What Is The Compression Effect Of A Telephoto Lens

   Blog00029-8 Compression

I still remember that when I was a beginner in photography, I often heard the use of telephoto lenses to “compress” scenes, but I really didn’t understand the principles and effects. I think many students now have similar questions, right? Let’s learn together what is the “compression effect” of a telephoto lens this time!

The Sense of Space
In daily life, you definitely find that there is a physical phenomenon that often occurs, “in the distant scenery all the objects are small and for the near scenery all the objects are big”! As shown below:

This happens when you shoot with a wide-angle lens. The wider the lens, the more obvious this situation. For example, the above photo was taken with a 16mm (full-frame) wide-angle lens. Taking photos with a sense of space allows viewer to better feel the environment of the scene and have the feeling of being in person.

So What is “Compression”?
At the other extreme of the wide-angle lens is the use of a telephoto lens! When you use a long focal length of 200mm, 300mm, etc., the previously mentioned “object small if far away and big if near” effect will immediately decrease: Make the far away scenes closer with the near scenes “similarly large”, so that the resulting photos will look like the distance and the nearby scenes are “compressed” together!

When shooting the following situations, you can make more use of the compression effect of the telephoto lens!

Landscape with mountain

The mountain look closer and grand

Bring the moon closer and bigger and create poetic feel.

Using a telephoto lens can bring the far away scene closer with less busy background and look shallow depth of field and let view focus on the subject.

When taking a repeating pattern

When taking a person in a repeating pattern

Written by Collin Smith @ remotes.works Holborn London

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