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

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19
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do wide angle prime lenses have relatively small apertures?

I've noticed that many of the wide angle prime lenses (at least for Canon) have somewhat smaller apertures than their normal or telephoto counterparts. E.g. the regular Canon 24mm prime is f/2.8 while ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

do mirrorless camera lenses have automatic diaphragms

Do mirrorless cameras have lenses with automatic diaphragms like DSLRs or are you able to focus and view through the working aperture because of their electronic viewfinders?
4
votes
2answers
105 views

What is the maximum aperture consistent with the Nikon F-mount?

In a related thread, it's been debated whether there is a hard limitation to maximum possible lens aperture; it seems there is none. However, using the example of the nikon F mount, this technical ...
8
votes
2answers
316 views

In what way does the lens mount limit the maximum possible aperture of a lens?

In many answers to questions about different aspects of really large aperture lenses it's pointed out that the lens mount sets a hard limit on the maximum possible aperture of the lenses to that ...
3
votes
4answers
161 views

How can the focal length of a lens be many times greater than the lens's physical length?

I bought a Tamron 16-300. Question is: how can it have a focal length 0f 300 mm when it is only about 30 mm long? Doesn't the lens have to be 300 mm from the sensing element?
13
votes
3answers
423 views

What is the Leica look?

What is the Leica look that fans of the company claim is unique to them? What concrete differences are there that are most obvious to a layman?
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Does Sony DT 18-135mm SAM lens has Full-time Manual focus feature

I checked it in Len user-manual but Sony didn't mention about Full-time manual feature. I also checked it on Sony website but I didn't find any resources too. Does anyone know the Len has Full-time ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Can the method from the paper “High-Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses” compete with conventional lenses?

This answer to another question of mine linked to an interesting article: High-Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses. It proposes the use of simple optics and computational photography ...
8
votes
3answers
684 views

What is a pump zoom lens?

While browsing for cheap second hand lenses I found the Cosina 70-210mm f4.5-5.6. The seller notes that it's a pump zoom. Googling the term does yield some results, but these simply state that a ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

How effective are the rear weather sealing rings on lenses?

I am kinda torn between buying a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 and Sigma 17-50 f2.8 for my D3100 and D7100 cameras. The reason for confusion is that the Nikkor one has a weather sealing ring ...
1
vote
4answers
221 views

Why does crop factor apply with APS-C lenses, and why aren't these brighter than FF ones at same aperture?

I know that the image circle of FF-lenses is bigger than it needs to be on APS-C sensors, thus the FOV spears narrower. I've heard that APS-C lenses sit closer to the sensor, thus projecting a smaller ...
0
votes
3answers
198 views

Why can lenses only focus from so close? [duplicate]

I have always wondered, why is it that a lens can only focus from so far away from the subject? I know some lenses have a kind of macro switch which basically allows them to focus closer but why are ...
3
votes
4answers
548 views

Differences between canon 17-85mm and 18-55mm

I was given a 450d with a canon 17-85mm lens, it has USM and image stabilzing. It has always seemed okay to me but after a few years i have decided to upgrade to the 700d, which has now come with a ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the advantages of a lens having a fixed maximum aperture?

What are the advantages of a lens having a Fixed Maximum Aperture? Previous answers have indicated that "pros tend to want constant apertures in zoom lenses". While in general lenses with a fixed ...
1
vote
4answers
279 views

What did the “macro” switch/mode do on older zoom lenses?

I remember that a number of older (80s to maybe mid 90s) zooms had a "macro" mode where you would throw a switch that allowed the lens to focus closer. What was that? was it just a built in extension ...
11
votes
2answers
409 views

Does focus breathing make a lens slower when close focusing?

I've heard that focal length of some lenses will become noticeably longer when focusing to a close distance, an effect called "focus breathing". Since f-number is focal length divided by diameter of ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Why do macro lenses have such recessed front elements?

This is a 90mm Tamron SP Di macro lens. Like other macro lenses in this focal range I've seen, it has a deeply recessed front element — more than 1.5", and that's without the optional lens ...
30
votes
3answers
13k views

What does the number of elements and groups in a lens mean?

All lens specifications include a statement of how many elements the lens contains, and in how many groups, for example: Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300 mm 1:4,5-5,6G: 17 elements in 12 groups (two ...
6
votes
2answers
555 views

How does an apodization filter improve bokeh?

The new Fujifilm Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD has an "apodization" filter, which Fujifilm says "smoothes the outline of the subject to create a more natural bokeh effect". The Wikipedia article on ...
14
votes
1answer
716 views

How does a macro lens focus so close?

How does a macro lens focus so closely and how is the system different to that of a non-macro lens?
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How does a focus ring bring a subject in or out of focus?

When you manually adjust your focus ring on the lens, what actually happens inside the lens? Is this changing simply the point at which the lens is focusing, so that anything at this distance away ...
2
votes
4answers
134 views

Should lenses of equal quality for smaller sensors be cheaper?

In theory do we expect lenses of identical specs and quality to be cheaper when designed for smaller sensors? My expectation is that the answer is yes, because all of the things that lenses struggle ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

what is the barriers of making fast lenses? [duplicate]

I know there are lenses like f/0.7 However as a beginner I'm wondering what's the barrier of making ultra fast lenses like f/0.01 ? Also if lens manufacturers willing to make wide aperture lenses, ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What about lens construction influences bokeh?

I can understand how certain elements of a lens can correct an aberrations or make it sharper - but specifically, how do lens manufacturers influence the bokeh - the quality of the blur? There's a ...
4
votes
3answers
779 views

Why do circular fish eye lenses create circular images?

I'm trying to understand the physics of circular fish eye lenses. As far as I can see circular fish eye lenses create an circular image because the area of the sensor is larger than the projected ...
3
votes
3answers
250 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
121 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What characteristics make a lens good or bad?

When reading lens reviews on the Internet, I often find subjective statements about the image quality that a lens produces, such as "good contrast" or "sharp". The problem is that I don't think I am ...
4
votes
2answers
413 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
150 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
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
125 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
267 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
784 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
108 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
310 views

What kind of lens are used in mobile phones?

Usually what kind of lens are used in mobile phones. I mean of the types similar to convex, concave etc.. Are they fixed focal length usually? How do we get the focal length of camera from digital ...
2
votes
4answers
4k 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
1k 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
6answers
797 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
2k 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?
5
votes
1answer
872 views

What makes the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 so special?

The new Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 is nearly $4000. With faster lenses from Canon (50mm f/1.2L) with autofocus, why is the zeiss lens more than twice that of the Canon counterpart?
4
votes
1answer
561 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
545 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
248 views

Could a phone-camera have a medium-telephoto lens and still fit in a phone?

[to keep it simple, all focal lengths noted are 35mm equivalents; crop factors for phone cameras are about 7-8x, give or take] As far as I can tell most new phone cameras have a fixed, medium-wide ...
14
votes
5answers
4k 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
118 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
242 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

How does the Sony 135 F2.8 [T4.5] STF twin aperture lens design work?

I stumbled across the Sony 135 F2.8 [T4.5] STF other day. I have read through the review but I can't for the life of me figure out what the twin-aperture setup is supposed to do!
8
votes
1answer
181 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 ...