Wide angle lenses are lenses with a short focal length and wider field of view than can typically be seen by the human eye; on a 35mm (or equivalent digital) camera, that is any lens shorter than 50mm.

Typically used in landscapes, wide angle lenses can also be used in portraits to introduce some of the environment into the image and tell a story around the subject. Because of the way wide-angle lenses emphasize features in the foreground, close-up pictures of people with a wide-angle lens can distort facial features, making the feature closest to the camera look disproportionately larger than features further away.