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Guest RichardL

Realistic Zoom Setting

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Quite possibly this has been discussed many times but difficult to find in a Search. Is there a consensus on what is the proper zoom setting in FSX to experience take-off and landing as it would be in a real aircraft?I suspect real would pilots have a better "feel" for the proper zoom setting.

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>Quite possibly this has been discussed many times but>difficult to find in a Search. >>Is there a consensus on what is the proper zoom setting in FSX>to experience take-off and landing as it would be in a real>aircraft?>>I suspect real would pilots have a better "feel" for the>proper zoom setting.It depends upon which aspect of the view you want to be realistic. You can zoom out and widen your view and get a more realistic feel of how peripheral vision is helpful and necessary in real life... but then you'll gain distortion. Or, you can go the other way, and set the zoom at 1.0, which will more realistically depict angles, distances, height, and scale... but then you'll feel like you're looking through a keyhole. I've always stayed near zoom 1, because a 3 degree glideslope in real life looks a lot more like what you'd see at FSX zoom 1.0, and that visual picture is what's been important to me. Any smaller number is too flat. Others prefer to have more of the side showing, a kind of wide view. Bottom line: as you zoom out from zoom 1 you lose scale. As you zoom IN to zoom 1 you lose peripheral cues. What's to be sacrificed is all up to you. For me personally, the answer is clear:TrackIR 4 Pro;-) You can then have proper scale, AND pretty easily and naturally pick up the necessary peripheral cues.

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Great question and by coincidence I have been doing some experimenting with this.It may be that I am primarily flying a recreation of my rw aircraft right now and only have a 2d view-but I find .30 does a multitude of good things in my situation. It gives a greater field of view and looks more correct visually, the autogen look the right size (taking care of the complaint that autogen is too big), and the textures look incredibly sharper.Definately worth experimenting with.GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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I think the question is much more important for 2D panels than for VC cockpits. A well designed VC should give you all the correct dimensions and proportions right from start with no need for tweaking. So assuming your VC is perfect (take for example something like PMDG's MD-11 or 747) you can see what sort of zoom in 2D panel will "squeeze" the same amount of runway width in your glareshield. So by trial and error you can find the answer. In other words your 2D panel will have the same proportion to the outside world as in VC. This is important for example for proper perception of speed.Michael J.http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9320/apollo17vf7.jpg

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Default value is 0.50 inside and outside for me.Objective here is to get best and most instruments details while getting crisp scenery.When I fly heli., though I go down to .40.Pierre

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Looks like we are getting to a consensus but a bit more discussion may be needed.As to the points on peripheral vision on a single monitor, don't consider it. Look at it this way. Place your self in the real aircraft. Imagine you have on blinders that limit your peripheral vision. At what zoom setting do you see the outside objects in the same relative size, ie runway width, tree height, building size. Replies so far seem to favor the lower end of the scale.

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"As to the points on peripheral vision on a single monitor, don't consider it. "Curious about this statement. In large, the way you land a plane is with use of your peripheral vision. That is the beauty of a virtual cockpit on a single monitor-you can zoom out so you can get some of that.You can also get it in 2d...GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Here are some pictures to illustrate my point-and to also show that peripheral vision can be done on a single monitor.Here is a shot my wife took out of the back seat of the plane. It is largly what a shot of the sim looks like in 1x zoom-a straight ahead shot of narrow view. However, that is not what the pilot sees.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194104.jpgHere is a shot in the sim at 1x zoom in the 2d view.The view is very similar to the backshot passenger view out the window, however the cockpit view is more what the pilot would see.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194105.jpgHere is the same in 2d view but .30 zoom. Notice the circled area.When you land-you are basically looking ahead to judge your flair-but you are also using that circled area with your peripheral vision to judge height. By zooming out even in 2d, I am now able to use that area to make a realistic landing.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194106.jpgEven better, is the virtual cockpit-now the circled area that is needed periphally to land is quite realistic to what you see seated in the pilot seat.So in addition to sharpening the textures, and making the autogen objects a better size,the pilot's viewpoint becomes more realistic, and one is able to use your peripheral vision to land like in real life. The 1x view is more appropriate to a backseat passenger view.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194107.jpgGeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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As an interesting side note-here are exact same shots at 1x and at .30 zoom-same place, same altitude.Notice the "blurries" on the 1x zoom shot and sharp great looking textures (at the expense of a few fps) in shot 2 in both forward and side views. Maybe why some never have the blurries? Certainly a much wider range of view like what you see in a plane vs. tunnel vision!GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194109.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194110.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194111.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/194112.jpg

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After viewing a number of airline videos, I believe the zoom at 1.0 is accurate for landing purposes. For flying at cruise level, I have zoom at .69 to include more peripheral vision. I've wanted a concrete answer to this also, as the sense of speed is changed along with the zoom level. 1.0 I believe is accurate, but the speed appears very slow on final approach. Running at .50 makes the same approach seem too fast.Curt

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First off-the speed sensation on final approach will be dependent on the winds.At that point groundspeed is paramount. Add a thirty knot direct wind and you will appear very slow-no wind and you will appear faster-tailwind and you will be very fast.The second point is the sense of speed for a passenger vs. a pilot.When you drive your car at 70 mph-looking directly ahead the speed sensation is very little. Look directly to the side and the speed sensation is very great. Same works with planes-the sensation from the front view is slow compared to the side view which appears fast.I haven't really noticed that much of a difference between the look of speed with the various zoom levels, but I have noticed the difference in the look of reality.One of the things you learn as a pilot is the appearance of speed will look different on almost every landing-but the indicated airpeed is what you must fly by-you can't be influenced by the apparent change of speed over the ground. You trust that and learn that each landing will look different speed wise as the wind is never constant.GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Well for my 2 cents worth I started using a zoom level of around .6 to .69 only because you can't adust the pilots height view in the 2D cockpit like you are able to in the VC and FS9. And also differences between stock and some addon aircraft which seem to have a steep eye point angle also started me doing this. I get a better view of the runway on taxi and takeoff at around those numbers. On final i use about .84 or so to get a little earlier view of the end of the runway and it seems to smooth the graphics out a little bit.

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My point about not using peripheral vision was related to a "single" monitor.Sure, if using a single monitor you would need to zoom back to be able see more and get the sense of speed.But what if you were to use three monitors (front and the two front quarter views) which is where I want to take this discussion? The pictures Geofa provided do provide some interesting perspectives. However, I suspect looking through a camera lens is not the same as the human eye. That's why I wondered about placing a pair of blinders on while sitting in a real aircraft. Just picking out a number, let's say you made a cardboard blinder with an angle of 45 degrees. If you placed that on your head (while no one at the FBO was watching), what do you see? Now transfer that image to FSX via the zoom. What zoom setting do you end up with? Naturally, you would need to use the FSX airport and exact location where you did the test in the real aircraft.Any other thoughts?

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I agree. I attempted to post a reply above showing that with screencaps, but had to edit the post out because my links to the caps wouldn't work at the time.People need to keep in mind that what you see on your monitor is equivalent to looking through a window outside. But there are differences between looking through a real window to see something outside vs looking through your "monitor window".The wider a real window is, the more side-to-side image you will see. That is called a Field of View for the window and can be measured in degrees from side to side. And the actual Field of View of what you see outside that window will also vary with the distance of your eyes from the window. If you walk farther away from the window, you will see less Field of View outside the window from side-to-side. This is part of the problem in using a computer screen to display an "outside view", however. You will still see the same Field of View displayed on the monitor regardless how close or far you are away from the monitor. The way you change Field of View on your monitor is by using the Zoom setting, but zooming out (going from 1.0x to 0.60x, for instance) can distort the picture and cause fish-eye, side blurring, and perspective effects.So, the first thing is to get a realistic Field of View scene on your monitor. This is based on your "Eyepoint Distance" from the screen AND the width of your screen. Your "blinder" comment is very appropriate in this regard. From where you are sitting in front of your monitor, imagine your screen was just transparant and you could see right through it. Pretend you could see NOTHING at all to the left, right, top, or bottom of your monitor...you can only see what is there looking THROUGH it. What would you actually be able to see? What Field of View would you see looking through it at the real world outside? THAT would determine your most "realistic" zoom setting to begin with. If you had a 15" monitor, it would show a very small portion of the outside world. On my TH2G 3-wide 19" monitor setup, I would have a much wider FOV at the same zoom level.The smaller the monitor width, the less FOV you will have at ANY zoom setting. On my TH2G setup, I run at 1.0x zoom and still have plenty of peripheral vision clues, only because the FOV I get on that wide of a monitor setup lets me see the same things that Geoffa pointed out in his posts above. Combined with a TrackIR, it's almost like sitting in the cockpit of my real airplane. There is no need for me to "zoom out" to see anything I need to look at. Most of the default FSX panels will display everything across the 3-wide screen to begin with. There are many times, depending on the aircraft I am flying in FSX, that I don't even use the TrackIR in this case. It depends on the panel. On a single 19" monitor, however, there isn't an aircraft panel in FSX that will fit on one screen without having to "zoom it out". So your options are either move the panel farther away from you (note you don't use "zoom" for this...changing the "eyepoint" of the panel works better), zoom out the ENTIRE scene using the zoom keys (which can result in fish-eye and perspective issues), or use some sort of panning...either the pan keys or hat switch in FSX, or something like TrackIR.FalconAF

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>However, I suspect looking through a camera>lens is not the same as the human eye. Absolutely correct. A photographer's perspective: there's really no such thing as a "normal" field of view. Photographers argue about this, and there's an opposing camp that defines normal based on a field of view when you're looking directly at an object. In 35mm photography, that would be a 50mm lens - or, some would say, a 35mm lens, which admits a little more peripheral vision.But in my experience, that doesn't wash because we see differently at different times. If you think about it, you're usually not looking directly at an object. Your eyes are darting around and your brain is "compositing" a picture based on multiple "exposures" that your eyes generate within microseconds. The width or narrowness of the perspective changes based on what you're thinking and doing. When I do street photography in urban settings, I use a wider lens - not only because it's a style choice but because that's the way I actually see. On a crowded street my eyes are darting around and I'm assembling a wide angle view. When I'm out in the country, I use a narrower lens, because then I can really relax and concentrate on a single field of view. The narrower perspective feels natural under those circumstances.Based on those experiences, I think it'd be natural to use different zoom levels at different phases of flight - zoomed in when you're at cruise or flying on instruments, but zoomed out to capture peripheral vision in the landing phase - because in that phase your brain would be looking at the periphery and in other phases of flight, it wouldn't.Hope that's helpful.Alan

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"--------But what if you were to use three monitors (front and the two front quarter views) which is where I want to take this discussion?----------"-----------------RichardL- The use of triple monitors and triple views totally transforms the Flight Sim experience. Three synchronized views produce a Field of View of 145-150

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I usually run the outside view at "100%".. The default setting.The inside VC view zoom I use will slightly vary to aircraft,but will usually range from about "45%" or so with the 737, tomaybe a bit above "50%" for the Cessna and Baron. I forgot exactlywhere I set the Baron VC, but I cut off the right side view right at the right side of the radios. Ditto for the Mooney and Cessna. I'll zoom it so I can see no fartherto the right than the radios. I have to turn my head to seeany farther to the right. The perspective is fairly close, butmaybe a tiny bit far away, compared to real. But I can see aboutthat same range in real life I think, unless I had the seat hunchedup forward.With the 737 at "45%" or so, I pretty much only see my side of the instruments. I get a pretty wide view, but I still have to turn the head for some things, like resetting "alt", etc. And the cockpitstill looks fairly large in front of me, as it should. I'm fairly nit picky about perspective, and am purely VC now for that reason. Have been for quite a while. One of my pet peeves are 2d panels that look like I'm sitting inthe center, between the two yokes... I've had that peeve for a goodmany years, and all 2d panels I ever made in the past had perspectivesthat looked like you were sitting in the seat, instead of hangingoff the side of it, or standing between the two pilots for jets. :/So I'm pretty picky about the inside zoom, but for some reasonI'm fairly content with the default 100% zoom for outside. I don't like rolling it out much, cuz you start getting the "fish eye" effect which I'm not too crazy about.

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To add a little math, just for those who are concerned about correct perspective (especially the multiple monitor folks)....The default zoom 1.0 in FSX displays about 33.5 x 25 degrees of scenery. That's on a 4:3 ratio monitor. So, for a given monitor size, if a simmer wishes to know how far away to sit from it so that zoom 1.0 can be run -- and it is my opinion that we SHOULD try to run the sim at zoom 1.0, again because it's the only zoom (by definition) that displays the correct perspective, angles, height, depth and speed all at the same time. But anyway, if we want to know how far from our monitors to sit so that the scenery arc WITHIN the monitor (the FSX scenery field of view) matches the scenery arc occupied BY the monitor (our real world field of view), we can do some basic trigonometry and see that, for typically sized monitors, the "answer" is that we as the virtual pilots should be sitting about 2 feet from the monitor. To be more precise (maybe more than necessary, admittedly), it should be ~20 inches for a 15" monitor and ~28 inches for a 21" monitor. Interpolate as necessary. Remember, this is for 4:3 monitors.Now, we can zoom out from zoom 1.0 and shove our faces closer to the monitor, or zoom in and pull our heads back, and still have the sim view arc match the real world view arc... but once we stray from zoom 1.0, distortions of one sort or another are necessarily being introduced. And even if you stay at zoom 1, but like your head much closer or much farther from the monitor than that ~2 feet number mentioned above, in that situation you're trying to stuff, say, 50 degrees of scenery into a monitor which occupies a much smaller portion of your actual field of view. And then the typical pilot cues will and can not be correct.The way I personally do it (and obviously I think it works beautifully, or else I wouldn't do it that way ;-) is the following:First, purchase Track IR. ;-) To any simmer who hasn't yet purchased it... do it!!! It is the single biggest "difference maker" in the sim immersion experience I have EVER known. For me, even bigger than when I went from joystick to throttle and stick. Nothing has made me feel more "in" the sim than this product. It completely revitalized and reinvigorated the hobby for me... made me want to fly the sim more than develop for it for the 1st time in 5 years...)But anyway, my view setup process is to:1) set the sim at zoom 1.02) use the calculation from above to see how far my head should be from the monitor, at zoom 1, for my monitor size.3) put my head there, with TrackIR all set up and ready to go, picking a height and head angle that will work for the given plane4) hit F12 to recenter Track IRAnd BAM... no matter what you do with your head now, you will pretty much always have the correct perspective and perceptions of height and speed, the ones you would experience in real life if you were looking out of the aircraft window. And when landing, it is simple to turn your head just slightly left to still have the view showing both the runway centerline AND the grass off to the left. You get lineup and height all at once, just as with a zoomed out view. One of the rarely talked about benefits of TrackIR is that it allows you to do this EFFORTLESSLY and INTUITIVELY, without an ounce of thought. This new and efficient method of grabbing those peripheral cues we all so desperately need means that the urge to zoom out is not as great. So zoom 1.0 can pretty comfortably be maintained, meaning proper perspective can be maintained also.All just IMHO, of course....

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All good information, but honestly, we still seem to be at odds again as to what is the correct zoom. I thought we were getting close to an answer.I'm not sure how the distance to the monitor's screen became a factor. We are discussing the relative size and perspective of the outside world while sitting in the aircraft. Not the size of the instruments.Which brings up a question. If 1.0 is the correct setting to display outside objects in the correct size/perspective, why is there a need and means to change the setting?Is this a hopeless journey?

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>Is this a hopeless journey?I don't see why. You decide what is the right methodology finding the correct zoom and you set it based on this methodology. I don't understand why lack of unanimity bothers you - at least not in the area of representing the 3D world in the 2D setting. ;)I stated above my simple principle - what you see on the screen inside the MSFS should (proportionally) be the same as what you would see on a photograph taken inside the cockpit if camera was placed instead of pilot's eyes. This is well defined and is not dependent on type of camera, focus length etc. I like formulations that lack ambiguity and can be translated into numbers instead of relying on a "feel". Someone may prefer a different approach.Michael J.http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9320/apollo17vf7.jpg

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And to add to Michael's reply above, one topic that always comes up in these discussions is the sensation of "speed" when approaching the runway for landings, etc. Geoffa made a very realistic observation about it...it will depend on winds, etc at the time, because your Indicated Airspeed is not the same as your groundspeed. But...Another thing about it that simulation-only pilots don't understand is that things appear to happen MUCH SLOWER speed-wise when you are flying...especially when looking forward. It's a matter of perspective and the size of things in your field of view. Landing a Cessna 172 on a 150 foot wide runway is going to give you a much SLOWER perception of the speed than driving your car at 70 MPH on a two-lane road. Most new pilots who start their pilot training seem rather amazed at how "slow" things appear to happen in front of them looking out the cockpit window. Think about it. If you were flying a Cessna 172 at 60 MPH (relatively close to what your speed would be approaching the runway to land, and during your flare...and disregard right now that when flying we use KTS for airspeed), but you just flew over the runway, and it was a 5000 ft long runway, it would take you almpst ONE WHOLE MINUTE to go from one end of the runway to the other end. That's how long it takes at 60 MPH to go one mile on a road in your car. Flying over a 10,000 ft runway, it would take almost TWO minutes to go from one end of the runway to the other end at 60 MPH. Fly over that same 10,000 ft runway at 120 MPH (much faster than your approach and landing speed in most GA aircraft) and it would STILL take you one whole minute to go from one end to the other end of the runway.I think many sim-only pilots with no real-world flying experience expect things to happen a lot "faster" in FSX than what they would perceive in the real-world. If you have never experienced real-world flying from looking out the cockpit of an airplane, go out to your local airport and take an Introductory Flight at least once. It's not very expensive, and will give you a whole new perspective on how "fast" and "slow" things really appear to happen "outside the window" from a pilot's perspective.FalconAF

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To Michael, I mostly agree. There should be and there is a scientifically "correct" answer to this question, depending upon what one wants to accomplish. IF THE GOAL is to make the perspective from your eyeball to your monitor (and the scenery within the sim) coincide with what it would look like in the outside world, then there IS a "correct" method. From my reading of the original poster's question, he is asking about what *perspective* is needed within the sim to experience takeoffs and landings as in a real aircraft. I interpret it as a question about perspective because he specifically asks about zoom... and it is brought up directly above, too.What is perspective? In layman's terms it's just where things are located (in this instance within the sim) with respect to your eyeballs. What I'm saying is simple: if you want *perspective* from your eyeballs to your sim world scenery to be as it is in real life, which is my take on what you're asking, then there is 1 and only 1 solution of how far you must be sitting from your monitor for a given zoom setting. And the final test as to whether correct perspective has been obtained, for any phase of flight, is related to the answer to the following question: ***********When you turn your real life eyeballs 20 degrees to the left, are you seeing, on your monitor and within FSX, scenery which is 20 degrees to your "virtual" left?***********If you can't answer yes to that question, you've not achieved proper perspective. And it should be intuitively obvious why eyeball distance to the monitor is crucial to that answer. To me, it's that simple. But... I've also gone beyond the above to say that we should consider that zoom 1 is the only zoom setting where SOMETHING within the sim has not been distorted... speed, distance, height, angles, etc. How do we know this? Let's push it to an extreme and see. Set the sim to zoom 0.4, or however low it will go. Is the distortion in the appearance of the scenery (the fisheye effect) not obvious? And it's there no matter how far our head is from the monitor, right? EVEN THOUGH we could make our head distance to the monitor "accurate" as to the test in the above paragraph, regarding number of degrees of scenery displayed. If this fisheye distortion is there at zoom 0.4, it's there to a lesser extent at 0.6, and still less at 0.8, and less at 0.95... but it IS THERE, along with others, at every zoom other than zoom 1.0. If the 2-D representation of a cube on a monitor is such that the cube appears to be curved or distorted, can we agree that perspective has not been achieved? Relate this to autogen buildings... So my conclusion is that the distortion introduced by straying from zoom 1.0 is also incompatible with correct perspective.Zoom 1.0 is the zoom setting (or "fulcrum," in a sense) that Microsoft chose where everything (speed, distance, angles, perspective, etc.) match and balance, where there is no distortion in any of those parameters. The number of degrees in zoom 1 isn't relevant to achieving this balance; MS could've made zoom 1 show 80 by 60 degrees of scenery on the monitor, and still have all parameters coincide there. There is nothing magical about the 34 x 25 degree setting that FSX's zoom 1 displays. It is just what one of the developers chose. But... I don't think it was chosen arbitrarily. Let me speculate....Most know or have "realized without realizing it" that zoom 1.0 is much different in FS9 than in FSX, as to the amount of scenery displayed. FS9 displays about 1.4 times as much scenery at zoom 1 (horizontally or vertically, not in area) than does FSX. Have you seen posts from years ago where real pilots point out that the FS9 sim world feels "flat" at its default zoom 1.0 setting? A 3 degree glideslope at zoom 1 seems too shallow in FS9, based on the visual cues and how far "down" you're looking. It can be shown why this is so, and can also be shown, I think, why FSX's zoom 1 is (for the average user with the average size monitor sitting the average distance away from it) inherently "better" than FS9's zoom 1. And that is because, for that average user with the average size monitor sitting the average distance away from it, his monitor is occupying something a lot closer to 34 x 25 degrees of his actual field of view (as in FSX) than the 47 x 35 degrees that are default zoom 1 in FS9.So, I think that this information is more than "interesting." Especially for multiple monitor people or cockpit builders. It should be central to their setup. If a cockpit builder wanted to be as correct as possible, say, with his 90 degree left view, in order to have that proper "perspective," the monitor would have to be directly to the left of his head, 90 degrees left of forward. Further, the monitor would have to be at a distance such that the monitor screen occupied exactly the same amount of his actual field of view as the scenery displayed on it. And ideally the scenery displayed on it would be the default zoom 1.0 setting of 34 x 25 degrees I mentioned above. Because there's 0 distortion there. This is better, inherently... it is the most correct solution, I believe firmly, IF perspective is one's goal.Whew.... ;-) In re-reading what I wrote, I'm not sure it's tremendously clear, but I lack the ability to explain my thoughts in any better way than that. Sorry!Oh, as to why there's a need or means to change zoom, I suppose it's simply because some *prefer* to fly at zooms other than 1. Which is fine with me. I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching that anyone not using zoom 1.0 is "wrong" and shouldn't be enjoying their flight sim experience. I'm explaining what I believe to be correct with respect to the concept of "perspective"... but let's be clear that there are other perfectly valid things that a particular simmer may be striving for besides proper perspective. Most frequently, I think people are willing to sacrifice correct perspective in order to get a better peripheral sense in the sim. And again... whatever floats your boat. We're all just trying to have fun here, right? But to me the original question was about correct perspective... so that's what I tried to answer. ;-)

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