In photography, the working distance measures the distance between your lens and the object you're photographing. You often can't choose your working distance, and you choose a lens that best suits your set working distance. If you must use a lens with a particular focal length; however, you can calculate the ideal working distance for focusing on your subject.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Camera specifications
Add the subject's width to your charge-coupled device chip's width, which your camera specifications should list. For instance, if you're photographing an object that's 20 inches wide, and your CCD chip is 0.35 inches:
20 + 0.35 = 20.35
Multiply your answer by the width's focal length. For instance, if the focal length is 0.8 inches:
20.35 * 0.8 = 16.28
Divide the answer by the CCD chip's width.
16.28 / 0.35 = 46.5 inches = 3 feet 10.5 inches
This answer's your working distance.
Tips and warnings
- This calculation uses your width's focal length, the subject's width and the CCD chip's width. Alternatively, use the height's focal length, the subject's height and the chip's height.
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