I Dare You!

by peter_budo

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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
12k 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
483 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
905 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
291 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
498 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
693 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
588 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
334 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 ...
26
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
6k 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
48k 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
329 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 ...
17
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?
28
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
609 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
4k 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 ...
132
votes
3answers
52k views

What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean?

Then looking at a lens name there is a lot of acronyms in the name describing it's features (often specific to the manufacturer). Examples, Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How many optical aberration types are there in lenses? And what are they?

Everyone hears something about chromatic aberration but are there any other types? What causes them?
10
votes
8answers
3k views

For greater telephoto range, should I use 70-200mm + teleconverter or a longer zoom lens?

Right now, I have a Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-f/5.6 VR lens. I like it, but want more telephoto range and would also like to be able to use faster shutter speeds. I am interested in the 70-200mm f/2.8, but ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Are third-party alternatives to the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 worth the price savings?

Has anyone used the 3rd party 70-200 lenses? Are you happy with the quality, or do you wish you had saved up for longer and got the Canon?
14
votes
11answers
6k views

Which macro lens would you recommend for a full frame Nikon camera?

I use a full frame Nikon camera and would love to play with macro photography. Is the Nikon 105 macro strong enough or would you rather recommend some bigger third party lens?
10
votes
9answers
22k views

What lenses are must-have yet affordable for a Canon T2i camera?

I have a canon T2i camera. I am beginner looking for some tips on the best lenses to carry around.
17
votes
5answers
792 views

What is an ultra-wide lens?

What is the point at which a lens is considered "ultra-wide angle" vs just wide angle?
26
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I damage the focus system by turning the focus ring when the lens isn't mounted?

I have a couple lenses that don't have an internal focusing system, and whenever I want to put them back in my bag, I turn the focus ring to make the lens shorter. I noticed that when the lens is set ...