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Always Shooting at One End or the Other?

If you use zoom lenses, do you find yourself always shooting at either the very shortest focal length or the very longest? If you do, go ahead and admit it — it's a common syndrome.

Here's something for you to think about though: statistically speaking, doesn't it seem a bit odd that these always end up being the choices you make? Why nothing in the middle of the focal range? Maybe there's something going on here that bears closer scrutiny.

By shooting at the widest angle of view (shortest focal length) you are basically trying to get as much in the frame as possible. Another way to do this of course is to take a few steps backwards. Similarly, if you always shoot at the longest focal length you have available you are trying to narrow your field of view and crop your subject as tightly as possible. But simply moving closer would make your subject bigger too. Always shooting at one end or the other of your lens could mean that you tend to zoom before you tend to walk around.

Sometimes getting the framing you want by moving around isn't always possible of course. Zoom lenses come in very handy when the alternative would put you standing in the middle of a stream or over a cliff. When you can though, try getting into the best position possible before you reach for the zoom ring. You may find that you get more use out of the full focal range your lenses offer.

Date posted: October 12, 2003


Copyright © 2003 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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