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Video Camera Techniques, 2nd Edition by Gerald Millerson

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Lens Angle and Perspective

If the angle of your camera lens is similar to the angle at which the viewers are watching their TV screens (e.g. 20° – 25°), then the perspective in their pictures will look accurate. Sizes and distances seem natural.

When you use a much wider lens angle (shorter focal length) or narrower lens angle (longer focal length), the apparent depth and scale on the screen will differ from those in the original scene.

Forms of distortion

The narrow-angle lens – As the lens angle narrows not only do things look closer, but the screen shows a smaller and smaller segment of the scene. As a result, pictorial perspective appears flattened. Depth seems compressed. The foreground-to-background distance is reduced, and subjects that ...

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