Best Focal Length to Shoot Creative Video Interviews

Are you stuck with the idea of how to film your next creative video interview with your subject? Do you want a specific focal length for shooting but aren’t sure what it is? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore which focal length is best suited for video interviews.

The focal length is the distance from the middle part of a camera’s lens to its focal points. The primary role of focal lengths of a lens is to tell the angle of view of the video, magnification, the accuracy of the details of the scene, and the details a capture will capture from a capture.

So the focal length you need when shooting video interviews will depend on where you want to put your camera. If you’re shooting from a distance, get a wide-angle lens to capture more of the scene around them. If you’re filming people’s close-ups and want them in more detail, then use a telephoto lens.

best focal length for interviews

Generally, this question is also a bit vague since there are things videographers must consider before deciding on the focal length. The sensor size defines the focal length. Also, how you want your video to turn out can be subjective; hence it is often a matter of taste and preferences. 

For instance, while shooting an interview in a small office, use a smaller focal length to get close to the person compared to the background. However, if you are shooting in a large spacious area, highlight your background; the best focal length is a large one, like 80mm. So it’s quite the opposite of what we mentioned earlier. So it depends on the location too.

What Lens Should I Use For Video Interviews?

As a videographer, it is crucial to understand the type of interviews you are doing and what element you need to highlight in your video. Also, ensure that you closely review your location to settle for the best focal length.

Videography is vast and mostly depends on subjective keys to make a decision. For instance, when making a video for interviews, the lens plays a primary role in your output. Does this fact leave us with the question of the type of lens you should use? There are vital issues you must consider before settling for any lens.

Factors That Should Determine The Choice Of A Lens:

  • Environment: 

The location of your interviews dictates whether you will use a small or long lens. Why is that? Location affects the videos, especially during the editing process. For example, using a small lens for a small room is suicidal, mainly because you can’t hide your background. As a result, editing is impossible in such circumstances.

  • The Interviewee’s Physical Look: 

The lens ( prime or zoom)plays a significant role in how a person looks on camera since it directly affects the shape of the face. Note that videographers have to make their subject look best on camera to make them more confident. Therefore, choose a flat lens that makes your subject look good.

  • Mood: 

Where are you shooting your interview, and what content do you want to get from your discussion? As a videographer, learn to read the mood of the interview before settling for any lens.

Note that a small lens is an excellent option if you are working in a great environment. You can highlight several outstanding elements in your background, making the video look excellent. 

However, if you are working in a small room, which is often the case, long lenses are the perfect option since you can hide your background. Wide lenses are rarely used in interviews since they need an ideal environment and a keen videographer. Using a wide lens in the right way will blow up your mind. However, it is hard to achieve amazing videos with this lens.

From the above, you can tell that the type of lens you should use depends on these factors. As a videographer, let your mind go wild and explore your options depending on the kind of interview you are shooting and your shoot location.

What Is The Best Focal Length For Different Video Interviews?

From the information above, you can tell that focal length plays a vital role during a videography session since it determines the output of your video. This section will give details about different focal lengths and the interviews where they deliver excellent results.

Focal LengthBest forWhy
50 mmTalking headsThis local length looks natural and professional. It is the best choice for talking heads since it delivers images at the right angle. However, note that for this focal length to be effective, you need more space. Why? You need to keep your camera further away from the target. Also, you don’t have to include more details about the background, and people can focus more on your face.
35mmDocumentaryWhat makes documentaries interesting is not only the target but the background. It has a way of bringing in emotions and letting your audience be part of the journey. The wide-angle lenses have the right focal length that includes the background outputting great results. Naturally, documentaries involve including your location, and you can take advantage of these elements to make your content unique.
18-35mmYouTube VideosShooting YouTube videos is gaining more popularity with time as people create content and share it with the world. However, by surveying a few videos on YouTube, you can tell they are pretty different, with some looking better than others. The 18-35mm focal length is the best option for YouTube videos since it captures the target and the background making it more interactive.
50 mmNews AnchorsThis focal length makes the videos natural and delivers a professional look. Also, it blurs out the background; hence the audience can easily concentrate on the important stuff. When working under this focal length, you need more room which is often the case in newsrooms.


Focal length is among the critical features of the camera that you must consider as a videographer. Why is that? This element dictates the final result of your video. It affects several features such as compression and distortion. However, there are elements that every videographer must consider before using specific focal lengths.

This article explains all the necessary facts about focal lengths and their use for various purposes. Also, we explain details on lenses and their use. Read through the information above to learn more about focal length and its relation to videography.

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