Welcome back to our humble blog. I wanted to give you a quick, hopefully informative snippet as to why you might choose one focal length over another, and why.
The idea for this blog came about when I was asked recently “Why don’t you just zoom-out to get the person in the frame?”. This is a very good question and I felt it needed a mini demonstration to really help answer it. All one needs to conduct this experiment is the following:
The experiment is simple; frame your subject (Marc) the same each time and take a picture at different focal lengths. I chose four focal lengths along the barrel of the lens to best demonstrate. With this, we had the ever-helpful Terry to hand with a camera to capture the experiment from the third person perspective.
Hopefully what you will notice is that the wider the angle, (18mm) the more clutter there is in the image whereas at the 135mm setting, pretty much all clutter has ‘disappeared’.
Why does this happen?
Without going into huge mathematical detail (that I don’t even fully understand) it is because wide angle shots will achieve a larger angle of view and long zooms won’t. This is how much ‘fits’ into the shot – peripheral vision if you like.
As a rule of thumb, wider angle lenses work great for landscape photography and indoors (where you don’t have a lot of room to manoeuvre) as they can fit more in. Wider angles, however, are not great for portrait shots as they will pull the centre of the frame forwards creating distortion in perspective – example image below.
Longer zooms on the other hand work great for de-cluttering a frame to create stunning portraits. This is because the angle of view is smaller, and more importantly, they have a compressing effect. In essence, a long zoom pulls the background closer to the foreground and can give a more natural, slim looking head shape whilst also helping aid the bokeh effect – increasing the focal length of a lens decreases the depth of field.
Here are two example shots I took that hopefully help demonstrate the difference:
The first image (135mm) shows Marc’s head in proper perspective. The second shot (18mm) however shows the nose being ‘pulled’ forward towards the lens and his head being turned into a rugby ball! You will also notice there is more of Marc’s surroundings in the wider angle shot – this diverts some attention away from his face, which, in a portrait shot we don’t want to do.
I hope this little blog gets you thinking more about which focal length to use rather than just zooming in and out for convenience.
Having a zoom lens is incredibly helpful at times, but it would best to think of your zoom lens as a series of prime lenses. Most photographers, if not all, use specific focal lengths for specific purposes; this is due to the individual optical effects each focal length provides. It really does make a difference to the end result – as (hopefully) shown above ;-)
If you can, please go and try this yourself to get a real feel for it. It will help with your own understanding as to what focal length you might want to use, and for which subjects.
DaleBLOG: What focal length should I use and why? Welcome back to our humble blog. I wanted to give you a quick, hopefully informative snippet as to why you might choose one focal length over another, and why.
We recently held a small internal training course for the Fujifilm UK team and we asked professional photographer Paul Sanders to join us and help teach us more about landscape photography. After spending some time with Paul and listening to him talking about his work and his thought process in regards to photography, it became apparent that Paul had a very interesting story that I’d love to…
Photokina, the world’s biggest imaging exhibition, is going to feature some of photography’s biggest names thanks to Fujifilm.
The show takes place in Cologne from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st September 2014 and we’ve lined up 23 Fujifilm X-Photographers from across the globe to talk or demo on our stand about a wide range of photography subjects.
Here’s a sneak peak at just three of the photographers that will be presenting at Photokina this year. The rest will be announced on our Fujifilm-X Photokina 2014 website on the 23rd August 2014.
David will be discussing his recent switch from DSLR to CSC thanks to the Fujifilm X-T1
Back in March of this year, he discovered the Fujifilm X-T1. At the time he thought it would prove to be a capable casual camera, one he could use when he wasn’t lugging around his DSLR and a large bag of lenses, but he didn’t think I’d be using it for anything serious.
Six months later, having explored his preconceptions in a lot more detail, he now struggles to come up with a reason to take my DSLR out of its bag as the X-T1 and Fujifilm system not only deliver the performance and quality he needs for his work, they provide a range of additional benefits he hadn’t anticipated. In this talk he’ll explore these strengths and benefits in more detail.
Only as recently as November 2009, Alex picked up a camera… Never one for taking things slowly, only mere months into this new obsession, he was already exhibiting a selection from his documentary work ‘Almost Famous’ at a Mayfair Gallery. More recently Alex’s images headlined the well attended ‘Feeling Good’ exhibition for the David Lynch Foundation at Getty Images Gallery in London during Art Month of October 2013, whilst simultaneously 2 other shoots were showing in New York galleries.
Alex has become recognised for his ‘Quirky, often Edgy’ Children’s campaigns, and incorporating a ‘raw / street / documentary’ style to his fashion editorials. He will be talking about how he combines inspiration drawn from the masters of past and present and his passion for the genres of social documentary, specifically focussing on ‘the human condition’.
Zack will be talking about how he works with Fujifilm gear.
Full details will be announced on the 23rd August and you will be able to find all the information about the show plus get notified when the full line-up is announced by visiting our Fujifilm Photokina 2014 special website.
You can also visit the official Photokina website here
Hope to see you there!Big names lined up for Photokina 2014 Photokina, the world’s biggest imaging exhibition, is going to feature some of photography’s biggest names thanks to Fujifilm.
It’s that time again. A new Fujifilm X Magazine issue is ready to your reading and viewing pleasure.
Interview with Merhdad Samak-Abedi
This issue features an interview with pro photographer Merhdad Samak-Adebi who travels the world as part of his job (working for a German airline) and therefore is lucky enough to get the opportunity to shoot his passion – landscape photography.
Take a walk around Varese, near Milan
This issue’s “X Marks The Spot” features some fantastic street photography by Italian photographer Emanuele Toscano in and around Varese, Italy.
Issue 6 also contains the other usual features; “What to Shoot Now” provides you with inspiration on what subjects to shoot during the summer holiday months, “Get more from your X series” takes a look at bracketing functions that feature on most Fujifilm X cameras and the “Exhibition” shows a fantastic array of colourful images, plus the stories behind them, shot by our readers.
And finally, you could win a fantastic XQ1 underwater kit in our competition. For a chance to win, send us your best holiday shot. More details in the magazine itself!Fujifilm X Magazine issue 6 is now available for your reading pleasure It’s that time again. A new Fujifilm X Magazine issue is ready to your reading and viewing pleasure.
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