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Of and relating to the specifics of lens construction and manufacture.

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3
votes
3answers
350 views

Variable focal length for macro lenses?

True macro lenses come in fixed focal length. Are there any macro lensens which have variable focal lengths? And please explain why yes or why not?
3
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the reason that the materials of the lens barrels changed from metal to plastic?

Most of my older lenses have a shell of metal instead of plastic that is common today on all lenses even the expensive ones (with the possible exception of expensive tele lenses). When I compare the ...
4
votes
2answers
564 views

What are the theoretical minimum and maximum apertures?

Is there such a thing as a maximum aperture that a lens can be open to? What about a minimum aperture that it can be closed to? Do these concepts even make any sense? Is there a lens with the ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

When you zoom in with a lens on an SLR why does the lens go in then out?

I guess this is more a question of optics than photography but I just got an SLR with a basic 18-55 lens. I noticed that when going from 18 to 55 or 55 to 18 the lens physically comes back in and ...
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Why are phase detect lenses adapted onto contrast detect bodies so much slower?

The Sony A7 is able to adapt almost any type of auto-focus lens (Canon/Nikon/etc) and use autofocusing, but the auto-focusing is much slower than the same focal lengths native for the A7. Why would ...
19
votes
4answers
12k views

Why is the aperture ring removed from new Nikon lenses?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I notice that Nikon's newer lenses don't have an aperture ring. For example, an older AF 35 mm f/2D is now replaced by AF-S DX 35 mm f/1.8G, or AF 50 mm f/1.8D is replaced by a ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

What's with these petal-shaped lens hoods? [duplicate]

In the last decade or so, I've seen more and more lens hoods for long lenses that aren't simply round in front. I was reminded of that by this answer, which shows the inside of a neatly packed camera ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

What is meant by 'centering quality'?

I'm reading lens reviews and I have encountered the term 'centering quality' a few times (e.g. http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/720-sony50f18nex?start=1). What does this term mean? What are the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Do cine lenses have any significant advantages for still photography?

A number of manufacturers, including Canon and Zeiss, make cine-optimised lenses for still photography mounts (e.g. EF). For reasons well-covered elsewhere, these lenses are stupendously expensive, ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Which lenses show focus shift?

Some lenses, because of a design that includes uncorrected spherical aberration, shift their plane of focus backwards as the aperture is narrowed. This is most apparent at close focusing distances and ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the difference between Nikkor D type and G type lenses?

I recently bought a Nikon D5100. And along with this camera, I got the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens as kit. It's "G" type lens, right? One of my friend suggested to buy a 50mm f/1.8D ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Which Zeiss lenses are actually made in Germany?

Recently, I used a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE only to find a big "Made in Japan" marking on it. Which of their lenses are made in Germany, and does it matter if it's made there vs. Japan?
12
votes
5answers
910 views

What lens characteristics contribute to attractive lens flare?

Some lenses give really harsh and unwanted flares. Some gives beautiful flares that add depth to an image. What's the science behind this?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the relationship between “macro” and “telephoto” lenses? [duplicate]

Can anyone explain the difference between "macro" and "telephoto"? I know that a macro lens will give you a magnification of 1:1 but how does it differ from a telephoto lens?
4
votes
1answer
852 views

Why is anamorphic bokeh oval shaped?

I understand that an anamorphic lens "stretches" an image when it is recorded, but when it's played back, it's "un-stretched" so that it looks normal. But with images shot with anamorphic lenses, ...
6
votes
2answers
638 views

Why are there no fast APS-C zooms beyond 55mm?

I am looking to add a longer lens to my current zoom (a Tamron 17-50) for my Nikon D300 (but I believe this question is relevant across aps-c lens manufacturers). There is just one currently in ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the difference between the Canon and Nikon lenses mounts?

I was wondering what, if any, are the technical differences between the two mounting systems. Does one auto focus faster? Can one hold more weight? Things along those lines that make them different. ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

Suggestion for books tracing the evolution of photographic equipment [closed]

Could you please suggest a book that Tracks the evolution of photo equipment from inception to modern times Has diagrams and cutaways of equipment and mechanisms, including shutter and aperture ...
8
votes
1answer
332 views

Why do certain lenses increase angle of view upon close focus?

I recently picked up a superzoom lens, the Nikon 28-300mm. Although I got it primarily for its versatility, my intuition was that a lens that can do 300mm focal length at 50 cm, as indeed it can, ...
8
votes
1answer
214 views

What kind of mirror in a mirror lens?

A normal mirror, that we see for example in an elevator, is a glass sheet with thin metal coating on the backside, so light reflecting from the metal surface goes first thru the glass. Metal mirror ...
2
votes
3answers
515 views

Are polarizing filters as useful on normal lenses as they are on wide-angle lenses?

I have seen people using Polarizing filters on many wide angle lenses. Is it worth using a Polarizing Filter on a 40mm 2.8f STM Pancake lens or any other prime lens?
3
votes
2answers
875 views

What's the difference between real and effective aperture?

I understand that the simple idea that f-stop is focal length divided by aperture really applies to a simple single-glass lens, not the compound lens systems used to provide good image quality in ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

Canon 40mm STM - The focus cannot be adjusted in manual mode

I bought a new Canon 40mm STM lens and in the Lens Manual it says The focus cannot be adjusted in manual mode. Does it mean that its harmful to rotate the focus ring when the focusing mode is ...
8
votes
3answers
689 views

Why are Zeiss lenses heavier and larger for Canon EF than Nikon F mounts?

We recently acquired specifications for all DSLR lenses by Carl Zeiss and almost always the Canon EF-mount version is larger and heavier than the Nikon F-mount version. The difference ranges from ...
5
votes
2answers
344 views

Why aren't more lenses white?

So high end Canon lenses are white. This is to reduce heat, correct? If so why is this something that only appears in really high end Canon lenses. I wouldn't think that painting a lens white ...
0
votes
1answer
474 views

What is the infinity lens by Jim Frazier? [duplicate]

I know who Jim Frazier is and what he has done, but I only have basic knowledge of his invention. Could someone please explain what he has done further?
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Can I remove the tiny amount of wiggle in the focus ring of my brand new lens?

I just purchased a Samyang 24mm T1.5 lens and the focus ring is not 100% solid and smooth, there is a tiny amount of give in the vertical direction (perpindicular to the horizontal direction the ring ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

When should I turn off image stabilization? [duplicate]

I've read a bunch of the questions here about image stabilization, but I don't see any concrete examples/proof or references with regards to the benefits of turning off image stabilization. I've got ...
3
votes
2answers
350 views

Why is there no apparent relation between focal length and physical lens size?

Why is there no apparent relation between focal length and physical lens size? For example, the Nikkor 20mm lens has a physical length of 42.5mm! That's more than twice the focal length! And if you ...
7
votes
1answer
770 views

What is the difference between microcontrast and sharpness?

I keep hearing the internet talk of this micro contrast from the famous Zeiss lenses. What is it? Is it the same as sharpness? And if so, why is it called differently for Zeiss? Does anyone have any ...
12
votes
4answers
772 views

Why aren't lenses designed with extra large apertures for autofocus beyond what's used for imaging?

Historically, designing large-aperture lenses has been difficult because correcting the optical aberrations that arise from large apertures requires complex designs and very large amounts of glass. ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Do lenses lose sharpness when they age?

I was reading this answer where it mentions, "..it's a lens that can lose sharpness as it ages.." and was wondering if this is true and if yes, true for all lenses. Reasons as to why this happens and ...
5
votes
1answer
557 views

Why are so many kit-lenses parfocal if it's an expensive feature?

According to this answer, parfocal lenses (lenses that can zoom in/out without losing focus) are relatively rare and more expensive. However, the original poster's kit-lens is parfocal. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are large aperture lenses so expensive? [duplicate]

Why are lenses with very large apertures so expensive? For example, generally speaking, there is a significant price difference between a f/1.8, f/1.4 and f/1.2 lens of the same focal length. Doesn't ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are ED elements?

I find that some lenses are indicated with the letters "ED", referring to some special type of lens element. What are ED elements, and what advantages do they bring? Note that this question isn't ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

How does lens design affect the richness of color reproduction? [duplicate]

Comparing a kit zoom lens to a faster, 20-year-old prime it seems like the old lens produces richer, warmer color. I've noticed the same kind of comparisons elsewhere. What is the lens actually doing? ...
4
votes
4answers
254 views

How small can current SLRs get and still give comparable photo quality?

Let's take the full-frame Canon 5D as example. How small can this camera be and still give comparable picture quality? What are the design constraints? Besides the sensor, the body, can the lenses ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

What happened to multi-focal lenses?

Apparently multi-focal lenses such as the Tri-Elmar 16-18-21mm went out of fashion but I was wondering if the reasons for that were technical or commercial. Are multi-focal harder to build compared ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

How come there are no 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses with image stabilization?

There definitely aren't any Canon or Nikon lenses. I also have not seen any third party lenses. I can think of two reasons for this: There is some technical limitation (which I tend to doubt since ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

What factor determines the largest usable sensor size with a certain lens?

Reading this excellent answer about field of view, focal length and sensor size a new question came to mind. From the drawn diagrams it is clearly visible that for the same focal length an increase ...
8
votes
1answer
415 views

What are the constructional differences between a macro and a regular lens?

I understand that to reduce minimum focusing distances, macro lens design must focus on maintaining certain distances between the lens and the sensor. However, is the placement of the lens and its ...
5
votes
2answers
909 views

What's the base f-stop when counting an ideal f-stop for lens?

I've read a lot around this site that an ideal quality of the lens is achieved when using f-stop roughly 2 stops slower than the fastest value of the lens. Firstly, I'm not exactly sure what "2 ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Is the size of the rear opening of a lens related to image quality?

I purchased a Sony NEX F3, and it came with a 16mm lens and a 18-55mm lens. It seems to me that the 18-55mm lens produces better picture. Does the bigger lens opening in the 18-55mm lens produce ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

Can it damage a Canon L Series Lens (or a photographic lens with anti-glare lenses) if a powerful (Class IIIB or IV) laser is passed through it?

I would like to get a wide laser beam but a high quality one. That's why I'll make it go through a high-end Canon lens. But I would like to know if that is likely to damage my lens ! Maybe it will ...
3
votes
2answers
573 views

What influences the shape of a lens flare?

Most of the time the shape of the flare is close to a circle, but recently I saw a movie where the lens flare was elliptically shaped. The stills below, taken from the movie Die Hard, show the effect ...
3
votes
3answers
646 views

What are the difficulties with making a 10mm-300mm zoom lens?

I'd like to have a comprehensive explanation why such a lens doesn't make 'sense', whether economically, technically, ergonomically, etc. Please support each reason with some details so I can learn ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “Flat Field Focus” mean?

Looking at lenses, specifically sigma macro lenses, I noticed that it had a ""Flat Field" front lens element". What does this mean? And how is it different to the norm?
4
votes
2answers
247 views

Is having a lens with vignetting a real world negative for portrait lenses?

After reading this answer for another post: I don't mind the vignetting as it actually improves the look of portraits however if you're doing astrophotography what's the point in a lens that's ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it physically possible to build a long zoom (17-300 mm for example) at an aperture value of around 1.4 or 1.2?

I'm curious if the physics allow a company to build such a lens of course with good IQ, minimal color aberration, maximum sharpness, and little to none lens vignetting or edge softness
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are all DSLR lenses made of glass?

This question is about lenses to "big" DSLRs, not system or compact cameras with interchangeable lens. Are all lenses made of glass in DSLR? And if not, is there a notable difference between: kit ...