What Do Focal Length Have to Do With Lenses

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Last Updated on November 15, 2022

A lens’s focal length is the distance from the center of the lens to the point where light rays coming from infinity converge to a single point. The focal length of a lens determines how much magnifying power it has. A lens with a short focal length will have more magnifying power than a lens with a long focal length because it can capture more light rays.

Focal length is an important aspect of lenses and how they work. It is the distance from the lens to the point where the light rays converge. A shorter focal length results in a wider field of view, while a longer focal length gives a narrower field of view.

This is why a telephoto lens has a long focal length and can zoom in on distant objects, while a wide-angle lens has a short focal length and can capture more of the scene around you.

What Do Focal Length Have to Do With Lenses

Focal length is one of the most important lens specifications. It is a measure of how strongly the lens converges or diverges light. A shorter focal length results in a wider field of view, while a longer focal length gives a narrower field of view.

Shorter focal lengths are used for wide-angle lenses, while longer focal lengths are used for telephoto lenses.

It’S Generally Represented in Millimeters (Mm)

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-The Higher the Focal Length Number, the More Telephoto the Lens Becomes, Meaning That It Can Make Distant Subjects Appear Closer

When it comes to lenses and focal length, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, focal length is measured in millimeters (mm). The higher the number, the more telephoto the lens becomes—meaning that it can make distant subjects appear closer.

For example, a 50mm lens is considered “normal” because it shows objects at their actual size, while a 100mm lens is considered telephoto because it makes distant objects appear larger. Now that you know how focal length works, let’s talk about what this means for your photos. If you want to take a close-up photo of something far away, you’ll need a telephoto lens with a high focal length (100mm or more).

On the other hand, if you want to capture a wide landscape shot, you’ll need a wide-angle lens with a low focal length (24mm or less). And if you want to do both—take close-up and wide shots—you might need two different lenses. Keep in mind that the type of camera you have will also affect your choice of lens.

For instance, full frame cameras can use any type of lens, but crop sensor cameras can only use certain types of lenses (due to the smaller sensor size). So before buying any new gear, be sure to do your research and figure out what will work best for your specific camera setup.

-Conversely, a Lower Focal Length Number Results in a Wider Field of View And is Therefore Referred to As a Wide Angle Lens

The focal length of a lens is the distance between the lens and the sensor (or film) when the subject is in focus. A shorter focal length results in a wider field of view, while a longer focal length results in a narrower field of view. In other words, wide angle lenses have shorter focal lengths, while telephoto lenses have longer focal lengths.

Focal Length Explained! Why does it MATTER?


Focal length is an important aspect of lenses, and it’s something that photographers need to understand in order to make the best choices for their gear. A lens’ focal length dictates how much of a scene will be captured in an image, and it also affects the angle of view and perspective. Wide-angle lenses have shorter focal lengths and capture more of a scene, while telephoto lenses have longer focal lengths and allow you to zoom in on distant subjects.

There are pros and cons to each type of lens, so knowing what focal length you need is essential for choosing the right one.

Olivia Bouler

From a young age, camera's fascinated me. My dad gave me my first Canon when I was seven, and since then I've tried to improve my craft. As a young Ornithologist and photographer, I travel a lot and love to bring a camera with me. I love the feeling of capturing a moment that can never be repeated and providing someone with a memento of a time or place.