Tutorial: Lenses

Changing focal length

Changing the focal length of the lens you are using changes your view.

Shot on Canon EOS 5D Mark II

This sequence of images was taken without altering the distance between the camera and the subject. The only change was the lens focal length. The wide-angle focal lengths - 8mm, 14mm, 20mm, 28mm and 35mm - have taken in a wide expanse of the scene. As the focal length increases, the field-of-view decreases. Less of the scene is included, but the subjects within the scene are magnified.


Shot on Canon EOS 5D Mark II

This sequence of images was taken using a range of focal lengths. The camera was moved further back as the focal length was increased to keep the main subject the same size in the frame. While the subject remains relatively unchanged, the narrow field-of-view of the longer focal lengths take in less and less of the background. This gives a magnifying effect to the background, but not to the subject. There is no right or wrong focal length - the changing perspective is simply another creative control available to the photographer.

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