How Lens Compression and Perspective Distortion Work

We all know that if you shoot a portrait of someone’s face up close with a wide angle lens, their face will be distorted and the background will appear extremely far behind them. This is called “extension distortion.” If you back up and take a picture of the same person with a telephoto lens, the subject and background will become more “compressed” meaning that the foreground and background will appear closer together. This is called “compression distortion.”

These noticeable differences lead most photographers to believe that wide angle lenses are distorting a scene while telephoto lenses are compressing a scene, but they are overlooking what is actually happening: the camera is moving. In reality, the distance from the camera to the subject is what is creating these distortions.

Two years ago, I wrote an article titled “Lens Compression Doesn’t Exist,” and in that article, I created an animated gif to prove that a wide angle lens cropped in and a telephoto lens will create the same amount of foreground and background “compression” if the camera remains in the same place. … (article)

Lens Compression Doesn’t Exist – Here’s Why

Fstoppers

Published on May 22, 2018

Read the full post here: https://fstoppers.com/architecture/ho…

There is a common misconception about lens compression amongst photographers. In this video, Fstoppers takes a range of lenses, from 15mm to 1,000mm, to explain in two examples what’s really happening.

Leave a Reply