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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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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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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 ...
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 ...
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8answers
4k views

Software to auto correct lens distortion based on photo

A photo contains digital information about the make of the camera the focal length,etc. Does any software use this information and auto correct the lens distortion in the photo. I know that Photoshop ...
25
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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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
11
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6answers
20k views

What is the difference between a telephoto lens and a zoom lens?

Looking at the product page for Nikon lenses, I notice a distinction between telephoto lens and zoom lens. What is the difference between the two? Why would I want one over the other? I wiki'd ...
17
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4answers
2k views

What fixed lens to use on a cropped sensor DSLR for mountain landscape photography?

This spring, I want to do a few trips to mountains to take some shots of mountain landscapes, including in sunrise/sunset environments. I already have a Nikon 18-200mm VR (3.5-5.6). I imagine that it ...
10
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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?
6
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5answers
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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 ...
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
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 ...
12
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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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
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2answers
878 views

Do lenses with the same f-stop but different focal length gather the same amount of light? [duplicate]

I'm taking images of a light source in a scientific labratory, and I thought I had a good grasp on all these things, but now i'm second guessing myself after some results. The most important thing is ...
8
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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
609 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
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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 ...
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2answers
742 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
296 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
846 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 ...
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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
641 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) ...
5
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4answers
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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
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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
878 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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1answer
927 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, ...
4
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4answers
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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
304 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?
3
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2answers
195 views

What to look for in a wide angle lens?

My girlfriend owns a D5100 and I own a D7000 for which we both share lenses (or try to when appropriate). I own the 18-55 kit lens, a Nikkor 50mm 1.8g (I may consider buying the inexpensive 50mm 1.8d ...
3
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2answers
6k 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 ...
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
427 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
511 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
210 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
6k 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 ...
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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 ...
14
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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 ...
12
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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 ...
10
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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
953 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
299 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?