Photographing a Person: A test of focal lengths

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Portrait -v- Landscape Re: Photographing a Person: A test of focal lengths

plevyadophy wrote:

richj20 wrote:

In another thread, I posted photographs of people taken at different focal lengths. I thought it would be useful to do a test with the same person at different focal lengths, so I enlisted the help of my neighbor.

The test wasn't as controlled as I would have liked: he changed is head angle slightly a few times, but I think an overall impression can be gotten.

(I'd like to get a manequin and do a similar test!)

Also, I moved his location when the sun became harsh on the face.

I positioned the tripod to frame approximately a head-shoulders pose, and moved back accordingly as I changed focal lengths from 12mm (a little less than 2 feet from lens to face) to 150mm (about 14 feet from lens to face).

Here they are -- focal lengths in m4/3 format, so double them to get full frame equivalent.

- Richard--
"Careful photographers run their own tests." - Fred Picker

Another interesting experiment would be to compare a shot of your model at EACH focal length with the camera mounted on a tripod in portrait mode and then landscape mode; this would allow one to see whether the orientation of the camera exaggerates or lessens the effects of distortion and what this looks like.

I'll save the time. If you keep the camera at the same distance from the model, it won't change anything but the orientation of the frame. If you rotate to portrait and then move the camera closer so the model's head and shoulders occupy the same proportion of the frame height (along the long dimension as opposed to the short dimension of the frame) the model's features will appear to be slightly more exaggerated. ...because you moved the camera closer, not because you changed the orientation.

Thanks for this and looking forward to your next comparison test along the lines suggested above.

Warmest regards,


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