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Author Topic: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming  (Read 3354 times)

tomusan

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Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« on: September 14, 2012, 09:04:02 PM »
Hi everyone! Been reading posts on this forum for some time now, and have quite a high regard for most of the canonrumors forum's members' opinion and knowledge, so decided to join and post a topic which has been on my mind for everlong. Based on what I read on many photographers blogs and websites (cfr. 35mm - 50mm poll) people claim that by walking forward or backward one changes the field of view of the lens mounted on ones camera (don't like the angle my 35mm lens is giving me, no worries, just walk forward and magically change it into a 50mm lens or back off a bit and it becomes a 28mm...) So in a way, moving closer or further away from an subject equals zooming in or out with your prime. I have noticed a few very clever people here on the cr forum, and would be very happy if one of them can finally put this myth to rest in a 'scientific' way! 

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Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« on: September 14, 2012, 09:04:02 PM »

risc32

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 10:36:42 PM »
this let your feet do the zooming is just purist nonsense. I actually don't even like saying that because i consider myself a bit of a purist but make no mistake, zooming with your feet is not the same as zooming with your lens. I'm not saying one is better or worse(actually zooming with your feet is sometimes just not possible) they are just different. I wonder if anyone who would disagree has spent anytime with a wide angle lens. an inch either way, a degree up or down and change everything. I'd love to take a good stab at this for you, but i have to hit the hay. big day tomorrow. There are a number of guys here who won't have any problem breaking this all down. i'm sure they'll be along, if not i'll have a proper go at it.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 10:47:33 PM »
If you have only a prime on your camera, you can indeed fill more of the frame by walking toward the subject. or get a wider view by backing up.  This is what those are referring to who call it zooming with your feet.  In some cases, moving towards or away from the subject is practical, and in some cases it is not. The field of view of the lens does not actually change, as we all understand, but the image does change.
There might be a lot of wordsmithing going on about the exact words, but the principal is used by many photographers.  I do which ever works out the best for my situation.  I do not, for example like to move forward or backwards when I'm on the edge of a canyon, river, freeway, or other unsafe place.

elflord

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 11:23:41 PM »
Hi everyone! Been reading posts on this forum for some time now, and have quite a high regard for most of the canonrumors forum's members' opinion and knowledge, so decided to join and post a topic which has been on my mind for everlong. Based on what I read on many photographers blogs and websites (cfr. 35mm - 50mm poll) people claim that by walking forward or backward one changes the field of view of the lens mounted on ones camera (don't like the angle my 35mm lens is giving me, no worries, just walk forward and magically change it into a 50mm lens or back off a bit and it becomes a 28mm...) So in a way, moving closer or further away from an subject equals zooming in or out with your prime. I have noticed a few very clever people here on the cr forum, and would be very happy if one of them can finally put this myth to rest in a 'scientific' way!

Walking changes the framing but not the perspective. This article illustrates the point quite well, and illustrates quite nicely why getting the same framing of the same subject with different focal lengths results in a very different picture.

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-use-your-zoom-lens-as-a-compositional-aid

You need to move around a bit whether you have a prime or a zoom.

The notion that you can "zoom with your feet" is correct in the sense that photographers might change the framing by making small adjustments to the zoom instead of moving around. The key is that they are making small but possibly important changes to framing  (because distracting elements are removed) without substantially affecting perspective.  There is not an enormous difference between twisting the zoom lens from 50mm to 55mm or taking a step forward.

 For larger shifts, it doesn't work so well. For example, you can use a 24mm-70 lens at 24mm or 70mm. You can't use a focal length of 24mm, stand really close to your subject and expect to get a comparable  portrait shot to a more conventional portrait taken at from further back at 70mm.

weixing

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 11:44:48 PM »
Hi,
    To a certain extend, walk closer does have the same effect of zoom in on your subject, but not your background. See below:


    Have a nice day.

Random Orbits

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 11:52:33 PM »

Walking changes the framing but not the perspective. This article illustrates the point quite well, and illustrates quite nicely why getting the same framing of the same subject with different focal lengths results in a very different picture.


Walking changes the framing and the perspective.  Perspective depends only the distance.

Dylan777

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 12:45:04 AM »
So what happen when there is no room/distance in front or back of you?  :-\  You can easily miss a shot by moving back/forw and re-compose the shot.

With the latest gear, I think zoom is a better choice. Take a look at latest lenses from Canon, 24-70 mkr II & 70-200 f2.8 IS II. I have both. It worths every pennies.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 12:49:31 AM by Dylan777 »
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Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 12:45:04 AM »

moreorless

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 04:27:04 AM »
The usefulness of both methods really depend on your subject and style I'd say.

Taking shallow DOF portraits for example is much better suited to zooming with your feet than landscape shots IMHO were your both dealing with much larger distances and are more likely to want the flexibility of controling perspective that a zoom lens offers.

marekjoz

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 05:18:25 AM »
Check also this article: http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/photography-fundamentals/exploring-how-focal-length-affects-images/ - it shows you how focal affects the background.

and see this animated gif: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3hp9gKTiO1qjltcyo1_500.gif - I don't attach this gif in the message as it may load some time and longer looking at it can make you sick :) but it shows exactly the differences people are pointing to regarding perspective.

Conclusion is, that the difference is not only in background and framing but mostly changes the perspective. If there is a subject close to you, it will be changed dramatically. The more difference in focals and the closer the first plan is to you, the bigger the difference you will notice.

If you shoot people, you can check also this: http://www.mcpactions.com/blog/2010/07/21/the-ideal-focal-length-for-portraiture-a-photographers-experiment/
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 05:21:48 AM by marekjoz »
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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 09:24:59 AM »
Hi everyone! Been reading posts on this forum for some time now, and have quite a high regard for most of the canonrumors forum's members' opinion and knowledge, so decided to join and post a topic which has been on my mind for everlong. Based on what I read on many photographers blogs and websites (cfr. 35mm - 50mm poll) people claim that by walking forward or backward one changes the field of view of the lens mounted on ones camera (don't like the angle my 35mm lens is giving me, no worries, just walk forward and magically change it into a 50mm lens or back off a bit and it becomes a 28mm...) So in a way, moving closer or further away from an subject equals zooming in or out with your prime. I have noticed a few very clever people here on the cr forum, and would be very happy if one of them can finally put this myth to rest in a 'scientific' way!

Zooming with a lens will not affect PERSPECTIVE, Now moving the camera while keeping the focal length the same will change perspective.

Thats why us Prime users get very familiar with each lens we have, because we zoom with our feet and know what the perspective the lens will give us at different distances.

motorhead

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2012, 09:29:11 AM »
So what happen when there is no room/distance in front or back of you?  :-\  You can easily miss a shot by moving back/forw and re-compose the shot.

With the latest gear, I think zoom is a better choice. Take a look at latest lenses from Canon, 24-70 mkr II & 70-200 f2.8 IS II. I have both. It worths every pennies.

It all depends on the composition. There is no right or wrong, its what works best for a particular situation.

Yes, of course there will be times when there is no chance to walk forward or back, but just as often a zoom lens will also not be an ideal answer either.

marekjoz

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2012, 10:20:39 AM »
Hi everyone! Been reading posts on this forum for some time now, and have quite a high regard for most of the canonrumors forum's members' opinion and knowledge, so decided to join and post a topic which has been on my mind for everlong. Based on what I read on many photographers blogs and websites (cfr. 35mm - 50mm poll) people claim that by walking forward or backward one changes the field of view of the lens mounted on ones camera (don't like the angle my 35mm lens is giving me, no worries, just walk forward and magically change it into a 50mm lens or back off a bit and it becomes a 28mm...) So in a way, moving closer or further away from an subject equals zooming in or out with your prime. I have noticed a few very clever people here on the cr forum, and would be very happy if one of them can finally put this myth to rest in a 'scientific' way!

Zooming with a lens will not affect PERSPECTIVE, Now moving the camera while keeping the focal length the same will change perspective.

Thats why us Prime users get very familiar with each lens we have, because we zoom with our feet and know what the perspective the lens will give us at different distances.

Yes, I was not clear enough:
1. to maintain the same size of the subject (if there is one) on the first plan, when you move your camera, you will change the perspective
2. shooting from the same place, no matter what the focal is, the perspective will not be changed.
3. to achieve best results for specific subjects and situation and to avoid strange perspective on your photo, you should consider specific focal range, because in other case the photographed subject and it's surrounding especially background might look otherwise, than you thought it would
4. Considering "3." you cannot freely zoom with your feet because when you are limited to specific focal range, so you are also limited to specific distance to the subject

RLPhoto, do you agree now?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 10:23:39 AM by marekjoz »
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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 11:36:40 AM »
Hi everyone! Been reading posts on this forum for some time now, and have quite a high regard for most of the canonrumors forum's members' opinion and knowledge, so decided to join and post a topic which has been on my mind for everlong. Based on what I read on many photographers blogs and websites (cfr. 35mm - 50mm poll) people claim that by walking forward or backward one changes the field of view of the lens mounted on ones camera (don't like the angle my 35mm lens is giving me, no worries, just walk forward and magically change it into a 50mm lens or back off a bit and it becomes a 28mm...) So in a way, moving closer or further away from an subject equals zooming in or out with your prime. I have noticed a few very clever people here on the cr forum, and would be very happy if one of them can finally put this myth to rest in a 'scientific' way!

Zooming with a lens will not affect PERSPECTIVE, Now moving the camera while keeping the focal length the same will change perspective.

Thats why us Prime users get very familiar with each lens we have, because we zoom with our feet and know what the perspective the lens will give us at different distances.

Yes, I was not clear enough:
1. to maintain the same size of the subject (if there is one) on the first plan, when you move your camera, you will change the perspective
2. shooting from the same place, no matter what the focal is, the perspective will not be changed.
3. to achieve best results for specific subjects and situation and to avoid strange perspective on your photo, you should consider specific focal range, because in other case the photographed subject and it's surrounding especially background might look otherwise, than you thought it would
4. Considering "3." you cannot freely zoom with your feet because when you are limited to specific focal range, so you are also limited to specific distance to the subject

RLPhoto, do you agree now?

I zoom with my feet, It just changes perspective.  ::)

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 11:36:40 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 02:22:29 PM »
I do a lot of low light photography with a f/2-f/1.4 aperture.  Fortunately, I photograph at theatre rehersals and I can walk all over the theatre, even up on stage if I really need to.
There is no question that moving around changes the perspective, but then, that's what I want.
I could, of course, just sit in the middle of the theatre with a f/2.8 zoom and ISO 25800 and get a lot of noisy images, all with the same perspective.  As it is, ISO 6400 ot 12800 is still sometimes required.

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Re: Zoom-walking, Walk-zooming
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 02:22:29 PM »