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Thread: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

  1. #1

    Default If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    ...still take the shot and try to crop it later on? Say you have in your hands a 17-50mm lens whilst walking about and you see a nice photo opportunity..only thing is u are too far and cannot go close enuff..let's say the optimum focal length would be 85mm which you dun have..will you still take it and crop afterwards? if you crop too much the IQ will suffer wouldn't it?

    Or would you wished you have something like 55-250mm in your bag so you could change to it real fast?

    Just a thot...

  2. #2
    Member crystal1993's Avatar
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    I would attempt to crop as i think by the time you change lens the moment would be gone unless the 'moment' will happen again or something.

  3. #3

    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Very often, its not possible to have perfect framing. It happens even with landscapes on the wide end of things.
    Just crop the photo, unless you know for sure that you will be making large prints with it.
    Then again, we are talking about logical cropping within the limits for the camera resolution.
    I certainly won't crop more than 25% from my Canon A590 pns even if its 12mp, the details are just not there.
    I certainly can crop 50% if need be from a 12mp KX, which has better details due to sensor and lens.

    At higher ISO, the detail retention will not be as good, and the ability to crop will be decreased as well.
    In the end, you need to know what your camera/lens and live with work arounds. If not everyone will need a 1mm to 1000mm lens to do almost everything.

  4. #4

    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Crappy photo is better than no photo. You might still save it through PP. (but you probably don't have to do too much anyway)

    Also camera most crops still look pretty good unless very high ISO imo. Cameras nowadays have 10mp or more. That still gives you a lot of leeway to crop and resize.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    In the end, you need to know what your camera/lens and live with work arounds. If not everyone will need a 1mm to 1000mm lens to do almost everything.
    At f/0.5!
    Last edited by symmetrix; 7th July 2011 at 10:24 AM.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the reply guys! I'm thinking not in the context of a candid shot of people from a distance..maybe more like this..whilst on travel or shooting landscape scenery..say nature or in mountainous areas..you see a nice frame in a distance..you take up the 17-50mm and at the longest end..you still get many "distractions" that are right in front of you in the photo..maybe people who are posing..or railngs or cars or whatever..you get what i mean..to crop all this away maybe you are looking at at least 25% to 40% crop..

    So the more ideal here is if you had a longer lens or just take anyway and go PP later?

  6. #6
    Senior Member blueskye168's Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SmOcKxY View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys! I'm thinking not in the context of a candid shot of people from a distance..maybe more like this..whilst on travel or shooting landscape scenery..say nature or in mountainous areas..you see a nice frame in a distance..you take up the 17-50mm and at the longest end..you still get many "distractions" that are right in front of you in the photo..maybe people who are posing..or railngs or cars or whatever..you get what i mean..to crop all this away maybe you are looking at at least 25% to 40% crop..

    So the more ideal here is if you had a longer lens or just take anyway and go PP later?
    Well, an example of my case mentioned at #6, was to do heavy-cropping(which is what I'll be doing it later for my Woody-Birdie...) and then finger-crossed=pray-n-prayahhh......hopefully pic can still be seen as acceptable lor...hohoho!!!

    OH Gosh...where is my post at #06=was mentioning about SBG-yesterday..., and this is supposed to be post #07...?? Why so weird one??

    Can the Mod please enlighten/resolve asap...?? TIA


    Last edited by blueskye168; 7th July 2011 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Error=Skipped of one Orginal-#06-post as current-#06 is supposed to be #07
    Anything that can take pictures...happy already lor...(..but...Hasselblad_H5D-50 as my Workhorse)

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    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SmOcKxY View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys! I'm thinking not in the context of a candid shot of people from a distance..maybe more like this..whilst on travel or shooting landscape scenery..say nature or in mountainous areas..you see a nice frame in a distance..you take up the 17-50mm and at the longest end..you still get many "distractions" that are right in front of you in the photo..maybe people who are posing..or railngs or cars or whatever..you get what i mean..to crop all this away maybe you are looking at at least 25% to 40% crop..

    So the more ideal here is if you had a longer lens or just take anyway and go PP later?
    This is very puzzling. If you're taking a landscape or travel pic, wouldn't you have plenty of time to change lens? The scenery is not going anywhere. And why do you need to change to a long lens, since wide angle is preferred for landscape pictures? As for the people blocking you, couldn't you just walk a few more steps to have them out of your FOV?

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SmOcKxY View Post
    ...still take the shot and try to crop it later on? Say you have in your hands a 17-50mm lens whilst walking about and you see a nice photo opportunity..only thing is u are too far and cannot go close enuff..let's say the optimum focal length would be 85mm which you dun have..will you still take it and crop afterwards? if you crop too much the IQ will suffer wouldn't it?

    Or would you wished you have something like 55-250mm in your bag so you could change to it real fast?

    Just a thot...
    Aiyo, like that it depends on situation what.

    Do you have time to change?

    Did you even bring it?

    My advice is to assess always if you think you'd need the longer reach before you go out. If you think you don't and you assessed wrongly, then that's something you live with. Just shoot and crop and don't spend so much time lamenting "aiya, if I had a 55-250mm", it doesn't do anyone any good.

    If your takeaway is to carry all your lenses everywhere, then good luck to your back 50 years down the road. Carrying a lot of heavy items is not going to benefit your mood - and I maintain that your mood does affect how you shoot and what you shoot and how well you shoot.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc

    This is very puzzling. If you're taking a landscape or travel pic, wouldn't you have plenty of time to change lens? The scenery is not going anywhere. And why do you need to change to a long lens, since wide angle is preferred for landscape pictures? As for the people blocking you, couldn't you just walk a few more steps to have them out of your FOV?

    Hmm..i wonder how my question is puzzling..i was just asking if in the case u do not have the longer lens..would you still take the pic and crop it later on even if it means by 40%? As for the people blocking that was just example..what if it's a huge ugly canal that you can't cross and want it out of the pic..let's say the framing i have in mind will have to exclude everything in front of you up to 10-15m..if you use wide angle it's not possible to get them out right? So in this case would a longer lens be a better alternative rather than cropping?

  10. #10
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Just to highlight as well, if you have a sharp lens in the 17-50 range compared to the 55-250, it may very well be that cropping the output from the 17-50 lens will be better than using the 55-250 lens.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos-

    Aiyo, like that it depends on situation what.

    Do you have time to change?

    Did you even bring it?

    My advice is to assess always if you think you'd need the longer reach before you go out. If you think you don't and you assessed wrongly, then that's something you live with. Just shoot and crop and don't spend so much time lamenting "aiya, if I had a 55-250mm", it doesn't do anyone any good.

    If your takeaway is to carry all your lenses everywhere, then good luck to your back 50 years down the road. Carrying a lot of heavy items is not going to benefit your mood - and I maintain that your mood does affect how you shoot and what you shoot and how well you shoot.


    Hahaha! So I deduce you would take the pic even if you don't have the reach? Of cos if i'm traveling i would plan the equipment properly..i'm just asking if so happens out of the blue u see something nice u want to capture..just 1 shot..but u do not have the equipment..just shoot and crop heavily later?

  12. #12
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SmOcKxY View Post
    Hmm..i wonder how my question is puzzling..i was just asking if in the case u do not have the longer lens..would you still take the pic and crop it later on even if it means by 40%? As for the people blocking that was just example..what if it's a huge ugly canal that you can't cross and want it out of the pic..let's say the framing i have in mind will have to exclude everything in front of you up to 10-15m..if you use wide angle it's not possible to get them out right? So in this case would a longer lens be a better alternative rather than cropping?
    So if you don't have the long lens, you have no other options don't you? Would you prefer to take a shot and crop later, or forget it and don't take any shots? That's entirely personal preference, bearing in mind how much you need to crop and whether the resolution can support such cropping.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc

    So if you don't have the long lens, you have no other options don't you? Would you prefer to take a shot and crop later, or forget it and don't take any shots? That's entirely personal preference, bearing in mind how much you need to crop and whether the resolution can support such cropping.
    Agreed..so i suppose for you personally u will take the pic and try your best to crop it into a useable photo?

  14. #14
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SmOcKxY View Post
    Hahaha! So I deduce you would take the pic even if you don't have the reach? Of cos if i'm traveling i would plan the equipment properly..i'm just asking if so happens out of the blue u see something nice u want to capture..just 1 shot..but u do not have the equipment..just shoot and crop heavily later?
    Having the shot is better than having no shot at all.

    A lot of the most famous photographs are not about how sharp the buildings are, how sharp the person is. At the end of the day, it's all about the composition. It is this modern life that has led to the situation where people who have nothing better to do pixel peep.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    hey this just happened to me awhile back. had only 50 mm but needed about 100+. turned on cropped mode on the d700 but still not enough. in the end had to do quite abit of cropping but decent enough to still look nice.

    to avoid such problems my typical kit is a 17-35, 50, and either 100 or 135(or both) but had to travel lighter that day. i told myself i ll prob be shooting all UWA so won't need a long lens anyway. but this kind of thing always happens. i would still shoot, but if its really too small, i ll just throw it away later
    F3, FTN, D700, just primes =)
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  16. #16

    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Just shoot it lor, then go back and decide. Better than never try and regretting it later. It's not as if storage capacity is an issue or unless that particular shot is so troublesome to set up that creates a lot of delays.

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the replies guys..now i know what the general consensus is!

  18. #18

    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    I'll just shoot it,
    head home and crop, and if it's crappy, just dump it.
    if I don't shoot it, I'll never have that frame.
    I've heard of photographers that like to show off that they never crop their photos though =x

  19. #19

    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    hi guys.. by cropping we can get bigger and nearer to the subject..but on the other hand will affect the IQ..
    if u know u going to crop it later.. isit better to shoot in RAW or JPEG is fine? does it make any different?

  20. #20
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: If your focal length is not long enough..would you...

    Quote Originally Posted by TWmilkteaTW View Post
    hi guys.. by cropping we can get bigger and nearer to the subject..but on the other hand will affect the IQ..
    if u know u going to crop it later.. isit better to shoot in RAW or JPEG is fine? does it make any different?
    Maximum image quality, better to shoot in RAW - given that you know how to handle a RAW file properly.

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