When you see a scene or subject you want to shoot with your interchangeable-lens camera, how do you know which of your lenses to use? Experience? Instinct? Look through the viewfinder and change to a longer or shorter lenses if the one on the camera doesn't suit?
I guess some people judge the "range" in which the scene fits, and think their way through it with a table something like this:
(* Those ranges, their names, and the focal length values are shown just to illustrate the idea of a lookup table in personal memory. No claim is made that these values are in any way definitive, universal, or even typical. No correspondence will be entered into. :-))
Here's another way that's simple, takes a few seconds to execute, and doesn't require any equipment or technology other than arms and hands. I'll illustrate with focal lengths for an APS-C camera. This image was taken at 15mm and shows the approximate framing you would get for three particular focal lengths.
|17, 50, and 300mm framing on APS-C (click on the image to see it full size).|
I've chosen to show the 17mm frame because it corresponds with a standard wide angle view, such as you get with an 18-55mm kit zoom, "upgrade" third-party zoom such as a Sigma or Tamron 17-50mm, or premium zoom such as the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8.
50mm is very handy for Canon shooters with the "poverty trio" of EF-S 18-55mm, EF 50/1.8, and EF-S 55-250mm.
My longest zoom is 300mm, so that's a handy one for me to judge how much I could fill the frame with a distant subject.
The trick is to use your arms and hands to cover the width of each frame as you look at the scene with the naked eye (not looking through the viewfinder).
If I hold my arms straight out and parallel like a sleepwalker, turn my hands out as far as I can, then look with a single naked eye, fingertip to fingertip spans a wide-angle frame.
|Arms parallel, hands turned out = 17mm framing on APS-C, or 28mm on full-frame (click on the image to see it full size).|
I had to stand next to the camera to take that shot. When you do it, of course your eye will be looking from between your arms rather than off to the side.
If I extend my arm and spread my fingers, thumbtip to little-fingertip spans a 50mm frame.
|Thumbtip to little-fingertip = 50mm framing on APS-C, or 80mm on full-frame (click on the image to see it full size).|
And if I extend my arm, across the peaks of three knuckles spans a 300mm frame.
|Three knuckles = 300mm framing on APS-C, or 500mm on full-frame (click on the image to see it full size).|
You will have to find what works for you and your body dimensions. There are many combinations you can use, for instance, two fingers together, peace sign, four knuckles, devil horns hand, four fingers spread, middle finger sideways, four knuckles plus thumb extended, two fists together, thumbs of parallel arms, or two spread hands together.
You can use this technique with any combination of focal lengths and formats you like. For instance, if you have a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, you'd find poses for 24, 70, and 200mm, and if you use those lenses on APS-C and full-frame bodies, you need a set of poses for each format.
It doesn't matter how far away the subject is since you are working with angles, just comparing the angle subtended by the subject with angles subtended by your hands in various poses.
I use it all the time. Don't be surprised if you make some new friends while you're out practicing.
May 21, 2015
May 20, 2015
May 19, 2015
May 19, 2015
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.