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Author Topic: when is wide too wide?  (Read 53239 times)
jjj
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« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2013, 11:54:02 AM »
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I think we're talking about apples and grapefruit here.  There's stitching, there's cropping and there's wide-angle or telephoto lenses.  While one can use a telephoto lens to make a series of images and get a similar field of view (and much higher resolution) than a single image with a wide angle lens, it won't be the same shot as it won't have the same distortions, the way wide angle tends to push everything away and the way telephoto lenses tend to magnify and flatten the foreground/background.
Lens focal length has nothing to do with perspective, it's your position relative to subject that determines that.
Obviously getting a head shot with say a 28mm lens will mean exaggerated perspective of the features. But only because you moved closer to subject than if using an 85mm.
If you stay in same place however and enlarge the wider picture/crop to be the same as the longer lens, then the perspectives will be identical.
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cjogo
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« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2013, 12:56:34 PM »
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A super wide angle became essential for me traveling .  You just can't back up for a shot>>  with all the tourist in your way.   Closer the better.  Of course :: the Biogon formula was just made for shooting > close & wide non- distorted images  Wink
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nemo295
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« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2013, 05:56:04 PM »
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When is wide too wide? When it's too wide for what you're shooting. Sorry, but a catch-all question like that merits a very general answer.

As with shooting anything else, ideally you would use the right lens for the job. Get to know the various focal lengths and what they will give you. Shoot a lot and eventually you'll know what to use for a given scene. End of story.
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NancyP
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« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2013, 04:35:20 PM »
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If everything seems equally important in the photo, then the field of view may be Too Wide - unless that lack of differentiation is the point of the photo. Unless extra thought is put into wide angle composition, landscapes can tend to be a little dull (saving a spectacular sky). I am a newbie and am having to learn how to use an ultra-wide angle lens.
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Rob C
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2013, 10:56:34 AM »
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If everything seems equally important in the photo, then the field of view may be Too Wide - unless that lack of differentiation is the point of the photo. Unless extra thought is put into wide angle composition, landscapes can tend to be a little dull (saving a spectacular sky). I am a newbie and am having to learn how to use an ultra-wide angle lens.


Wait some years; it would seem that no manufacturer other than Leica is capable of making one these days. Zeiss is supposed to be hot there, but I have read disappointments even with a modest 2/35mm.

I have seldom seen an obviously ultra-wide image that I like; many have impressed because of being ultra-wide, but perhaps that's actually a failure. As with the opposite end of the spectrum: I like my 500 Cat because of the doughnuts; others think them a typical failure of design, but for me they were the reason to purchase.

Rob C
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2013, 04:55:35 PM »
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Lens focal length has nothing to do with perspective, it's your position relative to subject that determines that.
Obviously getting a head shot with say a 28mm lens will mean exaggerated perspective of the features. But only because you moved closer to subject than if using an 85mm.
If you stay in same place however and enlarge the wider picture/crop to be the same as the longer lens, then the perspectives will be identical.

Um, the point of view is determined by location which is referred to as the "true" perspective. The focal length, or to be more accurate, the difference between the "correct" viewing distance (based on a ratio of the focal length to format) and the "standard viewing distance (based on a ratio of the format), changes the "apparent" perspective. The "apparent" perspective is real, which is why we have a bias against wide for portraiture--people don't look distorted because we are close to them or further away. They look distorted in photographs because the projection does not match the point of view.

Your crop example is simply showing the apparent perspective is real and changes with the angular projection of the image. And that is really a basic difference--a linear relationship and an angular relationship. The camera position fixes the linear relationships and the focal length setup the angular relationships.
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jjj
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« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2013, 11:24:22 AM »
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Um, the point of view is determined by location which is referred to as the "true" perspective. The focal length, or to be more accurate, the difference between the "correct" viewing distance (based on a ratio of the focal length to format) and the "standard viewing distance (based on a ratio of the format), changes the "apparent" perspective. The "apparent" perspective is real, which is why we have a bias against wide for portraiture--people don't look distorted because we are close to them or further away. They look distorted in photographs because the projection does not match the point of view.

Your crop example is simply showing the apparent perspective is real and changes with the angular projection of the image. And that is really a basic difference--a linear relationship and an angular relationship. The camera position fixes the linear relationships and the focal length setup the angular relationships.
To summarise in English, changing your position, not the lens changes perspective. Exactly as I said.  Tongue

BTW as it happens, I do a lot of people photography and a 16-35mm is my favourite lens.
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muntanela
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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2013, 12:18:31 PM »
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Ultrawides reverse the ontological hierarchy: kill the mountains and magnify small, unsignificant rocks and pools.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2013, 05:32:30 PM »
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Marc, interesting article.

WRT the 'crop in camera' and 'image purity' nonsense related to cropping after the fact, there are plenty of reasons and needs to crop after the fact.  Aspect ratio is a big one.  Being constrained by some artificial film or sensor aspect ratio and thinking that is what one should be forced to use is bollocks.  A few cameras help in that regard by offering different aspect ratios (D800, GH3) but those are few and even then only offer a couple of options.  The idea that cropping is bad is as stupid as the idea that no editing should be done to an image post-capture - film or digital.
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2013, 03:38:30 AM »
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Marc, interesting article.

WRT the 'crop in camera' and 'image purity' nonsense related to cropping after the fact, there are plenty of reasons and needs to crop after the fact.  Aspect ratio is a big one.  Being constrained by some artificial film or sensor aspect ratio and thinking that is what one should be forced to use is bollocks.   A few cameras help in that regard by offering different aspect ratios (D800, GH3) but those are few and even then only offer a couple of options.  The idea that cropping is bad is as stupid as the idea that no editing should be done to an image post-capture - film or digital.


The way you put it makes sense, but in doing so you miss/avoid the rationale behind the dictum: in the world of 135 format, as you start with a tiny amount of real estate, you are pretty much obliged to maximize its use at capture. Doing otherwise does you no favours. That's all it's about. That's also why 6x6 made such sense: with that format you could gather the most relevant, possibly valuable visual information around your subject and later crop to suit editorial purpose that often varied for the same shot.

So whilst nobody really believes that cropping, per se, is a sin, the concept behind it is very real and based on common experience of what was probably the most-used format in photography.

With 135 you did best for yourself composing as per viewfinder (hence the value of Nikon's 100% coverage) where the job allowed. If it didn't you were better off using other formats, which is why we all owned different formats.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2013, 04:30:50 AM »
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I'm continually amazed at the confusion on this issue. Even Slobodan, who usually seems to be quite a perceptive sort of chap, appears to be confused on this issue of perspective.

Theguywitha645d gives a clue as to what's going on here, by creating a distinction between 'real' perspective and 'apparent' perspective. I'd go further and claim that everything about a photographic image is 'apparent', as opposed to real.

So, when talking about perspective, one should be clear as to the perspective of what, precisely, one is referring to; the perspective in the real scene as viewed by the unaided human eye; or the perspective in the representation of that real scene in a photographic image, with all the variables and characteristics of DoF, FoV, and resolution limitations etc?

Now it's clear that the perspective in the real scene, as viewed by the naked eye, changes only with changes in the position of the viewer, and/or with the movement of objects within the scene.
Such perspective in the real scene is not influenced one whit by the type of camera or lens one uses, just as it's not influenced by the style of shirt one happens to be wearing, or what one ate for breakfast that morning.

However, the perspective as displayed in the photographic print can be influenced by many factors, including the focal length of lens used, the degree of cropping by the camera's sensor, the degree of further cropping in post-processing, the size of print made, and the viewing distance to that print.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2013, 06:24:52 AM »
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The way you put it makes sense, but in doing so you miss/avoid the rationale behind the dictum: in the world of 135 format, as you start with a tiny amount of real estate, you are pretty much obliged to maximize its use at capture. Doing otherwise does you no favours. That's all it's about. That's also why 6x6 made such sense: with that format you could gather the most relevant, possibly valuable visual information around your subject and later crop to suit editorial purpose that often varied for the same shot.

So whilst nobody really believes that cropping, per se, is a sin, the concept behind it is very real and based on common experience of what was probably the most-used format in photography.

With 135 you did best for yourself composing as per viewfinder (hence the value of Nikon's 100% coverage) where the job allowed. If it didn't you were better off using other formats, which is why we all owned different formats.

Rob C

I understand the limitations of film size, Rob.  I just don't agree with the idea you're positing.  If you want to crop a smaller film frame you may have other limitations such as the size you can enlarge, but you shouldn't be forced into a specific final image shape or composition just because of the film size.  You work being conscious of all the limitations faced.  Interestingly I very rarely cropped my Mamiya TLR frames.  I love the square format.  But I also like the tightness of the 11x14.  Gotta crop to get that.

Here's another reason for cropping:  Less than 100% FOV viewfinders.  You can often find unwanted detritus creeping in at the edges with such a camera.
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jjj
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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2013, 10:35:32 AM »
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However, the perspective as displayed in the photographic print can be influenced by many factors, including the focal length of lens used, the degree of cropping by the camera's sensor, the degree of further cropping in post-processing, the size of print made, and the viewing distance to that print.
Cropping has zero effect on perspective, nor does print/sensor size or viewing distance and the biggest myth of all, focal length.
All that matters is one's distance from subject - the confusion has arisen because when you are close to subject, you tend to need a wider lens to capture said subject and when you are at a distance you tend to use/need a long lens to capture same subject, so people associate the lens with the change in perspective and not the distance.

Take a full length shot with a telephoto of someone and then increasingly wider lenses from same location. Crop the widest shot to match framing of other shots and there will be no difference in perspective.
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Rob C
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« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2013, 01:16:16 PM »
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Cropping has zero effect on perspective, nor does print/sensor size or viewing distance and the biggest myth of all, focal length.
All that matters is one's distance from subject - the confusion has arisen because when you are close to subject, you tend to need a wider lens to capture said subject and when you are at a distance you tend to use/need a long lens to capture same subject, so people associate the lens with the change in perspective and not the distance.

Take a full length shot with a telephoto of someone and then increasingly wider lenses from same location. Crop the widest shot to match framing of other shots and there will be no difference in perspective.



This is fact: it should settle the discussion once and for all, but I know perfectly well that that's not the objective in some minds: the objective is making a contradictory argument that holds the delusion of a morsel of truth when, in reality, it's bogus.

That's usually the time when a thread's worth abandoning for good.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2013, 01:47:10 AM »
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This is fact: it should settle the discussion once and for all, but I know perfectly well that that's not the objective in some minds: the objective is making a contradictory argument that holds the delusion of a morsel of truth when, in reality, it's bogus.

That's usually the time when a thread's worth abandoning for good.

Rob C

I only accept facts that make sense, Rob. JJJ has made a very categorical statement as follows:
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Cropping has zero effect on perspective, nor does print/sensor size or viewing distance and the biggest myth of all, focal length.

So let's examine this statement from a rational and logical perspective. First, let's take the  phrase, "Cropping has zero effect on perspective".

The question that immediately springs to my mind here is, "The cropping of what precisely has zero effect on the perspective of what precisely?"

I can find numerous examples where cropping really does have zero effect on perspective, just as I can also find numerous examples where cropping has a very clear and obvious effect on perspective. I'll mention a couple.

As I sit at my computer cropping an image that I'm processing, I'm quite certain that the cropping of that image on the monitor has no bearing whatsoever on the perspective of the elements in another photographic print that is hanging on the wall. The two are obviously unrelated.

Okay! That's silly you're probably thinking. Obviously JJJ is referring to the cropping of a specific image taken with a specific lens, and he's referring to the perspective of specific elements in that image.

So let's talk about a specific image and try to imagine how the perspective of elements in that image might change after cropping, in accordance with the following definition of perspective which you may or may not agree with. If you don't agree with this definition, then that could be the cause of the confusion.

The definition I'm using is as follows: "The appearance of objects, buildings, etc, relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance", and I'm applying this definition to  photographic images.

A key concept in this definition is, 'appearance of objects relative to each other'.  Now surely it's not difficult to appreciate the consequences of removing objects within a scene by cropping them out so they no longer exist. Do I have to spell it out?

An object in a photographic scene may appear small and distant relative to another object in the foreground which is larger and therefore appears closer. If one removes the larger object (or objects) in the foreground through cropping, then clearly one has broken a relationship and therefore changed the perspective in at least two ways. (1) One or more of the elements in the image has no perspective at all because it no longer exists. (2) The remaining elements in the image have a changed perspective due to a change in the relationship with other objects in the image that no longer exist.

How anyone could argue with this obvious fact beats me. But I do understand what JJJ and others are trying to say in their muddled way. I believe they are trying to say that the perspective of elements in two images of the same scene with the same FoV, will only be influenced by the position from which the shot was taken. By what process that equality of FoV was achieved is irrelevant to the perspective of the elements in that image. The equality of FoV could have been achieved by using different focal lengths of lenses with different formats of cameras, or it could have been achieved by different degrees of cropping in post-processing, using the same focal length of lens on different formats of cameras.

The main point here is that different focal lengths of lenses may have been required, or different degrees of cropping may have been required to achieve that equal perspective, therefore it is not correct to claim that cropping or focal length has no bearing on perspective.

What is correct to say is that changing position will always affect perspective to some degree, whereas cropping and/or changing focal length of lens may not always change perspective, but sometimes it might.

An example of achieving equal perspective using different focal lengths of lens would be using a 50mm lens on a Canon 7D and an 80mm lens on a Canon 5D2. Provided the shooting position is the same, and provided one does not perform additional and different cropping during post-processing, the perspective will always be the same in the images from both cameras. The image from the 50mm lens on the 7D receives more in-camera cropping than does the image from the 80mm lens on the 5D2, and is therefore said to be equivalent to an 80mm lens on the 5D2. However, a 50mm lens on a 7D is not equivalent to a 14mm lens on a 5D2, and without significant cropping of the 14mm shot in post-processing the 14mm lens will produce an image with a very different perspective, even after correction for volume anamorphosis.

I don't think I can make this much clearer, but if anyone thinks I am presenting a fallacious, bogus or muddled argument, then please point out the flaws in my logic.   Wink
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Ray
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« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2013, 02:15:49 AM »
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Take a full length shot with a telephoto of someone and then increasingly wider lenses from same location. Crop the widest shot to match framing of other shots and there will be no difference in perspective.

Absolutely true, JJJ, provided one is not comparing extremes of wide-angle crops with extremely long telephoto shots. But haven't you defeated your own argument here? Why is it necessary to crop the wider shots to match the framing of the other shots if cropping has no bearing on perspective?
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torger
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« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2013, 05:42:57 AM »
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With wide angles one can create perspective effects and make "exciting" compositions out of simple subjects through the rectilinear stretch effect towards the border of the frame. Stretch out clouds in the sky so it looks more dramatic, or stretch structures in the foreground.

While this is very popular these days, especially among amateur photographers like myself, I don't like it that much. I don't go wider than 24mm (135-equivalent) possibly with some shift, but if I can make the shot with say 35mm I'll generally prefer that. I want the perspective to look natural, ie no stretch effect. The few times I've stitched panoramas of landscape scenes I usually do cylindrical projection as that too will avoid stretching.

It's a matter of taste and style though. Making an image stand out largely thanks to perspective effects I feel is like a cheap trick so I try to make fine images without that.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2013, 06:07:27 AM »
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Ray, you're wrong.  Cropping has zero impact on perspective.  There's a difference between actual perspective and the apparent perspective distortion of a lens.  Actual perspective is a product of distance to subject only.  Focal length or cropping have no impact.
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Ray
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« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2013, 07:37:23 AM »
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Ray, you're wrong.  Cropping has zero impact on perspective.  There's a difference between actual perspective and the apparent perspective distortion of a lens.  Actual perspective is a product of distance to subject only.  Focal length or cropping have no impact.

But can you prove this, Bob? Anyone can repeat a mantra. Merely repeating something without explanation or examples doesn't make it right.

I'm quite certain that the wide-angle shots that I take, result in images which display elements with a different perspective than the same elements in the narrower-angle shots that I take from the same position.

I can also demonstrate that such differences in perspective, as displayed in the wider-angle shots, can be altered through cropping and made the same as in the narrower-angle shots, thus proving that cropping can change the perspective in a photographic print or image.

Perhaps your definition of perspective is different from mine. What's your definition of perspective, Bob?

The one I'm using is the following, which is similar to the definition I've found in all the dictionaries that I've checked.
Quote
"The appearance of objects, buildings, etc, relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance
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jjj
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« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2013, 07:54:18 AM »
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I'm quite certain that the wide-angle shots that I take, result in images which display elements with a different perspective than the same elements in the narrower-angle shots that I take from the same position.
I can also demonstrate that such differences in perspective, as displayed in the wider-angle shots, can be altered through cropping and made the same as in the narrower-angle shots, thus proving that cropping can change the perspective in a photographic print or image.
Can you also demonstrate how Warp Drive works whilst you are at it?

Absolutely true, JJJ, provided one is not comparing extremes of wide-angle crops with extremely long telephoto shots. But haven't you defeated your own argument here? Why is it necessary to crop the wider shots to match the framing of the other shots if cropping has no bearing on perspective?
Duh-uh!! Bangs head on desk repeatedly.
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