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Thread: Distortion: Good or Bad?

  1. #1

    Default Distortion: Good or Bad?

    For wide-angle photography in general, after posting on both an american photography site & clubsnap... i find that clubsnappers tend to dislike distortion, use more zoom whereas the americans perfer distortion because it dramatizes the pic (or features of the car)...

    Specifically car photography as an example... reading magazines like CAR UK, Top Gear, EVO UK, compared to Torque (local shots), Carma, Steer, the overseas shots tend to use more wide angle whereas the local photogs usually do 'safe' shots or textbook panning.

    What do U clubsnappers think? I'm surprised by the difference in taste across the countries. What's yr view? Personal preference?

  2. #2
    Senior Member +evenstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    For wide-angle photography in general, after posting on both an american photography site & clubsnap... i find that clubsnappers tend to dislike distortion, use more zoom whereas the americans perfer distortion because it dramatizes the pic (or features of the car)...

    Specifically car photography as an example... reading magazines like CAR UK, Top Gear, EVO UK, compared to Torque (local shots), Carma, Steer, the overseas shots tend to use more wide angle whereas the local photogs usually do 'safe' shots or textbook panning.

    What do U clubsnappers think? I'm surprised by the difference in taste across the countries. What's yr view? Personal preference?
    It all depends on what you want to shoot and portray...you might want to use distortion to emphasise something for example...
    eat. drink. shoot

  3. #3
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    I prefer distortion, I guess if the persons likes to use WA then he/she would prefer distortion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    For wide-angle photography in general, after posting on both an american photography site & clubsnap... i find that clubsnappers tend to dislike distortion, use more zoom whereas the americans perfer distortion because it dramatizes the pic (or features of the car)...

    Specifically car photography as an example... reading magazines like CAR UK, Top Gear, EVO UK, compared to Torque (local shots), Carma, Steer, the overseas shots tend to use more wide angle whereas the local photogs usually do 'safe' shots or textbook panning.

    What do U clubsnappers think? I'm surprised by the difference in taste across the countries. What's yr view? Personal preference?
    I haven't noticed any tendency of Americans disliking distortion any less than others. Also, what do you mean with "clubsnappers use more zoom"? Zoom lenses are generally more prone to distortion than primes ...

    Distortion could be much more tolerable in the digital age if manufacturers provided the respective data for their lenses - since many cameras store lens type, focal length, and distance in the image file, distortion could be automatically corrected in post-processing. Without that data, the necessary calibration procedure may be just too cumbersome. Of course, it would be best to start with no distortion at all in the first place.

    Maybe you're referring to extreme perspective? That has nothing to do with distortion or focal length, but depends (ideally) solely on the position/orientation of the lens/image plane.

  5. #5

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    little wolf: U're right, I meant extreme perspective. As I'm relatively new (1yr) to photography, I hardly see WA shots, except maybe in landscapes.

    Taking the nikon-users as another example, to me, it seems not many clubsnappers interested in WA for the extreme perspective... but the f2.8 on the Nikon trinity lenses is more attractive...

    So in my opinion, it would seem clubsnappers (maybe singaporeans in general) prefer 'safe' shots, only keeping WA for landscapes & using 17mm & above with f2.8 to ensure the pictures are neat & tidy...

    When I bought my jenis d70 v-grip, I was surprised to hear the seller tell me that I will eventually buy a 70-200VR or 70-200 f2.8 when I hardly shoot telephoto.

    this is just my observation probably as a n00bie, hope U kind souls can enlighten me because there's 14,000 members on CS, most of the dreamcar asia posts were portraiture shots & hardly any WA used =)

    i'm curious.... real curious...

  6. #6

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    Distorted WA group photos - the corner people can look horrible. Trying putting a well endowed lady in those places. You will chased down the alley to the police station. If you survive - that business chapter will still be closed.

  7. #7

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    I guess u are referring to perspective rather than distortion here.

    The stretched bonnets , stretched lights in Car photography works splendidly for me to exaggerate certain features of the car. All wide angles, be it the best primes or the worst zooms have a similar perspective at a certain focal length. The stretched faces at the corner of a wide angle shot is unavoidable and many have termed that distortion.

    Distortion, like pin cushioning and barrel or... the moustach distortion is not something I particularly like, or any photographers for that matter, unless its the fisheye sort.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    I hardly see WA shots, except maybe in landscapes.
    The gallery could be misleading. How many wide angle shots look good at about 600x400 pixels where the small, farther away details are not resolved? If it doesn't look good, it might be less likely to get posted.

    most of the dreamcar asia posts were portraiture shots & hardly any WA used
    I could imagine that some of the "portraiture photographers" would risk a slap in the face if they oogled their prey from a much closer distance.

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    i tried "extreme perspective" for portraits (on the wide end of EF-S 10-22) and ended up with alien-like shots with elongated and squashed faces
    Last edited by mpenza; 5th July 2005 at 09:29 AM.

  10. #10
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    Good and bad. I like distortion in my street/event candid shots while hate it in most formal portraits.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    there's 14,000 members on CS, most of the dreamcar asia posts were portraiture shots & hardly any WA used =)
    oops, this will cause some misunderstanding... I meant that most of the photogs I saw that day were using telephoto, shooting girls (no need reason for this ) but hardly saw people using WA for candid nor car shots... just my observation

    Also, for a friend's wedding when I did some shots at 12mm, only the groom loved the extreme perspective because it added dynamism into the pic whereas the rest of my friends didnt like it...

    Thanks for all the input guys... maybe I'm just looking for a WA-focused forum haha =D

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