Subscribers Question

Dear Amy,
I would like to thank you for the many tips you send. They are quite helpful. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. You and many other professional photographers speak of filling up the frame or view finder by moving in on the subject. That is fine for a fixed focal length lens, but what if you are using a zoom like an 18-200mm. Should I set it to a fixed focal length and work as if it were a 90 or a 105mm lens and then move in?
(Name withheld).

Dear (name withheld)

Thank you for your email. Just clarify; I recommend filling the frame for certain subjects, not filling the viewfinder. I say this because depending on what camera you have the frame and the viewfinder are different. To fill one might not be the same as filling the other.

It not really about what lens you have, it’s about filling the frame to create an intimate perspective. If you have a zoom lens then you may not have to move in at all. The answer is that it depends on what you are shooting whether you should fix your focal length and work it like a different lens.

It really depends on what you are photographing.
For example for macro shots I find that a fixed focal length works really well. But if I am at water fall and want to get closer in to a flower on the ledge, then the zoom is ideal and I’ll use the zoom to do the work for me. (I am often in places where moving physically is a big limitation.)

Sorry I can’t give you a black and white answer on this one!

Amy Renfrey
Teaching Digital Photography Enthusiasts All Over The World How To Take
Photos With Superb Clarity And Detail

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