Limitations of 60mm Focal Length

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ibclc2, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. ibclc2

    ibclc2 TPF Noob!

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    I am considering buying the relatively new Lumix LX-3 camera, and advanced point-and-shoot camera. What's novel about this camera is that the maximum focal length is 60mm. The camera offers great wide angle shots. The reviews I have read praise the camera for its quality and features.

    My question is: How will the 60mm focal length limit me? I am a beginner.
    I have heard, for example, that for portraits, the "sweet spot" is somewhere arounf 85mm to 105mm. Will the Lumix limitation get in the way of my taking portrait shots? What other issues might be a problem?

    Here's a link to a review:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicDMCLX3/

    Should I avoid this camera because of the 60mm limit? Any comments or suggestions appreciated!
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    50mm is considered to give an angle of view roughly the same as that of the human eye - at least when shot on fullframe cameras.
    For you this might or might not be a limitation - it really depends what you are after. To be honest I think the best thing is to go hold the camera in a shop and see how it feels and if it is too short for you. Also at the shop ask if you can take photos and have them burnt to a CD to take home to review - that way you can have a look at the quality of shot you get as well
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It probably won't be too much of an issue.

    Typically, yes...longer focal lengths are better for shooting people because of the flattening effect. Wide angles tend to accentuate the near/far distance, which doesn't usually look good for people.

    I'm not sure how much this changes because we are talking about a small sensor camera and not a larger sensor or film...which is where the "85-100mm" recommendation comes from.
     
  4. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Remember though, that the wide angle distortion effect on people is greatly reduced if you add even a foot of distance between you and your subject. I've shot people at 15 feet with my 28mm prime and there's no unflattering distortion at all. Up close, there would be tons.

    And besides, 50mm is a great portrait focal length too. Unless I get very close, it always gives me great, distortion free shots:[​IMG]
     
  5. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The only limitations is you the photographer
     
  6. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    I've got a quick question... in doing a search on this camera, the price i found on average is around $600 (CAD on flee bay) ... why would you buy an "advanced point and shoot" for 600 when you can buy a DSLR for that price, or less for some....

    just a thought... maybe you found a sweet deal on it or something
     
  7. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    It's got to be the size. That's almost always what it is.
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    good call... it is pretty small looking.. I look forward to the OP's reason..
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point, but at 15' feet with a 28mm lens...the person's face will be a rather small portion of the image.
     
  10. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Yup, but that was an extreme example. The same concept applies when you're comparing 50mm from a half-foot and 50mm from 2 feet.
     
  11. ibclc2

    ibclc2 TPF Noob!

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    Cost is $419 at bhphoto.
     
  12. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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