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Canon EOS 40D Guide to Digital Photography by David D. Busch

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Avoiding Telephoto Lens Problems

Many of the “problems” that telephoto lenses pose are really just challenges and not that difficult to overcome. Here is a list of the seven most common picture maladies and suggested solutions.

  • Symptom: flat faces in portraits. Head-and-shoulders portraits of humans tend to be more flattering when a focal length of 50mm to 85mm is used. Longer focal lengths compress the distance between features like noses and ears, making the face look wider and flat. A wide-angle might make noses look huge and ears tiny when you fill the frame with a face. So stick with 50mm to 85mm focal lengths, going longer only when you’re forced to shoot from a greater distance, and wider only when shooting three-quarters/full-length ...

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