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Old 17 July 2012, 06:25 PM   #1
acce1999
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Why watches look too big on wrist shots...

... because a lot of pictures are made using cell phone cameras, that have wide angle lenses, and are positioned too close to the watch/wrist.

I took the two pictures below a couple of years ago, trying to demonstrate the effect:

My wrist, with my Explorer II, with a wide angle lens (24mm equivalent), at a typical cell phone distance (too close):



The watch looks way too big for my wrist, with lugs extending outside the wrist... but below is how the watch looks like when using a normal lens (50 mm equivalent) at some distance (and this is also what I see when I look down at my wrist):



Camera lenses do always distort the proportions/perspective, wide angle lenses tend to "blow up" objects close to the lens, and "reduce" objects far from the lens. A normal lens (50 mm equivalent) offers the best reproduction of what the human eye see.

So, in general, it is not possible to answer the question "is this size good for me" unless the picture is made using a normal lens at a fair distance. It is actually much better to snap a picture of yourself in a mirror - or use self timer function on the camera. Even a cell phone camera picture of a mirror shot is much better to help judging the size.

Here is a mirror shot of my DJ 16200:



And here is a self timer picture of my white Ex II:



I have skinny 6.5 inch wrists, but as should be obvious, the camera, lens and distance have a big impact on appearance, and if I had posted the first picture only with the question: "Is this one too big for my skinny wrist?", a lot of you would probably say yes (or perhaps not even answer my question out of politeness), but If I posted the last picture the reply would perhaps be the same as mine: "It looks fine."

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Old 17 July 2012, 06:28 PM   #2
Puffy
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good point....
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Old 17 July 2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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Very Intersting, thanks for sharing Anders
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Old 17 July 2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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Thanks Anders - I've noticed exactly the same thing. Have taken close-up wrist pics, only to think how big the watch in question appears on my wrist compared to real life
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Old 17 July 2012, 07:45 PM   #5
How
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That is right on the money my friend!

As you said, 50mm is what the human eye sees.

Any lens wider than that (cell phone included) will produce a 'fisheye' effect. The effect gets worse the closer you shoot.

But still, if you had no choice but to use your cell phone camera, just make sure you shoot it from a distance, which will also give you an accurate image. Check out this mirror shot of my DSSD on my 6.5 inch wrist:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1342518308.510303.jpg
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Old 17 July 2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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While I'm sure you have a point....

[QUOTE=acce1999;3438557]... because a lot of pictures are made using cell phone cameras, that have wide angle lenses, and are positioned too close to the watch/wrist.

Many people also just wear watches far too large for their wrist - i.e., not at all proportionate to their size. When you have a 6" wrist and the lugs of your 44mm watch extend past your wrist, simply does not look good. Like a child wearing his dad's size 14 shoes. While we often do not comment out of politeness, it does look poor.
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Old 17 July 2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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Pretty interesting, thanks.
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Old 17 July 2012, 07:56 PM   #8
Engi
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Yes Anders, you're absolutely right. The secret is at least a mirror pics !

Thanks for sharing your analysis and ... yes, your ExplII is ok on your wrist ...

Ciao

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Old 17 July 2012, 08:08 PM   #9
mrbill2mrbill2
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Nice explanation Anders.

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Old 17 July 2012, 08:25 PM   #10
steubi1
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Yes, that's the way it is....

And that's the reason why you should always try it on to judge...

Tom
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Old 17 July 2012, 09:19 PM   #11
The Joker
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Always knew it was an optical illusion.

Well explained
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Old 17 July 2012, 09:23 PM   #12
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Fantastic tutorial - thank you !

Yes I usually compare in the mirror from a few feet away, but didn't realize the impact on the photo.

Great demo.
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Old 17 July 2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Also add that some ppl has no selfcontrol in terms of purchasing watches ,look at those poor chaps with tiny small wrist wearing 44+ watches.
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Old 17 July 2012, 10:00 PM   #14
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Sweet now I can pull off a 47mm! :)

Great point actually I hadn't thought of that. I've gotten so used to using my iPhone for all my pics. Come to think of it I'm a southpaw so I don't think I've ever been able to use my dlsr for a wrist shot...
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Old 17 July 2012, 10:36 PM   #15
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Anders, thank you for sharing this. I saw a wrist shot the other day on TRF, and I couldn't help thinking that a DSSD looked so large on a person's wrist, I couldn't imagine they would buy it.
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Old 17 July 2012, 10:55 PM   #16
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Great technical explanation of this phenomenon!

I personally love taking, posting, and viewing the close-up wrist shots that we see so often here as they really bring out the fine details of these watches. However, I've certainly noticed that the 'wristers' don't provide a contextual representation of watch on wrist.

I'll post 2 examples of my own below, shot with the same camera and lens, but one is a wrister and one is a mirrored shot giving a much better representation of the IRL presence of my Rolex on my wrist.
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Old 17 July 2012, 10:56 PM   #17
bewithabob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustABreathAway View Post
Great technical explanation of this phenomenon!

I personally love taking, posting, and viewing the close-up wrist shots that we see so often here as they really bring out the fine details of these watches. However, I've certainly noticed that the 'wristers' don't provide a contextual representation of watch on wrist.

I'll post 2 examples of my own below, shot with the same camera and lens, but one is a wrister and one is a mirrored shot giving a much better representation of the IRL presence of my Rolex on my wrist.
That looks great on you!
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