I had a couple of cameras at the Kanab, UT Balloons and Tunes Festival. One with a wide angle lens (23mm) and another with a normal lens (50mm). As an experiment I thought I'd shoot the same scene with both setups using a pano-head to capture the full range of the wide angle with the normal lens. These two shots are the result.
This first image is from the 50mm lens and was stitched from several images. The result is 14218x7109 pixels (printed at 300 dpi it's about 48"x24").
This second image is from the wide angle lens and is 5162x2581 pixels (about 17"x8.5").
Other than the size, and corresponding detail, which isn't necessarily apparent in these scaled-down versions, the thing that I notice most is the distorted perspective where the distant balloons are smaller in the wide angle lens than they appear with the normal lens. In this image I notice it most with the two mid-sized rainbow swirled balloons in the center of the image.
Of course this is one of the advantages to a wide angle lens, if that's what you're going for, but generally I'm not. Although more difficult to capture and process, I prefer the more in-your-face aspect of the normal lens and why for most of my wide images I shoot using a normal lens and a pano head.
I'd love to hear your perspective (pun intended) and preference on the wide/normal lens difference if you'd care to share. Comment below...