The wrist size illusion
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Thread: The wrist size illusion

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  1. #1
    Member Brianetta's Avatar
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    The wrist size illusion

    Watches are so big on the internet.

    The following image was taken with a 43mm lens (micro four thirds). This is how the majority of watch photos are taken. The watch appears to be larger, due to forced perspective. The lens is close to the subject, and the difference between the distance from the lens to the watch and from the lens to the wrist is proportionally very large.


    This next image was taken at roughly the same time (you can see it took me three minutes to change lenses and reframe), but with a 200mm lens. This was not an easy shot, but is more like how the watch appears in real life. With the lens much further away, the difference of the two distances is a much smaller proportion. It's subtle, but interesting.


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  2. #2
    Member Jguitron's Avatar
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    Subtle but impressive!


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  3. #3
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    Sorry no.
    The watch and your wrist are too close together to have any affect on perspective. Try it with two same objects next to each other:

    Name:  DSC_6024.jpg
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    one film can is just behind the other with my 50mm
    now the 200mm:

    Name:  DSC_6025.jpg
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    As you can see, the relationship of the two film cans has not changed.
    In your examples above, all you've done is increase the size of the watch by changing the framing/composition. All you did was zoom in(look at the framing of your images, they are not the same).
    This is forced perspective:

    Name:  DSC_6031.jpg
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    Creating the illusion that some objects are bigger/smaller than they really are. The two film cans by the way are about three feet apart.
    Last edited by jideta; June 15th, 2016 at 01:44.
    I take pictures too...
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  5. #4
    Member Brianetta's Avatar
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    In my case, the longer lens can see more of my wrist, and more of the bracelet. The fact that one thing is wrapped around another is the reason it's a noticeable effect on a wrist watch but not two arbitrary objects on a shelf.

    Of course, the effect is also more pronounced the closer you get; if you fill the frame with your (extremely cute) film cans it would be more noticeable that one's behind the other on the shorter lens.

    I didn't just zoom in; when I changed lenses I had to bring the camera much closer to get a similar composition.

    Point I was making was simply that watches look bigger when taken from up close, which most are because of the way arms work.
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  6. #5
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    I think I know what you're talking about. Here's my 6.6in wrist with a PO 8500 XL:



    Camera was way close so it gave this fisheye effect and the watch suddenly looks like it's 50mm when in fact, there wasn't even any lug overhang in person.

    Nowadays, I take pics as far as possible and just crop:



    This Seiko is roughly the same size lug to lug.

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  7. #6
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  8. #7
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    The other thing to think about is lens distortion: pin cushion and barreling. Especially in close focus situations.
    I take pictures too...
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  9. #8
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    I think the most common thing we see here is extension distortion where a wide angle focal length is used close to the subject:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspe..._(photography)

    If I try and take wrist shots using a DSLR I make a point of not going wide angle to avoid this.
    e.g. in a review where the reader may want a more accurate indication of how it looks on wrist I took this one at 100mm which looks much more similar to how I see it in real life compared to the ~28mm equivalent focal length of my camera phone:
    Name:  IMG_6872_WUS.jpg
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  10. #9
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    [QUOTE=Apollo83;30515922]I think the most common thing we see here is extension distortion where a wide angle focal length is used close to the subject:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspe..._(photography)

    thank you!
    I take pictures too...
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  11. #10
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    Re: The wrist size illusion

    Good thread with good info.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
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