When thinking of a sunflower you usually think yellow leaves with a darker, brown or black, center. But that’s because most sunflower photos look like that. There are a few that show the sunflower in the state before it starts to get ready and grow its seeds. During this stage of its life there’s a green center which can be very appealing.

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Now to throw another photo into the mix for a little quiz.

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Both of these photos look very similar and that’s because they are of the same sunflower. Now for a question. One of these were taken with the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lens and the other with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Can you tell which is which? It’s very difficult to tell just by looking at them. But if you look close enough you can see the little differences that just might tell you the answer. And for those who are wondering, yes I did crop the photo taken with the 20mm lens. But not by much and to give it the same frame as the macro shot. I also did this just to show how such a big difference in focal length doesn’t always mean a big difference in the final outcome.

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A Hint of Green

6 thoughts on “A Hint of Green

  1. Good test for my limited technical skills. I am going to say the top picture is the longer focal length since there is a more limited depth of field. Did I get that right or backwards?

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    • Thanks Michelle! You are correct. I could have tried to get them to have about the same DoF but I had elements working against me such as wind and not using a tripod so I had to have the settings on the camera set to give me sharp results. Another way to tell is if you look carefully you can tell that the top photo has more of a pincushion effect compared to the bottom which looks more like a barrel effect compared to the top. These two effects are a result of the focal length of the lens itself.

      Another thing that is interesting is that while I was farther away with the longer focal length it did give more of a shallow DoF because of the way the lens is constructed. It’s almost crazy to think how lenses are created with the distance between each lens element to do different things. But I also think it can be very helpful and beneficial to understand how these things work when trying to achieve specific looks when using different types of lenses as they tend to “behave” differently.

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      • I have to admit that I am not that technical, which is some of the reason I started to blog. I figured if I can get good shots with my limited technical knowledge, I just might be better once I know how things “behave” like you said. So thanks for this!

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    • Thanks Laura! You are correct in picking out which was shot with the 20mm but I was actually closer to the flower with the 20mm than I was with the 105mm. I also didn’t crop it by that much. You can probably tell that both were cropped in from the sides at least due to their square look but the 20mm was also cropped in from the top and bottom a bit but not much at all.

      Another way to tell that I just noticed now that if you look at both of them at once you can start to see that the bottom one looks bigger than the top one. If you look at the individual pieces of the flower to me they seem to be bigger with the 20mm. It also gives a sense that you are closer to the flower as well. I also tried to edit them the same but due to having to have the settings set differently because of the way the lenses worked it was very difficult to try to get the same look. This also shows that the lenses themselves will capture light and colors differently. I guess this will help when you want to capture the same scene with different lenses that you may not get the same results as far as light and color is concerned.

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      • Thanks for the explanation. I also thought that the way the lens blurred the edge of the center of the flower looked more like a 105 on the top image. Interesting that you were closer with the 105 though! That was fun. Thanks!

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