Using Lightroom to determine your favourite focal length

When you go out to take photographs you grab your camera bag and in it, you will have a camera body/bodies and a lens/lenses. Sure you may have a flash, filters electronic release etc, but you will have at least one camera body and one lens.

So which lens do you carry with you? It could be a zoom. They are the ubiquitous camera lens for most people and they are great for covering most situations. Being a Fuji photographer from the zoom lenses I own, I could cover a range from 18-55mm, 18-135mm and 55-200mm.

If you only use zooms, have you ever wondered what focal length you actually use the most with those lenses?

There is an easy way to find out. Lightroom has all my photographs over the years listed in a single catalog and using its search facility I can isolate any information held within the metadata. I’ll show you how you can check which is your most used focal length.

Using the Library module in Lightroom you should first ensure you are in your root picture folder so that Lightroom will have access to all your pictures. In the picture above you can see my root drive circled. All my photographs are kept in that albeit in dated folders.

In thumbnail view click on the Metadata filter at the top of the screen and click on one of the four search parameters – it doesn’t matter which.

You will see that two arrows appear next to the title and you can choose another parameter.

Click on the Focal Length metadata parameter.

A list of the focal lengths now appears with the number of images taken at that focal length appearing on the right of the lens sizes.

This then will give you your most popular focal length for taking pictures. These focal lengths are taken from the metadata in the photographs so it will collect the data from the focal lengths you used whilst using your zoom lenses as well. As you can see for me my most used focal length was 35mm, a full frame equivalent of 50mm. That was why I invested in the 35mm prime lens both when I used Nikon and now Fuji.

So I hope you can see that using Lightroom’s database you can find out your most used focal length and what prime or zoom, you would get the most use out of.

 

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