wider the lens, the louder the “Whoa!” While peering through an extreme telephoto lens can also coax a “Whoa!” from the viewer, it’s because of its ability to bring distant subjects seemingly within arm’s length. Ultra-wides are different in their ability to interpret objects that actually are within arm’s-length distance in a different light. And that’s what makes them special.
In the right hands, almost any lens—including a fisheye lens—can be used for portraiture. Wide angle, normal, even super-telephoto lenses can be used successfully for portrait work. But if you had to narrow them down to select an optimal focal length for shooting portraits, it would have to be a lens in the range of 85 to 105mm.
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