Tutorial: Lenses

Looking at lenses

One of the many benefits of the EOS system is that you can use more than 70 interchangeable lenses; you can choose and attach the lens that suits your subject and situation.

To help you understand which lens to use, this tutorial will show the difference that they make, describe the important technology and then give examples of suitable lenses for popular subjects.

• Focal length
• Perspective
• Lens aperture
• Depth of field
• Making sense of lens names
• Lens mounts (EF, EF-S, EF-M)
• Lens motors (USM, STM)
• Image Stabilizer
• L-series lenses
• Choosing a suitable lens
• Sports/ wildlife
• Portrait
• Landscapes
• Macro

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Focal length
If you have ever used a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun on a piece of paper, the distance between the glass and the paper was the focal length. It is a little more complicated with lenses constructed from a number of elements, but the principle is the same.

In photography, the focal length determines the field-of-view of the lens. A lens with a short focal length has a wide field-of-view; you see a lot of the scene. A lens with a long focal length has a narrow field-of-view; you only see a small area of a scene. Lenses with short focal lengths are called ‘wide-angle’. Lenses with long focal lengths are usually called ‘telephoto’ – they act like a telescope to magnify a small area of the subject.

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