How Field Of View Affects Your Perception Of Speed

So, let’s say you’re on a train — how fast is the world around you moving? When it comes to your perception, the answer is: it depends. As this clip shared by Akiyoshi Kitaoka (a psychology professor at Japan’s Ritsumeikan University) demonstrates, your field of view has a massive effect on how you perceive speed:



This perception trick is used by filmmakers, who might choose to use a wide-angle lens to make an object approaching the camera appear to move faster:

Conversely, when shooting a moving object from behind or in front, a wide-angle lens would be more appropriate. Narrow lenses tend to compress visual depth, while wider lenses expand it. What this means: if you were to film the same object approaching the camera directly, with both a 250mm telephoto lens, and a 14mm wide-angle lens , the object would grow in perceived size much more quickly and drastically with the wide angle. This accentuation of distance on the Z-axis is great for fly-bys, close-ups of the moving subject, and again, any shots of the front or rear of the moving subject.

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