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

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3
votes
3answers
454 views

Is the kit lens focal length specified for APS-C or FF?

I have the 18-55mm kit lens for my Canon 50D and was wondering if they're still specified against full frame 1:1 crop? Would my 18mm actually be 1.6x? I ask because I doubt anyone with a full frame ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

How useful is image stabilisation below 200mm, really?

Image stabilisation is all the rage, and hardly a new lens from Nikon or Canon is missing this "crucial" feature. To me this seems to be the new megapixel race (like when the manufacturers tried to ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Does changing the focal length change focus?

When using manual focus or back focus on D60, I sometimes zoom in the lens, set the focus, and then zoom out. Does changing the focal length (zooming out), also change the focus? In case the answer ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I visualize or simulate the effect of different focal lengths?

I have seen many camera review sites illustrate the effect of using different focal lengths on the same photograph using frames. There are also similar illustrations to compare different sensors (full ...
18
votes
5answers
789 views

What else changes with zoom?

Let me start with the general question: Consider the following situation. I want to take a picture of a particular object (that is, not a scenic shot). I can alter my distance from the subject ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Estimating focal length range required for shooting scenario

Is it possible to estimate (or calculate), in advance, the range of focal lengths you might need for shooting in a given scenario? For instance, suppose you will be going to the zoo (with your APS-C ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do we talk about focal-length when frame sizes are different?

I keep seeing people talking about focal-length of lenses without saying how large the frame is. Is there a more sensible way to talk about how much a lens “zooms”? (I have seen so many adverts ...