Paris – Ultra wide (and lack of perspective compression)

I’d been on the lookout for getting a seriously wide angle lens for some time, and not knowing how much I’d use it, I didn’t want to fork our for the excellent Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 UWA (ultra wide angle) zoom lens.

Also, as I now only have full frame bodies, the choice is rather limited, and in the end, I opted for the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Sure it’s not a fast lens, but as I’d be using it mainly for landscapes, I don’t really mind. Plus, the incredible ISO performance of the D3s means I could get fast enough shutter speeds.

Anyway, enough with the technical ramblings, and onto perspective compression. 🙂

To be honest, I’d never fully appreciated the compression or rather lack of you get when going ultra wide. Perspective compression is normally used to make objects in the focal plane and objects far behind the focal plane look not so far from each other and the higher the focal length (the more telephoto you go), the more compressed it all looks. Of course, the inverse is also true 😉

This photo was taken at the wide end: 12mm

The photo I took a couple of weeks ago was at 24mm

Now the Eiffel Tower in the second photo looks a lot larger so you’d think your closer. But the first photo was actually taken from the bridge you can see in the second, i.e. closer to the famous French landmark.

With the long days, I also had the chance to get up close and personal 🙂

And from “underneath”

It also allows you to make tunnels look a lot longer than they really are. This is from a small linking passage to Clichy RER station

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