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Focal length is the distance (measured in mm) between the surface of a lens and the focal point, when the lens is focussed at infinity. Smaller focal lengths indicate wide-angle lenses, larger focal lengths indicate a telephoto lens.

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How does using a lens with some focal length on a full frame camera differ from using a lens with “equivalent” focal lens on a crop camera?

As an example, a 35mm lens on a crop body (such as Nikon DX) is said to be "equivalent" to a 50mm lens on a full frame body. Equivalent here means that they will have the same field of view, but what ...
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4answers
564 views

Is there construction-agnostic term for a lens with a long focal length?

Turns out that telephoto refers to a specific construction of a long-focal-length lens, i.e., one where the lens is physically shorter than the focal length. Is there a generic term for referring to ...
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2answers
5k views

What differences between point and shoot zoom versus DSLR zoom cause the price disparity?

I'm just getting into the world of photography, stepping up from a point-and-shoot. I've just purchased a Nikon D3100 and it should be here in a couple of days. I've done lots of research, but ...
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1answer
307 views

How to calculate the correct focal length needed for a subject of a given size and distance?

I need to purchase my first ever lens. So far I've only used lenses that were built into a camera. This specific lens is for the BlackMagic Deign Pocket Cinema Camera (a video only camera, but one ...
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3answers
1k views

EF-S lens focal length [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does my crop sensor camera actually turn my lenses into a longer focal length? If I have an EF-S lens with a focal length of 10mm on an APS-C camera (i.e. with sensor ...
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3answers
1k views

How much distance should one move so that a shot that can be framed at xx mm be framed at yy mm?

Is there a website / app that will tell you approximately how much distance a person should move so that they are able to frame the same shot at different focal lengths? Say for example, I'm ...
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4answers
3k views

When would one choose a 50mm f/1.4 over 85mm f/1.8 (or vice versa) for portraits?

Say you are using a crop body, and you have both 50mm/1.4 USM and 85mm/1.8 USM lens in your bag. Now, you want to take a portrait where there is adequate light and space, and you have decided to take ...
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1answer
992 views

Size of the entrance pupil vs size of the aperture

I understand that the entrance pupil is the image of the aperture as seen from the front of the lens. However, is the size of the entrance pupil the same as the size of the effective aperture? In ...
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1answer
15k views

How can I find a compact camera with an ultra-wide lens?

I'm looking to buy a compact camera, and having a very wide angle is important to me. I know that review sites often list the real focal length of the lens, but what I'm looking for is something that ...
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3answers
188 views

Do lens hoods need to be matched to focal length?

Is it true that not all generic lens hoods work on all lenses (provided the filter diameter matches, of course)? I read that the focal length plays a role in it - but I cannot find such readings on ...
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6answers
3k views

Is there a difference between taking a far shot on a 50mm lens and a close shot on a 35mm lens?

I am looking for a prime lens to pick up, and I'm wondering if there is any difference between 35mm and 50mm in terms of the end product if I just stand back more with the 50mm. I use the Sony a6000 ...
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5answers
1k views

What is the shape of the focal plane?

This is something I just realised I don't entirely know the answer to, so I'm going to ask it here as I think it's interesting. In most non-scientific writing on depth of field, diagrams generally ...
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4answers
2k views

Do I need other camera lenses if I have an 18-200mm or other super-zoom?

I wanted to ask that once you have purchased a lens of say 18-200mm, then is it required to purchase other lenses — say 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 18-105mm, 28-135mm,etc. Does 18-200mm lens satisfy all the ...
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3answers
2k views

Does the size of the front glass mean anything?

Considering the Nikon lenses: Prime lenses: AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED has a huge front glass (●₃), AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G has a tiny little front glass, deep inside the body (∙₁), AF-S VR Nikkor ...
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2answers
1k views

Do lenses with the same f-stop but different focal length gather the same amount of light? [duplicate]

I'm taking images of a light source in a scientific labratory, and I thought I had a good grasp on all these things, but now i'm second guessing myself after some results. The most important thing is ...
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4answers
2k views

What exactly is focal length when there is also flange focal distance?

If focal length is the measure between the rear element and the sensor then how can you have different flange focal distances? Is the focal length not literally the measure between the rear element ...
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4answers
1k views

What does 'Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens' mean?

In the specifications of Canon 550D, about the lens the following is mentioned LENS Lens Mount EF/EF-S Focal Length Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens Now this is really ...
9
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4answers
2k views

How much does 1 mm get you in a wide-angle lens?

I'm looking at a Canon 17-40 mm wide angle lens, and I don't understand why anyone would buy it. EFS18-55mm II is the standard Canon 18-55 mm lens that DSLRs come with, and it seems almost as ...
5
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4answers
465 views

How do manufacturers come up with focal lengths for lenses?

There are a lot of lenses for each camera, and I understand that each lens caters to a different use case, but my question is on how they arrive at the specific focal length numbers. For example, ...
5
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3answers
845 views

What does it mean that a lens is x millimeters?

Every lens has different focal length in terms of millimeter so if I have a 100mm lens, what does that refer to? Does it mean the length of the lens itself is going to be 4 inches long, or does this ...
5
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5answers
17k views

If I have an 85mm lens for portraits, is a 50mm useful as well?

I recently got my Canon EF 85mm f1.8, after lot of thought over if I should buy Canon EF 85mm f1.8 or Canon EF 50mm f1.4, I decided on 85mm so that I can shoot portraits of people even from a ...
5
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3answers
5k views

What does the millimeter measurement of a macro lens mean?

I understand that the millimeter measurement on a lens is, for lack of a better term, how far it can "zoom" in or out, but what about macro lenses? What does the millimeter measurement signify? How ...
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3answers
557 views

How can I get the same image with the same 50mm lens on both FF and APS-C?

First things first, I'm talking ONLY about framing here. No light sensitivity, no bokeh quality, no pixel quantity, etc. A 50mm in a FF camera will give a certain composition and framing. How can I ...
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2answers
598 views

Why are the area of aperture, focal length, and amount of light specified in these terms?

So I'm looking at the wikipedia article on Aperture, and I'm a bit confused. I understand aperture to be the diameter of the hole that lets light in. In the article, someone states that The ...
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4answers
224 views

Does an APS-C lens label itself with effective or true focal length? [duplicate]

I'm not sure if I've phrased this correctly, but I've just purchased two prime lenses: Nikkor 50mm f1.8/G (FX) Nikkor 35mm f1.8/G (DX) I know that the effective focal length of the 50mm FX lens ...
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3answers
2k views

How do I convert focal length to maximum distance?

I would like to know whether there is any relation between focal length and distance. For example, what is the max distance I can shoot from a 55mm-300mm lens?
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2answers
610 views

How does focal length change perspective? [duplicate]

@MichaelClark answered a question I posted about zoom using focal length (emphasis added): You are correct that a focal length twice as long (2X zoom) as the original one will make objects appear ...
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3answers
26k views

What mm lens for distance shots?

If I am looking to take landscape and wildlife shots and some of those shots being from a decent distance what mm lens would I need? I am not sure what else I should be adding here, I am just looking ...
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5answers
45k views

So my iPhone 6 camera lens is as wide as my full frame 35mm DSLR lens?

I am trying to understand what is the deal with "full-frame" and what difference it makes, so did a silly test: I sat at my bed and aligned the iPhone 6 camera with the door of the room and took a ...
13
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4answers
4k views

How can a lens like a 18-55mm have more than one focal length?

How can a lens have a range of focal lengths? Shouldn't it be a single number? Isn't focal length supposed to be fixed for a lens of a particular shape and geometry? What am I missing? How many ...
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2answers
7k views

Why is depth of field affected by focal length?

As the focal length decreases, the depth of field increases as well. Why is this? I'm not so much interested in a physics lesson as I am interested in a simple, down-to-earth explanation.
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3answers
376 views

Do crop sensors on SLRs changes the depth and flatness of the objects as well? (in comparison to same focal length on full frame sensors)

1- I know different focal lengths change the depth and flatness of an objects in the picture. For examples longer focal lengths make objects appear flatter so they will be appropriate for portraits. ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between using a telephoto or wide-angle lens for portraits? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why? Assuming a similar aperture, what difference would you see using a 50mm, 85mm, or telephoto ...
4
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2answers
389 views

How rapidly does the focal length-equivalent image change by physically moving the camera?

I have recently begun moving from a Nikon APS-C DSLR to the Micro Four Thirds camera while also transitioning from using a viewfinder to using the LCD screen for framing my shots. Because of the size ...
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3answers
896 views

Phone camera (Samsung S4): is it possible to determine the distance to the object in focus on jpg picture?

I took a picture with Samsung S4 phone. Is it possible to determine the distance to the object on the picture? The object is in focus. I looked at the JPG picture properties but could not find ...
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2answers
543 views

Help me understand effective f-number

If I set a lens to, say, f/2 but my focus is set to its closest point, my effective f-number won't be f/2 any more but it will be higher by a factor that depends on focal length, image magnification ...
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1answer
236 views

What prevents a f/1.8, 24 mm - 70 mm or similar range zoom lens from being made? [duplicate]

I see that it is common to have professional grade lenses such as 24-70mm lenses made at f/2.8. After using a 50mm/1.8, I was wondering what would prevent a more versatile zoom lens to be made that ...
5
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1answer
168 views

Where exactly would the focal length of a lens in the ray diagram fall?

If a lens is specified as (EF 50mm f/1.8), where exactly is the 50mm distance if I were to show it in a ray diagram? Considering that a lens is made up of multiple elements, I could not find a ...
5
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2answers
6k views

How can I calculate focal length from a photograph?

I posted this question over on Stack Overflow, but someone suggested this site might be of more help to me. I'm doing a college project where I'm trying to calculate the focal length of a camera ...
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1answer
132 views

Why don't all zoom lenses have variable f-numbers? [duplicate]

As I understand it, the f-number is a ratio between the focal length and the aperture diameter. A zoom lens can change focal length, but shouldn't the maximum aperture be a fixed size? If so, that ...
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2answers
151 views

How does “designed for APS-C” affect focal length? [duplicate]

If a lens is designated by manufacturer as "designed for crop sensor" (i.e. DC in Sigma, DX in Nikon, DT in Sony), how would that affect the calculation of practical focal length (equivalent focal ...
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vote
1answer
466 views

How to calculate the focal length of cell phone cameras when none of the required parameters are available?

There are many camera phones for which the focal length, aperture size, and sensor size are not available. Is there a formula to calculate these parameters or a site which provides these details for ...
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3answers
531 views

How to get focal length from a camera specification which gives a value like “4.5-22.5”?

I am using a Sony W520 camera. The specifications mention Focal Length (f= mm) 4.5-22.5. What number should I take? The lower value or the higher? And if not both of them, then how to calculate actual ...
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2answers
117 views

35mm DX prime lense on dx crop sensor(nikon d3300) [duplicate]

I have Nikon D3300 DSLR. I'm confused with 35mm and 50mm prime lenses on FX and DX cameras. Somewhere I read that if a 35mm prime lens is used on a FX camera the focal length is equivalent to around ...
0
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3answers
5k views

50mm vs 35mm cropped [duplicate]

For shooting portraits, why is 50mm preferable? For example with an APS-C sensor, why is it not ok to take photos with 35mm equivalent and simply crop them (to 50mm equivalent)? or take photos closer ...
0
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1answer
107 views

How to calculate the new field of view from an existent one?

I have a photo having H x W (height x weight) pixels and I know, based on the EXIF, that it was shot at F1 focal length. How many pixels I must crop (or add) in order to see how it would be the photo ...
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votes
1answer
256 views

How does focal length determine lens quality? [duplicate]

What does an 18 - 50 mm lens mean? Are those numbers the first focal length and second focal length? How do you use this parameter to judge what kind of lens to buy? Does more equal better?