Compression is Real

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,984
no cropping or stitching

Donald B wrote:

Mike CH wrote:

Donald B wrote:

You have displayed in the images that the background looks closer to the team using longer focal lenghts.

No, he has shown that when he moves backwards and forwards the proportions between foreground and background changes. The lens and its focal length is only responsible for maintaining framing, i.e. size of the foreground subject.

The proof is easy.

In the position where the 400mm shot was taken, also take a 100mm shot. Crop that last shot to the size of the 400mm shot. You will now see that the cropped image show exactly the same "compression" as the 400mm image.

Regards, Mike

Im only commenting on the images posted . And taken ooc not cropped reducing image quality.

I've been reading photography books for 50 years that talk about the exaggerated perspective created by wide angle lenses and the compressed perspective given by telephoto lenses. My experience in taking pictures confirms what those books have said, and, typically wanting my pictures to have a natural perspective, I shoot almost exclusively with a focal length that is "normal" for the film or sensor size I am using. I dismiss any argument that depends on cropping or stitching to refute the apparent perspective distortion created by wide angle and telephoto lenses because by doing so they negate the differences in field of view that is the primary property of choosing different focal lengths.

The article the OP referred to starts out with, "We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading," and perhaps that is true, but I prefer some of the articles they had in the more distant past.  Below is an excerpt from one that was primarily discussing what a normal, or standard, lens is, and explains why I prefer using a normal focal length for most of my shots:

"A telephoto lens, for example, renders distant objects larger in the frame, and has the effect of compressing the apparent spatial relationship between objects. A wideangle does precisely the opposite; in squeezing more content into the image, objects appear smaller and more distant. It's in the happy medium between these two extremes that the standard lens lies; the apparent sizes and spatial relationships between image elements appear natural, and much as they did in real life."

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