Is it possible to get 12ft wide image from a 3ft distance?

I am a beginner and have very little knowledge on the field of view of cameras.

I calculated that a Go Pro would need a lens with 1.5mm focal length to achieve this using a calculator on this page: http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm

A DSLR would need aproximatly 5mm focal length lens to achieve this.

Am I getting the correct results?


3 Answers 3


A DSLR would need aproximatly 5mm focal length lens to achieve this.

Based on the "Dimensional Field of View Calculator" a 1.5x crop sensor camera would need a lens with about a 6mm focal length. A "full frame" camera would need a lens with a 9mm focal length.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the reply. 6mm focal length lenses are available? \$\endgroup\$
    – Safinn
    Mar 25, 2015 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Safinn No, they are not. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:01
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, they are, but you won't like it; the Nikon 6mm f/2.8 fisheye runs $160,000 or so on the used market, it weighs a little more than 5kg, and the big fish bowl in front is about 9-1/4 inches in diameter and unprotected from knocks and dings. \$\endgroup\$
    – user38275
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow ok, so the solution then is to increase the distance.Lol. \$\endgroup\$
    – Safinn
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, going for a full frame camera and Canon's 8-15mm lens is the only reasonably-priced option -- assuming you can't increase distance. Back up far enough and any camera/lens will do the job. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2015 at 14:15

Another option that would work for some purposes (i.e. a single still image) is to stitch multiple pictures together. Since you mention a GoPro, I'm guessing this might not be what you have in mind, but it's one possible solution to the question as stated, so it should probably be included...


A width of 12 units in a distance of 3 units corresponds to a horizontal angle of view of 127°.

For a full-frame digital SLR with a sensor width of 36 mm, the corresponding focal length is 9 mm.

You may want to consider using a fisheye lens, which typically offers a 180° diagonal angle of view or even a 180° circular fisheye image.


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