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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 14 Jul 2017 (Friday) 17:59
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Better for group shots: Wide angle or zoom?

 
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Post edited over 1 year ago by WebDevGuy. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 14, 2017 17:59 |  #1

I have a Canon 17-55 2.8 and a 100-400 mk II. My body is a 7D mark II.

If I were to take a large group photo, which would be better to use? (Considering that the framing of the picture would be the same)? By a "Large group" I mean 40 people, 4 tight rows, inside shot.

The 2 radio-triggered flashes on stands & 24" softboxes would be on either side of them to help fill a little.

I want to avoid as much distortion as possible, also get the best perspective.


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JeffreyG
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Jul 14, 2017 18:41 |  #2

Both of your lenses are zooms, so no choices to be made there.

I would use the 17-55, as this will allow for a reasonable working distance on a 1.6X body. To shoot at large-ish group with the 100-400 would place you quite far back.

With the 17-55, I would try to get far enough away from the group to frame them with a focal length between 35mm and 55mm if possible. If you use the wide end of the range (17mm - 24mm) you may find that people near the edges look distorted.


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Post edited over 1 year ago by TeamSpeed. (4 edits in all)
     
Jul 14, 2017 18:52 |  #3

I recently did our business group shot, indoors with the 5D4 using the 24-70. I was at 24mm, so 17-19mm on the crop body should be fine, it should produce roughly the same FOV as what I did. You won't want people on the edges of the frame though at that focal length, they start to "warp", I ran over to the edge of the group to be in the photo, and fired the shot remotely with my phone. I was what I described. :)

As stated before, you will need distance to keep everybody closer to the center of the frame with some margin on the edges. More distance yet, and you can run the 17-55 up to 25-35mm. Just be sure to have enough light, because you will probably be at around f6.3 to f8 to be safe on getting everyone in focus.


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WebDevGuy
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Jul 14, 2017 19:29 |  #4

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18402273 (external link)
I recently did our business group shot, indoors with the 5D4 using the 24-70. I was at 24mm, so 17-19mm on the crop body should be fine, it should produce roughly the same FOV as what I did. You won't want people on the edges of the frame though at that focal length, they start to "warp", I ran over to the edge of the group to be in the photo, and fired the shot remotely with my phone. I was what I described. :)

As stated before, you will need distance to keep everybody closer to the center of the frame with some margin on the edges. More distance yet, and you can run the 17-55 up to 25-35mm. Just be sure to have enough light, because you will probably be at around f6.3 to f8 to be safe on getting everyone in focus.

Thanks! Do you think my lighting setup will do, as described?

Also, ironically, I need to be in the group photo too. Interested in how you shot remotely with your phone. Can you provide details? :)


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 1 year ago by MalVeauX.
     
Jul 14, 2017 20:24 |  #5

Heya,

So, it doesn't matter what focal length you use really. If you don't want distortion then don't do it from close proximity. Distortion comes from proximity to subject. If you shot at 17mm with from the same distance as your 100mm, there would be no distortion on the subjects, they just would occupy very little of the pixels. But 17mm itself doesn't distort things. It's the proximity. We get a lot closer to "fill the frame" to our FOV desire, and at wide or even wider focal lengths resulting in a very wide angle of view, this can put you very close to the subjects; and that's where distortion comes from basically. Don't be afraid to use an ultrawide. Just don't put any legs/arms/faces in the corners and there will be very little distortion if any.

Since this is an inside shot, I would bounce your two lights on the ceiling rather than trying to use two small 24" boxes to cast nothing but shadows across everyone's faces. To not cast shadows these boxes have to be way, way higher and angled down onto them. Also you will have an obvious hotter spot where there's more illumination that feathers off to the outer perimeter, and there will be two such patterns. If you simply bounce your lights on the roof, you will have enough spread and a large enough total source to not have that issue.

If you need to trip it all remotely and be in the photo, a basic wireless remote will do the job (set camera to one-shot AF drive, not servo) unless you want to try to use wifi + app. dSLR controller should work via wifi so you can just trip it with your smart phone.

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Jul 14, 2017 20:32 |  #6

To shoot with your phone connected to the 7D2, you'll need the Canon W-E1 SD Card (no memory, just connects to the phone app). I have one and it works pretty well, but at $40 there are probably cheaper remotes out there if you just want to remote trigger the camera.


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Jul 15, 2017 06:36 |  #7

If you have the space, go with the 100-400. Here's about 20 or so at about 200mm with an AB800 aimed at a white ceiling. At 200mm l didn't have to be mindful of the edges, but of course, I had space.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 15, 2017 08:10 |  #8

Avoid shooting people/groups from close distance with any WA lens which can capture 74 degrees horizonal Angle of View and wider...avoid 15mm on APS-C or 24mm on FF camera....inducing perspective distortion by shooting with too close of a subject distance! About 18mm on APS-C and 28mm on FF is relatively safe from induced perspective distortion.

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Principles/InducedPerspectiveDistortion_zpsghwc0i3p.jpg

Ragged Ann and Andy are identically sized. Ann's head photographs twice as large as Andy's head, although he is a mere 24" behind Ann. Imagine that Andy is like the legendary skinny Jack Sprat, and Ann was his very ample wife...HER girth would be exaggerated even more, when compared to her skinny husband. Ann would take up 4X the area of Andy, so if Ample Wife is already 2X larger in girth than her skinny husband, in the photo she would occupy 8X the volume as her husband...NOT a way to make her pleased with the photo!

Ann''s right hand is significantly larger than her left hand...body parts closer to lens are exaggerated more than parts farther away. Imagine Jack Sprat's wife's ample bosom exaggerated in size even more by its proximity to your UWA lens, much to her dismay. Yet only about 15" separates her two hands.

This is why UWA is a dangerous FL category to shoot any people unless you are very careful about induced perspective distortion, such as what is exhibited in the above photo.

The near hand is 'bigger' than the far hand, the near person is 'bigger' than the far person, so shooting a large group at an oblique angle is more 'dangerous' for induced perspective distortion with too WA than a longer FL, and why the back row of a group appears smaller than the front row.

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Jul 15, 2017 11:14 |  #9

40 people, four rows, inside. And camera with x1.6 crop. At 100mm end it should works from the last row in the theater and people on the stage. :-P


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Jul 15, 2017 11:34 |  #10

kf095 wrote in post #18402648 (external link)
40 people, four rows, inside. And camera with x1.6 crop. At 100mm end it should works from the last row in the theater and people on the stage. :-P

100mm on APS-C body frames 11' wide FOV at subject distance of 50'
100mm on APS-C body frames 16' wide FOV at subject distance of 71'

18mm on APS-C body frames 11' wide FOV at subject distance of 9'
18mm on APS-C body frames 16' wide FOV at subject distance of 13'


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Jul 15, 2017 12:15 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18402657 (external link)
100mm on APS-C body frames 11' wide FOV at subject distance of 50'
100mm on APS-C body frames 16' wide FOV at subject distance of 71'

18mm on APS-C body frames 11' wide FOV at subject distance of 9'
18mm on APS-C body frames 16' wide FOV at subject distance of 13'

Whoa thanks. Since I need to be in the picture I would really have to run fast if using the 100-400! haha


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Jul 15, 2017 13:54 |  #12

I use nothing but 24mm for large groups. I've used a 100mm for some group shots of golfers, but the teams were of no more than 5 people. @ 100mm I was already quite far away, and I don't care for having to shout directions. Wide angles get too much of a bad rap because of distortion, but again, as long as your edges are clear you'll be fine: just have the people on the edges of the group rotate their bodies towards the centre a bit (which is a good pose to have for most portraiture –group or individual– anyway). Furthermore, your edges HAVE TO be clear in order to have leeway for cropping or framing, so the dreaded distortion becomes less and less of a 'problem'.

This image was taken with @ 24mm:
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=17996271&i​=i47315657

Another problem with telephotos, is that of DOF, especially if you have several rows. Even with wide angles I use no less than f/8, normally f/11 to avoid blurry people in the back rows. With a telephoto your aperture requirements would increase proportional to the focal length. Small apertures might not be a problem out in the sun, but in interiors your flashes might not be able to handle it.


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WebDevGuy
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Jul 15, 2017 18:08 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #13

Thanks @Alveric. Great example too!


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Jul 15, 2017 18:26 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #14

I'd play it safe and just use a (very) cheap and cheerful infra-red remote switch to fire the shot. Totally reliable and just pocket change to buy. Amazon-basics model is just about perfect. (UK link - ttps://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Cam​era-Photo/AmazonBasics-Wireless-Remote-Control-Canon-650D-600D/B00BCEJ0E0/ref=sr​_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid​=1500161008&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=basics+​canon+remote+trigger (external link))

[EDIT] Questioning myself now ... I notice that a few reviews are querying its range. I've used it at 6 or 7 metres without any issue but others seem to have had problems. It does need clear line of sight.


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WebDevGuy
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Jul 15, 2017 18:49 as a reply to  @ DaviSto's post |  #15

Thanks. I'm wondering if running during the 10 sec timer will do. Haha :) It'll be hilarious at least.


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Better for group shots: Wide angle or zoom?
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