How Long Does a 400mm Lens Reach? (2023 Updated)

how long does a 400mm camera reach

If you are here, then it means that you are into photography and thinking about buying a lens for your DSLR. Looks like you might think about a 400mm lens and trying to figure out how long does a 400mm lens reach. Let’s dive into it.

How Long Does a 400mm Lens Reach?

On a full-frame camera, with a 400mm lens, you can reach up to 8x zoom and on a crop-sensor having 1.5 crop factor, you can get results of up to 600mm lens with the same 400mm lens. If you mean how far it can shoot, then you can shoot as far as you need. You can even reach the moon having melodramatic results.

Mathematical Calculation of 400mm Lens Range

Let’s talk about a full-frame camera first. A standard full-frame lens is 50mm. You can calculate the range as follows:

400mm/50mm = 8.

So, you will have 8x zoom. Same for an APS-C crop sensor, you got a crop factor of 1.5, so multiply 8 by 1.5 to get the range of a crop sensor which is 12. So, you will get a 12x zoom on a crop sensor.

Subject Factor for Range

Honestly, if are asking about how far it can capture, then it is something that doesn’t have a precise answer. It mostly depends on the subject. Simply, if the subject is larger, you can capture it from very far away. Likewise, if the subject is smaller, the camera will struggle to capture it from a distance.

Suppose we are having a full-frame camera where a 50mm lens is considered as a normal lens having the field of view like a human eye. Then 400 / 50 = 8, so you will get images 8x larger. For both sports and nature photography because it lets you get closer to the subject without actually going closer. Now, if you want how far you can reach with a 400mm lens if reaches as far as you want.

Now, suppose if you are having a crop sensor, having 1.5 crop factor, then you can get the results of a 600mm lens with the same 400mm. The DX sensor makes a lens appear 1.5x longer. You are not actually getting closer, but it just appears that you are got closer because of cropping the image.

How far can you Shoot with a 400mm Lens?

This again depends on the scenario and size of the subject. For example, if you are shooting with a person, you cannot shoot from very far, if you want to keep details. But in another case, if you are shooting a bigger subject like a tower or a cruise ship, you can shoot from really far away.

Let’s suppose, you are capturing a squirrel with an APS-C crop sensor, then, about 25 feet away, the squirrel will almost cover the picture. Conversely, you can see the picture of an island someone uploaded on Quora which was taken from about 3 miles away and was still clear and crisper.

how long does a 400mm camera reach

What lens is Equivalent to 400mm on an APS-C Sensor?

In short, a 266mm lens on an APS-C crop sensor is equivalent to a 400mm lens on a full-frame camera. On a crop sensor, you get the same results of 400mm using a 266mm to 280mm.


So, here we conclude our post by deciding that you can shoot as far as you can with a 400mm lens depending on your subject and type of photography and will get an 8x closer shot on a full-frame lens and about 12x closer shot on a crop sensor lens.

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