Windlight Contributor Myra Wildmist explores how you can Simulate popular lenses via the Second Life PhototoolsL

When you take a snapshot in Second Life, you’re essentially using a 50mm lens: The default settings are almost the same as a standard 50mm lens. I say, almost the same, because most 50mm lenses in real life have an angle of view around 48 degrees. The SL default camera angle of view (View angle in Phototools.) is set to 1.047 radians or 60 degrees. They probably do that because 60 degrees is the focused field of view of a typical human eye, so it’s more comfortable to set the angle of view of SL at 60 degrees for normal viewing.

This is a good setting for most of your photos, since this setting will capture your photos the way you’re seeing them in-world. However, there’s no need to limit yourself. Decades of photography have taught photographers that certain lenses work best for certain types of photos.

Try the Phototool settings, below, depending on the type of photo you want:

Sim and architectural photography – Extreme wide angle – 20mm and below*

Use these Phototool settings:
View angle – 1.641FoV- 94 degrees
Foc Length – 20 (20mm lens)
f-number – Set between 1.6-16

Specs taken from AF-S Nikkor 20mm

Landscapes and interiors – Wide angle – 21-35mm

View angle – 1.466
FoV- 84 degrees
Foc Length – 24
f-number – 1.8-16

Specs from AF-S Nikkor 24mm

Snapshots, club scenes – Normal angle – 35-70mm

You can use the SL default, but try the lens settings below to simulate a true 50mm lens.

View angle – .802
FoV- 46 degrees
Foc Length – 50
f-number – 1.4-16

Specs from AF-S Nikkor 50mm

Profile pics and portraits – Medium telephoto – 70-135mm

Everyone wants a new profile photo. You don’t need to hire an SL photogrpaher; try the 85mm below:

View angle – .497
FoV- 28.5 degrees
Foc Length – 85
f-number – 1.4-16

Specs from AF-S Nikkor 85mm

Wildlife and objects far away – Telephoto – 135-300mm

View angle – .143
FoV- 8.2 degrees
Foc Length – 300
f-number – 2.8-22

Specs from AF-S Nikkor 300mm

Style thoughts

I think you’ll be surprised at how different your photos look just using these five “lenses”.

The important settings are View angle, FoV, and Foc Length. Use the f-number settings as a guide. You should get your best results if you stay within the f-number range listed, but you can try other f-numbers.

I used Nikon lenses as the basis for my lenses, but you can use any lens you want. You only need the View angle (FX Angle of View in the lens specs), the Foc Length, and the f-number range.

Next post

Next post I’ll take photos with these lenses so you can see what they do.

*I switched to the lens categories defined by Cambridge in Color, a digital photography site. In my previous article on focal length, I defined the different categories slightly differently. In the future, I’ll stick with the Cambridge in Color definitions.


Cambridge in Color, Lens Tutorial

Nikon Lenses

11 thoughts on “SL Photography: Simulating popular lenses in Phototools

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