…or so it is said, in the case of TV, where the camera does really put on ten pounds. Why? Because TV is made with wide angle lenses.
To illustrate this, let’s make a portrait using a 200mm lens:
An undistorted view of the subject. Now let’s zoom out to 35mm. But then, wait…. the subject will be small, very small. So we will have to get closer to keep the subject the same size. It is that closeness that causes the subsequent distortion:
All distorted, and again, this is not because of the wide angle; it is because of the closeness that the wide angle necessitates. That is why we say:
“Do not use a wide angle lens for portraits”.
What we really mean is:
“Do not use a wide angle lens for portraits where the subject is large, because then you’ll have to be too close and you’ll get distortion as a result of that closeness.”
That does not sound quite so punchy though, does it?
Sometimes we can use that distortion for a deliberate comical effect:
I suppose the one thing you may want ti take away from all this is: know your lenses and when to use which one. Pay attention in particular to:
- Depth of field.
- Perspective distortion.
- Susceptibility to (or resistance to) motion blur.
All three of these have something to do with focal length. When you are learning photography, it is your job to figure out in which way.