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Depth of field

Focal Length (Compression)

The difference in perspective between a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens has effects on the way we perceive depth of field.

Imagine you want to shoot a portrait (head and shoulders) of a person in the center of the town square, with a building in the background. As we said before, if you use a wide angle lens, you'll have to be close to the subject, and the building in the background will look small, whereas if you use a long lens you'll have to be farther away from the subject, and the building will look bigger.

Then, if in both cases you use the same aperture (e.g. f/3.5), even though depth of field will be approximately the same, the building in the background will look more blurred (and will call for less attention) with the telephoto (which has more "compression").




28mm equivalent focal length and f/3.5




80mm equivalent focal length and f/3.5, from farther away





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