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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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4answers
11k views

Should I buy a Canon 55-250mm lens or 70-300mm for my Rebel T3i? [closed]

Should I buy a Canon 55-250mm lens or 70-300mm for my Rebel T3i? I have the basic 18-55mm lens that came with my camera but I need a next step up that's not too expensive. What are the most common ...
42
votes
9answers
105k 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 ...
27
votes
11answers
2k views

Will a tilt-shift lens solve my 'leaning building' shots?

I shoot primarily with a Nikon D300, and that's not likely to change soon. The camera does everything I need it to do, but this. I also use a 17-55 lens, which I know that Thom castigates as being ...
21
votes
12answers
24k 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?
10
votes
4answers
28k views

What is USM, and what are its pros and cons?

My Canon lenses have the designation USM on them, which I assume is for the same reason that they say "Ultrasonic". What does this mean, and why or why do I not want it?
10
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6answers
5k views

What's a good Nikon lens (DX) for a serious hobbyist landscape photographer?

I shoot a bit of everything, though mostly landscape stuff. Mostly with a beanbag, or handheld. I currently have the following lenses: Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED DX Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG ...
18
votes
9answers
20k views

What features differentiate Nikkor and Tamron/Sigma lenses?

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion about Nikkor vs. Tamron and/or Sigma lenses. Is it worth the extra money to purchase Nikkor lenses? I haven't had the chance to compare these. Are the Nikkor ...
15
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 ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Does an ultra-wide lens perform well in landscape photography?

I own a DSLR for less than a year, currently shooting with my Nikon D90 and 18-70mm DX lens. Since the beginning of it, I am deeply in love with shooting landscapes photography: seascapes, skyscapes, ...
10
votes
1answer
10k 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. ...
10
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 ...
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 ...
30
votes
6answers
20k views

Is it worth to upgrade from Canon 50mm f/1.8 to Canon 50mm f/1.4 on 550d?

I'm a newbie in the world of DSLR photography, having played around with my Canon 550d for few months. After posting my first question here and getting some superb advices I decided to buy Canon 50mm ...
18
votes
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
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
463 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it normal for focal length to change while focusing?

When I change the focus distance on my Pentax 55-300mm lens, the focal length appears to change. More specifically, the lens appears to zoom in as I focus towards the minimum focusing distance. This ...
3
votes
9answers
867 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the relationship between focal length and shutter speed?

I am very new to photography and am trying to grasp the basics of it these days. Can someone please help me understand the relationship between focal length of a lens and shutter speed of camera?
21
votes
0answers
575 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 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Why is the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR twice as costly as Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX?

The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR is almost twice as costly as Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX. Why is that so? The only difference I see is the internal Focus. If that ignored are ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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
10answers
42k 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
12k 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
6answers
3k 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
603 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?
0
votes
3answers
959 views

Moving up to the next lens from 55-200

I do mainly amateur wildlife shots especially whale watching and some football photography just as a hobby. I currently have canon EOS 400d with 18-55, 55-200 and macro lenses. What lens would you ...
31
votes
4answers
49k 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?
23
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

Do the Lightroom lens correction tools make good lenses less important?

Lightroom has Lens Correction tools such as Distortion, Vignetting, Chromatic Abberation, etc. depending on the brand and model of lens. Due to this feature, is it less relevant what the distortion ...
22
votes
3answers
7k 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?
21
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
17
votes
12answers
8k 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 ...
16
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
11k 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
563 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?
13
votes
1answer
466 views

Is dust in a zoom lens a problem which should be addressed?

I have accumulated some amount of dust inside one of my zoom lenses, visible through the front glass. It does not appear to affect picture quality as far as I can tell, but I wonder if this is ...
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
969 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
1answer
975 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
871 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 ...
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
4answers
513 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 ...