Velocity Reviews > zoom in mm

zoom in mm

Not Me
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 04-30-2004
Can someone tell me how to convert a lens lenght in a zoom setting.
Such as a 300mm lens would be what in zoom equivalent?

EdO
Guest
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 04-30-2004
By it's self a 300 mm lens has no zoom equivalent, it has to be related
to something else.

If you assume that 50 mm is the "Normal" lens for a 35 mm camera then a
300 mm lens for this camera would be a 6x magnification but is still not
a zoom. To be a zoom the lens has to be infinitely variable from 50 mm
to 300 mm.

So zoom (x) is just a multiplier of minimum to maximum focal length for
a given lens.

Ed

Not Me wrote:
> Can someone tell me how to convert a lens lenght in a zoom setting.
> Such as a 300mm lens would be what in zoom equivalent?
>
>

Jim Townsend
Guest
Posts: n/a

 04-30-2004
Not Me wrote:

> Can someone tell me how to convert a lens lenght in a zoom setting.
> Such as a 300mm lens would be what in zoom equivalent?

A fixed 300mm lens would have a zoom of 1X.

Lens zoom is used to describe a lens of variable focal length. The
zoom figure (X) is determined by dividing the maximum focal length
the lens can provide by the minimum focal length.

Zoom is actually a verb describing the apparent to/from motion caused
by changing the focal length of a lens.

When you increase the focal length, objects in the viewfinder
appear to move or 'zoom' towards you. When you decrease the focal
length, objects appear to move or 'zoom' away from you.

Examples:

A 15-30mm lens would have a zoom of 2X (30/15 = 2)
A 50-100mm lens would have a zoom of 2X (100/50 = 2)
A 100-400mm lens would have a zoom of 4X (400/100 = 5)
A fixed 300mm lens would have a zoom of 1X (300/300 = 1)
All fixed (or prime) lenses have a zoom of 1X

Note that the zoom rating of a lens has *nothing* to do with the
magnification ability of a lens.

Guest
Posts: n/a

 04-30-2004
If you mean "how does this focal length relate to a "normal" lens for the
same camera, it will depend on what focal length gives a "normal" field of
view. With 35mm cameras this is usually the 50mm focal length (43 actually
but no one makes one) so a 300mm lens is a 6x magnification. With many
digital SLRs the normal lens would be in the 30s.

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"Not Me" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Can someone tell me how to convert a lens lenght in a zoom setting.
> Such as a 300mm lens would be what in zoom equivalent?
>
>

vhl
Guest
Posts: n/a

 04-30-2004
> If you mean "how does this focal length relate to a "normal" lens for the
> same camera, it will depend on what focal length gives a "normal" field of
> view. With 35mm cameras this is usually the 50mm focal length (43 actually
> but no one makes one) so a 300mm lens is a 6x magnification. With many
> digital SLRs the normal lens would be in the 30s.

If you put it this way, then all those people who think they have
10x Zooms (eg. 38-380) will get shitty when you tell them that
they only have a 0.75 - 7.5x zoom. (=

I just hate it when anyone asks me what is the equivelant
x times of my lenses.

Vin.

--
Vin
Melbourne, Australia
Remove no and spam from both sides of the @ sign email address to reply

Al Denelsbeck
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 04-30-2004
Not Me <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Can someone tell me how to convert a lens lenght in a zoom setting.
> Such as a 300mm lens would be what in zoom equivalent?

Alright, enough people have addressed the usage of the term "zoom",
and it seems fairly clear that the term you wanted to use was
"magnification" or perhaps "power", as in binoculars and telescopes.

The problem is, it all depends on how big your image area is, which
is the film frame size, in film cameras, or the digital sensor size in
digitals.

Generally (subject to some variation), if you take the diagonal
measurement of the image area, and add about 15%, you will get the focal
length of what is "normal" for your camera, or basically, the same apparent
magnification that your eye sees (which is safe to say, "none at all"). The
image circle that comes out the back of the lens, in diameter, relates
directly to focal length. Since the circle has to cover the rectangle of
your image area (film or CCD or whatever), it has to be at least big enough
to get across the longest measurement of that rectangle, which is the
diagonal. Since lenses have light loss and greater distortion as you get
closer to the edges of that circle, though, there is always an overlap
designed into the camera, and this is typically about 15%. Every camera
I've seen has hewn very close to this figure, but I have not done a
comprehensive list.

get 49.45mm, close enough to 50mm to count.

Divide the actual focal length by this 'guideline' number you have
created, and you get the magnification or power. So for 35mm film cameras,
a 300mm lens, divided by the 'normal' 50mm focal length, becomes a 6-power
magnifier, or the same thing as a 6x scope.

A digital SLR has a smaller image sensor, let's say 27.26mm diagonal
measurement (this is Canon's Digital Rebel/300D, see
31.35mm, so this is considered about 'normal', no magnification, and is
your guideline. Call it 31mm - a third of a millimeter isn't going to make
an appreciable difference.

So divide your lens focal length by that, and you get your
magnification or power. A 300mm lens becomes a 9.5x or 9.7x or so. As
others have noted, don't confuse this with the manufacturer's idiotic zoom
ratings.

By the way, take that 31,35mm and multiply it by 1.6, and you get
50.16mm, very close to the 'normal' for 35mm film. Surprise! Now you know
where all that stupid stuff about multiplying focal length by 1.6 comes
from. It only means that a 35mm film frame is 1.6 times larger than the
digital sensor.

Long winded, and it would have been easier simply asking what camera
you have and going from there. But now everyone knows how to figure it for
themselves, with any camera. Teach it to your children

- Al.

--
To reply, insert dash in address to separate G and I in the domain

Dave Martindale
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Posts: n/a

 04-30-2004
Al Denelsbeck <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Long winded, and it would have been easier simply asking what camera
>you have and going from there. But now everyone knows how to figure it for
>themselves, with any camera. Teach it to your children

All good stuff. To this, I would add that we're really talking about
three somewhat different meanings of "X" or "times".

For a zoom, the terminology "3X" just means that its longest focal
length is 3 times its shortest. I could be a wide-to-normal zoom, or
wide-to-moderate tele, or short-to-long tele, as long as it has a 3:1
range.

For a telescope or binoculars, "7X" is a measure of the angular
magnification. If the subject is at infinity, and occupies "D" degrees
of the naked-eye field of view, then when you look through a
properly-focused telescope you see a virtual image at infinity that has
been magnified 7 times to span 7*D degrees.

With a camera, the actual magnification as seen by the viewer depends on
the print size and print viewing distance. So you can talk about
angular magnification, but you need to know these additional factors,
which makes it not useful for characterizing lenses alone. Instead, the
best we can do is talk about magnification relative to the "normal" lens
for the format, which is just an arbitrary convention.

But a camera lens forms a real image on a focal plane, while a telescope
produces an aerial image at infinity, so they can't be compared
directly. Now, you *can* often use a telescope with a camera by
removing the eyepiece and mounting a camera in its place, and you *can*
turn a camera lens into a telescope by mounting it to a special adapter
with an eyepiece instead of a camera body. But the magnifications will
be different when you do this, because the magnification depends on the
eyepiece as well in telescope mode, and on the image sensor size while
in camera mode.

Dave

ericmark
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1

 07-22-2011
I know this is an old post but it still comes up and there is a error in the Something"X" to focal length range conversion. With 20X quoted on some cameras that would mean 18mm to 360mm if what was already said was correct, which would be some fantastic lens. But the 20X is talking about the area captured which is found using the square. So an 18mm to 80.5mm would be a 20X lens. So √18² x 20 = 80.5. So when my Sony Cine camera says optical 20X although good it is not as good as one may first think.