What is the difference in perspective between 100mm macro and non macro?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Uncle Fester, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester Guest

    If I where to take a portrait of someone at a distance say 6' would the
    picture look different with the 100mm macro vs the 100mm standard? I know
    the Macro magnifies as it gets closer that is what I am refering too.
    Uncle Fester, Nov 23, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Uncle Fester

    Leicaddict Guest

    The angle of view is the same, the macro just focuses closer.
    Leicaddict, Nov 23, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Uncle Fester

    Timo Labrenz Guest

    Macro lenses get closer and ususally have an aperture that doesn't open
    as wide as at non-macros. Usually, macro lenses are a bit sharper, too.
    So the portrait might be different in two ways. It might be sharper
    with a macro (which might not be what wou want). And you might take the
    picture with f/2.8, while with a non-macro you might have chosen to
    take the same picture with an aperture of f/2.0 (just example
    apertures, I think 2.0 and 2.8 is normal, nowadays, e.g. at the Canon
    EF 100mm lenses).

    The composition of the picture will be the same, 2.0 gives you a very
    small DoF, and IMHO 2.8 is okay for Portraits as well.

    Do you ask because you want to buy such a lens?

    Timo Labrenz, Nov 23, 2003
  4. Uncle Fester

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Perspective is controlled exclusively by the camera position. No matter
    what lens you use, the perspective you see in the image will not vary
    unless you move the camera.
    Mxsmanic, Nov 23, 2003
  5. Uncle Fester

    Leicaddict Guest

    Think about it, isn't it really controled by angle of view. Put a 28mm on
    your camera, and then a 100mm, and if you keep the camera in the same
    position, the perspective will change.
    Leicaddict, Nov 23, 2003
  6. One other difference. Most, but not all, macros are designed to have
    very flat fields. Most other lenses tend to have a curved field. That is
    since the edges are a little further away from the lens than the center,
    most lenses will not focus on both at the same time.

    Now that 100 at 6 foot is not going to show any of that effect anyway so
    in this case it is not material. However if you were using a 50mm lens to
    photograph printed material from an area say 1x1.5" it would show up.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 23, 2003
  7. Uncle Fester

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Perspective changes with distance and angle. From teh same location all
    100mm lenses will have exactly the same prespective -- but only the macro
    will be able to focus on something closer than a couple feet.
    Tony Spadaro, Nov 23, 2003
  8. Uncle Fester

    Leon Mlakar Guest

    After making 28mm shot, take a section of 28mm shot that corresponds to what
    you see through 100mm lens, enlarge both 100mm and section of 28mm shots to
    the same size and they'll be the same.

    Also try moving close to the subject with 28mm to fill the frame just the
    way 100mm further back would. Compare the shots then. Frontal face portrait
    would do. Gives enough depth to tell the difference.

    In perspective, this theme really appears to be eternal. I first encountered
    this group in 2001. I came back in 2002. Now, after seven months, I came
    back again (couldn't stop my hands trembling). Each time there is the same
    old discussion about angles of view and perspective...
    Leon Mlakar, Nov 23, 2003
  9. Uncle Fester

    Mxsmanic Guest

    No, the perspective will be identical. Superimpose the 100-mm image on
    the 28-mm image (reduced in scale as required), and you'll find that the
    perspective matches exactly.

    You must move the camera to change the perspective. The notion that
    changing focal lengths has an effect on perspective is a very common
    misconception, even among photographers who should know better.
    Mxsmanic, Nov 23, 2003
  10. Uncle Fester

    Mxsmanic Guest

    From any given location, all lenses will yield the same perspective, no
    matter what their focal length. Perspective is a function of camera
    location, not lens focal length.
    Mxsmanic, Nov 23, 2003
  11. The way I think about it is the following: If there is some object, say a
    telephone pole, between my camera and the eyes of my subject, then it will
    not help if I use a different lens.....In order to take the subjects eyes, I
    will have to change the position of the camera.....This is changing the
    William Graham, Nov 23, 2003
  12. Uncle Fester

    Leicaddict Guest

    That only happens because you've cropped the 28mm (@ 75 degree angle of
    view) to have the same angle of view as the 100mm (@25 degree angle of
    view), effectively turning the 28mm into a 100mm lens. On the other hand,
    match image size within the frame and see what happens. In other words, take
    a picture of something, and keep the size relative, lets say a soccerball.
    Its fairly easy to do, easier with either a grid screen or scale screen).
    Then it's pretty obvious to see that perspective is related to angle of
    view. And your also wrong on another count. Changing the camera position
    does not change perspective; a 28mm lens is still a 28mm lens, a 100mm lens
    is still a 100mm lens, no matter the camera position. Now granted, the
    composition of the image will change, but the relative scale of obects
    measured by distance from the lens, will still be the same, as long as the
    angle of view doesn't change. This has nothing to do with perspective. And I
    totally agree that you should know better!
    Leicaddict, Nov 23, 2003
  13. Uncle Fester

    Leicaddict Guest

    Think about it, if you go into a church to take a photo, do you reach for
    the 100mm or 28mm. Obviously the 28mm, because the angle of view is wider,
    as is the perspective. If you crop the 28mm to have the same angle of view
    as the 100mm, then the perspectives will be the same.
    Leicaddict, Nov 23, 2003
  14. Do you even understand what perspective means? I think you don't. Or
    then you are trolling. Remember these easy rules:

    1. Perspective changes if, and only if camera position changes in
    relation to subject. Never ever else.

    2. Field of view (angle, cropping...) changes when you change the focal
    length or the negative/sensor size.

    This is basic, very basic photography. Take a look at Ansel Adams:"The
    Camera" page 103-104. There is a set of 4 pictures which illustrates
    this concept.

    I allways wonder why this is so hard issue? Especially with the "1.6x
    magnification factor" cameras...

    Severi S.
    Severi Salminen, Nov 23, 2003
  15. Uncle Fester

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Actually the mxmaniac, so frequently full of shite, is correct this time.
    I simply did not want to confuse the issue by getting into the old
    "perspective/angle of view", complication. As usual, you heve brought it up,
    and as usualy you have your head too far up it to know the difference.
    The last time this came up you basically defined perspective as angle of
    view - using that definition, you are indeed correct. Your definition is
    wrong, however. Get a dictionary.
    Tony Spadaro, Nov 24, 2003
  16. Yes - but, I, uh, take "friendly exception" to number one above - try
    switching to a fisheye-lens or a swing-lens and the perspectives shift
    from (likely) rectangular to spherical or cylindrical types, which can
    look quite different if far off axis/image-center...;-)
    David Ruether, Nov 24, 2003
  17. Silly me. San Juan in Puerto Rico.

    I may end up carrying the film with me.

    I've not always been treated particularly well be the security folks when
    I've asked for hand inspection of my film. I was hoping to avoid that this

    Richard Robbins, Nov 24, 2003
  18. No, there will be no difference, as the angle of view is not changed, and
    one presumes the point of view is also not changed. Now, because it is
    included in the subject line, a controversial word once again needs to be

    The word 'perspective' is not a technical term relevant only to photography.
    In the real world out there, people often use 'perspective' and 'point of
    view' interchangeably. The word perspective actually means very close to
    'point of view', so that usage is acceptable.

    Literally, perspective is what you see from where you are. In order to
    change your perspective, you have to change where you are; you have to move
    from your initial position. This is as true in photography as it is in any
    other life activity or experience.

    Having said that, I can also declare what we all know to be true: angle of
    view, focal length, and area of coverage are invariant properties of a
    lens. Angle of view and perspective are in no way related, except as they
    both apply to some consideration. The question is: what is that

    Here, it is a frame containing a scene. So let's introduce some reality
    here, and stop talking about perspective and angle of view as if they are
    primary, because they are not. What is primary in every one of these
    discussions is a framed scene. The key word here is *frame*.

    So let's reconstruct this. We have, for our consideration, a *framed
    scene*. The *scene* is part of what is visible from a *point of view*, and
    as such, is an aspect of the *perspective* that is a function of the *point
    of view*. The *frame* defines the *scene*: It provides the borders that
    separate the *scene* from the rest of what is observable from a *point of

    So we have now a line of cause and effect:

    1) Point of view. -> 2) Perspective. -> 3) Frame. -> 4) Scene.

    Bearing on #3 are the considerations necessary to create that frame. For
    our purposes, we can take two of the invariant properties of a lens, and
    apply them here. In order to obtain a frame, we select an *angle of view*,
    with which we create a *scene*.

    Now we have a second line of cause and effect:

    1) Focal length. -> 2) Angle of view. -> 3) Frame. -> 4) Scene.

    But it doesn't just stop here, because now that we have created that scene,
    we wish to control the particulars of that scene. One of those particulars
    is *composition*, which is the aggregate of objects in the *scene*. In
    order to alter or modify the *composition* as an attribute of the *scene*,
    we have to change a) the *perspective*, b) the *angle of view*, or c) both.

    And now comes the conclusion: What you change when you change *perspective*
    is not what you change when you change *angle of view*. You can retain the
    basic attributes of the *frame* by playing *perspective* off of *angle of
    view*, but the first reorders the *composition* by altering the objects in
    the *scene*, and the second reorders by changing what is included or
    excluded in the *frame*.

    For example, let us say we are looking at a building through an archway.
    What we want to do here is to frame the building in the archway, as that is
    the foundation of the composition of the scene. The first thing we do is
    to establish a perspective that makes the building appropriately visible in
    the archway. The second thing we do is to establish a frame by selecting
    and angle of view (the right focal length of lens).

    Now we look at this scene as framed in the viewfinder. We decide that the
    space visible in the archway contains objects we wish to exclude. So we
    change our perspective by picking up our gear and moving back, so the the
    offending object is no longer visible, and then we adjust that position in
    order to correctly place the building in the field of view created by the
    arch. But now, the scene itself has also changed: there are other objects
    visible now that were not before. So we select a new angle of view in
    order to exclude the unwanted objects.

    For most shooters, it's probably a zoom and sneakers that does all this.
    Sneakers control the perspective and the zoom controls the angle of view.
    But the secret here is that they are not interchangeable!!! You absolutely
    cannot obtain the same scene by changing perspective and regaining the
    frame by adjusting the angle of view. The composition of the scene, and
    thus the scene itself, will change.

    Does this help?

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, Nov 24, 2003
  19. Uncle Fester

    Robert Lynch Guest

    Sorry, you are still wrong. If you fill the frame with your subject using a
    28mm lens,
    you will not be able to fill the frame with the same subject using a 100mm
    without first stepping back. The perspective changes because you moved
    relative to
    your subject. It is very well explained here:

    Robert Lynch, Nov 24, 2003
  20. Uncle Fester

    T P Guest

    There will be a difference, but probably not what you were expecting.
    The macro lens will be extremely sharp, giving rise to optical effects
    that are often extremely unflattering to the subject of the portrait.

    The best portrait lenses have optical characteristics that differ
    significantly from those of most macro lenses. Portrait lenses are
    not usually good macro lenses and the reverse is also true.

    However, there are a small number of macro lenses that are also good
    portrait lenses. Most of these designs originated in the 1970s/early
    1980s and their optical formulations are closely related. They
    include 90mm and 105mm f/2.5 or f/2.8 macro lenses from Tamron, Sigma,
    Vivitar and Kiron.

    The only one of these still available new is the Tamron 90mm f/2.8
    macro. It is an outstanding portrait lens (I strongly prefer it to
    Leica, Zeiss, Nikon and Canon 85/90/105mm lenses) as well as being a
    superb macro optic. Worth checking it out.

    As for perspective, this is something that is completely unrelated to
    the focal length of the lens, being a function of the camera to
    subject distance - and absolutely nothing else. The perspective from
    a given distance is identical whether you use a 17mm wide angle or
    500mm telephoto lens; the choice of lens merely varies the angle of
    T P, Nov 24, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.