The focal length of your lens affects the field of view and the magnification of the view.
Field of View
The field of view is the part of the scene in front of the photographer that is visible through the camera. As your focal length gets higher (28mm, 35mm, 50mm), your field of view gets smaller.
Magnification is the detail of your subjects as seen by your camera. As your focal length gets higher, you gain more magnification. Some lenses work well with a specific genre, more on that later. For now, here’s a look at some different focal lengths and what it means to shoot with them.
“Wide” Focal Lengths 16-40mm
Shorter focal lengths give a wider field of view, but less magnification.
“Normal” Focal Lengths 40-70mm
Normal range magnification with a field of view close to what a human eye would see.
“Long” Focal Lengths 70-100mm
A long focal length gives less field of view but provides greater magnification. You can shoot things a little further away. Great for portraits!
Telephoto lenses allow the most magnification, but the smallest field of view. The magnification allows you to shoot photos and “reach” subjects that are far away.
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