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Question #35097 posted on 04/10/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is it that when you take a picture of something far away, the picture always looks like its alot farther away? I've noticed this mainly when I go to concerts; I am pretty close to the stage, but when I take a picture it always looks like I'm so far back! Any ideas?


A: Dear fishbulb,

The lens on most consumer cameras is actually a wide-angle lens. Think of it as the opposite of a telephoto (zoom) lens. A standard lens has a focal length of 35 mm; to get a picture that looks exactly like what your eye sees, you would need a 50 mm lens. So, things look about 1.4 times (50 mm/35 mm) farther away in the camera than they do to you. If you want to avoid that, the best way is to get a better camera that lets you adjust the zoom of your lens.

—Laser Jock