What focal length for the most realistic pictures?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,827
Re: What focal length for the most realistic pictures?

Rol Lei Nut wrote:

That gets complicated...

From a mathematical perspective POV, the FL which most closely approximates the "normal" viewing distance of a subject.

From a subjective "psycho-optical" POV, the FL which most closely reproduces the way we see something. For medium and short distances, that could often mean a UWA, since our eyes are often moving around, taking in a scene with a UWA FOV. For something we're concentrated on or are observing, a tele/short tele might give the idea better. And so on for different situations.

IMO, there is no best FL for realistic pictures until "reality" is defined...

I was going to say that - but you said it better.

Those extreme wide-angle shots of close rocks in lakes are like lying on the ground. Tele shots of the moon on the horizon are like paying attention to something at the centre of your vision.

Also we don't pay attention just straight in front, so our head may point in a different direction to the one we are moving.

The structure of the scene is important to how we look at the image and what that communicates about the vision of the photographer. For example moving a strong focal point inwards from the left increases the sense of tranquility.

Andrew

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