Zoom effect. Photo tricks. Part 6

Many photographers know about a very unusual and interesting effect using the zoom.

Zoom effect. Photo tricks from Radozhiva. Part 6

Zoom effect. Photo tricks from Radozhiva. Part 6

This effect is called zoom effect (Zoom-effect) To get such an unusual picture in the ideal version, we need a tripod and a camera with a zoom lens. But even if there is no zoom lens, the usual fix is ​​enough.

Sample photo

Sample photo

A simple zoom method:

We choose the place we like, which we will shoot. It is very desirable that it be evening or night time, as we need a very long excerpt. Mount the camera on a tripod. We set up the camera on a tripod for the correct composition of the frame. Select priority mode excerpts, on CZK (digital mirror cameras) this mode is designated as S (from Shutter speed), or Tv. Choose the maximum allowable value excerptsusually 30 seconds. In this mode, the camera itself will select the desired aperture. I advise you to turn off the automatic ISO and set the minimum acceptable - usually this is ISO 50, 100, 200, sometimes Lo1. Press the shutter button, or use the remote control. The first part of the time interval, we just wait until the matrix is ​​exposed (while the camera is shooting), and then with a sharp movement we change the focal length (change the zoom). On the CZK, the zoom is rotated manually, on compact digital cameras this may be a problem and it will be impossible to change the zoom during shooting. The second part of the time, we just wait until the camera takes the next part of the picture. Then the picture with the zoom effect is ready.

It is important to see how the picture will look at two different zoom values ​​in order to evaluate the final frame.

Problems shooting with this zoom effect:
1. It is not physically possible to fix the lens, either a zoom lens or legs and use are required multiple exposures.
2. You need a good, powerful and reliable tripod. As you can see, my zoom effect did not work out as I wanted. When I twisted the zoom on my tripod, the camera trembled and made unnecessary blur. I have a pretty children's tripod Velbon CX-888 / F.
3. To get this effect during the day, you need several neutral filters to get a long shutter speed.
4. For a perfect "drag" zoom effect, you need a lens with a very smooth focal length. My Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 turned out to be not very suitable and with smooth zooming gives an image with jerks, no matter how I tried. Jerks are shown by red arrows in the example below.
5. When zooming not to the extreme positions of the lens focal length, it is very easy to make a mistake. For example, on my 17-50mm for an idea with a zoom effect, you first need to shoot at 50mm, and then reduce the zoom to 35mm, with a sharp decrease in the zoom ring, you can fly over or undershoot to 35mm. As a result, sometimes you have to shoot multiple takes.

Zoom effect. Photo without Photoshop

Zoom effect. Photo without Photoshop

If in priority mode excerpts at 30 seconds and at the minimum, the camera writes that the aperture cannot be closed more strongly, then you need to either reduce the shutter speed or use a neutral filter, sometimes several. The fact that the camera can not select the shutter speed on Nikonov is indicated by the inscription in the field of values ​​of the aperture HI (high) - this means that the aperture value should be higher than the lens allows. To get the maximum shutter speed, you can put the camera in aperture priority mode and close it as much as possible (increase the F number). Also, you can use the shutter control mode by hand B (bulb). Personally, I did all the examples in the manual image management mode, it’s more convenient for me.

Classic zoom effect to create a cast effect

Classic zoom effect to create a cast effect

A modification of this effect may not be a sharp change in the focal length, but a smooth one, while the light areas will form a kind of "Viscous" light line. This effect is sometimes more interesting than the usual option. Below is an example of a photograph with a zoom stretch from 30s shutter speed. In the frame of the bank with flowers.

Classic zoom effect to create a viscous effect

Classic zoom effect to create a viscous effect

The second zoom method without zooming

The same method can be implemented not only with the long excerptsbut also using multiple exposures. Multiple exposure It is carried out either several times with different focal lengths, or with a fixed distance, but you will need to move the camera itself. How to do it - find in the article multiple exposure.

Such effects are often used when shooting a city at night, night scenery, New Year's paraphernalia, and any other creative shooting. Anyway, I recommend just playing around with your DSLR and trying to come up with an interesting composition. You can check out more long exposure tricks


When shooting at slow shutter speeds and having a zoom lens, you can get interesting art effectsexamples of which are shown above. The main condition for this effect is the possibility of long excerpts and zoom or multiple exposures. Since multiple exposure can be realized on a computer, even with the simplest digital camera, you can make such a Zoom-effect.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 19, on the topic: Zoom effect. Photo tricks. Part 6

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks for the good examples.

  • cosmicly beautiful))))

  • Nikita

    not Tamron 17-55mm F2.8, but Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. This is not canon for you)
    it is visible that a typo, but it is better to correct for citation.

  • Kate

    This effect can be done in FS….

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, also such an effect can be made a zoom.

  • Christina

    axis may photo, zroblen such an order.
    Zrobleno cim with 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6G VR AF-S DX Nikkor, Nikon D5100 camera.

  • Sergei

    Good afternoon! But do not tell me how to take a portrait with a broach? And really it just do?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Real, but difficult. It’s easier to do this using the editor.


    I also have a Velbon CX-888 / F, I have a children's tripod how to live on?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I already broke it. While I live without a tripod.

  • Vladislav

    Arkady, what you indicated with the arrows is most likely just a lamp flickering (with a frequency of 50 or 100 Hz) - all lamps suffer from this, except for incandescent lamps and some LED ones. And street lighting, these "yellow lanterns" are sodium lamps, give "pulsating" lighting, just because of the high frequency the pulsation is invisible to the eye))

  • Skai

    That's how someone shot me at one of the teammates meetings http://yadi.sk/d/dOqxSex252l2f
    removed from the hands, but what happened with me without getting up from behind the monitor http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9164/139708194.45/0_119657_5895da78_XXXL.jpg
    Filmed at the minimum iso, with a long exposure, up to a second ... although you can experiment, it all depends on the light ...

  • Nicholas

    Thank you for the article! Very sensible. Inspired by her, I also made a couple of shots. :)
    In my opinion, it turned out well. And in the second frame, it is as if a ghost town has been erected on the horizon!

  • Alexey

    took note of this tricky way, I don’t like to shamanize with an image on a computer

  • anonym

    In the 3rd picture, the dashed lines were not due to the fact that the zoom was jerky, but because of the flickering of sodium lamps.

  • Artem

    If you really want to, then you can get a zoom effect from hands with a short shutter speed. A sharp jerk of the zoom ring during the descent. 1/15 of a second. Tamron 17-50 / 2,8. Filmed for pampering. In general, if necessary, you can shoot the second frame without zoom and then combine it in the editor.

  • Yaroslav

    Something like this. Zoom without a stub is a little unsuitable for such purposes, but it seems like nothing happened.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/03/zoom-big-shutter/

Version en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2012/03/zoom-big-shutter/