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Tips & Tricks

How a Lens’ Focal Length Affects Distortion & Perspective

By fotosiamo on August 4th 2012


The Slanted Lens: Focal Length Comparison by Jay P Morgan

The always educational and entertaining Jay P Morgan is back again with another awesome video on The Slanted Lens. This time, he shows how different focal lengths from 20mm to 200mm will affect how the face will look in a photo and also how the background will change in relation to the subject. It’s really informative and will help you expand your creative choices based on your lens.

So readers, what is your favorite lens for taking photos of people and why?

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Joe is a fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    great tutorial

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  2. Adha Sukma Aji

    85mm f/1.8 of course! on crop body 1.6x.

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  3. Thomas Jergel

    Fantastic how most of his demonstration photos in the end were uncomfortably bright.
    I didn’t like those bright highlights on her one bit even though they are relatively even and soft from the lighting used.

    At least, that’s what I personally think
    Might be his particular style, but I feel he pushed the highlights too far.

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  4. moco

    I have been using an 85mm f1.8 on a crop body Canon 60D and get decent results. Does everything explained in the video apply to crop cameras? i.e. – Would my 85mm f1.8 act similar to a true 135mm lens on a full frame body – and get the same results on the talents face and background?

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    • Steven

      Yes. Perspective is a function of distance to the subject.

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    • Anonymous

      Same here, this lens rarely leaves my crop-sensor body. I have a 50mm 1.4 that never gets used because I’ve always preferred my 85mm. I have a wide angle for landscapes/interiors/etc but as long as I can get far enough back, it’s all 85 for people.

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