wide, standard and tele

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by stark_674, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Hi all,

    I am writing for some simple questions:

    1. WHEN, in which situation you shot with wide, standard and tele lens?
    2. Which are your favourites focal lenghts (24x36 and/or Medium Format) and why?

    I am starting to purchase some lenses and I am curious on how to use different focal lenght...
    Thanks
     
  2. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    Unless you have something specialised to do such as macro or nature photography a 28mm, 50mm and 85mm will serve you well.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    There isn't a set formula for when one might use a wide angle vs a normal lens, vs a telephoto. It depends on the compostion you would like to make, and how much, or how little of the scene you want to show in the frame. Conversely it may also be helpful to think in terms of the image size you would like. Short focal length lenses (wide angles) make smaller images, longer FL lenses make bigger images.

    In various contexts, there are also other considerations, for example, in studio work when photographing objects, it is helpful if the camera is not too close to the subject, so that you can move around easier to set things up. For this, a longer FL lens is useful so that you fill the frame with the subject from a larger distance.

    For portraits, especially "head and shoulders" shots, short or normal FL lenses accentuate body parts closer to the camera, for example noses. The effect is certainly common enough in advertising and promotional photography, but a longer lens will avoid that and give a perspective that's closer to what your eyes capture.

    It depends on what you like, if you find that you do a lot of cropping when you make prints, then you may find that a longer lens will let you do less cropping and let you use more of the film area. OTH and if you can never get enough of what you'd like to in the shot, then a wide may be the ticket.

    Finally, don't be afraid to move around with your "normal" (or any) lens. Don't just stand in one place and switch lenses until you get what you want (unless you're at the edge of the grand canyon) :wink:.
     
  4. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I tried to do the wide normal and tele but it ended up just being wide and normal. Now i used the wide once because i forced my self and only took it to texas. After i hated all the images. I am a one lens type of shooter and that lens is a normal. I now have a 35mm mf and large format and I use the narmal lens for all of them. I have not yet sold the wide yet just becuse i fell there will be a time that I need it.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    To me the main difference between telephoto,wide angle,and standard lenses besides the wider or narrower angle view they offer is the way they render the foreground of the picture in relation to the background, in that wide angles apparently push the background further away and emphasise the foreground and telephotos have the apposite effect.
     
  6. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Thank you for the moment, this is helpful to understand how to move with lenses.... I started with a normal lenght and a Tele 135mm.... I saw that I used a lot the 50 and rarely the 135... Maybe is quite normal.... But thinking on the background effects, I am sure I can find more occasions for it.
    When I started shooting with a 35 mm I understood that maybe it's MY Focal lenght, I feel me more comfortable with that lens in many occasions...
    Now I am purchasiing a 28 mm and I am sure I would have to find a 85mm... But usually those are lenses not so cheap.... The reality is that I am on a experimental phase... Dangerous for my pocket but so exciting on discover the differences.
    Thanks to all
    Bye
     
  7. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    if you plan to lug them around all day (like i do :sad:) you may develop strange criteria to decide on "favourite" focal lengths... take the 28/2--i love the lens, i hate the focal length. i'd much rather use 24 and 35, but the 28 is half the weight. luckily, this particular 28 has the most pleasing rendering of all wide nikkors... or the 105/1.8--another optical gem in an annoyingly useless focal length. what if my favourite lengths, 85 and 180, weigh three times that much? i end up packing the 105 and getting great frames from it... hey, maybe that's it--favourite focal length is what you shoot you favourite pictures with! if so, 28-50-105 for this humble oinker

    :cool:

    ps. the "when" part is much easier--when it looks like it might look good a bit wider, i use the wide :wink:
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Take a look at this, very simple explanations that are straight forward, and a good visual comparison between the lenses and their effects.

    http://www.photomatters.org/lens-matters

    Ultimately the availability of different lens choices allows the photographer to decide how to portray their subject, the more lenses available to you the more possibilities afforded in those taking situations. Everybody will have a particular feel about what they like in focal lengths. Ask yourself about the application and the goal you are seeking to obtain with your photographs, and the choice of lenses will be obvious. Also be wary about the lust for speed, it'll end up costing you an arm and a leg, and is a hard thing to give up when you have a taste of it.
     
  9. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    I think 28/50/90 is a good recommendation, and what I started with, but I rarely use my 90, because I do like to get in close. Still, it's good to have.

    In general, a wide angle makes the picture look more like you are involved with the subject, surrounded by the picture and the subject, and really present in the situation. Wides tend to show background, both because their depth of focus is greater and because they take in a proportionally wider sweep of the background that can't be ignored in the picture, and so it needs to be somehow used as part of the picture. They exaggerate space and make a more exciting, but also more complex, picture:

    21mm:
    [​IMG]
    Bootjack Equestrians by Michael Darnton, on Flickr

    28mm:
    [​IMG]
    Art Institute by Michael Darnton, on Flickr

    Longer lenses feel like you are standing at a distance, uninvolved and watching. They can also be used isolate the subject by throwing the surroundings out of focus. If you're concerned about the environment of a picture, use a wide; for isolating details, a longer lens. They're often used for portraits, to isolate the face:

    85mm:
    [​IMG]
    Russell by Michael Darnton, on Flickr

    The normal lens, the 50, stands in the middle, neutral to some extent, though it tends more towards isolating than encompassing. Think of it as the way you'd normally see, with a bit of surroundings, but still concentration on the central subject.

    50mm:
    [​IMG]
    Liz, at home by Michael Darnton, on Flickr
     
  10. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I personally think a wide angle is the hardest to learn on. Personally, I don't shoot wide nearly as often as normal and a portrait lens. Some people are the other way around. I tend to prefer simpler images with fewer elements. As you can see in Micheal's first image, though, that can be done well with a very wide angle also. In 35mm I shoot only 35, 50 and 100 and it is plenty.
     
  11. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    Yes. That's why I decided to post two wide shots, a simple one and a complex one: a wide can include so much that it can make it difficult to handle it all. Really, a picture should have as little as possible in it--just the important things to make your point. When the lens includes half the world in front of you, that can be difficult to do.
     
  12. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    I shoot mostly landscapes on 6x7 medium format.

    Reckon I use these lenses in order of use for landscapes (all lenses are given as their 35mm equivalent): 35mm, 50mm, 150mm, 28mm. For macro close-up nature patterns etc I use a macro lens. Intereseting as the 28mm is usually seen as the 'landscape photographers' lens but I often find it too wide, I like the perspective of the 35mm a lot better. At first I even had a 24mm lens but sold this as it was way to wide for how I see the world.

    I also use a 617 pano and found the more common 90mm (roughly equivalent to about 28mm) too wide and use a 150mm lens which is equivalent to a wide standard.

    You should try as many different focal lengths from friends cameras etc and see which suits your shooting style best.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    my rule of thumb for a basic kit is:
    1.standard lens=format diagonal
    2.wide for landscape=1/2 standard
    3.long for portraiture=double the standard
     
  14. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    When I used to carry only 3 lenses (when I was using Canon NF1's) I used to carry one of the following 3 outfits:

    14mm f2.8, 35mm f2 and 200mm f2.8 - this was the "in case" outfit, as the 14mm was what you would call a real wide (and rectilinear so no distortion), 35mm because you could shoot pretty much anything with it, and the difference between 14mm and 35mm was staggering, and 200mm because it was a big step from 35mm, and f2.8 was a wonderful aperture to shoot at.

    24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 (old FD) and 100mm f2 - 3 lenses that you could easily shoot a wedding with...

    and then there was the "motorsport outfit" - 300mm f2.8 (my "standard lens for sport"), 200 f2.8 (for when the 300 was a bit too long), and a 24mm or 35mm for wide shots....

    Now days if I shoot film it's with an EOS so I use my 17-40L, 28-70L and either 70-200L or 100-400L (depending on whether I know what I'll be shooting or not).....

    My honest opinion is to use whatever lenses work for you....
     
  15. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Thanks a lot for the useful link.....
     
  16. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Tahnks

    Only a few af raws wirtten in this way can give to me a BIG step forward on enjoying Photography... Thanks to all again.......
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    1. Use the lens which lets you compose the way you want to. Some choose the lens to crop the subject, others to change the perpective.
    2. 35mm: 20mm or 21mm, 28mm, 50mm or 58mm, 200mm or higher. I have a 20mm to 35mm Nikon Zoom, 28mm to 200mm Nikon Zoom, and a 28mm to 300mm Zoom. For MF 38mm, 50mm, 80mm, 150mm and 250mm.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with you Ralph, this is a very good strategy that gets the best "bang for you're buck " in avoiding spending money on lenses that that don't produce a significantly different visual result from each other, but bearing in mind that a few m/m in focal length of a wide angle lens is much more apparent in the resultant picture than in a telephoto one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012