How Do Lenses Work?

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 in Lenses | 0 comments

adjustable focus lensHaving the right tools is an important aspect of getting a job done correctly. As a sculptor cannot be expected chisel a masterpiece with dull implements, so too does a photographer need to have the correct lens for the occasion. The difficult part is understanding the wide variety of lenses available and how they each fit into the photographer’s toolkit.

Lenses are set apart by what is called their “focal length.” This is a rather complicated concept that centers on how a lens reflects the light that goes into it towards a focal point. A longer distance between the lens and the focal point means a greater focal length.

A lens’s focal length makes a huge difference in how a camera will photograph. Taking a picture of a stationary object with a stationary camera can illustrate the difference that focal length can have on a photograph. Essentially, the subject of the photograph remains the same while the differences in lenses distort objects around it. Lower focal lengths create wider angles, while higher focal lengths zoom in, creating smaller viewing angles.

Focal length is one of the main deliminators between different kinds of lenses. Many lenses are adjustable between a range of focal lengths, so tinkering with this concept is usually pretty easy and entertaining. Understanding the effects of focal lengths on your photographs can go a long way towards helping you become a great photographer.

Read More