Angle of view – how much can you see?
With any lens angle of view has to do with how wide an expanse can be
captured from any given camera position. Narrow angle lenses (which are
also known as tele lens or long focus lenses) take in only a small
section of a scene, but magnify it to fill the picture are. Wide angle
lenses embrace considerably more territory and therefore, render each
object in a scene proportionally smaller. The so called kit lens or
normal lens (the standard lens usually supplied with a new camera) is a
compromise between these two extremes. It encompasses more of any scene
than a telephoto lens used at the same camera position, but still not as
much as a wide angle lens.
It is convenient to call any lens whose angle of view is narrower than
normal a telephoto lens. But telephotos, among themselves, vary a great
deal in angle of view and the amount of subject area included. Medium
telephotos have only mildly narrow angles of view, take in a relatively
large amount of scenery and magnify a subject to moderate degree. Longer
telephotos are narrower in angle, take in less and magnify more. Super
long telephotos have the smallest angles of view and the greatest
ability to enlarge a subject.
A similar situation exists among wide angle lenses. As angles of view
get wider and wider (from medium wide angle lenses through to the super
wide angle lenses), more and more subject matter is encompassed, and
each object in the picture area appears smaller.
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