Photographing a Person: A test of focal lengths

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sergey Borachev
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Re: The viewing size has an effect too
In reply to Tom Axford, Apr 10, 2013

Tom Axford wrote:

Thanks for posting your tests.

There is an interesting discussion of this at http://www.journalofvision.org/content/12/5/8.full and some quite good animations of the effect.

One point that doesn't seem to have been mentioned in previous posts (unless I have missed it) is the effect of the size of the image as seen by the viewer. Your examples images were posted at quite a modest size, but viewing them much larger would change the visual effect. The distortion apparent in portraits taken with a wide-angle lens looks more unnatural in a thumbnail image than in the same image filling a large screen and viewed from fairly close.

A very good point that I failed to mention.  Size of image and viewing distance are important and directly affects how much the distortion will be perceived, if at all.

Also, a distinction must be made in what the portrait is about, to flatter the subject or to get an effect such as proximity, for more meaningful assessment of FLs.

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