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Questions tagged [focal-length]

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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What is "angle of view" in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
kacalapy's user avatar
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47 votes
11 answers
12k views

What is crop factor and how does it relate to focal length?

I'm reading that a 50mm lens is recommended as a first prime lens for DSLR owners as it's supposed to give a 'natural' perspective, but when used on (most) DSLRs, the view is cropped, as if you were ...
Mark's user avatar
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40 votes
7 answers
23k views

Does my crop sensor camera actually turn my lenses into a longer focal length?

So, I mount a 200mm lens on my Canon 450D. It effectively becomes a 320mm lens. Is this the equivalent of 320mm on a full frame camera? That is, from what I've figured out I get an equivalent field of ...
Mike's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
12k views

Why do Full Frame lenses and crop body lenses exhibit the same crop factor when used on a crop body camera?

I have a Canon 7D, which has a crop factor of 1.6x. When using a Canon EF-S lens I get the focal length stated on the lens, when using a Canon EF lens I get the focal length times 1.6 when used on ...
Dennis G's user avatar
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48 votes
9 answers
31k views

Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why?

What focal length or range of focal lengths are usually used for portraits? What is used by professionals? Why would one select a certain focal length? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ...
txwikinger's user avatar
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82 votes
6 answers
517k views

How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom?

What is the rule to convert the 'mm' notation to the 'optical zoom' notation? I searched a bit and found this one: $$\text{Optical zoom} = \frac{\text{Maximum focal length}}{\text{Minimum focal length}...
dialex's user avatar
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30 votes
6 answers
15k 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 ...
SwimBikeRun's user avatar
43 votes
3 answers
13k views

What does it really mean that telephoto lenses "flatten" scenes?

This is another perspective distortion question. I understand that perspective distortion is primarily a function of capture and viewing distance, but I am still working on fully understanding the ...
cbaz's user avatar
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47 votes
5 answers
214k views

How do I calculate the distance of an object in a photo?

If I took a picture of a windmill on the horizon — given that I know the sensor size and the focal length of the lens and other factors to do with the shot — could I calculate how far away an object ...
Rob's user avatar
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30 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
Undistraction's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
25k views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
mattdm's user avatar
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22 votes
5 answers
24k views

How can a lens with a single focal length 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 ...
Lazer's user avatar
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15 votes
7 answers
8k views

What is a normal lens?

I've heard people call 50mm lenses "normal lenses". For a lens to be considered normal, does it have to be exactly 50mm or is there some leeway? Does the normal focal length depend on crop factor of ...
Imre's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Chris's user avatar
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32 votes
4 answers
12k views

What is focal length and how does it affect my photos?

What is focal-length? Are focal-length and zoom synonymous? How does the focal length of a photo affect it? Are there common uses for different focal lengths, and how can I decide what to use when?
Dan McClain's user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
22k views

What focal length gives a "normal" field-of-view on APS-C cameras?

I wish to purchase a "standard angle-of-view" prime lens for my Canon Rebel, which has an APS-C sized sensor. Various articles note that the popular "nifty 50mm" lenses are a little too much of a ...
Adam Franco's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

How does crop factor affect perspective?

I have a question about crop factor and how it affects the perspective. Suppose you have one Super 35 camera and one APS-C camera. As far as I understand, to photograph the same image on the APS-C ...
petehallw's user avatar
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31 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
Aditya's user avatar
  • 586
13 votes
5 answers
17k views

Can I convert binocular zoom to equivalent lens focal length?

I read another SE post that shows how focal lengths can be converted to optical magnification, but it isn't clear to me how it would work the other way around. My binoculars are adjustable from x10 to ...
Ryan's user avatar
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44 votes
10 answers
23k views

What software can show my most frequently used focal length?

Many people recommend a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, and sometimes even 85mm and upwards for those interested in purchasing a prime lens. I, however, would like to figure out what focal length(s) I use ...
AskQuestionsLater's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
Ozzy's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why does getting closer or zooming in decrease depth of field?

I know that aperture changes the depth of field (DOF), but why is it that by making the image appear larger (by getting closer to the camera or zooming in) there is less DOF?
user17252's user avatar
34 votes
9 answers
33k views

How to capture the scene exactly as my eyes can see?

What settings of my DSLR camera will emulate the scene exactly as I can see through my naked eyes? I think it's not possible to get the contrast and colors exactly as my eyes can see, and it may vary ...
sat's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do zoom lenses restrict their widest aperture at the telephoto end?

Does the aperture ring lock the apertures beyond, say 5.6 at length lens's telephoto end? Does the lens introduce an obstacle to the aperture ring so the lens can't be opened anymore beyond the ...
user152435's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the reference point that the focal length of a lens is calculated from?

I understand the idea of a focal length for a single lens, i e the distance from the lens to the point at which parallel rays of light converge. However, in the case of a photographic lens with ...
SoftMemes's user avatar
  • 1,715
13 votes
6 answers
9k views

What is a good focal length for street photography?

With a long lens you don´t disturb people but you are left "out of the scene", while with a short focal lens you are "inside the scene" but you may disturb people. What is a better alternative for ...
Carlos Velasquez's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why is the background bigger and blurrier in one of these images?

On my EM-10 Mk2, I'm testing a Panasonic 25mm f1.8 (top image) against the 20mm f1.7 (bottom image). I tried to make the lamp take up the same space in the frame before focusing, yet the background ...
zakgottlieb's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
bwDraco's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Nick Bedford's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the size of the entrance pupil the same as the size of the effective 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 ...
maupertius's user avatar
44 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
Rabbi David's user avatar
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28 votes
9 answers
160k views

What lens focal length most closely resembles the perspective of the human eye?

For example, if I have a lens that is 16mm-50mm, which focal length would be the closest to the human eye's view? (I don't have a camera yet, so I'm just curious.) Would 50mm be more zoomed in than "...
trusktr's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
13k views

How does changing focal length affect depth of field?

I'm curious about how my "area of acceptable focus" changes when the focal length of the lens I'm using changes as I zoom (or switch lenses). In particular, I'd like to know how the front & back ...
Craig Walker's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does a Nikon DX lens on a FX camera get subjected to the 1.5X crop factor?

My friend has a Nikon 35mm DX lens that I want to use on my FX camera. If I use his lens on my camera in DX mode, does the effective focal length of the lens become ...
Daniel T.'s user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Does the shutter speed and focal length rule of thumb apply to cropped sensor cameras?

So, the rule of thumb for shutter speed is that it shouldn't be less than 1 / focal length. Well, that's straight forward on full frame cameras, but what about cropped sensor cameras? Is it going to ...
K'''s user avatar
  • 6,497
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

Does crop factor still apply to a vintage film SLR lens?

My friend has a Tamron 24mm lens on his Nikon D5000 and he says that because of its age and the fact it is manual focus, it is still actually a 24mm on his crop sensored camera. Is this right? If so, ...
Jeremy Moulton's user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
16k 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 ...
ab.aditya's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
7k views

Does sensor size affect lens distortion?

There was recently a video posted about how different focal lengths affect portrait photography, specifically how distortion at smaller focal lengths have more distortion and are less flattering. So ...
tenmiles's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
1k views

Does amount of background blur change with focal length given equal framing?

Let's assume I have two lenses, 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8. I want to fill the frame with the photographed object. Now, if the object is 50cm wide, I need to take the photograph at a distance of 1.112 ...
juhist's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
31k views

Why does my aperture setting change as I zoom on my DSLR kit lens?

I am new to the photography field, there are few things which I am not able to understand. I am playing around with my Nikon D90 along with its kit lens (18-105mm). While reading about Depth of ...
Umesh Awasthi's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
just.another.programmer's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
18k views

How to test actual focal length?

From Matt Grum's comment to my previous question, I learned that manufacturers may casually "round" actual focal length of a lens to some nice number that gets printed on the box and stored into EXIF. ...
Imre's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why does a 50mm lens appear to give a human perspective, rather than a normal lens?

I grew accustomed to the notion that what one sees through a normal lens equates (or is close to) what can be seen with the naked eye (although that is not the "pure" definition of a normal lens, ...
Berzemus's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How can a 24-70mm and a 10-22mm both be "wide angle" lenses?

I've been looking at a 10-22mm lens for my Canon T2i. I've also come across some other "wide angle" lenses, like the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8. I don't understand how a wide angle lens can have such high ...
cwd's user avatar
  • 341
1 vote
2 answers
311 views

What does different focal length offer me?

I have a beginner photographer and I have spent a lot of time learning the basics (exposures, lenses, focal lengths, crop factor etc). It's all good except I'm not so sure when I need to buy lenses of ...
erotsppa's user avatar
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25 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why doesn't the picture become darker the more you zoom in?

As your lens's focal length gets longer, fewer photons pass through the lens to hit the mirror/sensor. Why don't you see darkening when you look into the viewfinder and zoom in with a zoom lens, and ...
clickbait's user avatar
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17 votes
6 answers
4k 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 etc ...
Ian's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Can I use my APS-C kit lens as a reference for choosing between 50mm or 35mm prime lenses?

I'm looking at getting a second lens in addition to my Nikon D7000's kit lens. I want to know if it's possible to use my 18m-105mm kit lens to get an idea of the focal length for a 35mm lens vs. a 50 ...
kacalapy's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
SoftMemes's user avatar
  • 1,715
3 votes
4 answers
11k 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 is ...
armadadrive's user avatar