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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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18
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4answers
4k views

Is it true that there are no stabilized prime lenses (and if so, why)?

Fast prime lenses like the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens work nicely in low-light situations. But I'm quite sure they would work even more nicely if they had optical image stabilizers. It seems to me that no ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

Are all kit lenses poor? (And if so, why?)

Kerri Shotts says (emphasis mine): Also, if you already have great glass, there is little reason to get more (unless you need it for a certain reason). E.g., if you have a 70-200 f/4, don't rush ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is 1:1 desirable for a macro lens?

Why is 1:1 desirable for a macro lens? I know it means that you can print a picture of something and it will be the same size on paper as it is in real life, but why is this such a desirable feature ...
7
votes
1answer
406 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

Will using a lens at max aperture (“wide open”) result in poor images?

I’m looking to add a second lens to my kit lens I got with my Nikon d7000. I have read several reviews on both the 35 and 50 mm lenses made by Nikon in particular that said using either lens at the ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Which is better: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM or Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM (without IS)?

Simple question: Which lens is better? The L Series (non-IS) Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM or the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM? I am an enthusiast and usually shoot landscape, my kids playing ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
841 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 ...
3
votes
9answers
845 views

Canon Starter Level Lenses

I would like to get into photography, and I'm thinking about buying a starter D-SLR camera (450D, 500D). Which Canon lenses do think fit to my purposes as considering I'm a beginner and my budget is ...
21
votes
0answers
574 views

Is Image Stabilization better in the lens or the body? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between in-lens image stabilizing and in-sensor image stabilizing? Some DSLR manufacturers have image stabilization (IS) in the body of their ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

Which piece of equipment is holding me back?

I am primarily an amateur photographer but I do take small jobs from time to time. I'm looking to upgrade my equipment but I'm not sure if I should be spending money on my body, glass, or both. I ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
974 views

Is it worth repairing a broken kit lens?

I dropped my camera while on holiday last summer. Thankfully, my camera wasn't damaged but the kit lens has lost the ability to autofocus and the UV filter and 58mm to 52mm filter step-down (I use it ...
6
votes
8answers
33k views

What should I do about Canon PowerShot “Lens error, restart camera”?

I've had a Canon PowerShot A1100 IS camera for almost a year now. About a week ago, I went on a trip, took pictures the whole trip, everything was ok. When I got home, and tried to turn the camera ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I fix a broken lens/autofocus?

My 35mm f2 canon lens's autofocus has stopped working. In manual focus mode the focus wheel is locked, and in autofocus mode the focus wheel spins freely but does not change the focus at all. In ...
4
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the advantages to using EF-S lenses on Canon APS-C cameras?

I know EF-S lenses are "optimized" for crop sensors but what are the exact advantages to using an EF-S lens? Does it give better color, sharpness, depth of field, etc...? In addition, do EF-S lenses ...
3
votes
3answers
551 views

Which would be more suitable lens in terms of utility, weight, price: 18-135 or 18-55 + 55-200?

Is it better to invest in one 18-135mm lens or have a standard 18-55mm lens and another 55-250mm lens for occasional need?
29
votes
4answers
44k views

What is back-focusing?

What is back-focusing? Is it something I need to be worried about, or can I just live with it? How can I tell if my camera/lens is sufferring from it?
22
votes
10answers
6k views

Canon 50mm lens: f/1.2 L or f/1.4? Alternative brands?

I am in the market for a 50mm lens for my Canon DSLR. I've read plenty of reviews, and all of them have great things to say about both lenses. From a scientific perspective, the f/1.2 performs better ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

How can a 18-55mm lens focus on objects beyond 55mm?

I guess this is a total noob question, but doesn't 18-55mm mean that it can focus only up to 55mm?
17
votes
12answers
7k views

What is the best Canon lens (around $500) for taking pictures of my newborn?

I have a Canon T2i, a 50mm f/1.8 and the kit lens (18-55mm). I'm considering buying a new lens for more flexibility with taking pictures of my upcoming newborn. I LOVE the 50mm/1.8 lens, but on the ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the Nyquist Limit and what is its significance to photographers?

The Nyquist Limit is frequently mentioned in the context of lens and sensor resolution. What is it and what is its significance to photographers? Here is an example of it being used by DPReview.com ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

What's the advantage of buying a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens when my camera has an 18-55mm zoom lens?

I've got a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm zoom lens. I'm keen to experiment with some other lenses and a friend of mine recently reccommended I purchase a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens as he said it's good for ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Really? Why does a Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 cost almost $2,000?

I am trying to price out a 35mm f/1.4 lens for my Nikon D7000, and I am shocked to find that B&H sells them for almost $2,000, whereas the f/1.8 sells for a couple hundred. Am I looking at the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Are the Canon 15-85mm + 50mm f/1.8 adequate substitutes for the 17-55mm f/2.8?

The EF-S 15-85mm lens is a relatively recent lens, and I haven't seen too many recommendations on it thus far. However, most of the reviews have been very positive and the lens is said to be optically ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I/should I check the sharpness of my camera lens?

The sharpness of a lens is a major concern for most photographers. This might be because we are worried about a defect in the lens, a problem with our technique or a problem with the camera. Or we ...
20
votes
7answers
9k views

Why there is no Canon 50mm *IS* lens?

Canon's 50mm prime lenses are all non-IS (Image Stabilization) for some reason. Considering the popularity of these range primes, shouldn't Canon be interested in shipping a new, optically improved IS ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the difference between a regular lens and a macro lens? [duplicate]

What is the difference between a 100mm lens and 100mm macro, or 50mm and 50mm macro? Can we use a macro lens to shot portraits? If yes, what focal length is the best? Please suggest a Canon macro ...
13
votes
2answers
492 views

What are the use cases of a Petzval lens?

I am interested to know when would one use these lenses and what are they best suited for?
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What is a portrait lens?

I hear this term used pretty often. Does it refer to a specific focal length? Or very low F-number? What does a lens need to have in order to be considered "portrait lens"?
12
votes
4answers
899 views

How close can a lens focus?

From my understanding, if you want to do some macro photography it is better to have a lens that can focus when it is really close to the subject. Sometimes people buy extension tubes to help them ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

What options do I have for a normal and fast prime lens for a Canon APS-C camera?

I'm looking for a normal prime lens, desirably fast and not too expensive, for my 450D. 50mm seems to be the normal focal length on FF, thus for APS-C, I need about 30mm. I want it to be fast as I'm ...
10
votes
1answer
742 views

Why do some lenses focus past infinity?

On the kit 18-55 lens that came with my Nikon D5100 I have noticed that when trying to focus on infinity for shots in dark conditions (star-trails, etc) the lense tends to move past infinity out of ...
10
votes
3answers
731 views

Why are 50mm Lenses Cheaper?

There is no doubt that 50mm lenses, if all other variables are held equal, will beat any other lens when it comes to value for price (lower f/number). I want to know why. Possible theories I have ...
9
votes
4answers
980 views

Is it possible for a lens to produce too much contrast?

I came across a complaint that a certain lens produces too much contrast. The lens was described as rendering "cartoonish" contrast when shooting a portrait with diffused light from a window, where ...
9
votes
4answers
503 views

Nikon lenses: to G or not to G?

I am set to buy a 2nd lens to my d7000 kit lens. I’m close to deciding between the 35 or 50 mm, I will likely go for the f1.4 version and wanted to determine if I would need or appreciate the G ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Lens for shooting paintings with Canon 550d

I am purchasing a Canon 550d primarily to document my fiance's artwork for archival purposes. I would like to know what lens or lenses you would recommend in order to minimise distortion. I will be ...
34
votes
8answers
5k views

What are the dangers of removing a lens while the camera is on?

The manual warns that you should turn the camera off to remove the lens, but it doesn't say why. I suspect this may have to do with dust, but I could imagine there are lots of other reasons. I'm ...
15
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

When I use FX lenses on a DX camera, does the focal length or minimum aperture change?

If I put a Nikkor 35mm f/2 FX lens on a DX camera, is it still 35mm f/2, or has the effective focal length or minimum aperture changed, because it is being used on a smaller format than what it was ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I get a shallow DOF using a kit lens? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I get dramatic shallow DOF with a kit lens? Is it possible to generate shallow DOF with a "kit" lens, and how? In my case, I have the Nikon D7000 with the ...
6
votes
4answers
710 views

Is depth of field and bokeh influenced by distance to the subject?

I know that the aperture size has a direct effect on the depth of field. However, what about distance to the subject? Let's say I took two pictures, one at 24mm and one at 70mm, using the same lens ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
4
votes
4answers
834 views

What lens should I buy to get better pictures of a one-year old running around a dimly-lit house?

I'm an amateur photographer with a Canon Rebel XS, and I'm trying to figure out what type of lens I should buy to take better photos of my one year old when she is running around in our dimly lit ...
4
votes
2answers
358 views

How to shop for a lens filter?

What should I consider when shopping for a lens filter? I see filters that range from $15 to $115 and more. What are the differences between the $15 and the $115 filter? I'm asking in the ...
3
votes
3answers
804 views

After 2 years of amateur photo, buy a new body or a great lens?

Two years ago I bought my first DSLR. Since then I have bought and inherited some lenses. What should I buy next, a better body or more lenses? I enjoy photography but I do it fewer than I'd like (not ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why choose an 80-200mm over an 18-200mm lens?

Being a beginner, I can't see why I must choose an 80-200 over an 18-200. Are there scenarios where an 80-200 would be preferable over an 18-200? I will be buying a D7000 soon and am looking at ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are cine lenses so much more expensive?

For example, compare a cine lens like the Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T2.1 ($3,900) to a high-end DSLR lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.2L ($1418). Both are EF-mount, have the same focal length, and it ...
11
votes
6answers
351 views

On smaller prints, will a high-quality zoom lens provide near equal image quality compared to primes?

Let's say I shoot with Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, and a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. Can these 3 primes be replaced with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 for the convenience of not needing to change ...