Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Tips & Tricks (
-   -   Understanding lens angle of view and sensor size (

marksw Nov 14, 2003 5:27 PM

Understanding lens angle of view and sensor size
Hi there,

If you are choosing a digital camera but find it hard to translate lenses into their 35mm equivalents, then this tool is for you!

It is a visual lens 'angle of view calculator'. You select the lens (from a range of Canon, Nikon and Sigma lenses) and the type/size of sensor (35mm film, Canon EOS 10D, Nikon D100 etc.) and the angle of view is displayed on the graph. It is quite handy if you are used to thinking in 35mm terms and are planning on moving to digital.

If you have any suggestions as to how it may be improved, please get in touch. I am planning on adding more lenses in the near future, but if you have any immediate needs please let me know and I'll try and add them.



marksw Nov 18, 2003 5:28 AM


I've updated the tool now. It includes a list of 'generic' catalogue of lenses and the following camera bodies:

Canon: EOS 1DS, EOS 1D, EOS 10D, EOS 300D
Fujifilm: FinePix S2 Pro
Kodak: DCS 14n
Nikon: 1DX, D2H, D100
Pentax: *ist D
Sigma: Sigma SD9, SD10



NHL Nov 18, 2003 6:14 AM

Cool! :wink: :wink: :wink:

... a suggestion: how about a representative image to match the angle which makes the tool even more useful? :P

marksw Nov 18, 2003 10:35 AM

Yes, I have been tinkering with that idea.... Watch this space!



sjms Nov 18, 2003 11:36 AM

oh you have opened pandoas box here. excellent reference.

a suggestion:. a reference target like a human shape that can be set at varying distances within the range of the lens to demonstrate coverage with distance scale switchable for ft/mtrs.

marksw Nov 18, 2003 12:36 PM

Now that is a better idea - thanks Steve. I have problems with using an actual photograph:

1) If using one picture (1 file) it would have to be huge so that it could be zoomed from a really wide angle view to a super telephoto view. The file size would be prohibitively large for people to download.

2) Alternatively I would have to use a collection of images that cover a range of views. This would be a pain to work with, especially when taking different sensor sizes into account.

3) I think what you are suggesting Steve is to create a vector picture in Flash (its native format) and scale this to represent the angle of view of the lens. With this approach I could scale it as much as I need without loosing any quality. Excellent idea!

I'm a bit busy with work at the moment, but will certainly have a play with this at some point soon.



marksw Nov 19, 2003 6:10 PM

Added some medium format film sizes to the sensor choice for the people familiar with this format.



marksw Dec 15, 2003 6:36 PM

Update - field of view
Hi everyone,

I have updated the lens calculator so that it now displays field of view too (it still displays angle of view). Please let me know if you spot any errors in this new release.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:29 PM.