Definition: Fixed focus lens

Definition: Fixed focus lens  | Glossary entry

Fixed focus lens

A fixed focus lens is made locked into one position in the camera body at the time the camera is manufactured. The lens does not allow for any focus changes once it is placed in the camera. Such lenses are pre-focused so they have the ability to focus from a near point (usually about two meters) to infinity. This limited arrangement is simple in it’s manufacture and therefore such cameras are relatively cheap. The unsophisticated nature of the focus also makes it easy for anyone to operate since most pictures will be in focus.

The fixed focus lens (or camera) is a simple set-up. It does not allow for specific focus control or zooming into the subject to enlarge. This type of lens/camera arrangement is therefore likely to be unsatisfactory for the more serious photographer. However, fixed focus cameras were used quite extensively at one time as ‘point-and-shoot’ cameras from the days of chemical film photography. Today however, point-and-shoot cameras are more sophisticated and often have complex focussing systems. The fixed lens camera is therefore generally seen as a legacy. They are rarely used since digital cameras have become prevalent except as novelty items or for special events and activities.


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