Friday, May 05, 2017


Yesterday I posted a picture showing that the newer camera on the iPhone 6S handled a complicated lighting situation better than the one on a decade-old Leica pocket camera.

Today, though, I have some pictures that explain why I still carry a pocket camera.

Yesterday, in the rainy parking lot at Indy Arms Co., was a new Abarth 124 Spider. I pulled the iPhone out of my shirt pocket and snapped a photo...
Ugh. The lens on the iPhone is a wide-angle lens, with a 35mm focal length equivalent of 29mm. You can digitally "zoom" in on stuff, but it doesn't do anything to alter the visual distortion caused by a wide-angle lens. See how the car appears to be "stretched" back away from the large front wheel and headlight in the center of the photo?

Because of the prevalence of cell photos, future archaeologists are going to think that people of the early 21st Century had unusually large noses.

I backed up a few steps in the rainy grass, fished my D-Lux 3 out of the "document pocket" in my gun burkha, and fiddled with the zoom until the car looked right.

There we go. That looked good. When I went and checked the data on the picture later, I'd settled on a zoom that was a 53mm  (in 35mm equivalent terms.) This isn't terribly surprising as the 50mm focal length is the "normal lens" in 35mm format.

Zoom is normally thought of by casual snapshooters as a way of making small stuff bigger, and that's why people just happily accept digital "zoom". The Leica I currently carry in my pocket doesn't have a ton of zoom, but it's a 28-112mm equivalent, which is plenty for most of my picture-taking needs.

I'm not entirely sure I won't go shopping for a replacement for my defunct Nikon P-7000, though...