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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Challenge: Shoot the one subject with competing/different lenses. Give your insights!

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
From Asher: This thread is a very beautiful and practical way of putting lenses to work in competitive situations where each has to compete and deliver some gold! We must nurture and keep up to date a resource of relevant the group of 'lenses used, where we come and can contribure
Nicolas has started this with an excellent set of pictures using the same lenses as part of a serious photoshoot of colorful beautifully engineered boats cutting through water at high speed. So don't be inhibited by the grandeur of the subjects used by Nicolas as that's his world, what he does to put bread on the table. He does not photograph cat's heads or newspapers against the wall or bowls of fruit; these are not his way of functioning. So put aside the fact that we are unlikely to easily match such beauty, we still can have a good go and bring different lenses to the same subject or event. So please gather your lenses and pick a beautiful subject with some interesting shapes and colors and have fun for all of us, as we want to see how the lenses we have can play roles in our work. This should expand our ideas of what after all are our creative brushes in making our picture zing! Asher




So please do the check results of other lenses that you might have,


Apart the quality of the glass, the reputation of the brand, the price and many other aspect than directly doing a photography, one sometimes ask him/herself:

Which lens to buy? Which lens to use?

I found amusing to post here ome images done with different lenses or focal but with the same subject, shot the same day… From 14 to 500 mm what a difference of feeling, appearance, look!!!

So from wide to long, let's start with the wider!

14 mm







 
Last edited by a moderator:

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Excellent topic! I'll see what I've got. In the meanwhile, the 42mm is definitely my favorite. Also 57, 140 and the final 500mm. Actually, almost all of them.

Cheers,
 
Also because of that. But also due to the composition and the angle. When I wrote that, I hadn't yet seen the rest since you were still posting. So I reserve the right to change my mind later ;-)
I agree with Cem.

This is a very instructional series, thanks Nicolas for that (!), which excellently demonstrates the effects of several focal length choices in a non-static subject. Wide angles emphasizing the foreground (while including a more cluttered, although small scale, background), versus almost "immersive" long focal lengths with enlarged/uncluttered backgrounds, and everything in between.

Nicolas, thanks for sharing.

Bart
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
Nicolas:
These are all beautiful images skillfully captured and processed. Highlights are controlled, flare is minimized, color contrast is sharp but not TOO sharp...all of which would be nasty hazards for any shooter inexperienced with such scenes and subjects. Frankly, I paid little attention to your lens notations as I looked at the images.

Selecting the "right" lens and focal length is such a slippery subject. If I know my subject and shooting environment in advance I'll generally select a prime or two that I think will be best for the job. But I'll also usually hedge by taking a good zoom, too.

Conversely, if I'm uncertain of what I'll be shooting I'll select the zoom(s) that I think will give me the greatest compositional latitude and perhaps also bring a prime or two that might be handy

Ultimately lens selection is primarily about vision. When you select lenses for your aerial work, for example, you know what standard shots you're going to shoot and the challenge of the overall scene. Another aerial photographer, such as Terry Evans, will make completely different choices because she shoots film and she shoots completely different scenes.

So while some lenses are certainly better quality/focal length choices than others for specific jobs I think the key is knowing exactly what to expect from you lenses and having enough experience and/or imagination to anticipate the challenges you'll face.
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
demonstrates the effects of several focal length choices in a non-static subject. Wide angles emphasizing the foreground (while including a more cluttered, although small scale, background), versus almost "immersive" long focal lengths with enlarged/uncluttered backgrounds, and everything in between.

Bart
Thanks Bart
this is exactly what I wanted to show… as well as:
Ultimately lens selection is primarily about vision.
There is very few "luck" effect here, this is one of the reasons I fight the -imho- false concept of shoot wide and crop later.

One have to choose the right tool (in this case focal length) to emphasis one's vision…

In another thread Cem asked Charlotte to repost a too small picture to be able to comment, but she couldn't as the composition was a crop…
Vision 1st! then any PP one wishes… and the vision HAS to come thru the lens…
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
@ Ken
Thank you so much for the so kind comments on my work… coming from such a photographer… appreciated!

The technic control you're talking comes also with the lens IQ…

I think the key is knowing exactly what to expect from you lenses and having enough experience and/or imagination to anticipate the challenges you'll face.
Absolutely!
 
Learning a lens

Was looking for a tread Nicolas started regarding "same subject, different lens" where he went from wide angle to tele and capture the same subject. I try to use the same approach to learn behavoir of lenses and have two favourite locations to try. At a completely different stage of mastering photography my challenges are to achieve same exposure/colour or to learn to understand my lenses.

As a new lens, the Panasonic Leica 14-50, was added to my camera bag (along with a Panny L1) it was back to the same location for some test shots.


On a dismal dutch day this scene has a bit of everything, shaded area's, colour, a gate to focus on and a distant horizon.


Going to tele, still f5, getting a different look at the same scene.

regards, Martin
 

Kathy Rappaport

pro member
2nd nature

I find that each lens in my bag has it's own learning curve - just like a fine wine, you need to know exactly what it will do for you at every taste. They each have their own nuance.
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Bonsoir Martin
I took the liberty to move your post here, hoping it will encourage others to participate in this thread…

Your 2 images have the very big advantage (toward mines) to show an inanimate subject.
It becomes then obvious that if you want to frame closer (with a longer lens) you get a completely different image than a crooped one shot with a wider lens…

Thanks very much for posting!
 
I find that each lens in my bag has it's own learning curve - just like a fine wine, you need to know exactly what it will do for you at every taste. They each have their own nuance.
oh dear .. I am shooting now with one lens for the last two weeks or so to get an idea of its performance or sweet spot if you wish.


20mm or 40mm in old school 35mm equivalent


14mm or 28 in 35mm equivalent

The wide angle shot was left with a slight off level horizon and is shot with the lens a bit more closed down to increase depth.

And now over to someone else..

Martin
 
Was looking for a tread Nicolas started regarding "same subject, different lens" where he went from wide angle to tele and capture the same subject. I try to use the same approach to learn behavoir of lenses and have two favourite locations to try. At a completely different stage of mastering photography my challenges are to achieve same exposure/colour or to learn to understand my lenses.
Hi Martin,

Yes, it takes a while getting the best of the particular perspective a certain focal length has to offer. This is particularly true in the situation where "cropped" sensor arrays are used.

One often chooses a field of view (FOV) that offers enough coverage to capture the essence of the scene. However, it's even more important to first choose a vantage point, and then choose the focal length needed to fit the scene extends, especially with a zoom lens (zoom with your feet, then crop with your focal length)). This will allow to make better use of perspective, the effect that things at twice the distance will be imaged at half the maginfication/size. This perspective can be used to emphasise foreground and reduce magnification at a distance.

One of the most useful properties of a focal length choice, IMHO, is the magnification/size at which background detail will be rendered. A narrow angle of view (as with longer focal lengths) will (relatively) enlarge/unclutter background detail. This is important if one wants to isolate detail against a backdrop. A (relatively) short focal length will emphasize an interesting foreground by perspective against a more cluttered small magnification background, as long as one chooses the vantage/perspective point deliberately.

In addition, there are specifics about a lens (e.g. out of focus (OOF) performance or Chromatic Aberrations) that require getting a sense/taste for.

Bart
 
returning to the original example

I didn't notice this thread when it first appeared, and I have some questions. The 42mm shot answered my first question. A second question is how one juggles lenses while barely strapped into a helicopter with the doors removed. I suppose you were using two or three zooms, not a dozen or more primes, but still the whole prospect makes me nervous. Do you simply have as many camera bodies as zoom lenses ready to use? I suppose in that case, you would be switching cameras rather than just lenses, but how do you secure everything inside the helicopter?

Finally, do you have pictures that show how a crew of what appears to be just three relatively senior looking gentlemen are able to handle those enormous sails? I'd love to see how they get that pink spinnaker down and stowed. That's a worthy subject for your longest zoom. And how long a shooting session do you take when using an expensive, fuel-thirsty platform like a helicopter?

with great envy,

scott
 
Now, in the spirit of the thread, a few views of Fuji...

A Calatrava bridge has recently appeared not far from our house in Jerusalem. I only became aware of it a year or so ago when the construction company decided to create a taste of the sights to come by putting up a temporary crane with strings of Christmas lights hanging from it. Here's what it looked like on a quiet Saturday morning in 2007:



There are several ways to approach what has become a striking sight. A normal lens, as above, combines the new elements in the sky with the everyday ingredients of the street. You can wander around the bridge and understand how it works and what it accomplishes (wide angle). The point of the bridge is that it enables a light rail line to cross directly over the main entrance to the city without ever stopping traffic.



With a medium telephoto I can explore how this bizarre addition to the skyline fits into the the more mundane elements around it:

75mm:





(to be continued)
 
continued...

35mm:



and really close to the tower and its harpstrings, only a wide angle will do:



There's more to be done. The bridge has yet to open to train or people traffic, so I can only imagine what that will look like. And the area around the bridge provides several tall buildings which are irresistable platforms for multistory political posters, since we are having a mayoralty election next week. Within a few paces, we now see a high-tech entrepreneur,



a Russian billionaire, and a curious cartoon of what looks like Elmer Fudd or the near-sighted Mr. Magoo with a Santa Claus beard, each of them many stories high. I guess the intent of the last is to make Meir Porush, the ultra-Orthodox candidate, seem like everyone's grandfather.

The objective of this particular gallery, "New Jerusalem," has been to explore the difference between the traditional inspiration of Jerusalem as a "city on a hill" to be admired from afar, and the realities of housing people, while creating "facts on the ground."

scott
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
interesting thread.

Scott, I most like the vertical 35 mm, for taking up the form of the bridge pylon's and for its contextualisation, meanwhile having a °concentrate° look at the subject.

And yes, I do like sometimes to compress the space, here with a 100 mm tele (FF). Using a wide would have shown the entire complex, but the way they relate together is best shown in a concentratde view:

 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
I didn't notice this thread when it first appeared, and I have some questions. The 42mm shot answered my first question. A second question is how one juggles lenses while barely strapped into a helicopter with the doors removed. I suppose you were using two or three zooms, not a dozen or more primes, but still the whole prospect makes me nervous. Do you simply have as many camera bodies as zoom lenses ready to use? I suppose in that case, you would be switching cameras rather than just lenses, but how do you secure everything inside the helicopter?

Finally, do you have pictures that show how a crew of what appears to be just three relatively senior looking gentlemen are able to handle those enormous sails? I'd love to see how they get that pink spinnaker down and stowed. That's a worthy subject for your longest zoom. And how long a shooting session do you take when using an expensive, fuel-thirsty platform like a helicopter?

with great envy,

scott
Bonjour Scott

Well, though the chopper is a small one (Robinson 44 in that case) it is a 3 pasengers machine.
Romain my son and videographer is in front beside the pilot, I stay behind and have the 3rd passenger seat to put my gear.
My gear for such a shoot is composed of:
1Ds3 + 14mm - 24-70mm - 70-200mm - 500mm
Sinar Hy6 + 75 LV DB and Schneider 50 and 80 mm

You may read an Asher's article and some pics as well there:
http://www.openphotographyforums.com/art_Asher_Kelman_002.php

And there in my diary about the tests I've done with the Sinar:
http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=92

And some video making of of photoshoots on my website:
http://www.claris.fr/sinar_uk.php / "Making-of"
or direct url: http://www.claris.fr/SINAR/Making_of/video.php

As for pics showing the crew in action, I may have s ome, have to dig! as this is not the kind of shots I sell for advertising…
 
Sometimes you can't choose your viewpoint

Here are two of the mayoral candidates that we vote for tomorrow. Taken with a 24. I would have preferred to walk back about 10 meters and wait for more even light, but the sun doesn't go there this time of year, and I didn't want to be run over by a bus. The signs will probably all be gone by week's end.



scott
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Adding another version to the lens comparison:

single frames vs stitch vs UWide, from a actual job, therefore the ©-signs, sorry for that, but I need them.


14 mm from the 14-24, with Mark's adapter on the 1 Ds-2:




28 mm, in a different light; you might notice, that the cam's position isn't exactly the same; it's a bit lower:






and finally, here's the stitch, with 5 x 28 mm - vertical, from the same position as the above 28 mm, allowing to get the desired HFOV as well as the VFOV - looking in the courtyard in the foreground as well as to contextualise it to the city. Stitching allows to create kinda virtual lens, with any desired FOVs (Field of Views) The perspective is corrected in that image as well, this beeing the best solution.




I think, you can't go better than that - within the given limitations - not from a chopper but a ferry wheel.
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
......... I would have preferred to walk back about 10 meters and wait for more even light, but the sun doesn't go there this time of year, and I didn't want to be run over by a bus. ....... scott
right scott, in archi/exhibition photography you' re often limited by the fact, that you can't go back as much as you would like, especially for the interiors.

Often, one of the better options is to go for the °concentrate° look.
 
...
Often, one of the better options is to go for the °concentrate° look.
Well, for my purposes, I think I just didn't find what I was looking for, but let's give it a shot. Here's a slightly different exposure, cropped to concentrate on the two figures, while including their names (in Hebrew). Something you might do for a newspaper cut:

effective focal length about 50 mm



scott
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Scott
in term of elections, this sounds better - obviously the building is less important.
The °arround the corner-situation° is better pronounced.

Don't know if the building has any special significance, though.
 
Bonjour Scott

Well, though the chopper is a small one (Robinson 44 in that case) it is a 3 pasengers machine.
Romain my son and videographer is in front beside the pilot, I stay behind and have the 3rd passenger seat to put my gear.
My gear for such a shoot is composed of:
1Ds3 + 14mm - 24-70mm - 70-200mm - 500mm
Sinar Hy6 + 75 LV DB and Schneider 50 and 80 mm

You may read an Asher's article and some pics as well there:
http://www.openphotographyforums.com/art_Asher_Kelman_002.php

And there in my diary about the tests I've done with the Sinar:
http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=92

And some video making of of photoshoots on my website:
http://www.claris.fr/sinar_uk.php / "Making-of"
or direct url: http://www.claris.fr/SINAR/Making_of/video.php

As for pics showing the crew in action, I may have s ome, have to dig! as this is not the kind of shots I sell for advertising…
So you go up with one 1DsIII and several lenses, hang out of the helicopter to the point where only a good pilot could keep it upright (I looked at your video, and you seem to be really out there), change lenses each time you circle the boat, and you haven't dropped any L glass in the water? I'm most impressed. Anyway, I can see that capturing the incredible power of those 80-100 foot boats under full sail would be the highest objective of the people who build them and who buy them. Catching precision deck work with those big sails is more for sports magazines, and folks like me who can only dream of crewing, not owning.

scott
 
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