Take the picture and zoom later

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by boatman37210, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. boatman37210

    boatman37210 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2012
    I've read a few places suggesting that we forget about zooming with our lens. Just take the picture and then zoom in using your computer later.

    Would this technique with good primes be better than zooms?

    I assume, rightly or wrongly, that everyone use this technique on occasion. Was wondering how many use it extensively and how it works for you.

  2. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I would not call that zooming but cropping, and yes, I do that often, mostly to bridge the gap between primes, but also sometimes to grab something quick. With 16 mp, there's room for cropping, and most pictures I take do not end up as 12x16 inch prints on the wall.

    Using a prime does encourage me to think about perspective and move around while looking for a picture.
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Most purists would take issue with that. (Okay please go easy on me.)

    But it's your image :wink: I did that a lot before when starting out with primes, until eventually I learned how to use the focal length. Now I only crop just so I can follow the dang photo print company's pre-determined sizes.

    So my point is nothing is stopping you. But if you just go with it for some time you just might learn how to see the image in that focal length, and you'll find you won't need to crop as much.
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    That seems like a worse reason for cropping to me. Why wouldn't you fill the rest with white to get to a print size and then cut the final print to get your original intended crop afterwards.

    I personally can't find something wrong with cropping digitally to improve an image. It's not like your cropping out Stalin's adversaries...

  5. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Purists who printed their own would often crop the image in printing. It's the first stage in producing the print as envisioned by the photographer or art director.

    I crop if I don't have a long enough lens available, or need something between the lenses available, or if shooting action shots to allow for better framing, or to alter the aspect ratio of the shot... but never just because I can't be bothered to zoom.
    I have occasionally avoided full zoom and left myself with more cropping to do because a lens gets too soft at full zoom. However I usually try and minimise the degree of cropping required, to ensure the best possible quality in the final prints - I always hope that a shot will be good enough to be asked for poster size prints of it, deliberately leaving to much to crop will avoid the chance.. :smile:
  6. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    My philosophy. Do what you need to, know why you are doing it, and what is the "cost" of doing it. But do not think that you will end up with identical images. You may fill your final output (monitor display or print) with the same subject matter, but you will not necessarily have the same image. And try to be careful not to confuse being lazy with having no choice. But in the end, they are your images, and only you, or your client, have to be happy with the final product.

  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    While it depends on the quality of the two lenses and the amount of the crop, in general, cropping a good prime will not give better (sharper) pictures than a zoom.
  8. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    Cropping a bad prime will often give better pictures than not cropping a bad prime... :horse:

    If cropping gives you the photo you want, why not? Purism is great and all, but as Janneman said 16MP gives you lots of room to improve your image if necessary, and it's better to regret something you have done (being a non-purist and cropping a shot) than something you didn't do (not taking the shot because you haven't got an appropriate FL with).
  9. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    I try to see the end picture in my head, then in my viewfinder. And when that plan goes awry, I crop.
  10. phidauex

    phidauex Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Boulder, CO
    Some food for thought:

    One of the reasons to "zoom" isn't to make your image larger (which you can do by cropping, with some minor tradeoffs of resolution, etc.), but to change the composition by using telephoto compression.

    Compression (having things at different distances appear closer to the same size), which is typically associated with telephoto lenses, has to do with your distance from the subject.

    While a zoomed image and unzoomed but cropped image of the same scene, from the same vantage point, will look identical (minus the slight changes in resolution, etc.), a zoomed image of the same scene (from a different vantage point) would look very different from an unzoomed image from the original vantage point, even though the framing is apparently the same.

    Having a variety of focal lengths isn't just about making an image appear big or small, but to allow you to change the size of objects relative to each other by controlling compression.
  11. phidauex

    phidauex Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Boulder, CO
    An explanation of the "dolly zoom" film effect, which is performed by zooming in a lens while moving the camera backward so that the subject stays the same size, and everything else changes due to telephoto compression. It is super trippy looking, and the video example is a good demonstration of what happens when you zoom with your feet AND with your lens!

  12. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I don't think of it that way, I just take the photo as good as I think I could, later in post if I think I need to crop then I crop the photo. :smile:

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  13. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    I think we have had these prime vs zoom topic talked about a lot. but not until recently have I been on a long trip with only three prime lenses, the 19, 25, and 60, and therefore I for one can say that at least if not for weddings which requires versatile fast zooms, I'm fine with the prime lenses. I'm not saying that the FL coverage is enough nor it's convenient to change often, but I don't feel like being limited much to composite due to the fixed FL. Yes, I'd do some cropping later but that's not as bad as it sounds because I end up cropping a lot even with zoom lenses as well. The prime lenses save me from thoughtlessly rotating the zoom rings to find what I want, but let me think more before taking a picture with the perspective in my head, to put it in simple, I shoot better with prime lenses, even if that means I'd have to crop.

    In addition, I think I love the FOV that certain FL delivers, and I don't think to take good photos you have to have each mm covered.
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    At one point in my photography, back in the film only days, I cropped only in the viewfinder. Every negative I printed showed the edges of the negative. If the framing/crop required additional adjustments in the darkroom, that images was rejected.

    I am now attempting to return to that level of self-critique and not process an image which requires cropping.

  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I've never read that, anywhere. Except in your post.
    I'll stick with mostly framing most of the scene in my picture. Mostly.
  16. boatman37210

    boatman37210 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2012
    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChKzHBLffho]You're Using Your Camera Wrong... Plus Outtakes - YouTube[/ame]

    In the first minute and thirty seconds of the above video the lady says never zoom. I am not experienced enough to know if what she is saying has credibility. That's why I was asking this forums opinion. Maybe I misunderstood what she was saying.
  17. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Timos :)
    phidauex express it correctly in his first post.

    Any particular focal length gives a particular perspective. Look for tutorials on perspective in the internet.

    When one composes his/hers shot, this composition takes into account the perspective of the frame. When you dramatically crop later, you get a different point of view keeping the initial perspective, which is most of the times a worse result than taking the shot initially with the "correct" focal length.

    To name an example, if you take a whole body photo of a person with a wide angle focal length and then you crop his face, you get a portrait that is "worse" than shooting his face directly with a normal-portrait focal length. Try it and see the difference by yourself.

    Cropping just a bit does not make a noticeable difference to the outcome.

    If you want to shoot and get the best results, take into account the perspective of the focal length you use when taking photos.
  18. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    She's joking / being ironic.
    No REALLY.
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