What Is a 35-80mm Lens Used For?

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When you look through the lens, it can be a bit confusing to determine if this is the right one for your needs or not. So you are probably asking yourself: what is a 35-80mm lens used for?

What Is a 35-80mm Lens Used For?

The 35-80mm lens is often used for portraiture, landscapes, or indoor photography. It provides a decent wide-angle at the 35mm end, excellent for landscapes, architecture, or large groups of people. The 80mm end gives a modest zoom factor, suitable for close-ups or small objects.

An image of a person holding lens

There are many uses for this type of lens, and there is no right or wrong way to use it. What matters is what you like and what works best for your style.

What is a 35-80mm Lens?

This lens is classified as a wide-angle zoom lens, which means that it can zoom in and out while keeping a reasonably large field of view. It is often used for action photography and capturing big crowds of people. 

The lens’s focal length is indicated by the number “35-80mm,” which is measured in millimeters. You may change the focal length from 35mm to 80mm when the lens rotates.

A 35-80mm lens has a focal length range of 35mm to 80mm that can be adjusted by turning the ring on the front of the lens. With a broader angle of view, you may include more subjects in your photograph, while a longer focal length lets you zoom in on your subject closer.

Pros of Using 35-80mm Lens

  • It has a wider angle compared to a 50 mm lens covering more area in the frame
  • The narrow aperture provides good sharpness and contrast from near to far distances, which makes this lens very useful for street, landscape, and architecture photography
  • This lens does not require frequent adjustments of focus or zooming during shooting, making it a very reliable choice for beginners

Cons of Using 35-80mm Lens

  • The aperture range between 4.5-5.6 gives less depth of field and shallow depth of field, making subject isolation difficult.
  • The fixed aperture limits the shutter speed, making this lens less suitable for low lighting conditions.

Uses for a 35-80mm Lens

The 35-80mm lens is an excellent all-around lens for shooting photos at close range or when you’re not sure what kind of shot you’ll get. Here are some of the uses of the 35-80mm lens:

What is a 35-80mm lens used for

Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle photography is a great way to show off your 35–80mm lens. Lifestyle photography refers to shots of people going about everyday life, usually in a natural setting. This could include kids playing in a park, people at the beach, or friends hanging out together.

Using your zoom lens to capture these photos helps you get close without being too intrusive. You can get sharper images, too, as telephoto lenses help minimize camera shake.

The 35mm-80mm focal length range is perfect for lifestyle photography. A good lifestyle image will tell stories and evoke emotions about the moment, the people, and the place.

Landscape Photography

The primary use of the 35-80mm lens is to provide this ability by using three different focal lengths: 35mm, 50mm, and 80mm.

You can use each of these focal lengths for capturing landscapes in ways that their characteristics allow. 

  • For instance, at 35mm, you can grab a wide shot that encompasses a large land area.
  • At 50mm, you can fill the frame with an object without having to move back too far.
  • At 80mm, you can compress the background with objects in focus being closer together than they are (a great way to make mountains appear taller than they are).

Travel Photography

Travel photography is far and away from the most popular genre for the 35-80mm focal length. These lenses tend to be compact, lightweight, and easy to use, with a zoom range that covers many of the focal lengths typically used when shooting travel photos.

35mm is a great focal length for compressing the perspective of any scene and capturing all the visual information you see in front of you. It’s an ideal choice for street photography and travel photography, where you never know what you might find around the next corner.

80mm is an ideal focal length for isolating subjects from their background or taking close-up portraits without having to get uncomfortably close to your subject.

What are Good Alternatives to the 35-80mm Lens?

While the 35-80mm lens is compact and light, it’s also slow and not that sharp. If you want better performance and better image quality, you should consider these options:

An image of a lens
  • The 18-55mm kit lens. This is the same lens that came with your camera in a “kit” with the camera body. It’s a better choice than the 35-80mm as a general-purpose walk-around lens. It offers a more comprehensive focal range, and it also has image stabilization.
  • A prime wide-angle lens, such as the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E Mount APS-C Cameras or the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Lens. These lenses are affordable and have better image quality than the 35-80mm zoom (they’re also significantly quicker).

Related Questions

What Is a 35 mm Film Camera?

A 35 mm film camera is a camera that uses rolls of 35 mm film to take pictures. The resulting images can be printed, displayed on a computer screen, or developed directly into slides.

What Is an 80mm Lens Good For?

This lens is an excellent choice for portraits, and it’s compatible with most full-frame and APS-C cameras. This focal length is generally considered ideal for tight headshots and environmental portraits.

What Is a 35 105mm Lens Used For?

The 35-105mm is a very versatile lens. It captures everything from true wide-angle to short telephoto views and is ideal for general photography and portraiture, landscape, and travel.


Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur with a love of photography, you will likely have heard of the 35-80mm lens. This lens is one of the most frequently used focal length ranges, and it’s also very versatile.