Jump to content
Max Field

Is There A Reason I Think Wide Angle Always Looks Better?

Recommended Posts

Whether it's photo or video, every time the angle gets tighter than 50mm I feel like the image looses most of its punch. Does anyone else feel this way?

 

Sometimes I feel like if I don't learn to embrace other focal lengths my style will become predictable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not try something counterintuitive. Use a long lens for a wide shot (moving out) and using a wide lens for close ups and portraits (I tend to like that a lot if done well).
It's true "you like what you like" but:

a) you cannot like what you don't know and

b) you don't even know what you like when you don't know it! :D

and most of all

c) you are already aware that you are missing out on s.th. and that there is potenial for growth.

 

When you say you are "predictable" to yourself, that sounds a lot where I have been - for other reasons and in still photography I was getting bored of my own approach to subjects.

 

Photography, for as much as it can be a profession, when practiced as art is passion driven.

I don't think I could keep that passion alive if I cut its lifelines (creativity, play with its implicit failure and learning, the unknown, the magic)

You might do tests where you force yourself to use a different lens from what would be your auto-pilot choice and then see how by simply playing with a frame your creativity grows to embrace a new constraint as a liberation.

Constraints usually come from "out there" (locations, directors etc..) Why not impose some on yourself and make the experience that even then you can be creative and deliver "punchy" results through these limitations. That will give you larger sholders as well because you then know that constraints are a lever to your creativity and not a menace.

Have fun Macks, it's what brought you here!

Best,

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, sure it will become predictable? So what? If you are doing it for yourself, shoot what you like. If for a client, learn to use all styles.

 

Some of my photo styles are predictable, I am happy with being identified by style of my photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, wide angle in my eyes is like 16 - 24 on Super 35mm imagers. Tho some may say 6mm - 12mm are options as well, the distortion can be overwhelming.

 

Long lenses can be used to show distance in a characters/story. They can be used like Kubrick, to push into a subject that's distant. They're great for capturing super shallow depth of field shots. They flatten out the image, which helps create a more picturesque look. I mean there are a lot of pro's with longer then a 50mm lens.

 

On the same side, wide angle has a lot of benefits as well.

 

Personally, I do feel it's important to use both ends of the spectrum. If I had the money, I would add a 25-250 zoom to my 35mm bundle because I love zoom lenses and long focal lengths, just as much as I love 24mm, 32mm and 50mm lenses for dialog scenes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love 24mm, 32mm and 50mm lenses for dialog scenes.

Sorry to be a bit off topic, but what prime sets are doing 32mm?? Most of the time I look at a focal length rundown it always hits at 35.

 

I think Adrian and someone else said 32mm is their all time favorite focal length as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to be a bit off topic, but what prime sets are doing 32mm?? Most of the time I look at a focal length rundown it always hits at 35.

 

I think Adrian and someone else said 32mm is their all time favorite focal length as well.

I wouldn't get too hung up on 32mm vs 35mm. The proliferation of non standard sized sensors means that the actual field of view is something of a moving target.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cooke S4's and Zeiss Master Primes have a 32mm. As Stuart says, I wouldn't worry too much about the difference between a 32mm and a 35mm if you only can get a 35mm. Keep in mind that on a slightly larger sensor like 3.2K or 3.4K on an Alexa, the view is wider than with Super-35, so your 35mm is more like a 32mm in terms of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have favorite focal lengths though in my still photography, I tend to avoid super wide-angle work -- I don't want the most interesting thing about my photo to be the lens I used! I'd rather the focal length support how I'm trying to present the subject.

 

For me, it's mostly about compression of perspective, or its expansion, and which works better for all the elements of the shot. And, if shooting narrative, how that shot fits into all the other shots.

 

When I was doing the feature "Northfork" back in 2002 in 35mm anamorphic, shooting on the Great Plains in Montana, it was interesting to have so much space to work in -- I used the wide-angle lenses when I wanted to emphasize the depth of open space on the prairies, but I used longer lenses when I wanted to emphasize the looming Rocky Mountains in the background.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm late to this party, but I have an opinion. :)

 

At the age of 12 I became aware of composition thanks to British television and film. At that time (the 1970s) I was often able to pick out the nationality of a film within a couple of shots based on lens usage, and my favorite TV shows of the era were British science fiction TV shows. Wide angle shots with lots of depth and perspective were common, and when I shot my own home movies I always favored wide angle lenses.

 

Over time I came to appreciate other focal lengths and styles of composition, but wide angle lenses were my first (compositional) love.

 

If you're like me, you go through stages where you prefer one style of working for a while, and then you switch to something else. At each stage, you learn something and incorporate it into your repertoire. When I was a freelance DPI didn't always use wide angle lenses, but I certainly wasn't afraid of them thanks to the fact that I completely overdid them when I was younger.

 

I've heard people say that they find, say, 50mm to be a completely boring focal length. I disagree. There are no boring focal lengths. It's all in what you do with them. I've done a lot of stills work with the 50mm and captured some amazing images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Just Cinema Gear



    Tai Audio



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Abel Cine



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Serious Gear



    Glidecam



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Paralinx LLC



    FJS International



    Ritter Battery



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    G-Force Grips



    Visual Products



    CineLab



    Wooden Camera



    Metropolis Post


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...