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Thread: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

  1. #1

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    Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Greetings.

    I have lenses in the focal lengths 90mm (Ilex), 150mm (Symmar S), and 203 (Kodak Ektar 7.7). There is, of course, a substantial difference in perspective (i.e., angle of view) between these three lenses. I recently obtained a Fujinon 250mm f6.3, as I wanted something substantially longer than 203mm, as well. Upon comparison, the 203 and 250 are very similiar in perspective. Since I actually like the Fujinon better as it is a bit longer , it would make sense to forego the Kodak and attempt to fill the gap between the 150mm and 250 with something approximately in between. Are those among you who are familiar with a 180mm feel this will fit the bill, or is this focal length too close to 150mm to really affect a change? Thanks.

    Duane
    www.modelmayhem.com > Duane Polcou (blatant self promo)

  2. #2

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Only you can decide. $$$

    If you allow for 25% cropping, there is little difference between a 150 and a 180.

    Similarly, there is little difference between a 180 and 200, if you allow for a little cropping.

    Same with a 300 and a 360... etc.

  3. #3

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    I have a 150mm then a 240mm - unless you have a specialty lens in mind (e.g. a macro or portrait lens) I think you'll find (at least for landscapes) that bridging the 150/240 gap is hard to justify. On occasion I've wished for a 180mm, so I used the 150mm and cropped. In addition to Ken's $$$, there is kgs.

  4. #4

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Only you can determine what spacing between focal lengths is appropriate for the subjects you shoot.

    Personally I find that a focal length multiple of about 1.4 works well for me. I have 110, 150, 210, 300. Enough choices to suit many different subjects, but not so many that the bank is broken and I have a bigger load to carry.

    I would find 180 and 240 a bit close, at a multiple of 1.33, but I'm sure that for many it would be fine. The same for 90 and 120, at a 1.33 multiple. It really comes down to personal preference.

  5. #5
    Photographer, Machinist, etc. Jeffrey Sipress's Avatar
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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in perspective between those lenses, or any other lenses, for that matter. Perspective is a function of camera-to-subject distance only. Different focal lengths only give you a different angle of view. Your statement reflects one of the most widepread misconceptions in photography.

  6. #6

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    "...difference in perspective (i.e., angle of view)..."

    What Jeffrey said.

    We often think that a long lens gives a "flattened" effect, and a short lens gives exaggerated sense of near/far. In fact, it is the distance that does that:

    • We get the flattened effect, when we stand far away, and then choose a long lens - with its narrow angle of view - to fill the frame.


    • Similarly, we get the exaggerated near/far effect, when we move in close, and then choose a short lens - with its wide angle of view - to fill the frame appropriately.


    While your terminology may off, we all understand your question: How many lenses does one need, to adapt to the typical variety of circumstances ?

    It's a matter of taste. Even if you space your lenses according to some ideal formula, you might find in practice, that one length works best for the way you see - and it might not even fit into that formula. As the old saying goes: "Man was not made for the Sabbath: the Sabbath was made for Man."

    The real problem here is in trying to get it right the first time. If you allow yourself some freedom to have fun and experiment, your real problem will be over - and all that will be left, is creativity.

  7. #7
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Like Ron, I like an equal spacing (as a factor) between focal lengths, for me it is also 1.4 (square root of 2). In your case, the factor between 90 and 150mm is 1.67. The next step is then 250mm (150*1.67), so the 203 is not a necessity. From 250, the next would be 420 (or 400)mm.

  8. #8

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    I use 90, 150, 240, 420 for a 1.6-and-a-bit ratio. I have other lenses (120, 210, 360), and do use them from time to time, but not if I'm having to carry them anywhere. Cropping fills the gaps well enough for me.

  9. #9
    Confidently Agnostic!
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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Sipress View Post
    There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in perspective between those lenses, or any other lenses, for that matter. Perspective is a function of camera-to-subject distance only. Different focal lengths only give you a different angle of view. Your statement reflects one of the most widepread misconceptions in photography.
    You're absolutely right, but it's convenient to think in terms of framing something (e.g. a building) within the confines of your film, and in that respect thinking of wide angles as giving a wide angle perspective (even if it's in reality a result of being 3 feet away from the building) and longer lenses as giving compressed perspective (because you have to move back) is perfectly legitimate.

    I mean you are right, and it's good for a novice to know this, but... wide angles give a distorted wide angle perspective and long lenses give compressed perspecitve

  10. #10

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    Re: Perspective of 150mm, 180mm, 203mm, 250mm.

    Perspective is affected by focal length in the following way.

    In general (except when getting very close to inspect detail), most people find they are comfortable if they view a print from a distance about equal to the diagonal of the print. That is the rationale for choosing the diagonal of the format to be the "normal" focal length. If you use a lens which is either shorter or longer than the normal focal length, but you still view it from that same distance, as you are likely to do, your eye won't be in the same position relative to the print that the lens was relative to the scene. If the focal length is well short of the normal focal length, you will get what is usually called wide angle distortion. For example, spherical objects at the edges of the scene will appear ellipsoidal. If you move your eye closer, so its relative position corresponds to the focal length of the lens, then the normal perspective will be restored. Similarly, if the focal length is too long, the result will be an apparent flattening of perspective, but that effect will be lessened if you get proportionately further away.

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