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Definition: field of view

The observable view through a camera lens and the scene that winds up in the photo. A wide angle lens (short focal length) delivers a wide field of view (FOV). A telephoto lens (long focal length) yields a narrow one. See focal length and optical zoom.

The Field of View
These photos were taken with an 18-70mm zoom lens on a digital SLR (see DSLR). At 18mm (top), the field of view is the greatest (wide angle). At 70mm (bottom), the scene is the narrowest (telephoto). This lens is equivalent to a 27-105mm lens on a 35mm SLR camera (see crop factor).