Hitchcock used to do this to create the feeling of nausea.

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  • You're referring to the dolly zoom or reverse tracking. – MikeW Aug 17 '16 at 18:47
  • I'll move to video – MikeW Aug 17 '16 at 18:48
  • 1
    Just a note, the reverse tracking shot wasn't intended to induce nausea. Rather its use is intended to be generally unsettling as its not a natural visual phenomenon. More specifically, its first use in Vertigo was meant to make the viewer feel, well, vertigo. – Michael Liebman Aug 18 '16 at 2:26
  • As another note, if it's important that the subject stay in focus, you want to use a "parfocal" lens. Otherwise, you have to pull focus while you're zooming. – Jason Conrad Aug 18 '16 at 17:41
  • If you're dollying in / out you're going to need to pull focus whether the lens is parfocal or not, because the focus distance is changing. – stib Aug 19 '16 at 12:16

If the "modern" camera does not have control over your body then yes you can.

Hold you camera to your eye, place one hand on the zoom ring of your lens, start turning the zoom ring while simultaneously you begin to walk/run backwards. A video dolly would be safer.


You can do this only if you are using a PAR-FOCAL zoom lens (or you have a "focus-puller" crew member running along side your camera).

Note that many (most?) DSLR lenses are NOT par-focal. That is, they do not hold their focus point when the zoom is changed. Video lenses are typically par-focal, but DSLRs were not originally designed for video, so their lenses were not designed with a feature that wasn't needed at the time.

  • If the camera is dollying you'll need to pull focus anyway, because the focus distance is changing, parfocal lens or not – stib Aug 19 '16 at 12:18

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