Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Frame - Focal Lengths

The idea of this exercise is to use a telephoto lens to show the effect of changing focal length for which I used my trusty Nikon 18-200mm lens. While not as good optically as some of my other lenses, it's a cracking lightweight 'travel' lens and with such a wide range of focal length, it was perfect for this exercise.

I travel frequently to North Cornwall and the scene in these images is typical of the coastline in this part of the world.

Image 1 was taken at 18mm with a polariser filter and shows the wider scene of the fields leading to the cliffs. The vingetting on the LHS is pretty obvious but I decided to leave it alone.
ISO 200 18mm f/11 1/100
 The second image was taken at 35mm, which starts to bring the island in the background into the picture.
ISO 200 35mm f/11 1/80
 Image 3 taken at 70mm starts to show the detail of Long Island (looking like the Matterhorn?) with Saddle Rocks before it. The stone in the field in the near foreground is an ancient marker stone that the local cows use as a scratching post!
ISO 200 70mm f/11 1/80

I jumped to 200mm for image 4 because I felt the views in between added nothing to the scene. The detail of Long Island is the obvious focus of the image and the GCHQ radar station at Morwenstow can be clearly seen in the distance.
ISO 200 200mm f/11 1/80
Learning outcomes
I frequently use telephoto lenses because they give the photographer a really wide choice of framing options very quickly. I find I have to plan and think more about my position when using a fixed focal length lens - not a bad thing sometimes!

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