Compression is Real

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: Of course I have

Mike CH wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

Mike CH wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

stevedavidsonphotography wrote:

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.

True, but... Foreground and background change the same in size when you zoom. As long as you remain in place, that is.

Go out and try it out.

So many people refer to old articles they’ve read, things they’ve heard or learned back when. It reminds me of “science” in the dark ages where people would rather interpret yet again what some old Greek has written thousand years ago instead of performing an experiment.

So, go out and try it out, instead.

How about you?

Of course I have.

In my previous post I suggested, "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."

Not if I am standing in the same place, I won’t. And I didn’t, in my experiments.

They don't have to be those exact focal lengths, of course, but have you tried something similar and not seen a difference in how the images look?

Correct. As long as I am standing in the same place, and shooting in the same direction, the common parts - there were they overlap - of the images look exactly the same.

And I never think in terms of just the common parts, but of the overall effect of everything in the picture.  Do the size and distance of all the objects in the scene look much as they did to my eyes, or don't they?  To my eyes, things only look reasonably normal when I use a lens in the normal focal length range.

A fun thread, but it will likely be filled up before I get back home.

It’s first when I start moving around that they start to look distinctly different.

Even so, haven't you looked at a photography exhibit or the challenges here at DPReview and not occasionally been able to say to yourself, "That must have been taken with a wideangle lens," or "I can sure see the compression effect in that photo"?

Of course I have. But my thoughts first go in the direction of “that was too close” or “that was too far away”.

E.g. with many selfies or P&S portraits I can’t immediately tell what focal length was used, but I can tell - because of the big nose, and the small ears - that it was taken far too close for my taste. I have also told people that didn’t like the big nose/small ears that they should try standing a bit further away.

And, lo and behold, what happened? Smaller nose/larger ears. Without any kind of lens or focal length change 😜

And of course I can see what you call “compression” - that change in perspective is very real - I just never attribute it to the focal length, and I am more likely to call it a pleasing perspective 😉

Regards, Mike

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I hardly ever speak for anybody but myself. In the cases where I do mean to speak generally the statements are likely to be marked as such.

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