Focal Lengths Questions (THE FEELING)



Right now I have a 35mm and a 50mm which are both APS-C. (I own a Sony A7s I)

I am thinking of upgrading to a full frame lens that's either around the 24mm or the 35mm range. Kind of leaning towards 24mm because I often end up experimenting and setting shots up of myself in my place and wider lenses make that easier. (plus I just recently found out about Spielberg's 21mm obsession)

My question is:
What exactly is that big feel difference that I keep VAGUELY reading and hearing about between the different focal lengths?

I know that obviously the wider you go (18mm), the further away you are from your subject, and the narrower you go (85mm), the closer you are to your subject. I also understand that there are instances where you literally need a telephoto lens because maybe there's a giant moving set that you can't have the camera in, so you use that to get closer to the action/actors/etc.


with so many other shots, wouldn't it be easier to get most shots with a wider lens?

Under the assumption that you have infinite space to move closer/further from your subject, any lens would probably do right? (except for that elusive feel that I can't figure out? Maybe it's just practice?)

But most of the spaces, unless you have giant sets built for you, are probably going to be more limiting or just generally smaller. So wouldn't it be more advantageous to have a wider lens?


Obviously you could everything together by having a zoom lens with a really open max aperture to cover all the different distances but then... does that feel differently?

Does my question make sense or am I rambling?

This really helped me get a more concrete example of how it changes. Seeing the shots right next to each other of wide and narrow up close on a person definitely changes the feel a lot. Seeing it change (as in the jaws example) really does make the face look oddly distorted. Interesting.

Same for this:
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