Compression is Real

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,808
Re: no cropping or stitching
1

stevedavidsonphotography wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

stevedavidsonphotography wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

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."

When you stand in the same spot and zoom in and out everything in the frame will become equally larger and smaller.

And doesn't that echo what the quoted excerpt says? If you zoom wider than normal, then distant things in the scene look smaller and farther away; if you zoom longer than normal, those distant things look bigger and closer than normal. Tamron had some interesting things to say about normal, wideangle, and telephoto lenses, too, though I can no longer find a working link to the article these excerpts came from:

"A focal length approximating the diagonal dimension of the camera’s image plane will render an angle-of-view with negligible magnification—similar to normal human vision. Focal lengths numerically lower than normal will render negative magnification, resulting in wider angles-of-view (wide angle), while those numerically greater than normal render positive magnification, producing narrower angles-of-view (telephoto.)."

"A photographic lens provides a visual effect, making closely located subjects larger while remotely located subjects smaller. As the focal length becomes shorter in a wideangle lens, this perspective difference expands making closely located subjects even bigger and remotely located ones even smaller (exaggerated perspective). In contrast, in a telephoto lens, as focal lengths become longer, less difference is observed between close and distant subjects, making it appear as if they are closer regardless of the distance between them (compressed perspective)."

"Generally speaking, a focal length range that provides a similar perspective to the human eye is considered to be somewhere between 40-60mm."

That last quote referred to pictures made on the 24 X 36mm format. If you take a variety of shots of normal scenes (that is, those with both near and distant items included; not, for example, a brick wall or reproduction of a flat painting) with 24, 50, and 105mm equivalent focal lengths, I think you will clearly see the exaggerated perspective of the 24, the compressed perspective of the 105, and the normal perspective of the 50mm. If not, well, I still see it myself, and so I choose my focal lengths accordingly.

It is an optical illusion.

With both eyes open when zooming out objects that get smaller appear to be getting farther away.

An optical illusion, yes--the items in the real world do not change their size or distance from each other no matter where we stand or what focal length we use.  That's why the quote above uses phrases like "visual effect" and "making it appear as if."  I use a normal lens because it helps make the size and distance of objects in the scene appear in my pictures much as they did to my eyes when I was there taking the shot.  I don't get that effect when using wideangle or telephoto focal lengths.

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