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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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4answers
11k 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
3k 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
809 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 ...
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vote
1answer
728 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
2k 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
5k 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
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3answers
2k 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 ...
44
votes
6answers
31k views

Why do pro photographers use huge lenses to take portrait shots?

Every time I see a photoshoot video on youtube, the photographers have the biggest lenses I have ever seen in my life to shoot portraits or full-body shots. For example, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ...or ...
73
votes
12answers
6k 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?
21
votes
2answers
927 views

Considerations when purchasing a prime lens?

What should I be aware of when buying a prime lens (other than that it will fit my camera)? What specs should I pay close attention to?
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
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
2k 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, ...
31
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
3k 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
votes
7answers
1k 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
votes
8answers
398 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 ...
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
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 ...
11
votes
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
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 ...
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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 ...
21
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8answers
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 ...
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?
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5answers
11k 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 ...
3
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5answers
10k 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 ...
15
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10answers
19k 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
votes
7answers
663 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
2k 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Does the size of the front glass mean anything?

Considering the Nikon lenses: Prime lenses: AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED has a huge front glass (●₃), AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G has a tiny little front glass, deep inside the body (∙₁), AF-S VR Nikkor ...
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 ...
9
votes
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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3answers
672 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?
9
votes
4answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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
votes
2answers
788 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
votes
4answers
372 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
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
856 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
3answers
5k 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
votes
4answers
711 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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k 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
votes
4answers
946 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
votes
1answer
1k 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, ...