New answers tagged perspective
The depth of field in typical "pictorial" settings is dependent only on the f-ratio and the magnification (object physical size / image physical size). When doing close-focus macro work this is not the case any more. So really only the perspective changes, if you stay with the same f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, detector. The artistic effects can be quite ...
Zooming changes the angle of view while keeping the spatial relationship between the camera and the objects in the image the same. Moving changes the spatial relationship between camera and objects, but the angle of view remains the same. Imagine that you're photographing a person that's 10' from the camera, and there's a tree 10' beyond the person, or 20' ...
zooming in on a subject from a distance will allow you to get that blurry background even at a smaller fstop(8) where as if you move closer to the subject you would have to choose a bigger fstop(3.5)
For a non-expensive lens I guess moving closer is better. Imagine you can shoot an object at 70mm at f/4 and if you need to zoom in you are going to down the aperture i.e f/6.3 at 300mm
Either can be the right answer, depending on circumstances. There is no one right or even usually right answer. Moving in will change the relative perspective of objects. Things that are a little closer will appear disproportionately bigger, whereas from further back this size difference due to distance difference is reduced. A great example is getting ...
I now see AJ Henderson's point in the comments. The argument I made in this posting about the exposure is wrong. While with larger focal length (F) the field of view decreases approximately proportional to 1/F^2, at constant F-number N, the aperture is F/N, which means that the total amount of light per unit time on the sensor is proportional to 1/F^2 * ...
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