Distortion based on Focal Length or FOV??

Started Mar 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
fotowbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,918
Re: 21mm for people shots?

zilver wrote:

Thank you all for the explanation, this is indeed a complicated topic, especially the terminology which I believe is often used interchangeably (mistaken or otherwise, myself included).

But anyway, I learned something new from your answers because it's so common that portrait lens must be longer length, I had assumed for a long time that's the focal length characteristic rather than the closeness of the subject to the lens.

One of the lens I'm going to use on an upcoming trip is a 21mm (14mm APSC Fuji), so does that mean the lens can be used to take people shots without making them distorted or 'fatter' as long as the subjects are not near the lens or the edge of the frame?

Basically yes, and if you don't tilt the camera too much your should be fine.

The rectilinear perspective distortion of wide lenses actually begins as soon as move away from the center so the closer you place them to the center the better.  The brain just doesn't notice it happening compared to the edge of the frame where it is worst. When you have people (or objects which you know the shape of) near the edge of your wide angle shot that is when rectilinear perspective distortion rears its ugly head.  

  • John
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