Focal Length – Why your Zoom lens isn’t just to ‘Spy on Things’ or ‘Get More In’.

In Articles, Photography, Words by Ben

Most cameras now come with a zoom lens. This gives the photographer the ability to smoothly change the focal length. But this doesn’t just change the framing, it alters the perception.

Wide-angle lenses typically magnify the foreground and shrink the background. This increases the apparent depth of an image. They also distort images and can make them seem unnatural or even comical.

English Photographer Ben Evans Focal Length Zoom or Prime Lens

17-55mm Nikon Lens at 17mm (Wide-Angle)

Most people use the wide-angle side of their zoom lens most of the time. Then they wonder why others become camera-shy! Here’s the same beautiful girl photographed at the other end of the zoom lens…

55mm English Photographer Nikon Zoom or Prime Lens

17-55mm Nikon Lens at 55mm (Short Telephoto)

Quite a difference! The lesson is that if you’re doing portrait photography, zoom in and step back. You’ll get a better perspective.

Learn more about why your zoom lens and focal length matters on the MPB blog.