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Explaining angle of view

By May 29, 2018 Photography No Comments

Although photographers usually use focal length to describe how wide or long a lens is, the angle of view is equally important.

Angle of view and focal length both indicate how much a lens can ‘see’, whether that’s a wide view (right) or a much narrower view (far right).</p align=”center”>

The angle of view is how much of the scene the lens and sensor combination can ‘see’. The greater the angle of view, the more of the scene it will take in. Usually, the angle of view is given as a single figure, which depends partly upon the diagonal measurement of the sensor or film frame, as shown opposite. This method of measuring a lens’ angle of view is important, because while the focal length of a lens will never change, the angle of view can, depending on the size of the sensor.

As focal length increases, so the angle of view narrows and the lens ‘sees’ less. However, it’s important to appreciate that a lens’ angle of view is affected by the size of the sensor in the camera: Smaller sensors effectively narrow the viewing angle.</p align=”center”>

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