# Does tele = walk closer or wider = walk backwards?

##### Member
Hi Fellows,
First of all I am sorry if same topic has discussed before, I tried searching with no luck. Moreover, this is more like a sharing rather a question
I read many experienced guys writing in their blogs that walk closer and you don't need tele and walk backwards(of course if you have space) and you don't need wider lens.
With the limited experience I posses this is totally wrong.
saying this you are totally ignoring the fact that the tele lens reduces the distances between the objects deep in the field, and this can be used in certain creative effects. Like you may show bigger moon in comparison with ur object by zooming in.
Similarly wider lenses increases the distances in the field. This also creates very creative effects and my favourite too.
I am not sure why these experienced bloggers keep confusing the newbies like me.
;(

#### daredevil123

##### Moderator
Staff member
Hi Fellows,
First of all I am sorry if same topic has discussed before, I tried searching with no luck. Moreover, this is more like a sharing rather a question
I read many experienced guys writing in their blogs that walk closer and you don't need tele and walk backwards(of course if you have space) and you don't need wider lens.
With the limited experience I posses this is totally wrong.
saying this you are totally ignoring the fact that the tele lens reduces the distances between the objects deep in the field, and this can be used in certain creative effects. Like you may show bigger moon in comparison with ur object by zooming in.
Similarly wider lenses increases the distances in the field. This also creates very creative effects and my favourite too.
I am not sure why these experienced bloggers keep confusing the newbies like me.
;(
Not exactly the same. If you walk in closer and zoom in, the effect of compression is different. Perspective is also different as well.

##### Member
Not exactly the same. If you walk in closer and zoom in, the effect of compression is different. Perspective is also different as well.
Agreed but what I am referring to is in context of primes. or as an example. 105mm focal length can not create similar effect as 300mm, even if you walk closer to the subject, right?

#### daredevil123

##### Moderator
Staff member
Agreed but what I am referring to is in context of primes. or as an example. 105mm focal length can not create similar effect as 300mm, even if you walk closer to the subject, right?
Compression and perspective is caused by distance to subject and distance to background. Nothing to do with context of primes or zoom.

If you use a 105mm lens and walk towards your subject so your subject occupies the same space on the VF as standing far away with a 300mm,

The size of the subject will be the same, but how the background looks, and how the subject looks will be different. 300mm + farther away, will give you more compression, and the face of the subject will be flatter. 105mm + nearer, will give you a more protruding face and less compression in the background.

If you really want to see the difference, fit on a 24mm lens walk close in and you will see the big difference.

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##### Member
Compression and perspective is caused by distance to subject and distance to background. Nothing to do with context of primes or zoom.
So what you are saying is that taking 14mm and walk very close to the subject will produce same result, if someone sitting far and zooming in with 300mm?

#### Rashkae

##### Senior Member
So what you are saying is that taking 14mm and walk very close to the subject will produce same result, if someone sitting far and zooming in with 300mm?
No.

I think you do not know what a prime and zoom is. You seem to think a prime is a 105mm lens, but there are 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm primes...

Perspective wise, a 300mm prime lens will be the same as a tele-zoom at 300mm.

#### daredevil123

##### Moderator
Staff member
So what you are saying is that taking 14mm and walk very close to the subject will produce same result, if someone sitting far and zooming in with 300mm?
See my post above again.

Will never be the same. The difference in distance to subject changes everything.

If you use 14mm, 105mm and 300mm and shoot from the same distance, and then crop to size,the subject's facial feature and perspective will be the same.

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##### Member
See my post above again.

Will never be the same. The difference in distance to subject changes everything.

If you use 14mm, 105mm and 300mm and shoot from the same distance, and then crop to size, the only difference will be depth of field. The subject's facial feature will be the same.
That is what exactly my point is. I suck in explaining things

#### edutilos-

##### Senior Member
No need for these technical terminology/jargon.

TS is asking simple question, does tele = walk closer or wider = walk backwards; the best way to answer this is to visualise yourself. For example, imagine a cliff. You are 50 m away from the edge, so you don't see anything below the overhanging edge. For the sake of discussion, let's just say that you know that there's a really really hot XMM on the beach below the cliff and you want to capture that scene. But you only see the sea. Using a telephoto here, unless you jump really really high, will not help you get the XMM into your frame. Walking forward to the edge of the cliff, you can use any lens you want to add her into your top secret collection of bikini landscapes.

So is tele = walk closer, or wider = walk backwards? The answer is simple, all you have to do is think.

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#### divinemoment

##### Senior Member
The OP questions is yes and no.

Yes: provided the subject is stationary and you have all the time and energy to move forward, upward or backward to experiment till your heart content, or disregarding whether the subject in question has run off fearing from you.

No: Surroundings disallow you to move forward or backwards. Eg. a river in front or a cliff behind. Or how to engage a subject at 10 storey high? If its a human subject in front and assuming you're allowed to move forward, consider the action will gone by the time you reach there. Don't forget photography is all about capturing the moment.

Some purist will say let your legs do the walking. I can't agree to this statement wholesale as explained above.

Regarding this lens = that lens if walking is applied bla bla, most importantly photography is all about capturing the moment. Question to ask yourself - do you want to miss the moment? How important is that to you?

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#### gundamseed84

##### New Member
If say using 18mm vs 50mm, then there will be a problem of distortion at wider angle lenses even though the object takes the same amount of space in ur frame. I think the blog you read might be talking about similar framing between two lenses of different focal length by moving/zooming around. It doesn't consider other things such as distortion, background blur, etc.

#### Ben Ang

##### Senior Member
yea, most people have this misconception that moving closer/further will be the same as using a wider/longer lens. it is WRONG!

I has to do with perspective. take the example of 2 primes lenses(non zoom). a 35mm, and a 105mm. if you were to take a picture out a window, with the borders of the window exactly at the edges of the frame, the 35mm will show you more of whats outside than the 105mm. typically, we can say that wide angle lenses involve more of the bg, while tele lenses see less of the bg.

this effect is termed perspective. every focal length will have its unique way of portraying a scene. good use of perspective and composition can create an image which draws the person into the picture. from experience, wide angles are usually dramatic, but draw backs include distorting features as it exaggerates the distances btw foreground and bg. 50mm is the turning point. its equivalent to what the human eye sees, a 'normal' perspective. and thought sometimes boring, if used properly, you ll create an image which makes it feel like you are actually standing right there. this is my favourite focal length.

telephoto lenses are somewhat less involving. they generally make the viewer feel far from the subject. its not a bad thing per se, but using telephoto lenses to shoot street photography generally produces less engaging photos. they re good for subject isolation (remember the less background part), and when you can't approach the subject.

however, none of these are hard and fast rules and i have seen(or created) images by 300 and 400mm lenses which make you feel right there as well. so my advice its to understand your lenses: the perspective each one gives, the performance(not just resoluton but contrast, potential for flare etc) at their different F-stops, depth of field and the particular rendition of the lens and then you ll be able to use the lenses more creatively.

i shoot mostly primes, which i find are easier to understand. i ve come to a point where i can sometimes look at a scene and say i need my 5.8cm instead of the 50mm. or, that this picture won't turn out cos i don t have my 200mm today. anyway, hope this is useful, let me know if there's any more info you ll need.

Regards,
Benjamin

#### Cowseye

##### Senior Member
I like how Benjamin describes. For example, if you want to hold the esplanade "durian" in a model's palm a longer focal length lens would do a better job than a UWA when you will probably get a miniature durian instead

#### Ben Ang

##### Senior Member
I like how Benjamin describes. For example, if you want to hold the esplanade "durian" in a model's palm a longer focal length lens would do a better job than a UWA when you will probably get a miniature durian instead
but then you gotta take DOF into consideration.. longer lenses wont give you the DOF needed for all of it to be in focus

##### Member
yea, most people have this misconception that moving closer/further will be the same as using a wider/longer lens. it is WRONG!

I has to do with perspective. take the example of 2 primes lenses(non zoom). a 35mm, and a 105mm. if you were to take a picture out a window, with the borders of the window exactly at the edges of the frame, the 35mm will show you more of whats outside than the 105mm. typically, we can say that wide angle lenses involve more of the bg, while tele lenses see less of the bg.

this effect is termed perspective. every focal length will have its unique way of portraying a scene. good use of perspective and composition can create an image which draws the person into the picture. from experience, wide angles are usually dramatic, but draw backs include distorting features as it exaggerates the distances btw foreground and bg. 50mm is the turning point. its equivalent to what the human eye sees, a 'normal' perspective. and thought sometimes boring, if used properly, you ll create an image which makes it feel like you are actually standing right there. this is my favourite focal length.

telephoto lenses are somewhat less involving. they generally make the viewer feel far from the subject. its not a bad thing per se, but using telephoto lenses to shoot street photography generally produces less engaging photos. they re good for subject isolation (remember the less background part), and when you can't approach the subject.

however, none of these are hard and fast rules and i have seen(or created) images by 300 and 400mm lenses which make you feel right there as well. so my advice its to understand your lenses: the perspective each one gives, the performance(not just resoluton but contrast, potential for flare etc) at their different F-stops, depth of field and the particular rendition of the lens and then you ll be able to use the lenses more creatively.

i shoot mostly primes, which i find are easier to understand. i ve come to a point where i can sometimes look at a scene and say i need my 5.8cm instead of the 50mm. or, that this picture won't turn out cos i don t have my 200mm today. anyway, hope this is useful, let me know if there's any more info you ll need.

Regards,
Benjamin
Finally someone explained well. Thanks
Based on my experience I also say its not same and I love the fact cuz it help us creating effects.

##### Member

Creative Photography: Focal Length and Perspective
Hi bro,
This is one awesome link. Explains everything.
Must read for all of us who thinks that walking closer or zooming in is same thing. I must forward this link to all those bloggers lolz