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In the marketing blurb for the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple describes the camera system as being like 'having seven pro lenses in your pocket'. In reality, it's more like having seven pre-set levels of zoom in your pocket, but the ability to quickly switch between different focal lengths can be useful when you're shooting different types of photos.

The main camera on your iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max has three lens options, and by default the Camera app uses the 24mm lens. However, if you use one of the other lenses more often, you can make that the default instead. Here's how to choose a default lens on iPhone 15 Pro.

What are the lens options on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max?

There are three main camera lens options to choose from: 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm. If you have a DSLR camera, you can change the lenses that you use on your camera to give different focal lengths, measured in mm. So you might use a 24mm lens for one shot, or a 35mm lens for another.

The settings on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max allow you to switch between focal lengths for your photos. It's not quite the same as swapping out the lens on a DSLR, as the physical lens on your iPhone 15 Pro doesn't change. Your iPhone is able to mimic these different focal lengths through the magic of computational photography, using software rather than hardware to offer the different focal lengths by using the detail from the resolution available and reframing the image.

Why does the iPhone 15 Pro have different lens options?

The iPhone 15 Pro offers different lens options because different focal lengths are better for shooting different types of photos. The focal lengths give a measurement of how far away from the sensor of a camera the light from your image converges. What this means practically is that the lower the number, the more of the scene in front of you the lens can capture. If you're using an 18mm lens, you'll get a wide view of the entire scene. If you're using a 300mm lens, you'll get a narrow view of one small section of the scene, but the image will appear much larger, or 'zoomed in'.

iPhone 15 Pro 24mm lens

When you're taking a photo on your iPhone 15 Pro, if you use the 24mm lens, you'll get a shot that looks like you'd expect from an iPhone camera, For comparison, the focal length on the iPhone 15 is 26mm. It's a great choice for landscape shots as you'll fit more of the landscape into the image.

iPhone 15 Pro 28mm lens

If you select the 28mm lens, you get a little closer in on the action, equivalent to a 1.2x zoom. You lose some of the shot around the edges, but the subject of your photo will appear a little larger in the frame. It's a great fit for street photography where the focus is on the people in the shot than the street behind them.

iPhone 15 Pro 35mm lens

The 35mm moves in a little closer again, equivalent to a 1.5x zoom. It makes your subject even more prominent in the frame. If the object you're trying to capture is a little further away than you'd like, the 35mm will make it seem a little closer. It's a good choice for portraits, bringing the focus more on the person and less on the background.

The technical jargon about focal lengths can be a little confusing, but if you play around with the different lenses, you soon get an idea of how to use them, so it's worth giving them a try. There are some useful iPhone 15 Pro camera tips that may help.

How to change lenses on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

By default, when you open the Camera app on the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, the 24mm lens is selected. You can quickly change between the three different lenses within the app, allowing you to choose the best option for the shot you're taking.

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. At the bottom of the viewfinder, you'll see four different zoom options: 0.5, 1x, 2, and 3. If you have the iPhone 15 Pro Max, you'll see 0.5, 1x, 2, and 5.
  3. Tap 1x and the lens will change to the 28mm focal length.
  4. Tap again and the lens will change to the 35mm focal length.
  5. Tap again and the lens will return to the 24mm focal length.

How to set the default lens on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

If you find yourself using the 28mm or 35mm lenses much more often than the 24mm lens, you can change the default lens to the one that you use the most. You'll still be able to switch to the other lenses if you need to.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Camera.
  3. Scroll down and tap Main Camera.
  4. Under Default Lens choose Default to 24mm – 1x, Default to 28mm – 1.2x or Default to 35mm – 1.5x.
  5. The next time you open the Camera app, your iPhone will automatically select the default lens you've selected.

How to turn off lenses on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

If you find that you never use either the 28mm or 35mm lenses on your iPhone 15 Pro, you can opt to turn one or both of them off. If you turn off one lens, you can quickly switch between the other two lenses by tapping 1x in the Camera app. If you turn off both lenses, tapping 1x will have no effect.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Camera.
  3. Scroll down and tap Main Camera.
  4. Use the toggle switches to turn off the 28mm or 35mm lenses.
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro