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Focal lengths for model photography

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Focal lengths for model photography
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, December 14, 2013 9:57 AM

I have noticed some discussion of focal lengths in other threads, and thought I'd start a new thread on it rather than comment in the other thread(s).

Here is my take on it.  We all know that longer focal lengths condense depth, and shorter focal lengths increase the illusion of depth.  This is the reason I always use my 18-55 lens, set at the shortest focal length that my backdrops allow. I like the feeling of more depth, missing in many model pictures.

Car advertising photographers are masters at sitting right near a front fender and using short lenses to make the car look really massive.  One of the things I love about my 18-55 Nikon "kit" lens is that it is macro at ALL focal lengths, not just the 55mm. end.  Since my camera is a apc format rather than full frame, the so-called normal focal length is far less than 50-55 mm anyway, so I need to shoot around 30 mm just to get normal perspective. If my backdrop allows even shorter focal length (wider angle, of course) the perspective is really great.  Looks like you are standing right off wingtip or nose.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, December 14, 2013 10:26 AM

Interesting perspective on the subject , Don. (Pun not intended)

I often wish my Nikkor nifty-fifty focused a tad bit closer. Wonder how it compares to your 18-55 at 50mm? I didn't realise the 18-55 kit allowed fairly close focusing.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by MRME on Saturday, December 14, 2013 11:10 AM

Guys/gals put a little bit of the effort you put in your builds(whatever they are) into your photos you will more than likely get a lot more responses. I dont know how many other wise great looking builds Ive seen "ruined" by bad photos please learn to use your cameras  Thanks

anyone needing/wanting info about me contact me a richduddy@gmail.com. I only give info about myself on a need to know basis.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 9:22 AM

There are some shots in the Civil Aircraft forum of a recently completed GeeBee.  Very good example of the use of short focal length to create realistic photography!

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, December 26, 2013 10:10 AM

I've been around photography so long that sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking I've seen it all. At least I know better than to think I KNOW it all.

Todd's GeeBee pics are a great example of what you were explaining, Don. Frankly, I was having some trouble believing that a shorter lens would be very effective dealing in such close quarters. I humbly stand corrected. You are spot on.

If I end up buying another lens for this one day, I'm blaming you though.

-Greg

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