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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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9
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4answers
1k views

Is it possible for a lens to produce too much contrast?

I came across a complaint that a certain lens produces too much contrast. The lens was described as rendering "cartoonish" contrast when shooting a portrait with diffused light from a window, where ...
8
votes
3answers
259 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it normal for there to be tiny dust particles in a new lens?

I'm the owner of a new Canon 550D with a Canon 18-135mm IS lens. While looking into the lens, I noticed what I think are two tiny dust particles (I would say smaller than 1mm) behind the first glass ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
35
votes
9answers
7k views

What are the dangers of removing a lens while the camera is on?

The manual warns that you should turn the camera off to remove the lens, but it doesn't say why. I suspect this may have to do with dust, but I could imagine there are lots of other reasons. I'm ...
18
votes
5answers
1k 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?
15
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
8k views

Would the 40mm pancake or 50mm prime be better for street photography with a Canon APS-C camera?

I have a Canon EOS 600D, and I already have 18-55mm,55-250mm. I plan to buy a new lens for street photography. I already have picked out one of the following lenses: 40mm STM(pan cake). EF 50mm ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

When I use FX lenses on a DX camera, does the focal length or minimum aperture change?

If I put a Nikkor 35mm f/2 FX lens on a DX camera, is it still 35mm f/2, or has the effective focal length or minimum aperture changed, because it is being used on a smaller format than what it was ...
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
802 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
842 views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
5
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
900 views

What lens should I buy to get better pictures of a one-year old running around a dimly-lit house?

I'm an amateur photographer with a Canon Rebel XS, and I'm trying to figure out what type of lens I should buy to take better photos of my one year old when she is running around in our dimly lit ...
4
votes
3answers
657 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
866 views

After 2 years of amateur photo, buy a new body or a great lens?

Two years ago I bought my first DSLR. Since then I have bought and inherited some lenses. What should I buy next, a better body or more lenses? I enjoy photography but I do it fewer than I'd like (not ...
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. ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are cine lenses so much more expensive?

For example, compare a cine lens like the Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T2.1 ($3,900) to a high-end DSLR lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.2L ($1418). Both are EF-mount, have the same focal length, and it ...
15
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
384 views

On smaller prints, will a high-quality zoom lens provide near equal image quality compared to primes?

Let's say I shoot with Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, and a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. Can these 3 primes be replaced with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 for the convenience of not needing to change ...
11
votes
4answers
593 views

How compatible are my old Nikon lenses

I'm looking at buying a new SLR body. I have an old film Nikon entry-level SLR (about ten years old) with a kit lens. If I buy a Nikon body, how likely is it that my old lens will work on it? Would I ...
10
votes
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
3answers
485 views

What is the limiting factor in lens construction when it comes to f-stop values?

This widely praised Nikon 105mm macro lens has a maximum f-stop value of 2.8. I've held it in my hands, it's a big lens. Meanwhile, this 50mm Nikon lens can go up to f/1.2, despite being 25% cheaper ...
8
votes
2answers
335 views

Are there any downsides in using 2x extenders?

What are the negatives with using teleconverters?
7
votes
5answers
901 views

Why not have the diaphragm in camera body instead of the lens?

Why is the diaphragm to control the amount of light entering the camera typically in the lens and not the camera body itself?
7
votes
1answer
1k 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
2answers
846 views

Pentax to Canon Adapter

My dad has an old Sears KS-2 + 50mm f/1.7, which from a bit of research seems to use a Pentax K-mount. I've looked around a bit and found a Pentax to Canon adapter, which says it supports ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is image stabilization a necessary feature for wide angle lenses?

I am considering buying a 24-70mm lens, and among third-party lens makers, Tamron makes a 24-70 f/2.8 with optical image stabilization (vibration control, in Tamron's terminology). Is it really ...
6
votes
5answers
852 views

Which one wide-medium lens to buy as the main lens for an outdoor wedding?

I have my first solo wedding gig coming up and I'd love recommendations for almost any lens (under $1500, preferably) to go on my 7D. My Sigma wide-angle is basically no longer usable. I have some ...
6
votes
4answers
9k 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
884 views

What's the base f-stop when counting an ideal f-stop for lens?

I've read a lot around this site that an ideal quality of the lens is achieved when using f-stop roughly 2 stops slower than the fastest value of the lens. Firstly, I'm not exactly sure what "2 ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Should I replace the Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens with a 40mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.4?

So I'm about to buy my first DSLR (definitely a Canon, probably the 700D) and my original plan was to buy the one with the included 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. At the same time I was thinking about ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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
4answers
2k views

When would one choose a 50mm f/1.4 over 85mm f/1.8 (or vice versa) for portraits?

Say you are using a crop body, and you have both 50mm/1.4 USM and 85mm/1.8 USM lens in your bag. Now, you want to take a portrait where there is adequate light and space, and you have decided to take ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommended wildlife photography lenses for Nikon DX bodies with no AF motor

I have some SLR experience but have mostly been using a point-and-shoot in the last few years. Now I would like to jump back into the digital SLR world specifically to do wildlife photography (mostly ...
3
votes
4answers
9k 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
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
707 views

How do I find the thread diameter of my lens?

I have an older Olympus OM 50mm lens that I'd like to get a matte box for, as I'm going to use it for video on a 550D. However, I can't seem to figure out what the thread diameter is. There are no ...
1
vote
1answer
627 views

Size of the entrance pupil vs size of the aperture

I understand that the entrance pupil is the image of the aperture as seen from the front of the lens. However, is the size of the entrance pupil the same as the size of the effective aperture? In ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How does focal length relate to macro magnification? [duplicate]

I'm new to photography and would like to know a little more about zoom lens, The main thing I wonder about is this, I have a Fujifilm S4000 camera that claims to have 30x magnification. The new ...
0
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
73
votes
12answers
5k views

Why are lenses always round in shape?

Why are lenses round in shape although the image sensor is not? Why they can not be square or something matching the shape of image sensor?
40
votes
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
votes
5answers
1k 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.
32
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, ...
30
votes
3answers
16k 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
votes
7answers
18k 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
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?