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What is the 600 Rule in Photography?

One of the most important aspects of photography is how you frame your subject. In order to do this, you need to know the 600 rule in photography. It is a simple mathematical equation that can be used to determine what focal length lens you should use for any given scene. This blog post will go over everything about 600 rule photography and why it’s so important!

What Is The 600 Rule In Photography?

In order to take great landscape photos, it helps if the camera has a long lens because this allows you to get closer from far away objects. However, there are limitations on how close you can stand with your current equipment. To find out exactly where this limitation lies, all you need to do is divide 600 by your camera’s crop factor (most DSLRs have around a one-inch sensor). For example, if I am using my Nikon D800E which has a crop factor of roughly one-inch, 600/one-inch will equal approximately six. If I want to stand at least 600 feet away from my subject (which is where you would be able to fit the entire object within your frame), then I should use a lens with this focal length: 600/six equals 100mm.

This equation works for any given scene and can even apply if you’re using an ultra wide angle lens. The reason why it works so well is because most lenses have their sharpest aperture around f/11 or smaller depending on what type of camera body they are attached to. This means that in order to get the best possible image quality that your equipment allows, you need to narrow down your aperture to f/11 or smaller. This is where 600 rule photography comes into play.

How To Use The 600 Rule In Your Photos

If you are photographing an object that’s far away (like the example I provided above), 600 divided by your camera body’s crop factor will give you a number close to 100mm, which is typically around the minimum focal length required in order for lens sharpness not to be affected at all while achieving optimum image quality. Let’s say however, that even when narrow down your aperture as much as possible while still getting proper exposure on your scene (using either shutter speeds or ISO adjustments), if you want more depth of field than what 600 rule provides; it may make sense to move closer and use something like 70-80mm.

Ideal Settings For The 600 Rule On Crop Sensor Cameras

For example, the Nikon D3200 has a 1.5x crop sensor, whereas many Canon cameras have a 1.6x sensor. To compute the maximum exposure duration for these cameras, use the following equations: 600 / focal length / 1.6 (for crop sensor Canon cameras) 600 / focal length / 1.6 (for crop sensor Nikon cameras) If you’re using a 35mm lens, you should use this version of the equation: 600/35/1.5 This means that if you’re using a 35mm lens, it will be 11 seconds long (approximately).

Shutter Speed Times For 600 Rule Photography

Below is a table on approximate shutter speed times you can employ for 600 rule photography:

Lens Focal LengthFull Frame CameraCrop Canon CameraCrop Nikon Camera
14mm42.86 seconds26.79 seconds28.57 seconds
16mm37.50 seconds23.44 seconds25 seconds
20mm30 seconds18.75 seconds20 seconds
24mm25 seconds15.63 seconds16.67 seconds
35mm17.14 seconds10.71 seconds11.43 seconds
50mm12 seconds7.50 seconds8 seconds
75mm8 seconds5 seconds5.33 seconds
100mm6 seconds3.75 seconds4 seconds
200mm3 seconds1.88 seconds2 seconds
300mm2 seconds1.25 seconds1.33 seconds

600 Vs. 600 Rule – Which One Do I Use?

You’ve probably been wondering what the difference is between the 500 and 600 rules. In reality, there isn’t much of a distinction apart from the fact that the 600 rule allows for a somewhat slower shutter speed. Even if you find out that the 500 rule does not suit your camera, you may still test the 600 guideline!

Many suggest that if you’re going to use an image online, such as on a blog or Facebook, you should follow the 600 rule. However, if you are going to print your photos, keep it under the more conservative 500 threshold.

Of course, there’s a lot of speculation here; however, you should test both rules since you’ll learn your camera and what works best in your situation.


The 600 rule is one of the most important aspects of photography. It will help you determine what focal length lens to use for 99% of all shooting scenarios, which helps with achieving maximum image quality as well as getting the best possible composition in every photo that you take!