Focal Length Calculator: Visualize Framing with Your Bare Hands

by steven schwartzLeave a Comment

OK, it took me a little while to figure out why I'd want to use my hands to know which lens I'd need to compose a still picture or shoot a video. Holding my arms out full length, it suddenly dawned on me – if you're shooting with prime lenses, or just want to know the optimal focal length for your shot, this technique comes in handy.
For the full article, check out DSLR Solution's post “Using Your Hands as Focal Length Calculator”.

Using your hands to visualize framing

From DSLR Solutions:

Using your arms, hands and fingers is an easy way to visualize the frame width for a specific lens making it a breeze to determine what prime lens you need for a certain shot. And once you know the frame width, approximating a 16×9 frame height, or any other frame height is a pretty easy task.

All measurements are done with your arms fully extended in front of you with hands tipped up at roughly 90 degrees. It is helpful to close one eye for determining the final frame width. Keep in mind the measurements scale according to each persons body and should be very accurate for around 95% of the population. If you fall into the 5% with short arms with long fingers or long arms with short fingers, you will need to adjust the measurements to compensate for your proportions.

The APS-C sensor size I am referring to in the table is the Canon sensor with a 1.62 multiplier, if you have a camera sensor with a different multiplier from another vendor such as Nikon or Panasonic, you will need to adjust the measurements. I have also included a table referencing “Full Frame” focal length hand measurements. Each photo can be clicked for a more detailed view of each hand position.

APS-C Crop Body Measurement Table

Using Your Hands as Focal Length Calculator APS-C Crop Body Measurement Table

Using Your Hands as Focal Length Calculator
APS-C Crop Body Measurement Table

To read the complete article or to see the Full-frame cahrt, see DSLR Solution's post “Using Your Hands as Focal Length Calculator”

 Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before 

Do you think this technique using your hands to determine which lens would cover the shot you have in mind? Find out what others think by commenting in our Forums.

(cover photo credit: snap from DSLR Solutions)

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