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Focal Length Explained Pt. 2

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Description

Focal length is how we describe the magnification of your lens and it's described in millimetres. Some have fixed lengths and others can be 'zoomed' in and out as you change the focal length.

If you zoom your lens you're probably trying to get something that's a long way off to come nearer. But 'zooming' changes more than just your focal length.

As well as magnifying, focal length changes three other things as well, perspective, depth of field and field of view. Each of these have a dramatic impact on the way your images look, what's included and what's not and what's sharp and what's soft.

Different focal lengths change the way the viewer feels about a photo too. In Using a Short Lens we showed you how a wide angle or short lens has a very close in intimate feel to it. Long lenses have a more isolated or by-stander feel to them and it's all achieved by altering your focal length.

Once you've been shown how to exploit this and invested a bit of time practising - you'll have taken a huge leap forward in controlling the way your pictures look.

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Comments

Focal Length Explained Pt. 2
I like the idea of calling long lenses narrow lenses. This helps me to understand it more. Love the 'no expense spared' gizmo. 😀😀
littleowl 14, Dec 2017 @ 07:28
I like the idea of calling long lenses narrow lenses. This helps me to understand it more. Love the 'no expense spared' gizmo. 😀😀
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Focal Length Explained Pt. 2
Your statement that focal length affects perspective is technically incorrect. It is a well-known fact that if the camera isn't moved, and the subject is stationary as well, that the perspective is identical no matter what the focal length or zoom setting. The focal length just governs HOW MUCH of the scene fills the frame. I have never seen long lenses compress anything, unless the camera itself is moved farther away from the subject or scene. You may want to clarify this further for your readers.
gyryrls 18, Jan 2018 @ 09:29
Your statement that focal length affects perspective is technically incorrect. It is a well-known fact that if the camera isn't moved, and the subject is stationary as well, that the perspective is identical no matter what the focal length or zoom setting. The focal length just governs HOW MUCH of the scene fills the frame. I have never seen long lenses compress anything, unless the camera itself is moved farther away from the subject or scene. You may want to clarify this further for your readers.
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