Automotive focal length

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TWX, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Was going through some pictures from a car show, I'd taken two shots of the same car at different distances to the subject and different focal lengths.

    First, 24mm on an APS-C sensor:

    77-cordoba-24mm.JPG

    Then stepping back and zooming-in to 42mm with the same APS-C sensor:

    77-cordoba-42mm.JPG

    I can see each having their purpose, but the 42mm shot is certainly the more realistic image, while the former almost blows-out the scale to make the car look cartoonish, a caricature of itself.

    It doesn't hurt that this particular car has swooping curves in the fenders and quarters, both up and out, and that it has scant few truly straight lines, so the exaggeration effect of the 24mm shot is able to accentuate existing bulging.

    I've also noticed that better automotive magazines tend to feature more of the latter kind of image, if not even longer telephoto, simply to avoid having weird proportions. If they use such wide shots so close it's in a teaser on the cover or in the table of contents to attract the reader to the article, while the article itself features longer zooms, often much longer than this. Sometimes drag-racing or other action-shots might feature such exaggeration for effect though, possibly to imply power.


     
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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Did that car have fine Corinthian leather? I am sure you know what I'm talking about. I can still hear Ricardo Montalban stressing the importance of fine, Corinthian leather.

    Your photograph made with a short focal length of a lens illustrates quite well what is called "apparent perspective distortion". I would agree that the 24 mm photo makes the car look clownish.

    I think it is important to also look at the size of the palm trees in the background. The short focal length of lens makes them appear tiny,and far away.
     
  3. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This particular example had the velour actually, in Cadet Blue. IIRC it was a factory 400 4bbl car, so even the cloth interior would've been upscale upholstery.

    In fairness the palm trees actually were pretty far away. The people and cars in the next row on the other side of the one-way drive are what I notice most.
     

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