Maybe I am missing some camera basics, but from experience with both devices, i notice that with my Samsung S7, I am able to take full buildings in pictures at a close range. It has a wider field of view. But with my Nikon Lens which has a shorter Focal length 18mm, I have to take a few steps back to capture a whole building. That is, it has a narrower field of view. Why is this happening? What am i missing?

So what makes the difference between a fixed 26mm on a phone and an 18-55mm lens on a DSLR?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please state of you have an APS-C dslr or a full frame (35mm ) one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janas I don't believe anyone makes an 18-55 lens for a full-frame SLR. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 10:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall Of course! I totally didn't notice that \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 10:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Results will vary depending on the building, so be careful to make an apples:apples comparison. For the same reason, be sure that you've fully zoomed out to the wide end of your Nikon lens when comparing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Samsung S7 has 4.2 mm f/1.7 lens. It's only the advertising that claims "26 mm" lens whereas DSLR manufacturers always quote real lens. In reality, e.g. Nikon APS-C with crop factor of 1.5 your 18 mm f/3.5 is 18 times 1.5 = 27 mm and 3.5 times 1.5 = 5.25 making it 35 mm equivalent of 27 mm f/5.25 lens. Similarly real 35 mm equivalent of Galaxy S7 would be 26 mm/4.2 mm (crop factor) times the actual lens spec making it 26 mm f/10.5 which doesn't sound that awesome anymore. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


The reason is that your DSLR is a crop sensory body, that makes your effective focal length on that lens 27 to 82.5mm (x1.5 crop), whereas the 26mm (advertised) of the Samsung has already been multiplied by its crop factor to get the 26mm focal length (35mm equivalent).

So the first camera is 26 mm Focal length (35mm equivalent), and the second at its widest is 27mm (35mm equivalent).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The camera is Nikon, so the crop will be 1.5x, giving a FF equivalent focal length of 27mm \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 10:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to get really nitpicky, Nikon APS-C sensor sizes range from 1.51X to 1.53X (depending on the specific camera model) compared to a 36x24mm full frame. They're just rounded off to 1.5X. But then the stated focal lengths of lenses are usually rounded even more... \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ My understanding was that the focal length numbers on Nikon Nikkor DX lenses are for focal length calculations for DX cameras. Am I wrong in thinking this? (I'm pretty sure my 18-140 DX at 24mm is a lot wider than my 24-70 f/2.8 at 24mm) \$\endgroup\$
    – NoahL
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 5:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NoahL No, they are the actual focal length. They don't label lenses with 35mm eqiv fl. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NoahL And yes, your DX lens (at 18mm) is wider than your 24-70mm lens. But the image circle of your DX lens is smaller, so you can't use it on FX DSLRs \$\endgroup\$
    – Janardan S
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:18

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