Zoom zoom zoom.

A beginner’s question this time:

What does zoom have to do with wide angle? I thought they were two opposite things!

Not necessarily. A “zoom” lens is simply an adjustable lens. As opposed to a prime lens.

What you are perhaps confusing with a “zoom” lens, dear student, is a telephoto lens.

Let me explain.

There are two main types of lenses:

  1. Zoom – this means adjustable focal length.
  2. Prime – this means not adjustable: you have to zoom in by stepping forward.

And, an entirely unrelated classification, there are various lengths of lenses:

  • Wide angle – roughly, less than 24mm on a crop camera
  • Standard – roughly, 30-40 mm on a crop camera
  • Telephoto – roughly, longer than 50 on a crop camera

So a 10-20mm zoom lens is a wide angle zoom lens. A 24-105 zoom lens is a wide-to-telephoto zoom. A 24mm prime is a wide angle prime lens. And so on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *