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A photographic lens is used to focus the light onto film or a digital sensor. Many cameras have interchangeable lens systems, allowing the photographer to choose the type of lens to use.

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10
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3answers
2k views

What type of lens will auto-focus on Nikon bodies without a focus motor?

I know my D40 doesn't have a motor in it to auto-focus lenses. What type of lens has the motor in it? How can I know which lenses will and will not work?
17
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5answers
2k views

How can aperture be f/11 on a lens with an aperture range designation of 3.5-5.6?

I made a series of outdoor shots with Nikon D5000, with the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens. On some shots, I see in the EXIF info f/11, and in another shot, f/9. How can that be, that the f-number ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

How to select lenses for sports photography?

I would like to get into sports photography, and would probably want a better telephoto lens so I can get better close up shots. What other factors should I keep in mind as I make my choice? Does IS ...
20
votes
3answers
24k views

What is the difference between Canon “L” lenses and non-L lenses?

The Canon L lenses are much more expensive and presumably much better quality than non-L lenses. What makes an "L" lens? How much better are they over a similar length/speed "ordinary" canon lenses?
16
votes
10answers
32k views

Which prime lens for Pentax?

My girlfriend is buying a Pentax K-5 (I already have a Pentax DSLR so we thought it made sense for us to be able to share lenses), and she's not sure about which lens to get with it, so I've been ...
26
votes
9answers
43k views

Why does fungus form in lenses, and how to get rid of it?

Recently I was using an old Pentax 50mm f/2 that had a quite big green spot, and later I was informed that it was a fungus. A couple of questions raised from this: Why does fungus form inside the ...
32
votes
8answers
4k views

Do I really need a fast 50mm lens?

Everyone I speak to says that a 50mm lens is the best and beats them all as an all-rounder. I was wondering whether to get myself a decent, fast 50mm as well. However I'm still not 100% sure whether I ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Which scenarios are better shot with a prime lens versus zoom lens or macro lens?

What scenarios are better shot with a prime lens? A zoom lens? A macro lens?
19
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4answers
850 views

What should I consider when purchasing a macro lens?

What should I be aware of when buying a macro lens (other than that it will fit my camera)? What features should I look for? What specs should I pay close attention to? What factors affect macro ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Is it better to upgrade Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens to the 18-200mm, or complement with 55-250mm? [duplicate]

I currently have the Canon EOS 550D with the 18-55mm IS kit lens. I am primarily looking for greater telephoto reach, as I have found the 55mm length to be quite limiting at times. So, I was ...
15
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it a wise-decision to buy full-frame lenses for use on an APS-C body?

I have a Canon 550D which I've been using for around a year now. I really love it and have learned a great deal with this and the 18 - 135mm kit lens. But now with experience I feel the need to get ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “stopped down”?

Was reading this answer (emphasis mine): It also tells us that the lens was stopped down, as if it were wide open there would be no corners to cause diffraction, regardless of the number of ...
10
votes
4answers
13k views

What's the difference between using a 50mm f/1.8G and a 50mm f/1.8D with a Nikon D80?

Recently, Nikon announced their new 50mm f/1.8G lens, as revamp of the old 50mm f/1.8D. Here's how Gizmodo describes the difference: The main difference between this new "nifty fifty" and the ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Why buy an intentionally soft lens?

While reading some reviews of older lenses, I keep reading "It's soft wide open, but that's not always a problem with portraits." Over my rather short time in photography thus far, I've come to ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I get maximum DoF with no distance markers?

I am aware of what hyperfocal distance is and the general principles behind it. However, most of the tutorials I have seen and read regarding it make use of lenses with focus distance indicators. ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Why do Canon EF and EF-S lenses exhibit the same crop factor?

I have a Canon 7D, which has a crop factor of 1.6x. When using a Canon EF-S lens I get the focal length stated on the lens, when using a Canon EF lens I get the focal length times 1.6 when used on ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the benefit of an internal focus lens?

The "IF" in Pentax DA★ 200mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM stands for "Internal Focus". I know what this means: the lens doesn't change in size as I focus. (And it's true; it doesn't.) What's the point of this, ...
5
votes
5answers
887 views

Should a telephoto zoom be my next lens after the kit lens?

I am new to dslr's and got a nikon 3000 with 18-55 lens as a gift. I already see some limitations with the lens for walking about or on trails. So my question is being new should I go with a 55-200 ...
44
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the best way to clean lenses and filters?

After removing dust with an air pomp and a brush, what are you using to remove stains from the lens and filters? So far I'm using the liquid from a Giotto's CL 1002 cleaning kit for the lens, but I'm ...
53
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there development in the world of lenses?

Now, I'm not an expert, so if this post makes you laugh, you're welcome. Still, as far as I know there are basically two components that determine the potential quality of a camera's photos: Sensor ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I interpret an MTF Chart?

As part of how Canon (and other lens makers) give technical information about their lenses, they supply an MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) chart. How do I read and interpret what the chart is ...
19
votes
12answers
2k views

What's the best way to create a tilt-shift photograph?

Specifically, what's the best way to go about shooting photos that have a fake miniature quality to them, which produces high-quality (and believable) images? Is there some special lens that you can ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the most notable differences between Canon and Nikon lenses?

I'm currently considering to buy one of the next generation enthusiast DSLRs. Either a Canon EOS 60D or the slightly more expensive Nikon D7000. I'm quite new to the SLR discussion but I know there ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the reference point that the focal length of a lens is calculated from?

I understand the idea of a focal length for a single lens, i e the distance from the lens to the point at which parallel rays of light converge. However, in the case of a photographic lens with ...
23
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5answers
7k views

What does a 'nano crystal coat' do on this lens?

The Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G AF-S has a 'Nano Crystal Coat'...what is that and why is it on most of their most expensive lenses? Obviously its a coating and some links seem to indicate it may increase ...
15
votes
7answers
11k views

Is a UV filter better for lens protection than a protector filter?

I'm usually very good at getting water/finger marks on lens, so I must use something for protection. Is there any downside of using an UV filter instead of a protector filter? Example: Hoya HD ...
8
votes
3answers
984 views

How can a 24-70mm and a 10-22mm both be “wide angle” lenses?

I've been looking at a 10-22mm lens for my Canon T2i. I've also come across some other "wide angle" lenses, like the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8. I don't understand how a wide angle lens can have such high ...
7
votes
1answer
510 views

What lens characteristics are important in star photography?

In optimal world I would buy a lens that is good in every way. But I'm on a budget and have to find a balance in quality and price. I'm looking for a lens for star photography, so in my case it will ...
4
votes
3answers
532 views

What are the summary rules for when to use image stabilization and when not to?

When I got my DSLR, I took a lot of pics and all of them came excellent, even though I had VR at the "Off" position. Since those came out so well, I wonder when should I turn VR on, and when I ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

What does the f-stop printed on the lens refer to?

I have read this,so I know what an f-stop is, but what does the number on printed the lens signify? Is this is the maximum f-stop, the ideal, or something else?
7
votes
2answers
888 views

How can a telephoto lens take great landscape photos?

I've read in various answers on this site people mention that telephoto lens can be used quite nicely for taking landscape photos. How is this possible, as my (beginners') understanding of landscape ...
42
votes
10answers
121k views

What can be done using a 18-55mm lens?

I have a Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens (entry level, as many say). Whenever I go out for a shoot, I always end up feeling handicapped because of the limited zoom range. Most of my friends ...
21
votes
12answers
27k views

How do I get a stuck screw filter off of my lens?

There is a UV-filter screwed on my Canon 16-35mm. For some reason, I'm not able to get it off the lens. Does anyone has a simple but safe trick?
15
votes
5answers
25k views

Are mirror lenses good for wildlife photography in daylight?

I've recently seen these Rokinon/Opteka mirror lens with whooping focal length (like 500mm, 600mm, 800mm, 1000mm) at a cheap price. And I have seen some of their same pictures in Flickr and vendor ...
20
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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 ...
18
votes
12answers
20k views

How does the lens diameter influence photo quality?

I have tested two different 50mm lenses in my camera. One was a Nikkor 50mm ∅52mm. The other one was a Sigma 50mm ∅72mm. I took some pictures with both lenses using the same setup for aperture and ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I use my APS-C kit lens as a reference for choosing between 50mm or 35mm prime lenses?

I'm looking at getting a second lens in addition to my Nikon D7000's kit lens. I want to know if it's possible to use my 18m-105mm kit lens to get an idea of the focal length for a 35mm lens vs. a 50 ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What size lens is recommended for flying bird photography?

My wife has a Canon 450D and a 70-300 lens for long distance shots. I am considering a present or two and good advice from jrista suggests possible upgrade of camera to a Canon 7D and of lens to a ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

What does the magnification ratio number mean on a macro lens?

I'm looking for a macro lens. I have 28-105mm Nikkor which gives me "1:2 Magnification Ratio" (whatever that means). I found another lens, Tamron 90mm Macro, which has magnification ratio of 1:1. ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a zone plate?

I was looking into alternative methods of photography and I happened upon something called a 'zone plate.' Three questions: What is a zone plate? How does it work? What can I do with it?
21
votes
6answers
1k views

Should I be worried about getting dust inside my SLR?

I recently went to Silverstone to watch the F1 qualifying and took my DSLR camera with me. Throughout the day, I switched lenses a few times, but each time was very conscious that there was a lot of ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

What equipment is necessary/preferred for real estate photography?

What equipment is necessary for real estate photography, and what is preferred? I'm starting into real estate photography, and I'm trying to figure out what I need and what I will want to plan on ...
14
votes
5answers
782 views

What are the different focal lengths of macro lenses and their advantages?

I am interested in macro-photography. I see there are macro telephoto (zoom?) lenses (e.g. 200mm), or smaller macro lenses (e.g. 40mm) ... What are the different types of macro lenses and their ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

What is a good Canon lens to take portraits?

I have a Canon T2I, and also a good prime lens (50mm / f1.8) but I cannot seem to take close up portraits like I see in magazines. Do I need a better lens?
7
votes
1answer
620 views

Dust-like speck visible every few pictures — is it dust, or worse?

I seem to have to dust-like speck on my Sony Cybershot S950's lens, but it appears randomly every few pictures. Could something be going bad internally?
3
votes
5answers
979 views

Which lenses should I take on a honeymoon trip to Alaska?

Newbie photographer here and really hoping for some expert advice! I go to Alaska on honeymoon in July and really need some advice on lenses. My camera is the Canon EOS 1100D (told you I was a ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a parfocal lens and how beneficial is it to photography?

I heard someone say that after using a parfocal lens for the first time, they would never switch back. What is a parfocal lens, how is it different from any other lens, and what are the advantages and ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

How does a lens affect the saturation of a picture?

In many reviews people describe how a lens can affect the saturation of a picture, especially when it comes down to a comparison of two similar lenses, e.g. 50mm 1.8 vs. 50mm 1.4 or something like ...
14
votes
4answers
21k views

How does a spherical lens differ from an aspherical lens?

Many lenses (like the Pentax DA 15mm f/4 Limited, or the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G) are described as having "aspherical lens elements". Does this mean that regular lenses are spherical lenses? What's the ...
10
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8answers
7k views

What is the fastest lens available for a DSLR?

I've seen references to f1.2 lenses. I was wondering, are there any faster lenses available for a DSLR mount?