When Would You Use a 16-35mm Lens?

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Ultra-wide angle lenses are ideal for wide-angle views and it can produce high quality images with clear subjects and backgrounds with soft blurs. 

The lens is a top choice among landscape and architecture photographers because it can fit the subject, the background and the foreground all in one picture. 

One of the most famous ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses is the 16mm-35mm lens, and it can be used in different genres of photography. 

When Would You Use a 16-35mm Lens?

The 16mm-35mm lens is ideal for landscape, nature, interior, general architecture, real estate, and outdoor photography. 

Most 16mm-35mm lenses are equipped with image stabilization mechanisms so you can shoot images handheld without having to worry about distortion caused by camera movements. 

Instead of having to look at the subject from across the street, you will have to interact in order to get close enough to get a good photograph. 

Hand holding a 16-35mm lens

The 16mm-35mm lens also lets you create your own perspective and pushes you to be creative. You can mix and match angles and lighting to produce amazing results. 

The 16mm-35mm lens forces you to get into action and not just a participant or someone who documents the scene, it lets you be a part of the scene itself, making the experience more personal.

Types of Photography the 16mm-35mm Lens Supports

The 16mm-35mm lenses are great to use for these types of genres as it ensures better results. 

Portrait Photography

The 16mm-35mm lens is excellent for portrait photography. However, there are some limitations because it is not good for headshots, especially if you want to work using a distant view of the subject. 

The lens is also an excellent choice for full-length pictures and for taking photographs for crowds. 

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is what wide-angle zoom lenses are known for the most. The 16mm-35mm lens is an amazing landscape lens because at 16mm, it can photograph wide angles that include the subject and the foreground. It also creates a good depth in the images. 

When you switch to 35mm, you can change the focus of the picture and create a more detailed landscape image. Using the 35mm focal length is usually a great tactic to remove unwanted distractions at the edge of the image, and it simplifies it. This is an option that you won’t get with a prime lens

Macro Photography

The 16mm-35mm lens can be used for macro photography even though it is not a macro lens. You can use cropping software to take macro photos and edit them. 

Another way that you can use the lens for macro photography is by attaching extension tubes. Extension tubes can turn an ordinary ultra-wide-angle lens into a macro lens. 


The 16mm-35mm lens has wide-angle capabilities, making it ideal for nighttime photoshoots. 

The lens usually has an aperture of f/2, which is wide enough to allow enough light to reach the camera’s sensor. You can use it to photograph the night sky and the stars. 


Super wide-angle zoom lenses like the 16mm-35mm are ideal pieces of photography equipment for taking pictures of real estate, interior spaces, and tall buildings. It will naturally result in converging lines that emphasize the shape and the size of the subjects. 

Camera lens

When Not to Use the 16mm-35mm Lens?

The 16mm-35mm lens is not long enough to be used for sports, wildlife, or pet photography. In those genres of photography, you will need lenses with a more extended focal length range. 

Even though you can shoot headshots with the 16mm-35mm lens, you won’t get a good perspective when you are too close to the subject. 

Related Questions

How the 16mm-35mm Lens Affect Depth of Field?

The depth of field in photography is affected by different variables like focal length, aperture, the distance of the subject from the camera and the size of the camera’s sensor. The most significant factor is the focal length range of the camera lens

The 16mm-35mm lens has a very short focal length, which naturally results in a large depth of field even if the aperture is wide. 

Since the lens can reach infinity focus even at close distances, it is usually preferred when wanting to make the background and foreground appear sharp in the photos. 

Can You Use Filters on the 16mm-35mm Lenses?

You can’t use standard filters like polarizing filters and NDs on the 16mm-35mm lens because it has an extensive and bulbous front element. It also has a petal-shaped hood built-in, so the filters do not fit. 

Being unable to attach a filter is one of the drawbacks of the lens. The solution to this dilemma is to use attachments and larger filters in order for it to fit. However, they are time-consuming to set up. 


When it comes to ultra-wide-angle lenses, the 16mm-35mm lens is the preferred range by professional photographers. 

With this lens, not only does it have an excellent walk-about focal range, but it also forces you to interact in your scenes or with subjects. 

Kaitlin Cooper is an active professional wedding and portrait photographer in San Diego, California at Kaitlin Cooper Photography. She is also a contributor to many large publications, including Bridal GuideBustlePixpaWith Joy, and Hello Giggles.