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Comparing wide lens and telephoto

From: Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

Video: Comparing wide lens and telephoto

As you start framing up your close-up shots, you might find that you can create the same composition using several different focal lengths and camera positions. Standing close and zooming out might let you frame the same shot that you would get standing farther away and zooming in. If you have a collection of primes, instead of a zoom lens, you might still have these same options. Sometimes, it won't matter which option you choose, but you should still understand the trade-offs of using one option over another.

Comparing wide lens and telephoto

As you start framing up your close-up shots, you might find that you can create the same composition using several different focal lengths and camera positions. Standing close and zooming out might let you frame the same shot that you would get standing farther away and zooming in. If you have a collection of primes, instead of a zoom lens, you might still have these same options. Sometimes, it won't matter which option you choose, but you should still understand the trade-offs of using one option over another.

Possibly most important is the compositional change that you will see if there is a background visible in your image. As you change camera position, the sense of distance between the foreground and background will change. If you're shooting an object with depth, you might also see a change in the proportions of your subject as you change camera position and focal length. If you are not familiar with this phenomenon, then check out my Foundations of Photography Lenses course for more information. If your image doesn't include a separate background, or you are shooting something very shallow, then you won't have to worry about this, and your focal length camera position choice may not matter; either one will do fine.

On a zoom lens, different focal lengths may not all allow the same maximum aperture. For example, you might be able to open all the way to 3.5 at the wide end of your zoom, but only 5.6 at the telephoto end. If you have very particular exposure ideas, then you may have to adjust your camera position and focal length to be able to achieve the aperture that you want. Again, my lenses course will walk you through this issue in more detail. Now, these questions won't always be an issue. There will be times when only a single focal length can allow you to frame the shot the way that you want.

Perhaps the object is so far away that you have to a long focal length, or maybe you want to include the object and a lot of background, which will require a short focal length. For times when you have options though, pay attention to composition and aperture changes as you choose where to stand and how to zoom.

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Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

47 video lessons · 14871 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 3m 54s
    1. Welcome
      2m 17s
    2. What you need to know for this course
      1m 37s
  2. 20m 33s
    1. What is close up?
      2m 21s
    2. Understanding minimum focus distance
      3m 55s
    3. Comparing wide lens and telephoto
      1m 55s
    4. Understanding depth of field and focus
      2m 11s
    5. Working with extension tubes
      4m 30s
    6. Working with close-up lenses
      5m 41s
  3. 28m 7s
    1. What is a macro photo?
      4m 15s
    2. Understanding how to shoot macro with a reversed lens
      5m 37s
    3. Using a point-and-shoot camera for macro
      1m 55s
    4. Working with backdrops for macro
      3m 45s
    5. Practicing macro by shooting in the kitchen
      12m 35s
  4. 58m 38s
    1. Choosing a macro lens
      2m 4s
    2. Exploring macro lens features: Focal length
      3m 16s
    3. Understanding macro lens shutter speed
      7m 6s
    4. Shooting basics with a macro lens
      8m 24s
    5. Getting closer with macro lenses and extension tubes
      11m 13s
    6. Working with depth of field and macro
      5m 1s
    7. Understanding depth and composition in macro
      6m 43s
    8. Working with subject holders and support
      6m 36s
    9. Shooting with the Canon 65 mm
      8m 15s
  5. 13m 12s
    1. Working with macro stabilizing options
      5m 45s
    2. Working with sliders for macro
      2m 44s
    3. Working with a bellows
      1m 55s
    4. Working with viewfinders in macro
      2m 48s
  6. 52m 59s
    1. Working with direct light
      6m 13s
    2. Macro and the angle of light
      2m 24s
    3. Augmenting direct light with reflectors
      6m 42s
    4. Continuous lighting to add fill to a macro shot
      5m 55s
    5. Lighting your macro scene with continuous light
      4m 50s
    6. Lighting the macro scene with strobes
      4m 59s
    7. Setting up a macro-specific flash unit
      3m 21s
    8. Shooting with the Canon Macro Twin Lite
      7m 56s
    9. Shooting macro in a light tent
      3m 31s
    10. Shooting macro on a light table
      7m 8s
  7. 19m 44s
    1. Field shooting for macro, starting at home
      7m 5s
    2. Managing backgrounds in the field
      7m 39s
    3. Shooting macro water droplets
      5m 0s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Creating a simple manual focus stack
      4m 40s
    2. Creating a focus stacked image with manual merge
      6m 17s
    3. Creating a focus stacked image using Helicon Remote
      11m 6s
    4. Working with a StackShot rail for focus stacking
      11m 46s
    5. Merging a focus stack with Photoshop
      11m 12s
    6. Merging photo stacks with Helicon
      6m 53s
    7. Understanding the aesthetics of depth of field
      4m 25s
  9. 1m 5s
    1. Next steps
      1m 5s

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