Lens range refers to focal length, or the distance between the lens plane and
the focal plane. Lens ranges may be fixed or variable. Fixed lenses have
focal lengths that do not change. Lens ranges may be long, short, standard,
Variable lenses have changeable focal lengths to zoom images
closer or farther away.
Long-range lenses are lenses with focal lengths greater than 58mm. Most
long-focal-length lenses are called telephoto lenses. Use these lenses to draw
images closer. Lenses ranging from 85mm to 105mm are used for
portraiture because they create the most natural images of people, without
excessive distortion. Ideal for action or sports photography, long-range
lenses require more light and faster film than standard lenses.
Short-range lenses are lenses with focal lengths less than 50mm. Short-range
lenses include wide-angle lenses (less than 40mm in focal length), and ultra-
wide-angle lenses, called fisheye lenses, with focal lengths of 17mm or less.
Shorter focal-length lenses magnify features nearest the camera to the point
of apparent distortion. Wide-angle lenses are indispensable for filming in
confined spaces and panoramic views. Use a lens hood to shade wide-angle
lenses from glare.
Standard-range lenses have focal lengths between 50mm and 58mm, with the
most common focal length being 50mm. Standard-range lenses most closely
record images as the human eye would see them. Distortion is negligible.
The most popular macro lenses have focal lengths of 50mm and 100mm.
Use a macro lens for close-up photography such as copy work. With 100mm
macro lenses, you do not have to get as close to the subject as with 50mm
macro lenses. The extra distance 100mrn macros provide is especially useful
when taking pictures that present hazards. Macro lenses perform well and
offer greater versatility when used as general-purpose lenses in routine
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