Compression is Real

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Pixel Pooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,920
Re: Compression is Real
1

kiwi2 wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

JackM wrote:

Sure, semantically, one lens "has" no more compression than any another. But a longer focal length will force you to position yourself further away from your subject, and you will get more compression.

My lenses don't force me to do anything. A longer focal length gives me a narrower field of view, that's all.

Choosing a focal length and deciding where to stand are two separate decisions, and only one of them affects compression.

If I take off my glasses when I put on a hat, can I blame the hat for my vision going blurry?

If You want to maintain the same subject size in the frame, then different focal lengths will require a change in distance.

Yes, and it is that change in distance that affects the "compression". You can't change compression without changing distance, but you can change it without changing focal length.

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: Longer lens *or* cropping

kiwi2 wrote:

Donald B wrote:

FingerPainter wrote:

Donald B wrote:

Mike CH wrote:

kiwi2 wrote:

You need the longer 400mm focal length for it to work.

Or you crop. The effect on the so-called “compression” is identical. You loose resolution, yes, but the ‘“compression” is identical.

...

Cant remember. Does the dof stay the same as well ?

If you crop, the DOF gets shallower. That's because to get the same size print from the cropped image you have to enlarge more, and thus blur circles that were just barely small enough to be indistinguishable from points on the print from the uncropped image have been enlarged so they are now distinguishable from points.

Thanks.

Don

He's wrong though. He is talking about something different.

A 400mm f/4 lens will have a shallower DoF than a 100mm f/4 shot that has been cropped.

As can be seen here between a 27mm f/1.8 and a 125mm f/1.8 shot...

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61191649

I know, i did my own test. The background blurr was way smoother

Don

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: Compression is Real

kiwi2 wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

JackM wrote:

Sure, semantically, one lens "has" no more compression than any another. But a longer focal length will force you to position yourself further away from your subject, and you will get more compression.

My lenses don't force me to do anything. A longer focal length gives me a narrower field of view, that's all.

Choosing a focal length and deciding where to stand are two separate decisions, and only one of them affects compression.

If I take off my glasses when I put on a hat, can I blame the hat for my vision going blurry?

If You want to maintain the same subject size in the frame, then different focal lengths will require a change in distance.

As demonstrated here when going to shorter focal lengths and wanting to keep the model the same size in the frame...

https://youtu.be/7Fzh9eQDhL4

Not if you half the sensor size in camera 2x digital telly:-) you can stand in the same position, dont you love technology.

Don

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 54,589
Re: Compression is Real
2

JackM wrote:

100mm

164mm

271mm

312mm

400mm

Any questions?

I cannot believe such a simple experiment, a Photography 1A lesson,  got so many comments and response. Yes, indeed your perspective view changes as you change positions and distant objects will appear compressed as you move further away from them.

Also I remember that lesson in Descriptive Geometry when we were learning Perspective Drawings.  Ah, that was a long time ago.

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jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,987
Re: no cropping or stitching

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

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:

There's a saying "correlation isn't causation" and that applies to your quotation below.

"A telephoto lens, for example, renders distant objects larger in the frame,

True.

and has the effect of compressing the apparent spatial relationship between objects.

True. But these are two separate things that a telephoto lens does; it isn't the fact that things look larger that explains why perspective appears compressed.

A wide angle does precisely the opposite; in squeezing more content into the image, objects appear smaller and more distant.

This is more problematic - it suggests that everything in the frame looks more distant when, in fact, things in the foreground don't. What really happens is that the apparent difference in size of foreground and distant objects is what causes the apparent false perspective.

[Edit] And it's the fact that the telephoto lens cuts out the foreground objects (which would appear huge) that causes their apparent false perspective.

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."

I have no problem with the quotation as a pragmatic guide to the visual effects of various lenses; but it shouldn't be taken as an explanation of those effects.

I can't disagree with anything you wrote. Regarding the problematic statement about the wide angle lens from Andy Westlake's article, I agree and think that Tamron's description covers the ground a little better.

I saw that post and thought the Tamron article had so much wrong with it that I'd just pass it by. But as you raise it again here I'll comment. I've pasted it here from your other post.

"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.

Magnification is the ratio of the size of the image on the sensor to the actual size of the subject; 1:1 is full size, the usual definition of what macro lenses give. Macro lenses come in all focal lengths; relating magnification to FL is nonsense - but see * below.

The full angle of view of human vision is over 180 degrees horizontally and about half that vertically. The horizontal and vertical AOV of a lens whose diagonal equals FL are about 45 and 30 degrees - a fraction of the human AOV.

Focal lengths numerically lower than normal will render negative magnification,

* This shows that the terminology is garbled. What it seems to be saying is that whatever the actual magnification of a normal lens is, a longer FL will give more than that while a shorter FL will give less.

resulting in wider angles-of-view (wide angle), while those numerically greater than normal render positive magnification, producing narrower angles-of-view (telephoto.)."

So while the above is true it has nothing to do with perspective.

"A photographic lens provides a visual effect, making closely located subjects larger while remotely located subjects smaller.

This is back to front. Things nearer the viewer look bigger than equal things further away. That's a natural visual effect and is what we call perspective. Lenses don't provide that effect, they merely project it onto the film or sensor.

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).

This is fundamentally wrong, as explained many times in this thread. The focal length itself has no effect whatsoever on perspective. The only thing that affects perspective is the viewpoint. Different FLs offer different AOVs and that allows the photographer to change the viewpoint. But it's the viewpoint that controls perspective, not the FL that allows the photographer to choose the viewpoint.

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)."

Ditto.

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

It isn't so considered by anyone who understands what perspective is. As long as the camera is just in front of the eye than every FL provides the same perspective as that eye.

Using lenses of different FLs can give photographs whose apparent perspective differs from the actual perspective from that viewpoint; and longer FLs often yield apparent compression of perspective while shorter FLs often yield apparent exaggeration of perspective. I'm not disputing this as a fact.

I appreciate your detailed post, but it will come as no surprise to you (given our past exchanges) that I'm not really understanding what you're getting at. If the preceding paragraph is true, then I don't see how it can also be true that "The focal length itself has no effect whatsoever on perspective" (from your paragraph just above "Ditto"). I appreciate your stressing the word apparent, but I thought that was what Tamron was saying, too, in talking about lenses providing a "visual effect" and how long lenses "make it appear as if" distant things are nearer.

What I am saying is that the article you quote is completely wrong as an explanation of the fact. Anyone who understands the true explanation can see what the article is trying to get at; it's just unfortunate that it bungles the attempt.

Perhaps some day I will understand the true explanation. Next chance I get, I'll spend some happy hours at the library reading every photography book they've got that covers this subject. I've done that before but don't recall finding anything substantially different from Tamron's explanation. I could just be misremembering, or possibly I'll see something different when re-reading these books and looking more closely for differences. As it stands, I'm at least content to know that my use of normal focal length lenses gives my pictures the apparent perspective that I prefer.

stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,829
Re: Pespective
1

sybersitizen wrote:

Brian_Flex wrote:

Here's a similar test we did, but only the focal length changed. These are just screen grabs.

That's one of thousands of examples showing that perspective does not change if the point of view remains the same - some of the same demonstrations have already been shown in this thread.

The only things that have changed as a result of using three different lenses from the same point of view are: magnification, framing, and depth of field. By cropping to maintain the same composition, we see that the perspective (and its associated visual effect of compression) remains unchanged:

Perspective and compression can only be changed by changing the physical relationship between the camera and the subject.

This entire thread is about people who cannot agree on definitions of terms - nothing else.

Is that what this thread is about? Or is it about some OP trying to make an inane comment to see what happens?

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,829
Re: Compression is Real
1

JackM wrote:

Any questions?

Yes. Who said it's not real?

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jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,987
Re: Compression is Real

stevo23 wrote:

JackM wrote:

Any questions?

Yes. Who said it's not real?

My assumption is that it was the article linked to below:

https://www.dpreview.com/videos/7518158804/video-there-s-no-such-thing-as-lens-compression-its-just-perspective-distortion#comments

Tourlou Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Re: Compression is Real

No one said it's not observable.  There was a video published explaining the perspective effects associated with relative subject distance with a different terminology.  The guy demonstrated that compression is independent of focal length, which is totally the case.  The only difference you have between a crop of a wide angle picture and a picture taken with a telephoto lens,  taken from the same position, is the resolution...  and DOF of course.

kiwi2
kiwi2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,929
Re: Compression is Real
1

Pixel Pooper wrote:

kiwi2 wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

JackM wrote:

Sure, semantically, one lens "has" no more compression than any another. But a longer focal length will force you to position yourself further away from your subject, and you will get more compression.

My lenses don't force me to do anything. A longer focal length gives me a narrower field of view, that's all.

Choosing a focal length and deciding where to stand are two separate decisions, and only one of them affects compression.

If I take off my glasses when I put on a hat, can I blame the hat for my vision going blurry?

If You want to maintain the same subject size in the frame, then different focal lengths will require a change in distance.

Yes, and it is that change in distance that affects the "compression". You can't change compression without changing distance, but you can change it without changing focal length.

Not if you want to maintain the subject over the same area of the frame though.

It will require changing distance and focal length, as the OP's photos demonstrate.

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jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,987
Re: A great alternative to ISO and Exposure posts ;)
1

The Sage Knows wrote:

It was starting to get a little old arguing about where ISO causes noise or whether ISO causes the camera to choose settings for less exposure, thus causing noise or whether there was no difference between which comes first.

Same plot. Different characters.

We can still be entertained

Threads on perspective were fairly common a few years ago, and yes, they're just as entertaining as threads about the meaning of exposure, equivalent apertures, and high ISO noise.

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