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Telephoto lens

In photography and cinematography, a telephoto lens is a lens where the focal length is significantly longer than the focal length of a normal lens. For a 35 mm camera with a 24 by 36 mm format, the normal lens is 50 mm and a lens of focal length 70 mm or more is considered telephoto.

In addition to making objects appear closer then they are, the resulting image will also have a certain degree of perspective distortion.

See angle of view for an example of an image taken by a telephoto lens.

See also: film format, normal lens

The original meaning of telephoto lens was a lens with optics containing a telephoto group, that would allow the lens to be physically shorter than its focal length. Compare with the opposite effect used in retrofocus lenseses, which have greater clearance from the rear element to the film plane than their focal length would permit with a conventional optical design.