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Archive for Sunday, July 11, 2004

Behind the lens: Medium wide-angle lens offers the most versatility

July 11, 2004

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Photographer: Mike Yoder

Camera: Nikon D1H

This photo of Mary Olson, Lawrence, although similar to the
portrait of her <a href=
"http://ljworld.com/section/gardening/story/175431">in this
gardening story</a>, was taken with a semi-wide-angle lens. A
medium wide-angle lens is one of the most versatile of lenses for a
photographer. A 120mm telephoto lens was used for the photo of
Olson in the other story.

This photo of Mary Olson, Lawrence, although similar to the portrait of her <a href= "http://ljworld.com/section/gardening/story/175431">in this gardening story</a>, was taken with a semi-wide-angle lens. A medium wide-angle lens is one of the most versatile of lenses for a photographer. A 120mm telephoto lens was used for the photo of Olson in the other story.

Lens: 35mm

ISO: 320

Aperture: 5.6

Shutter: 1/200

People often ask about the different lenses I use for my job. From my widest lens at 24mm to my longest telephoto at 400mm, I have many choices when approaching a subject.

But if I had to pick a favorite lens, I would opt for a medium wide-angle lens between 28-35mm. The reason is the versatility of this range of lens. Although telephoto lenses allow you to stand back and tightly frame subjects, the medium wide-angle can frame the same subject similarly just by moving closer and filling the frame. The same wide-angle lens also can cover groups of people in small areas. In a crowded room, you can't move back far enough to make much use of a telephoto lens.

The photo above and a similar photo on 8E in today's paper are framed alike yet are taken with different lenses. The one on 8E was shot with a telephoto and the one above with a wide-angle. Had I picked the photo above to use with the others on 8E, all three shots on that assignment would have been taken with my medium wide-angle lens.

So if you're considering buying your first camera and lens -- or figuring out what to take on a trip -- my opinion is that you'll be best served by a wide-angle.




"Behind the Lens" is an ongoing weekly series that features an image selected by the Journal-World photo staff that previously ran in the newspaper or online. Wondering how a certain picture was created? Nominate it for "Behind the Lens" by contacting chief photographer Mike Yoder at 832-7141 or myoder@ljworld.com.

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