A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Focal Length for Photos

Perhaps no choice is more fundamental to and impactful on your images than the focal length you employ. So, how do you choose the right focal length for a photo? It is a more complex question than it might seem on the surface. If you are new to photography, be sure to check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you some helpful advice and knowledge for choosing the right focal length.

Coming to you from The Camera Store TV, this excellent video tutorial will show you how to choose the correct focal length for an image. The focal length you decide to use for an image is about a lot more than simply choosing one that fits your subject into the frame comfortably. Focal length has tremendous consequences on how the geometry of your image is rendered, and if you understand those properties, you can leverage them to your advantage to show your subject in the most flattering way or to make more creative or unusual shots. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

If you would like to continue your photography learning journey, be sure to check out our range of tutorials in the Fstoppers store.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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A very very good view of mm's and what you get with each, it is the hardest thing to pick out lens for something.
If you are a happenstance photographer on a car trip and are always spotting things of interest, and never getting anywhere first two smaller than normal are the FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 and the FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS (APS-C 36-360mm) a lot of reach for a lens as well as the standard wide look. But then for planning for night wide Milky Ways the the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 even the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 but I would first learn to do Panoramas that way the FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 will fill the bill also but everyone says fast glass like 24mm f/1.4 or 20mm and 14mm f/1.8 but an f/4 you can get more light at 25sec and a f/1.4 or f/1.8 require faster SS like 10s of faster to rid of elongated stars and commas but again if doing panos you can do a 200 deg in 1 1/2 min in portrait view using a stepper on the base of your rig. But fast glass in good for small depth of field with a FE 27-200mm f/2.8 in APS-C mode for 300mm at a little bird at +/- 20 yards. But also the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS with 2x teleconverter in APS-C for a 1800mm at +/- 150 yds. a bird but also will fill your sensor of a full moon. There are so many reviews of lenses that your head will spin and your wallet will remain empty. Lenses are forever and camera makers are a plenty with new and improved every year so choose a camera maker then collect the class. Sony started the mirrorless in '13 with more lenses in 10 years and others just started. It is a decision not a loyalty thing, always have fun though!