Lens Conclusion

Throughout my blogs about lens characteristics and their most common uses, one of the primary differences I kept mentioning was their field of view.  However, during the blogs, I grouped the lenses by focal length descriptions, so the differences might not have stood out.  I figured I should conclude the series with a demonstration of how much the field of view changes.

This series of photographs shows basically the same subject taken with different focal lengths.  I tried to get the exact same framing, moving closer or further to keep Andy in the same position in the final photo.  Yeah, I know didn't frame them absolutely identical, but look at the difference in the photos.  Keep in mind I was moving further away with each photo, and my eyeballs aren't perfectly calibrated.

Watch what happens to the depth of field (set to f 8 on all lenses).  As you go through the photos, pay attention to the changes to the background.  The differences in the field of view can be clearly seen if you keep your eyes on what happens to the sidewalk and neighborhood houses.

Starting with the wide angle view of 16mm, I was right next to the van. You can see the neighborhood street and lots of houses in the background.  The field of view is pretty wide here.

Camera lens field of view comparison.

At 35mm, you already see the street and houses beginning to disappear.  The street sign and house behind it still seem fairly distant.  The field of view is reduced.

Camera lens field of view comparison.Here is the "normal" view at 50mm. You can easily see the street sign, and the houses seem closer.

Camera lens field of view comparison.We're moving into the telephoto range at 105mm with the next photo.  The street sign looks even closer, and you can't see a complete house behind Andy.  The street is almost gone.

Camera lens field of view comparison.At 200mm, the field of view is greatly reduced and so is the depth of field - the sign and front of the house look much closer and are out of focus.  Now the sidewalk is almost gone.

Camera lens field of view comparison.The last photo is 500mm, into the super-telephoto range.  Andy and the back of the van are the only things in focus.  The tree and the house look like they are just behind him.  This is the narrowest field of view.

Camera lens field of view comparison.In all the photos, Andy and the van occupy about the same about of space, but the rest of the photo looks much different.  This is why lens choice matters.

You need to think about the differences when you decide which lens you attach to the front of your camera.  I hope these blogs about lens characteristics helped you get your brain around why you would want multiple lenses to give you the most flexibility in your photography or which lens focal range is best for you.


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