Zoom width your lens, feet or head...

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 3,750
Zoom width your lens, feet or head...

Zoom lenses are quite handy and they can be very good.

But, it is often claimed that good primes can be better than good primes and that is probably true, considering the the whole image across the focal length range.

But, at least in my way of shooting I always start this way:

  • Looking for a subject
  • Looking for a good composition
  • Looking for a point of view that implements that composition 
  • Select a lens
  • Decide on things like aperture, shutter speed and focus
  • Take the image

This approach works well with zooms.

But, with primes I often get into a situation where the image just does not fit in the frame. That leaves me with three options:

  • Using a wider lens and crop
  • Move backwards
  • A third alternative, that may be the best one

Using a wider lens and crop works well, but there are some downsides:

  • The image needs to be cropped 
  • Cropping the image wastes a lot of megapixels

Moving back is not very great:

  • It changes perspective
  • Many times it is not possible, just as an example, I cannot walk on water or put my tripod into air.
  • The vantage point I have found is often one that reduces things I don't want to have in the foreground.

So, zooming with my feet may not be practical...

The third alternative is to zoom with the tripod head. Take another image and stitch...

This case I would recall I was shooting with the Distagon 60/3.5. I felt, at that time, that I hade composition I liked, but didn't want to crop out the sky. So, I shot my image, tilted the camera a bit upwards and shot another image. Stitching the two I ended up with the image shown.

This case I was inspired with the dead tree in the foreground that I wanted to frame the background. I was standing on the top of a small ridge, so walking backwards was not an option as I would loose height. But the Distagon 40/4 CF was not wide enough on my P45+ back. So, I made two exposures with some rotation between. To my surprise they stitched very well.

Stitching is not always a solution, but now days it is a part of my toolbox and it is a part that comes absolutely free...
Best regards


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Erik Kaffehr
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