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The camera’s viewfinder displays this information along with the light meter, and note how the triangle has moved all the way over to -3 EV. Focal length is the distance in millimetres from the imaging surface (film or sensor) and the optical centre of the lens when it is focused at infinity. DIL (digital interchangeable lens) cameras, which are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILC), also use lenses that are listed by their focal length, rather than an X zoom number. Camera manufacturers use MTF charts to see how their lenses capture and reproduce patterns, such as repeating fine lines. By the end of this lesson you will know how to view your camera’s histogram and, more importantly, interpret the information it gives you so that you can make decisions about exposure. What Is MTF Testing? The better the performance of a lens, the better it can reproduce these fine lines. EV stands for Exposure Value, and technically this image is underexposed by three stops. Camera lenses explained: Focal length. This refers to the focal length of your lens. Here you can see that the shutter speed is 1/1000 of a second, the aperture of the lens is f/4, and the ISO is 200. The larger the distance, the stronger the magnification factor of the lens. Focal length is measured in millimeters (mm), and as we mentioned, typically rated to a 35 mm equivalent. From selecting the right lens, to getting those picture-perfect shots, read on to learn more about focal length and how it impacts photography. You can still use an MTF chart for a full frame lens to make a comparison to an APS-C only lens. The focal length of a lens determines what your camera can … When you zoom your lens in, you’re zooming between 18mm and 55mm. Numbers and Letters on Lenses What does 18-55mm mean? Reading the camera histogram is an important skill to learn as it gives you complete control over exposure. The focal length of a lens determines what your camera can focus on, and how your images are going to turn out. Instead, the focal length will only be listed, often as part of the name of the DSLR lens. The ‘mm’ stands for millimeter, and this is the distance between your camera’s sensor, and the point of convergence in the lens. Read on to find out what an MTF chart is, and how to use an MTF chart to understand the optimal performance of your glass. The non-technical definition of the focal length of a digital camera lens is the distance between the lens surface and the image sensor. If you plan on shooting with an APS-C camera for the foreseeable future, there’s a good chance that you won’t just be looking at lenses that only work on crop cameras. Understanding focal length is key to understanding how your camera works. 18mm is wide angle, and 55mm is more zoomed. Most DSLR lenses will not include an "X" number for a zoom measurement. 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