diglloyd
diglloyd publication
Imagery: Auto - Large Table of Contents

Loss of Focal Length at Close Range

The 70-200VR2 shortens its focal length at close distances! With the lens set at the 200mm mark, the true focal length when focused at the near limit is closer to the 140mm mark.

The focal length shortening has some significant implications for anyone accustomed to the working distance and “look” of the original 70-200/2.8VR. It’s not possible to get closer than a reproduction ratio of 1:8.3, a huge step backwards from the 1:6.1 of its predecessor (an 80% difference in image area). In the field, I felt continually frustrated by the close focus limitation, but the 70-200VR2 is probably designed more for sports shooters, who really don’t care about such things.

You’ll have to move in much closer than before — about 7 feet instead of 10 feet (ratio of 135 / 200). Since linear perspective is governed strictly by camera-to-subject distance, object size relationships are altered, which also interact with depth of field to substantially alter the “feel” and bokeh of the image. In particular you’ll lose the lovely blur qualities possible with a true 200mm lens. But of course, you cannot move in any closer at some point, which makes the problem even worse.

Article continues for subscribers...

If you’re already a subscriber, CLICK HERE TO LOG IN

diglloyd Advanced Photography

diglloyd Advanced Photography includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade example pictures detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare. Also included is a wealth of in-context technique and workflow insight. Since 2006, diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and on-line reference for discerning Canon and Nikon shooters. Subscriptions cost $ per year.

  1. Explore the table of contents
  2. Check out Lloyd Chambers’ Blog
  3. Subscribe today!
img
200mm (marked), progressively closer focus shortens focal length

diglloyd Home Page | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | Contact
Copyright © 2008-2015 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.