Difference Between Fisheye and Wide Angle

You might have heard both the terms in landscape photography, but what’s the difference? The answer is focal length, which is the distance between the optical center of the lens and the optical axis. The difference between the focal length captures different angles of images giving a wide point of view.

Fisheye vs Wide Angle

The main difference between Fisheye and Wide Angle is that the former captures the view of a wider range of angles, while the latter captures the view of a lesser angle. Hence you get a more panoramic image with a fisheye lens, while with a wide eye lens, the view is smaller.

Fisheye and Wide Angle

The fisheye angle refers to the extreme fisheye lenses. These lenses are designed to capture panoramic views and exaggerate the distortion by making it appear as if the center of the image is closer to the camera than the edges. These lenses have the greatest angular field of view and are ideal for capturing the natural beauty of landscapes or distant subjects.

A wide-angle lens is a type of lens used to take wide-angle photographs. Wide-angle lenses have a short focal length and a wider field of view than standard or normal lenses. These lenses can be used for photographing landscapes and large interior spaces.

Comparison Table Between Fisheye and Wide Angle

Parameters of ComparisonFisheyeWide Angle
ImageFisheye helps capture a wider image.Wide-angle captures a comparatively smaller image.
AngleUsually, the angle of capture is 180 degrees or more often 200 degrees.A wide-angle lens usually captures less than 180 degrees.
DistortionThere is center image distortion with a fisheye.There is no image distortion with a wide angle.
Focal Length  Usually, these lenses have a focal length of 10 mm.Usually, a wide-angle lens has a focal length of 20-24 mm.
Best forLargely used in landscape photography.Largely used in architecture, interiors, and real estate photography.

What is Fisheye?

The term fisheye refers to a fisheye lens. A fisheye lens is a lens that is more circular and creates an effect that mimics the view and appearance of a fish’s eye. The term fisheye lens refers to an actual lens that makes what is behind the camera as well as what is in front of the camera look distorted and warped.

This lens has a 180-degree field of view and is used for photographing things that are close up and at a distance. For example, if the photographer wants to take a picture of a building but wants to show what is around the building and in front of it as well as the building itself, they would use a fisheye lens.

Fisheye angle is a lens commonly used in photography. It captures a special effect that creates a big circular image with a distorted view of the photo. The first fisheye camera for consumers was developed by Nikon in the early 1970s, and it is called a “Perspective Control” lens.

It can be classified as a subtype of wide-angle lenses as normal wide-angle lenses also produce similar images, but the only difference lies in the center distortion produced by the fisheye lens. In essence, a fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that creates a circular crop of the image.

What Wide Angle?

A wide-angle lens is a type of lens that has a normally wider field of vision than a normal lens that you would use for a set to the camera. A wide-angle allows you to capture wider images of your surroundings and bigger scenes and objects.

The focal length of a lens is the distance from the center of the lens to the optical axis. A wide-angle lens has a short focal length, meaning it can capture a wider image than a long focal length lens can. In other words, you can fit a lot into the picture you capture if you use a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses typically have a focal length range of 10mm – 35mm.

All lenses are made up of two pieces and are shaped similarly to a cone. A wide-angle lens is the same, but the cone is just a bit bigger than a standard lens. This way, it can capture more area in your surroundings.

This lens type is good for landscapes and large, open fields since it can capture a lot of space in one shot. For example, landscape photography, street composition photography, racing photographs, and so on. However, unlike fisheye lenses, they do not produce any distortions.

Main Differences Between Fisheye and Wide Angle

  1. A fisheye should capture 180 degrees or more, bu8t wide-angle lens should capture about 100-120 degrees.
  2. A fisheye lens or camera is usually more costly than a wide-angle lens which typically comes at three fourth of its price.
  3. Fisheye will give you a more dramatic perspective of the same view than a wide-angle lens.
  4. A fisheye lens is a photography lens that produces strong visual distortion intended to give viewers the sensation that they are within the scene being photographed. But no such distortion is observed in wide-angle images.
  5. A fisheye lens is characterized by its extreme circular view, much like that of the human eye. These lenses are most often used for their unique ability to distort the image and create a very strong sense of depth, while wide-angle gives the perspective of a panoramic image.


Hence, they are two different lenses, both of which are used to capture a different view of the same photo. A full-frame 180-degree angle of view is the same as that of the human eye. This is why fisheye lenses are often referred to as ”eye” lenses. Wide-angle lenses have a much narrower angle of view.

To get a better idea of how these lenses work, try a different lens on your camera and check out its functioning and know for yourself. Both of these lenses can take in a lot of information. That’s why it is often used for landscapes and nature photos.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/22339.22342
  2. https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/0237/0000/Wide-Angle-Lens-Systems/10.1117/12.959125.short
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