Skip navigation

My good friend Brian Kolstad just posted some comments on what I suspect is a common but little-discussed phenomenon among photographers.  Modern lens technology provides myriad options in a zoom factor.  Historically, a photographer opted for some number of prime lenses that provided her with the desired angles of view to complement her artistic vision.  For example, a nature photographer might carry in his bag a 24mm, 50mm, and perhaps some variant of the ubiquitous 70-200mm.  Zoom lenses were understood to have particular value in the telephoto range because of the much smaller change in angle of view per millimeter of zoom than would be seen at wide angles.

Photographers are now able to purchase zooms in almost any range.  I think what Brian writes is correct.  There is a tendency to unintentionally treat many zoom lenses as bifocal primes.  In other words, a 70-200mm lens may often be used as a 70mm lens and 200mm lens, but with little us of the intermediate angles of view.  I am as guilty of this as anyone, typically shooting my 70-300mm lens at 300mm and almost exclusively for closeup work.  I am attempting to correct this reliance on the extremes.

The photograph below is an example of shooting in the middle.  While hiking in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, I came upon these natural bonsai trees growing from the rocks.  There was little ability for me to move off of the trail, so I relied on the ability of a zoom lens to accommodate my position.  I shot this photograph at 25mm with an 18-55mm lens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: