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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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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
7k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the largest aperture on a commercially available lens? [duplicate]

Out of pure curiosity, what is the largest aperture, or lowest f-stop, a commercially available lens has. I have seen the 50mm prime lens from canon with 1.2, but not lower than that. What are the ...
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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 ...
40
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11answers
4k 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
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5answers
829 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
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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, ...
26
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3answers
11k 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 ...
31
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7answers
11k 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 ...
27
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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?
17
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7answers
962 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
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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 ...
12
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8answers
390 views

A website that can help me in choice of new lens?

Is there any website that can help me to choose the best lens? I would like to find a website where I can specify a range of minimum focus distance, a range of maximum focus distance, range of ...
12
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4answers
1k 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 ...
11
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9answers
2k views

Galapagos vacation — what photo gear should I take?

Soon I'm off to the Galapagos Islands. I have to admit I've been spending a lot of hours talking to people and reading reviews, and that has left me very confused choosing the correct gear for my ...
10
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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 ...
24
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3answers
2k views

When you zoom in with a lens on an SLR why does the lens go in then out?

I guess this is more a question of optics than photography but I just got an SLR with a basic 18-55 lens. I noticed that when going from 18 to 55 or 55 to 18 the lens physically comes back in and ...
21
votes
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 ...
20
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6answers
1k 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 ...
12
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5answers
524 views

What are the different focal lengths of macro lenses and their advantages?

I am interested in macro-photography. I see there are macro telephoto (zoom?) lenses (e.g. 200mm), or smaller macro lenses (e.g. 40mm) ... What are the different types of macro lenses and their ...
12
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1answer
427 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 ...
7
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3answers
800 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 ...
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3answers
210 views

What are the standard tests available to quantify lens parameters?

In some of the questions I have asked here, some of the terms frequently used to describe the difference in image quality between the cheaper lenses and the premium ones have been increased contrast, ...
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3answers
987 views

How does using a lens with some focal length on a full frame camera differ from using a lens with “equivalent” focal lens on a crop camera?

As an example, a 35mm lens on a crop body (such as Nikon DX) is said to be "equivalent" to a 50mm lens on a full frame body. Equivalent here means that they will have the same field of view, but what ...
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4answers
6k views

Why do some people prefer 50mm to 35mm prime lenses, even for a crop sensor?

Comparing the two lenses for an APS-C sensor: EF50mm f/1.8 EF35mm f/2 here Leaving out cost as a factor, EF 35mm has the following advantages: 43 degree while 50mm has 31 degree Its equally ...
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6answers
1k views

Maximum lens weight for my camera?

I apologize if this was asked before, but where can i find information about maximum allowed lens weight for my camera? I'm asking because, i have an opportunity to get old Soviet build 80-200mm lens ...
15
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10answers
16k views

What's wrong with the Canon EF-S 15-85mm?

Maybe this question should be on meta. I've just come across the Canon EF-S 15-85mm. It's been available since 2009. I'm just wondering why it has never been mentioned on photo_se_com or any of the ...
12
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6answers
556 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 ...
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6answers
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Do lenses lose sharpness when they age?

I was reading this answer where it mentions, "..it's a lens that can lose sharpness as it ages.." and was wondering if this is true and if yes, true for all lenses. Reasons as to why this happens and ...
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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 ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Is it difficult to focus on 1.4F prime lens, and if it is how to counter that?

Does difficulty in focusing have anything to do with 1.4F (Nikon G)? Will it be still difficult if I use manual focus? Is auto focus too slow? Is there a way to counter it? This example photo (from ...
8
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3answers
554 views

What motor gets used if both lens and camera body have a focus motor?

If both a camera body and lens have motorized autofocus, would one be used over the other or would both work in tandem to speed the focus process along?
8
votes
4answers
2k views

EF-S 18-55mm kit vs 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 for nature photography

I moved from a point and shoot to a DSLR last year and I love to photograph nature in general. I have a T2i/550D with the 18-55mm kit lens and was wondering if I would benefit from the EF-S 10-22mm ...
7
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4answers
3k views

Why and when would you consider Canon 17-55 lens over 24-105?

If I'm to buy a cropped sensor Canon camera for personal needs (family shootings, treveling etc - probably 75% outdoors some macro like + portraits + streetshootings + landscapes, 25% indoors mostly ...
7
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9answers
3k views

What differences exist between third-party and official lenses for Canon APS-C DSLRs?

I am just another guy who just taken up photography as a social hobby who enjoys taking pics of everyday life, social events / parties & some portraits. Need camera for short overseas trip (2-3 ...
6
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5answers
9k views

How to reverse the canon 18-55 kit lens to use it as macro?

I have been trying to use my 18-55 kit lens as a macro but have no idea how to go about it. Do I need an adapter to mount the lens reversed on the camera? Also, is it possible to use canon 50mm f/1.8 ...
6
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4answers
835 views

Should I get a kit or separate lens for my D7000?

I am set on getting a D7000 and am drooling already to get one. My only hurdle left is to determine whether the kit lens is good or if i should get the body only and put the 300$ difference between ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I attach a lens without a collar to a tripod?

I have a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 push-pull and I wonder how to use it on a tripod. There is no collar. What is the best solution to attach it to a tripod? ("Best" is rather vague, it should take into ...
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4answers
3k views

Between Nikon 18-55mm II and 50mm f/1.8, which suits my needs better?

I am an absolute beginner in serious photography. I'm a position to get a Nikon D70 body for $100 or so. I've been researching lenses and I'm debating if I should get the one that originally came ...
5
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4answers
804 views

Why is the front element of a telephoto lens larger than a wide angle lens?

A wide angle lens has a wide angle of view, therefore it would make sense that the front of the lens would also be wide. A telephoto lens has a narrow angle of view, so it would make sense that the ...
4
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4answers
5k views

Will a 35mm lens work for great indoor pictures of my kids?

I just purchased the Nikon D5100 DSLR. The kit lens that came with it (18-55mm vr) is great when shooting outdoors, but once I try to take indoor pictures of my kids, the images aren't that good. Is ...
3
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3answers
492 views

Is the kit lens focal length specified for APS-C or FF?

I have the 18-55mm kit lens for my Canon 50D and was wondering if they're still specified against full frame 1:1 crop? Would my 18mm actually be 1.6x? I ask because I doubt anyone with a full frame ...
2
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3answers
397 views

Does the higher price lens always reflect better quality regardless of it being 3rd party or not?

When looking at various lenses you will see the camera manufacturer lenses made by the camera manufacturer. Then you will see other 3rd party lenses (Tamron, Sigma, etc). Does it pay to get the ...
2
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1answer
473 views

Which 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens is “better?” [duplicate]

I'm looking for a budget telephoto lens and I'm wondering which of these two is the better option. They have very similar specs: Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens for Canon Digital ...
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3answers
200 views

What web-based expert resources for Nikon are similar to The Digital Picture for Canon?

I've followed Canon photo products for years and I can't go past this great expert resource on Canon cameras, lenses and few other accessories photographer should know about and read before buying ...
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3answers
3k views

What makes a Carl Zeiss lens so special in a smartphone?

There are smartphones on the market that have a focus towards photography. Some are equipped with a Carl Zeiss lens. I have looked into Wikipedia, which tells me that they are a brand who produces ...
19
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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. ...
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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 ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Why buy an expensive manual focus lens?

What are the benefits of (expensive brand new) manual focus lenses? Why did you, for example, buy a manual focus Carl Zeiss 85/1.4 rather than an auto-focus Nikon 85/1.4? I'm not concerned with ...