Sequence viewing > Index - Cameras - lenses - optics - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Film - Digital

What is Focal length?

Focal length is the distance from the focal point or optical centre of the lens ( where the rays of light meet after they converge when entering the lens) to the film plane when the lens is focused on infinity. While this is usually measured in mm it really relates to the angle of view  or the view that the lens projects back to the film. The focal length or distance for a standard lens on  a 35mm camera would be 50mm, while the distance for a wide angle on the same camera could range from 35mm to 20mm. A small telephoto lens for the same camera might range from 80mm to 150mm. Large telephoto lenses for the same camera format might range from 200mm up to 1000mm or even larger.

The focal length of the lens is relevant to both digital and film cameras




Want to learn more? - do a workshop or one on one with Lloyd Godman