If you've watched my Foundations of Photography: Lenses course, well actually, I'd like to say thank you. But in addition to that, you should already be familiar with the idea of 35 mm equivalency. Now, if you haven't watched it, if you don't know that term, then you're going to need to take a look at that course before you go on here. In this course, I will be shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III, which has a full-frame sensor. As such, when I speak of focal lengths and field of view, I'm talking about field of view that is equivalent to a 35-mm film camera.
Therefore, from my camera, a 50-mm lens is considered normal, anything longer is considered telephoto, and anything shorter is considered wide angle. If you're shooting with a camera that has a sensor that's smaller than a piece of 35-mm film, then you'll need a lens with a different focal length to get the equivalent field of view to what I'm getting on my camera. Now these smaller sensors are generally referred to as Cropped Sensors. So if you're using a Canon camera with a cropped sensor, then you'll need to multiply all of your focal lengths by 1.6 to figure out the equivalent focal length on my full-frame camera.
If you're using a Nikon camera with a cropped sensor, then you'll multiply by 1.5. Other cameras such as Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds require multiplying by 2. This is important to understand when you here me categorize lenses by Focal Length. For example, I might say that a 16-mm lens is extremely wide angle, and that's because on my camera, it is. But that same lens on a Canon Rebel would have a Field of View equivalent to a 25-mm lens on my camera. Now that's still wide, but it's not ultra-wide.
To get the same ultra-wide field of view on a Rebel, I need a lens with a focal length of 10 mm, 10 multiplied by 1.6 equals 16. I'll try to point out equivalencies when I can during this course but in general, you'll need to be paying attention to these issues on your own if you use a cropped sensor camera. Now again, if all of this is confusing, check out Foundations of Photography: Lenses, for a more in-depth explanation.
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