iPhone 11 Pro Camera Lenses – Focal Length Comparison

Apple iPhone 11 Pro lenses (Photo: Apple Inc)

The iPhone 11 Pro phones come with triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras. The iPhone focal length of the lenses are 1.54mm, 4.25mm and 6mm. Their 35mm equivalent focal lengths are 13mm, 26mm, and 52mm, respectively. Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel gives a great explanation of the different effects of wide, normal and telephoto lenses.

iPhone 11 Pro Max Ultra Wide Camera – lens focal length 1.54mm (35mm equivalent: 13mm)
iPhone 11 Pro Max Wide Camera – lens focal length 4.25mm (35mm equivalent: 26mm)
iPhone 11 Pro Max Telephoto Camera – lens focal length 6mm (35mm equivalent: 52mm)

In the late 1970’s, I used the Nikon 13mm f5.6 lens on the Nikon F2 camera. The Nikon 13mm lens had a 118 degree angle of view and in its time, it was remarkable in that it was a rectilinear lens. The extreme angle of view opened up new creative possibilities in all types of photography including indoor, architectural and landscape photography.

iOS 13.1 Camera App screen – Ultra Wide field of view (Photo: Apple Inc)

The iPhone 11 Pro’s Ultra Wide camera angle of view is 120 degrees. When using the Wide and Telephoto cameras with iOS 13.1 camera app, the Ultra Wide lens enables a preview of what is outside the frame. This outside the frame information is also captured in the Wide and Telephoto cameras to enable post processing cropping without losing image information. This setting can be enabled in Settings -> Camera -> Photos Capture Outside the Frame.

3 Replies to “iPhone 11 Pro Camera Lenses – Focal Length Comparison”

  1. I realize it’s pretty late to be replying to this, but:

    “As a result, it’s impossible to get a photo of a person that doesn’t look vertically squished and distorted!”

    No it isn’t. The ‘distorted’ look that you’re talking about is due to the distance between the camera and the person, not the focal length of the lens. Stand back from your subject and you will get a non-distorted view of them. True, they will fill a smaller portion of the frame, because the lenses are shorter focal length (wide angles). But if the camera is the same distance from your subject as they would have been with the normal lens, the perspective will be the same.

    There is another kind of distortion you can get if you place your subject out near the edge of the frame. This is due to the difference in distance between the camera and the side of the person closest to the lens vs. the distance between the camera and the side of the person further away from the lens. Again, this has very little to do with the focal length of the lens; it’s due to differences in distance. You can ‘cure’ this by placing your subject closer to the center of the frame and/or by standing further away from them.

  2. I just imported my first set of photos taken w/my iPhone 11 (not the Pro or the Pro Max). I was stunned to realize there is no “normal” (~50mm) lens on my iPhone 11. Only wide and ultra-wide on the back, and wide on the front. As a result, it’s impossible to get a photo of a person that doesn’t look vertically squished and distorted! I didn’t want to spent the extra $300 for that third lens, but without it, I can’t take any pictures of people that don’t look terrible and severely distorted!!!

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