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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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12
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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 ...
2
votes
3answers
385 views

Should I upgrade my camera or lens to shoot pro hockey games?

I've gotten the opportunity to shoot pro hockey games. My current gear doesn't cut it: Nikon D70 Nikon 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 Kit lens Nikon 70-300mm F/4-5.6 D Nikon 50mm 1.8D Monopod From where i'm ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it normal for focal length to change while focusing?

When I change the focus distance on my Pentax 55-300mm lens, the focal length appears to change. More specifically, the lens appears to zoom in as I focus towards the minimum focusing distance. This ...
10
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2answers
2k 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.
10
votes
1answer
828 views

Does focal length affect diffraction, in addition to aperture?

The reason I ask is that f/18 on a 24mm lens = 1.5mm, and f/18 on a 180mm lens = 10mm. I thought diffraction is due to the small physical size of the aperture, rather than the f-ratio, yet I only ever ...
3
votes
1answer
886 views

Which famous photographers used mostly one lens throughout their careers? [closed]

Which famous or outstanding photographers did use mostly only one focal length throughout their career and what focal length did they use? For medium and large format photography, please indicate a ...
38
votes
6answers
2k views

Is crop-factor a bad thing?

It seems to me that there is a preference for full-frame sensors rather than cropped sensors, and I'm curious as to why. It seems to me, that the cropped sensor means that I get more bang for my buck ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

How can a 18-55mm lens focus on objects beyond 55mm?

I guess this is a total noob question, but doesn't 18-55mm mean that it can focus only up to 55mm?
6
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3answers
968 views

What is the formula for percent of frame filled at a specific distance and focal length?

I am thinking about buying a new lens specifically to take photos of distant targets (birds, bears, etc). I currently own the Canon 70-300 IS USM, which is a nice lens, but I find that if I want to ...
2
votes
3answers
711 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 ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What is a parfocal lens and how beneficial is it to photography?

I heard someone say that after using a parfocal lens for the first time, they would never switch back. What is a parfocal lens, how is it different from any other lens, and what are the advantages and ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Is the difference between a good 50mm vs 85mm lens just your distance from the subject?

I was wondering: is the difference between a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 85mm f/1.8 lens just your distance from the subject? Let's assume that distortion is minimal; both lenses are of high quality. Does ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Why does the maximum aperture change with focal length? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do zoom lenses and compact cameras have varied maximum aperture across the zoom range? It is rather common with zooms that the maximum aperture changes (in fact, ...
4
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2answers
2k views

If I have a 28mm f/1.8 lens (on a crop body), do I still need the 50mm f/1.4?

I have the Canon 60D and a Canon 400D (my original camera). I have two lenses a Sigma 50mm 1.4 HSM and a Canon 28mm 1.8 USM. Both lenses are incredible performers. I've noticed the bokeh I receive on ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

In what situations should I use which lenses while traveling to Paris?

I'll be travelling to Paris and I'll be bringing me with a Canon T2i/550D, a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3,5-5,6 IS and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2,8 (I could also bring a Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II). I bought the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How can a prime lens focus on more than one plane?

By definition, a prime lens is a fixed lens system with a fixed focal length. Then, simple physics tells us that it should be able to focus only on one plane (at a fixed distance) in front of it. But ...
4
votes
3answers
497 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is an EF 50mm f/1.4 the same as 50mm with an EF-S lens on a Canon 550D?

I have a Canon 550D with the standard 18-55mm kit lens. The 550D has a 1.6× crop factor. My question is very simple but whenever I've asked before (Yahoo Answers) I always got overly-complicated ...
3
votes
3answers
496 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
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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 ...
25
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3answers
3k 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 ...
6
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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
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5answers
819 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 ...
22
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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
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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 ...