camera lens comparison
How to compare focal lengths on lenses

Here is a camera lens comparison using 4 different focal lengths. You're probably wondering what the focal length numbers mean on different camera lenses. We're going to cover that in a second, but first check out these photos. These four photographs of a house across the street show you what a dramatic difference focal length has on Composition.

Camera Lens Comparison - Different Focal Lengths Give you Different Compostions and Different Depth of Field ResultsZoom Settings
Full-frame Sensor

The range in these photos is 8x, going from the 25mm wide angle to the 200mm telephoto. So, what's the point? Zoom ratio really matters more thanany other feature of your lens.

A word of caution: The focal lenghth number are different for different camera sensor sizes. Your typical "kit" lens that comes with entry level DSLR cameras are 18-55mm. That's only has a 3x zoom range.

3x zoom ratio kit lens"Kit" lens with an 18-33 (3x) zoom ratio.

As another example, I have an advanced Canon PowerShot with a 5x zoom lens. It's focal length range actually goes from 12.5 - 62.5mm, which is equivalent to a  24-120mm zoom on a full-frame sensor camera. At this point you realize how confusing the numbers can be.

Pay attention to the zoom ratio that the lens gives you, not the actual mm numbers. A bigger zoom ratio, like 6x or 8x is better than a zoom ration of 3x. 

Here's the solution to that dilemma. Just remember that the smallest number represents a wide-angle setting where you've zoomed out all the way to include more scenery in your photo.

lesn zoom comparisonA 24-105 lens has a 5x zoom ratio.

The small red rectangle in the middle of the top photo, the 25mm lens setting, shows the coverage that you would  get when shooting with the 200 mm zoom lens. It's the same as shown in the bottom photo.

This gives you and idea of what to expect when you are considering buying a new digital camera and the lens that comes along with it. One of the most important features of a new digital camera is the lens that's on it. You should use that as one of the most important features when comparing cameras.

I shoot with a few Canon DSLRs and use a variety of interchangeable lenses. Here's a word of caution:  DO NOT GET FOOLED by "digital zoom."

Don't do the digital zoom camera lens comparison

Digital zoom is not your lens' focal length zoom. It's really just a feature built into your camera's software that uses only part of your image in your photo.

It's a joke. It's nothing more than cropping and using only part of your camera's sensor. Using only part of your camera's sensor mean you get less image quality.

Always take note of "optical-zoom" when considering the different features of a camera. All of the cameras have a range that covers wide angle to telephoto. Size does matter. The bigger the optics, the better the quality. When you look at the camera's with bigger lenses, they have a larger range of optical zoom.

There are a lot of of camera features to consider. It's important to know what different camera settings are used for. That will help you decide if those features are important to you or not.

Camera Settings. If you want to find out more about when to use certain camera settings to get the best photos.

What is Focal Length. Information on what focal length actually means will help you do a better camera lens comparison.

What is a Prime Lens. Another feature people consider when they compare camera lenses is zoom lenses and prime lenses. A lens comparison between these two can't be done if you don't understand what is a prime lens.

Depth of Field.  The lens you choose is also a big factor in what elements in your photo are within the range of things that are sharp, the depth of field.

The most important Digital Photo Tip that I  like to share  is to remember to have fun. Whether you are a new photo enthusiast, an advanced amateur or even a pro, I encourage you to enjoy the learning process of taking better digital pictures.

Happy Shooting and enjoy lens comparisons!

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