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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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22
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7answers
2k views

Why do some lenses cost so much?

Something that confuses me is why there is some lenses that cost so much. For example the only difference that I see between the two lenses is the aperture: f/2.8 vs f/4. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II ...
12
votes
8answers
18k views

What is a good wide-angle prime lens for Nikon DX (APS-C) format?

I am looking for a wide angle lens for my D90, between 12 and 18mm focal length, preferably a prime, because I like fast(er) and cheap(er) lenses. Any recomendation ? Thanks
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the Nikon 35mm 2.0 worth the extra money over the 1.8?

After asking this question I'm thinking the 35mm prime lens will do the job for me. Since I take a number of photos indoors and in low light conditions, this lens will let me sty reasonably close to ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How does Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM perform for photographing distant objects?

Does anyone have and could share experiences with the use of? I can buy cheap lens Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM for my Canon EOS 550D What I have found yet is that it hasn't IS and is quite old ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Which lenses are best for macro and for birdwatching (both Canon and Nikon)?

Now I have old Sony A100 DSLR + Minolta AF 24-50/4, Minolta AF 50/1.6, Tokina ATX 80-400/4.5-5.6, ... My camera is old. In near future I am going to buy new DSLR. I think it will be Canon or Nikon. I ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Why am I allowed to turn my focusing ring beyond infinity?

Is there a good reason why I can turn the focusing ring on my lenses beyond infinity mark on focusing scale? Following recent questions here and here, it sounds like a real usability issue. ...
8
votes
2answers
237 views

What do you do to service a lens?

According to this question, proper maintenance & treatment is need to ensure a long lens life. But other than occasional cleaning, I've never done anything to any of my lenses. What else should ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What can cause an “Err 99” on my Canon 20D with EF-S 17-85mm lens, and what can I do to resolve it?

Err 99 Shooting is not possible. Turn the power switch to <OFF> and <ON> again or re-install the battery. Every now and then when shooting with this lens, I'll get this error ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

What is a great portrait lens for Nikon (under $1000)?

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D90 and use the kit 18-105 lens and a 50mm f/1.8. Mostly I shoot as a hobby but lately I've been asked to do some family and engagement shoots. The 50mm is ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

How long should a lens last?

There are loads of ratings and tests for how long DSLR bodies last, but I have never really seen much that describes the expected lifespan of lenses. Recently, one of my cheap-o lenses (Nikon ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a pancake lens?

I've read about a "pancake lens" but don't really understand what that means. What the pros and cons of having a pancake vs. another type of lens? I'm thinking of getting a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Sigma 10-20mm f5.6 alternatives?

I've been wanting to add a wide angle lens to my collection for a while now. Sigma 10-20mm f5.6 looks good. I was looking at it about 2 years ago. I was wondering if there have been newer wide angle ...
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?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are M42 prime lenses?

How can I use these prime lenses for Canon T2I? Are these cheap and good? I have no clue what M42 lenses are. Please post appropriate links for the lenses and adapter that I can use for my canon t2i.
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I use old Pentax lenses on newer Pentax DSLRs?

Can I use old Pentax lenses from the film days on the newer Pentax DSLRs? Are there any caveats or exceptions? Are adapters or modifications needed?
27
votes
4answers
13k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
2
votes
4answers
488 views

Have a Nikon 18-200 VR lens ..want to buy a new lens for super DoF

I have a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II and am planning to buy this AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D does that make any sense? I'm interested in taking pictures that has lot of DoF. Something ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the best methods for cleaning really dirty lens elements?

I bought old M42 Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens from a car boot sale. It works but is pretty dirty and it has also dirt inside (no mould/fungus though). Opening the lens is not a problem but I would like to ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the pros/cons of Nikon AF-S 17-35 versus AF-S 16-35?

I have Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 and I have been using it for years ... it works absolutely well and still performing like champ. Now, looking at the new AF-S 16-35 MTF chart, it kinda makes me wonder, ...
8
votes
3answers
932 views

Cameras using mirrors instead of lenses?

In astronomy, telescopes are most commonly built with mirrors, but there are refractors using lenses. All cameras I know of for Earthly purposes — portraits, landscapes, etc. — use only lenses, not ...
31
votes
7answers
17k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the DT series of Sony lenses?

Among the Sony lenses there are some types with a DT abbreviation and some are without it. Those having DT called DT-series. What does DT mean? What is the difference between DT-series lenses and ...
4
votes
2answers
292 views

“Classic” lens on new “EVIL” camera body? [closed]

I have a Cannon Rebel XTi. I'm not sure if Cannon has released a series of EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens) cameras yet, but if not it's inevitable given their comeuppance in the ...
0
votes
1answer
501 views

Nikon lens naming [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does all those parts in a lens name mean? I'm thinking about buying myself a new lens for my Nikon and I have a question about the naming conventions Nikon uses for ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
285 views

What is good equipment to buy/hire for a generalist photographer, new to event photography?

I'll soon be covering an event, and my existing lens set isn't necessarily ideal for low-light people photography. As with many events, this may be both indoors and outside, and runs throughout the ...
10
votes
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 ...
7
votes
7answers
699 views

Looking for a new zoom lens for a DX frame Nikon, should I get Nikon 18-200mm or something else?

(I thought this question would already have been asked/answered here, but if it is I can't find it.) I'll soon be doing some handheld indoor/low-light photography, so I want a VR lens to help with ...
13
votes
6answers
589 views

Does lens speed still increase meaningfully when the physical aperture is larger than the sensor size?

This question came to me this morning, thinking about 50mm lenses. I have the Pentax 50mm f/1.7 (manual) and it's a very nice lens, but would be considered (relatively) slow on 35mm film, and many ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

How to choose a lens for my first DSLR?

I am considering buying my first DSLR. How do I know whether I need a 18-200 lens, 17-85, or 18-55? Or something else?
43
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
339 views

Is it possible to adapt lens from one brand into another brand's body?

I'm thinking about buying my first DSLR (I have no experience) and was thinking about the lens brand issue. I'm thinking I should buy a Pentax Kx because of it's cost-effective value, but I'm ...
16
votes
5answers
6k views

What focal length gives a “normal” field-of-view on APS-C cameras?

I wish to purchase a "standard angle-of-view" prime lens for my Canon Rebel, which has an APS-C sized sensor. Various articles note that the popular "nifty 50mm" lenses are a little too much of a ...
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 ...
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 ...
35
votes
5answers
7k views

What should one look for when buying a used lens?

When buying a used lens, what should the buyer check? Other than looking for obvious physical damage on the outside of the lens, what else should be inspected to identify the condition or quality of ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

How do I choose a macro lens for a Canon APS-C camera?

I have a Canon 40D and like taking macro shots sometimes, so I'm thinking of buying a macro lens. I'd also like the lens to double up as a portrait lens. I'm not a super serious photographer, so my ...
34
votes
11answers
10k views

Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why?

What focal length or range of focal lengths are usually used for portraits? What is used by professionals? Why would one select a certain focal length? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ...
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?
8
votes
2answers
331 views

Are there any downsides in using 2x extenders?

What are the negatives with using teleconverters?
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I get DX for my APS-C camera, or FX lenses in case I upgrade to full-frame in the future?

I recently bought a Nikon D90 camera body, which has a "DX" APS-C-sized sensor.. Within the same budget, should I go with DX lenses or should I get full frame lenses in case I upgrade to a full frame ...
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How does a circular lens produce rectangular shots?

Is it something like the sensor captures a circular image and then what we get is the cropped version? Something like this: Or did I get it completely wrong?
29
votes
12answers
9k views

Should I buy a camera with kit lens, or body plus lens separately?

I am planning to buy a DSLR soon. Before I zero in on the model, I want to know whether it is advisable to buy a kit (body + 18-55 lens) or not? OR should I go for the camera-body and the lens ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How can a lens like a 18-55mm have more than one focal length?

How can a lens have a range of focal lengths? Shouldn't it be a single number? Isn't focal length supposed to be fixed for a lens of a particular shape and geometry? What am I missing? How many ...
12
votes
2answers
621 views

Are there any downsides to buying a third party extension tubes for Canon?

I would like to get a little higher magnification out of my Canon 100mm Macro, so I am looking at extension tubes. I know Canon makes the EF25, but it seems pretty expensive considering there isn't ...
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Which lens is sharper? The Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 or the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8?

Specifically: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro (not the previous non-macro version. HSM is only on Nikon fit) Vs. Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 SP XR Di II LD VC Lens (not the cheaper one without vibration ...