Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Lenses For Landscapes
Looking for the perfect lens for your scenics? Check out the options and see what some top OP pros have to say about their favorite choices.
The choice of lens has a definite effect on the perspective of a photo, but indirectly. Perspective—the relative sizes of subjects at different distances from the camera, and how close together or far apart they appear—is actually a function of camera-to-subject distance, not focal length. Move closer, and near subjects become larger relative to more distant ones, and near and far subjects appear farther apart (“wide-angle expansion”). Move farther away, and near and far subjects differ less in apparent size and seem closer together (“telephoto compression”).
You can prove that changing focal length doesn’t change perspective for yourself. Mount your camera on a tripod, and make a shot with a telephoto lens. Then, remove the telephoto lens, attach a wide-angle lens, and make another shot. The two shots will look quite different, the tele shot showing “telephoto compression” and the wide-angle shot showing “wide-angle expansion,” right?
The wide-angle lens takes in more of the scene and produces less magnification, while the telephoto lens takes in less of the scene and produces greater magnification, but neither changes the perspective—the relative sizes of and apparent distances between objects in the scene.
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