What focal length for the most realistic pictures?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Trollmannx Veteran Member • Posts: 5,947
Re: What focal length for the most realistic pictures?

Magnar W wrote:

Color is often described and discussed in terms of “good” and “bad”, or lifelike or not. “True color” might be a reasonable goal for some kind of work, like reproduction of artwork or color of products like clothes, makeup and furniture and other products that are advertised. But for most photography, descriptive as well as expressive, the pictures are independent objects that are viewed and interpreted without a direct connection to the scene than was photographed. In photography, color is mainly used to trigger emotions, more than judged against what was the “real” hue or tint. Just look at how people pump up saturation and add yellow to sunset scenes, or reduce saturation or add blue to pictures that are mainly intended to affect emotions.

With this in mind: What is the best focal length to record the “true” or “real” outer world?

The photographic image is a two dimensional projection, usually framed, of a part of the physical world. Any lens can be used to project that image. The projected image will never be a "real" representation of the external world.

Ealy on:

In the 1880s or so there were a few photographers capturing "true" images of reality (the world outside consiousness) using cameras without lenses.

How "true" these images were is an open question. The images showed something but most would probably see the results as art or nonsense. Still find this approach worth a second thought if wanting to ponder what a photograph actually is on a deeper level...

Now:

So maybe no lens is what is needed for truly "true" images of the external world.

Taking this one step futher the pinhole camera records light from the puter world travelling in straight lines to the image sensor (no refraction or reflection involved). So maybe a pinhole is what us needed for truly "true" images of the external world.

Or maybe photograms are actually the more "true" images?

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