Monday, September 29, 2014

Lenses and perspective (updated)

Here is a good article about lenses and their effect on perspective (or technically: distance's effect on perspective).

For example:

The long 200mm telephoto lens on the left compresses the scene by bringing the Independence Hall building in Philadelphia right up to the statue in front.  A 35mm wide angle lens used on the right relates the two in a very different way.
[Photo and text by Tom Grill]

Thanks to Bert for finding this wonderful illustration of perspective change.
The article also explains how the perspective changes with the distance, not the lens. The lens focal length changes merely allows you to fill the frame with the main subject at different distances.

photo by PetaPixel/Michael Zhang

Here is another good illustration.

Photo by Stephen Eastwood

3 comments:

Michael said...

The example is wrong. He changed two things in the photo, position and lens. Focal length doesn't alter the relationship of items in the frame, it only alters the magnification (or drop). On a related subject - a 100mm lens is 100mm on any camera not 160 or 200, etc. There is no equivalent focal length bullshit math. The angle of view changes (it becomes a wide or tele) not the focal length.

http://media.digitalcameraworld.com/files/2014/08/Compressed_perspective_cheat_sheet.jpg

pre-digital article - http://books.google.com/books?id=uDKs7MBfhecC&lpg=PA39&ots=Mnf2y4Cxjp&dq=focal%20length%20perspective%20myth&pg=PA38#v=onepage&q&f=false

At least he isn't applying a "crop factor" to the aperture and ISO....

Russ said...

Here's another interesting article that shows how different focal lengths can affect faces.

Anonymous said...

Micheal is right. All lens render the same compressive capabilities. What everyone associates with the lens is the change in position from the subject. Had the two images been shot from the same position and then the equivalent telephoto crop from the wide angle image taken it would look just like the telephoto image - though more pixelated.
I disagree with his crop factors statement. If you want to know your 35mm equivalence - for what ever reason you find pertinent - you must use the crop factor. Not sure what its relevance is, but it is a real thing.