Small optical flow fields are involved in object and shape recognition. These tasks depend on high resolution and low speed of the flow-field elements. Large optical flow fields are involved in tasks such as orientation and navigation, which require flow-field elements to move at high speed. From the above, we would expect to find different behavior of subjects for different parameter ranges of field size and speed of the elements. In this paper, we address the question of whether such different behavior exists for a task that is associated neither with object recognition nor with navigation. We obtained detection thresholds for expansion in the presence of translation for a wide range of field sizes. The same paradigm was used to investigate whether subjects made efficient use of peripheral information. We found viewing-distance invariance, meaning that subjects' performance scaled with stimulus size. Subjects performed very similarly with and without foveal information.