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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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3
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3answers
495 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?
48
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 ...
26
votes
11answers
1k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
35k 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
5k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
13k 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?
21
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k 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
6k 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 ...
8
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 ...
29
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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"?
11
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
573 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
479 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
11
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 ...
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
632 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
380 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
342 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
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 ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What are Barrel and Pincushion distortion and how are they corrected?

I have some questions regarding Barrel distortion and pincushion distortion. Since they are related I have put them in single post. I am aware that barrel distortion occurs more in wide-angle ...
8
votes
2answers
299 views

Are there any downsides in using 2x extenders?

What are the negatives with using teleconverters?
7
votes
1answer
997 views

What are the differences between two generations of Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS?

I was going to buy Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS lens from eBay. But I saw there is a another lens available as MK II with same focal lengths. I googled to find difference between above lenses, but ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Canon kit with standard EF-S 18-55mm IS or 18-135mm IS?

I'm going to order a new Canon 550d in a kit with a lens. I'm fairly new to SLR photography which means I have not much knowledge about the difference between lenses. There is an offer for a Canon ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Why prefer the 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses vs 18-200mm?

There seems to be a preference for to have the 18 mm - 55 mm 55 mm - 250 mm lenses, but no mention of why they're better than a single 18-200mm. Could someone please explain why the two separate ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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
1answer
2k views

Can I use the lens from Canon AE-1 on a Canon EOS 60D, with an adaptor maybe?

I have a Canon AE-1 (film) and I bought a digital slr camera Canon EOS 60D. I have lenses from the AE-1 camera, but I don't know if there are some adaptors to use so they fit in the 60D camera... any ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is an EF 50mm f/1.4 the same as 50mm with an EF-S lens on a Canon 550D?

I have a Canon 550D with the standard 18-55mm kit lens. The 550D has a 1.6× crop factor. My question is very simple but whenever I've asked before (Yahoo Answers) I always got overly-complicated ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

How needed is the Image Stabilization on the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L USM lens?

I just picked up photography a few months ago as a hobby (not planning to go professional at all), but will be getting good gear and glass over time. Right now I have a T3i, which I'm considering ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

70-200mm lens: Canon or Sigma? f/2.8 or f/4?

I was thinking of buying a Canon EF 70-200m f2.8 mk1 (I would love to buy mk2 but here's a noticable difference in price, at least in my country), but after awhile I came to the conclusion that this ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I choose the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D or AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G?

I have D5000 DX body and planning to buy a fast lens. I'm stuck on choosing between "AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D" and "AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G". I was quite leaning towards 50mm f/1.4D, as I had plans ...
39
votes
11answers
3k views

Should I keep Image Stabilization (IS) off when I do not actually need it?

I own a Canon 7D and a EF-S 15-85 IS lens and I keep the image stabilization turned on all the time. Recently, an experienced photographer told me that this is a huge mistake because it reduces image ...
18
votes
5answers
641 views

Why do two lenses with the same F-number give different amount of light?

Why do the following two lenses provide different amount of light? In both images we have fixed focusing distance, distance to the object, ISO, shutter speed and F-number.
31
votes
7answers
1k views

Do good lenses really last a lifetime?

I’ve heard people say “a good lens will last a lifetime” many times. Is this actually true of modern lenses? More specifically, will a good lens be usable for a lifetime? With an inexpensive adapter, ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What does a hexagonal sun tell us about the camera lens/sensor?

In this picture, we see that the sun comes out as a hexagon. I am sure it is not arbitrary. What does the hexagon tell us about the instrument that captured the image?
27
votes
6answers
8k views

What can a fisheye lens be useful for?

I have a variety of lenses in my camera kit. One that I do not have, and has me curious, is a fisheye lens. I mostly understand what it does: it captures an image with distortion similar to what you ...
25
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
917 views

Tips for shooting in an aquarium?

What would be your advises when taking shoot in an aquarium? What are your preferred lenses? How do you deal with the low light? What about the aquarium glass which bring some deformation? The fact ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Do you have advice for buying my first lens after kit 18-55mm (sub-$300)?

I’m looking to buy my first lens beyond the kit 18-55mm for my Pentax K-x. As a student my budget limits me to around a sub $300 offering. I am new to photography, and so I have a hard time answering ...