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Focal Length Comparisons: How to Choose a lens

Considering a new lens but having a hard time determining what focal length to buy and what that means? Check out this visual focal length comparisons guide to help you learn what popular focal lengths actually look like!

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Choosing a lens, can be a hard thing. If you are like me, you think you need EVERY SINGLE lens.  It’s one of those questions I always ask my favorite photographers and I always look to see which lens was used on photos I like.

But when I was starting out, it would have been helpful, if I could see the same photo, taken with different lenses. Just to understand exactly what I would be getting into. And to help me decide exactly what I might want.

So I created this visual focal length comparisons guide to help you out!

What I used

I used the following to take the photos in this post

In these photos,I stood in the exact same spot for each photo with the exact same settings each time: Shutter Speed: 1/400 Aperture f/4 ISO: 1250

My subject was being bribed with my iPhone……

Focal length comparisons

28MM Focal Length

28mm focal length

35 Mm Focal Length

35 mm focal length

50 Mm Focal length

50 mm focal length

100 MM Focal Length

100 mm focal length

What did you notice about each focal length comparison?

I like how the 28 mm shows me EVERYTHING.

I like how the 35 mm  gives me just enough.

I like how the 50 mm gives me the perfect snapshot( not too much background, sharpness, a little bit of bokah)

And I like how the 100 mm gives me a creamy background and that I could be standing so far away, but get such a great close up.  Not intrusive at all.

So what is your favorite lens? And why?

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[…] you are using your DSLR, choose a wide angle lens like a 24mm, a 28 mm or a 35 mm lens. ( All photos in this post were taken with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 […]


Saturday 29th of October 2016

This post has been very useful as I am trying to decide on a new lens to purchase!

What Camera Lens Should You Buy First? - Everyday Eyecandy

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[…] Focal length is the distance between the center of a lens or curved mirror and its focus. In plain speaking, it is how “Zoomed” in your lens is. The larger the focal length, the more zoomed in your photo will be. So for instance, a 200mm lens will zoom in closer than say a 50 mm lens. Lenses with focal lengths less than 50mm are referred to as wide-angles lenses because they offer a wider view.  Lenses with focal lengths greater than 50mm are known as telephoto lenses, and these offer a much narrower view.   […]


Friday 18th of March 2016

I might have to look into that 100mm, I guess I've never thought about that lens! I wanted the 35mm because it allows me to get more in the frame when my children are small and need to be closer to me (as in when we are out in public), but I just put the 50mm back on my camera a week or two ago and am in love with it again. For me it depends on how much space I have to work with. Of course, these are all adorable! :)


Tuesday 20th of August 2013

I agree with Cam - Pookah for the win! But for real the 100mm is amazing because he looks almost 3D like he's coming right off the screen. This inspires me to practice more (and would help when I don't forget my SD card and/or battery which has been happening lately ughhh). Great post!