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Thread: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

  1. #1

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    200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Hello all:

    anybody can present some scene, photos which can show the difference between 200mm and 400mm?
    someone had posted a Canon site in comparing from 14mm to 1000... whatever focal length but the picture is of a building. Any sport, portrait pictures?

    Thanks

    Bill

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Hi Bill,

    No shots handy, but keep in mind that with 400mm reach, everything you can see will be twice as high and twice as wide as when using a lens with 200mm reach.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    I have my ever willing mannequin head, Dolly, scheduled to shoot tomorrow with 200 and 400mm lenses. She is a very willing subject and never tires of me shooting her.

    I would expect that you will want the images shot from the same distance with both focal length lenses to get an idea of the difference. However, although I use 200mm or close to 200mm quite often for portraits, I have never shot a portrait with a 400mm lens.

    I will also shoot images from different distances, framing head and shoulders with both focal lengths. Dolly won't mind. As opposed to my wife and daughter; she has the utmost patience and never says, "I don't look good enough to have my portrait shot. My hair is a mess!" ...

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Bill,

    No shots handy, but keep in mind that with 400mm reach, everything you can see will be twice as high and twice as wide as when using a lens with 200mm reach.
    True, Bill would get the same effect if he compared a photo taken with a 50mm to a 100mm lens, so the only relevant difference in any of these photos (taken at 50, 100, 200, or 400mm) would be the effect the lens has on the shot. This could be related to the design of the lens or how the photo was taken, handheld or with a tripod, atmospheric conditions, etc.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    True, Bill would get the same effect if he compared a photo taken with a 50mm to a 100mm lens, so the only relevant difference in any of these photos (taken at 50, 100, 200, or 400mm) would be the effect the lens has on the shot. This could be related to the design of the lens or how the photo was taken, handheld or with a tripod, atmospheric conditions, etc.
    Not quite sure what you're getting at John to be honest, but basically, I think Bill is trying to decide between a 200mm lens and 400mm one.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Well, easiest way to see the effect would be to take one of your pictures where you know the focal lenght used. Let's say it's a 100 mm.

    Then, to see the effect of a 200 mm, crop so that you use half the height and width of the original (so from a 3000x2000 pixel image, take a 1500x1000 section). To see the effect of a 400 mm, take a quarter (still starting from a 100mm original focal length).

    That exercise will show you what the lens sees, although with a real telephoto lens you would of course have the full resolution of your sensor.
    What it doesn't show is the larger weight of a 400 mm lens (or the much smaller max. aperture); also, a longer lens is more difficult to use in general (vibrations, aiming, etc). And there is the cost as well.

    Perhaps OP could give some more information about the reason forhis question?

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    Well, easiest way to see the effect would be to take one of your pictures where you know the focal lenght used. Let's say it's a 100 mm.

    Then, to see the effect of a 200 mm, crop so that you use half the height and width of the original (so from a 3000x2000 pixel image, take a 1500x1000 section). To see the effect of a 400 mm, take a quarter (still starting from a 100mm original focal length).

    That exercise will show you what the lens sees, although with a real telephoto lens you would of course have the full resolution of your sensor.
    What it doesn't show is the larger weight of a 400 mm lens (or the much smaller max. aperture); also, a longer lens is more difficult to use in general (vibrations, aiming, etc). And there is the cost as well.

    Perhaps OP could give some more information about the reason forhis question?
    Revi,

    The technique you suggest here might help to give a rough idea of the change in field of view, but would not be a 100% accurate depiction of the difference between the two focal lengths.

    For example, there will be a change in the relative sizes of the elements captured within the frame. Check out the Using Telephoto Lenses tutorial - particularly the 'Telephoto Perspective' section. While the difference will not be as dramatic as it would be from a wide-angle lens to a telephoto, the difference would still be there. This would not show up in the cropping method you recommend.

    - Bill

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Not quite sure what you're getting at John to be honest, but basically, I think Bill is trying to decide between a 200mm lens and 400mm one.
    I mean the magnification would be the same if comparing the smaller focal lengths, but at the larger focal lengths there could be more faults in the lens or the person holding the camera. Example camera shake because of the method of steadying the camera and distortion from the lens.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I mean the magnification would be the same if comparing the smaller focal lengths, but at the larger focal lengths there could be more faults in the lens or the person holding the camera. Example camera shake because of the method of steadying the camera and distortion from the lens.
    Here's a crude scan of the lenses I was talking about and a closeup of the two lenses Bill wanted to compare.
    200mm vs. 400mm photos?
    200mm vs. 400mm photos?

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    400mm
    200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    200mm
    200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    70mm (the other end of my 70-200mm lens)
    200mm vs. 400mm photos?

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Thanks, John and Richard:
    thanks for giving me a real idea when I have no chance to make one 400mm picture. I have a better idea about the bigger size in filling the frame.
    another question is: (no matter on the book or the doll head) the building seems to have adquate lighting while the doll head darken a bit.
    do both cases using the same aperture in both 200mm and 400mm?
    I ask this is because i visualize it: if the indoor ice rink F 2.8 , 200mm brightness is something like the 400mm doll face. then, If I add extender to make my 200mm to 400mm while lossing 2 stops, then the doll face will be much darker.
    If it is the case, the 2x extender seems to be not very practical in indoor ice rink.
    Or when you see my 200mm f2.8 photo attached, you may also visualize how much darker will be her face will be when drop down to f 5.6.
    Is it?

    Bill
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    I did not shoot on manual and thus the surrounding area resulted in the difference since I was in a hurry and shot on Programmed, thinking that all you needed was to see the difference between the sizes of the head. If I wanted the head to have the same values, I would have spot metered it and shot on manual.

    However, although the Dolly was very patient, my spouse was not. She had an errand that she wanted me to run and I hurried the shooting.

    You have to realize that shooting with a 2x TC will both cut your light two stops and slow down your autofocus somewhat. I am thinking that 400mm lens with an effective aperture of 5.6 would (even with IS compensation) be difficult with which to shoot in the relatively low light of an ice rink. I would not want to attempt it using my 400mm f/5.6 lens and I suspect that the very fast auto-focus of the 5.6L might be faster than the 2x + 200mm f/2.8 lens - even the newest versions of the TC and the lens...

    During practice sessions, I wonder if they would allow you to set up some fairly powerful strobes. I have seen a lot of good professional ice-hockey shots done with a bank of powerful strobes from a relatively high level. The ice of the rink acts as a reflector to fill in the shadows caused from the high strobe positions.

    Remember also that your daughter is going to be darker than the white of the ice, so spot metering would be helpful. I would meter for her and let the ice blow out.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    I should mention that the photographer of those images is Daniel Lezano, who is an author of many books and editor of Digital SLR magazine. The author did not mention the settings used for these photographs but he often tests many new lenses. I would suspect he either used the same aperture for both photos or if he was actually testing a superzoom used the best aperture for that particular focal length. I would suspect that he used a smaller aperture as most if not all of the scene is relatively sharp.

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Thanks for all the inputs and I noticed that my eyes are more sensitive to photos, details inside , light, angle of light since last year when I focus more on photography. Going more to the forum, other's albums.....
    Actually, I can learn and keep sharpen my eye and mind every seconds in my life: magazine, commercial on the street, poster...... they are everywhere...
    I am growing...
    this forum is one of the most helpful especially the many folks who have the patience to keep on explaining, showing illustration...

    thanks

    Bill

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Richard:

    You have brain stormed me to another alternative. While flash is not convenience in practicing session.
    Why don't I use flash in public skating session.
    Then , I can have my camera with me on ice, then the distance will be much closer.

    I used to tried that (without flash) with my 20D before.
    May be I should work out this way and see how it goes.
    yes, there will be more people around, but it is only the deletion of the pictures later which is easy to deal with.

    thanks for re-directing my over concentrated focus on 400mm under insufficient light.

    Bill

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Bill,

    Another alternative might be to see about scheduling a private 1-on-1 session for your daughter. She would get the benefit of some detailed assistance from the instructor, and you should be able to join them on the ice and take the photos you'd like to get without having to be so far from the action.

    - Bill

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    Re: 200mm vs. 400mm photos?

    Good idea, Bill S :
    I am visiting Hong KOng and also take private lesson there. Me and my daughter will take private lesson at the same time. and it may be a good chance to photo her while she take the lesson.
    We take weekday lesson and presume that the rink will be not so crowd....

    Two brains is always better than one!
    thanks

    Bill

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