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Focal length in digital...
Old 03-28-2005, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a Nikon F4s that I use with 200mm, 85mm, and 60mm micro lenses for glamour photography. I don't use anything less than the 60mm because of distortion of body parts.

But now I have a D100 with a different frame size and it crops considerably more. What are the widest lenses people are using to avoid distortion and if it is less than 60mm, what is the trick? I have a 35-105 that I have been using...

Because I have a small space to work with, I'm finding I do mostly headshots and 3/4 portraits because of my lense constraints. Any suggestions?
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Re: Focal length in digital...
Old 03-28-2005, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The crop factor on your D100 is 1.5x. The smaller sensor narrows your field of view, so your 200mm on the D100 looks like a 300mm on the F4. The 85mm looks like ~140mm, and the 60mm looks like a 90mm. Essentially, you're carving the sweet spot out of the center of your lens. Your 35-105mm will more or less behave like a 53-157mm lens on the D100.

Put the F4 on a tripod, put the 85mm on it, and take a shot. Then put the D100 on the tripod with the 60mm (or use the zoom and set it to 57mm) and take the same shot. You should see almost identical composition.

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Re: Focal length in digital...
Old 03-28-2005, 10:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With the F4s I used the 85mm as my primary lens, and now with the D100 I'm finding the 60mm to be my primary. Sounds like you've explained why...

With wider angle lenses, would I get less distortion with the D100 because the edges are cropped off in comparison to my F4s?
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Re: Focal length in digital...
Old 03-28-2005, 11:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The short answer is yes. Especially with wide angle lenses, the more severe the angle of the light coming in to the lens, the more distortion. This effect happens at the edges of the glass.

It's the same effect as on a typical map of the earth. The poles, at the top and bottom edges of the paper, are disproportionately big. The continents in the middle of the map are much more reasonably rendered. It comes from "peeling" the map from a sphere and "stretching" what you peeled to form a rectangular map.
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Re: Focal length in digital...
Old 03-30-2005, 09:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's interesting... I've got a couple of F4s and a D1X. The D1X has that same size sensor, I think they call it the DX sensor. It's real handy shooting film and digital in the same shoot; I shoot a 60micro on the D1X and an 85f1.8 on an F4 and get the same field of view. It's my standard formula for shooting dressage and jumping events.

I've gotten away shooting an 24f2 on the D1X without much distortion but that's about as wide as I can tolerate with people.
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