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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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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?
8
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3answers
247 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, ...
6
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5answers
10k 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 ...
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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 ...
3
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4answers
8k 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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10answers
17k 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 ...
13
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6answers
587 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
1k views

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 ...
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3answers
1k views

What's the term for wide angle lenses with no distortion?

Is there one word to describe the difference between wide angle lenses that have a circular distortion and wide angle lenses that produce images where perspective lines remain straight?
9
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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 ...
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4answers
4k 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
597 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?
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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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 ...
7
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2answers
725 views

Using SLR Lenses on DSLR Cameras

I'm just starting out with DLSR photography - I recently purchased a Sony A230 with the kit lens (18mm - 55mm). I know that the lens mount is compatible with Minolta lenses. These lenses were ...
6
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4answers
288 views

Does sensor size dictate lens size with all other things equal?

Background I'm considering switching from DSLR to mirrorless and have been researching the micro four thirds (M43/MFT) and Sony's new Alpha 7 (A7). While Sony hasn't released many lenses for this new ...
6
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4answers
844 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
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3answers
4k views

How to avoid unflattering facial distortion when using a slightly wide angle lens?

A 35mm prime on a full format body (or 24mm on cropped) is a great lens to walk around with. But when one gets too close to someone to take a picture, invariably some of their features are ...
5
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4answers
596 views

What's the difference between vignetting and pinhole?

Sometimes people say that a lens has bad vignetting but it looks very similar to the effect of pinhole (darkened edges). What's the difference? If someone asked to have a vignetting effect (in PP) ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
863 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 ...
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1answer
845 views

Does maximum aperture change with focus distance with the Canon 60mm f/2.8 macro lens?

This site says The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens loses 1/2 stop at 1:5, 1 stop at 1:3, 1.5 stops at 1:1.5 and 2 stops at 1:1 (lifesize). Can anyone confirm that at 1:5 magnification, ...
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4answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
286 views

Variable focal length for macro lenses?

True macro lenses come in fixed focal length. Are there any macro lensens which have variable focal lengths? And please explain why yes or why not?
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2answers
5k views

How to calculate the FOV in degrees from focal length or distance?

How does one to calculate the field of view (or angle of view) in degrees from the following details: sensor size (for example, 1") distance to target (for example, 7 feet) focal length (for ...
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3answers
603 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
3k views

Lens with small scratches on the front element - how do they affect IQ?

I am looking to buy a CANON 28mm 1.8 EF lens. I found an offer, significantly discounted, of a lens with small scratches on the front element. The offer is very tempting. Here is a photo posted by ...
2
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3answers
424 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 ...
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1answer
500 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
206 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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4answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
12
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8answers
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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 ...
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6answers
2k views

Which prime lens to get after the 18-55mm & 55-250mm?

I started out with the 18-55mm IS kit lens on my Canon EOS 550D over a year ago, and added the 55-250mm IS a couple of months back to augment my telephoto reach (based on the recommendations in one of ...
9
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4answers
2k views

What Nikon lens to buy to make photos of birds?

Currently, the zoomiest lens I have is a Nikon 18-200mm. I want to be able to take photos of wildlife, or in most cases birds, which I can't do at 200mm. For a long time, I wanted to purchase a Nikon ...
8
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1answer
914 views

What's the small white plastic dome on old Pentax lenses?

My old Pentax lenses have a small white dome between the aperture ring and the focus ring. See the photo below: The clear white dome calls to mind the larger white plastic domes used in light ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Any reason to buy stock lens for Sony Alpha if I already have good Minolta Maxxum lenses?

I am a novice photographer looking to get into DSLR photography. I have an old Maxxum 5 and a couple lenses for it: a 75-300 zoom and a 28-80 zoom. After reading this question, it is clear that ...
7
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2answers
294 views

Do normal macro lenses suffer the same light reduction as tubes?

When stacking tubes to make a normal lens a macro lens, you have significant light lost due to the increased distance. Do normal macro lenses suffer the same fate? Why or why not?
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6answers
275 views

Is it technically possible to build a camera body to correct for lens defects?

Most lenses tend to be expensive because the lens needs to be very complicated in order to correct for various optical effects (aberration, etc). Is it possible to build a sensor and processor ...
7
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3answers
359 views

Does it make sense getting any of these “extra” lens packages?

I see many extra lenses on bestbuy.com sold with the Nikon D7000 I am interested in buying. Are any worth it? Are they any good? And, since they bundle them, is the price better then buying the ...
7
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2answers
494 views

Why can only certain Canon lenses be fitted with an extender?

Is there a reason only certain lenses can be fitted with an extender? I'd really love to be able to fit the extender to some of my cheaper lenses.
6
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1answer
431 views

When focusing at max zoom, focus is lost after zooming out. Is that normal?

On my Canon kit lens, I could completely zoom in, focus on the object and then zoom out to take the picture with the object still in focus. Now I have a Sigma 18-200mm (with a Canon 600D) and that ...
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3answers
5k views

How do I make a package look “heroic and important” in a advertising shoot?

I've been given the following assignment, and unsure what to do with it. An advertising agency has hired you to photograph individual "pack shots" of a range of packet soups. The soups come in ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What does “N stops” mean when describing an image stabilizer?

If you ever purchased any lens with IS then you have heard this term like "3 Stop Stabilization" or "4 Stop Stabilization". Now, I am familiar with this Stop for ISO and Aperture. But this I don't ...
6
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5answers
824 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
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1answer
680 views

Canon 70-200/2.8 IS (mk1) VS 70-200/4 IS

Currently debating which of these lens to get. The f/4 does have the advantage of being lighter, and there have been reviews that it's sharper than the f/2.8 wide open or with both at f/4. Rather ...
5
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3answers
495 views

What does it mean that a lens is x millimeters?

Every lens has different focal length in terms of millimeter so if I have a 100mm lens, what does that refer to? Does it mean the length of the lens itself is going to be 4 inches long, or does this ...
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7answers
4k views

What DX Nikon lenses should I look at for concert/club photography?

I'm looking at upgrading my kit for a music photojournalism internship over the summer and I was wondering what the best way to spend $600 was. My current setup is a d7000, a kit lens, a manual ...