Lens 101

0 Comments 17 April 2014

What is a 35mm and what does f/1.8 mean? Well I have just the answers for you.

A 35mm lens is what we call a “prime lens.” It has a focal length of 35mm and 35mm ONLY, so the zooming function does not exist.

Oh no, you’ll have to be running back and forth to make sure you get everything into frame! Why go through all this work? Although a prime lens does not have zoom capabilities, it does have a bigger aperture meaning the lens opens wider than the common 18-55mm varifocal lens that came with your Canon T3i or Nikon D3200.

That 18-55mm lens you have is a f/3.5-5.6 as opposed to the 35mm or 50mm lens with an f/1.8 

The lower the “f-stop,” the wider the lens opens up to take pictures or video. The wider the lens is open the more depth of field your image will have, giving it that amazing blurry effect for whatever is not in focus.  This blurriness in your images and videos is called “bokeh” it is used by most professional photographers to make whatever is focused stand out.  It also is almost crucial in videos to set the audience’s attention on whatever is in focus.


This picture was shot with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 , as you can see, the person on the bike on the left is out of focus while the car at the top right of the frame is in focus.  This is only possible when using a low f-stop (large aperture).

Hope this clears up a lot of questions! Get out there and shoot, my friends!

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