If you have ever investigated buying a new lens for your camera, you have likely entertained the concept of the focal length. The focal length is what tells you how close should be to the subject you are capturing for the best result. In other words, it’s how much zoom you need for your photos. The higher your focal length number, the more you will be zoomed in.

Many tend to think that the focal length is the measurement from the front or back of the lens. It is actually the distance between the sensor in your camera to the point of convergence in your lens. When an object is farther away, if you require longer focal length. If the object you are photographing is directly in front of you, you use a smaller focal length.

When it is time to purchase a new lens, knowing the lenses focal length in relation to your camera is imperative. In this article, we will discuss the importance of focal length and what you need to look for when purchasing a new lens.

In relation to lenses, there are two possibilities. You can use a prime lens with a fixed focal length or a zoom lens with a variable focal length. Those with a fixed focal length will typically have a wider aperture and are sharper, best for conditions with low light. A zoom lens will allow you to photograph a wide range of subjects at different lengths. Using a single zoom lens will also make things easier when it comes to changing your lens to adjust for a different type of photograph. Your best bet is to have a mixture of prime and zoom lenses for versatility.

When purchasing a new lens, keep in mind what you will be primarily shooting with that lens. Understanding the pros and cons of each type of lens will help you determine what will work best for you.