It's a bird

by Vian Esterhuizen

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

14
votes
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
votes
5answers
355 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
814 views

Does Canon make an L series lens with a plastic lens mount?

An online retailer is telling me that Canon 24-105 f4L lens comes in two versions, the USA model with a steel lens mount and an import with a plastic lens mount. Is this true?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a drawback in buying an imported (gray market) lens?

I am planning to buy a Nikon 55-200mm lens and I was checking prices at B&H and there is a $30 difference (almost 15% of cost) between "Imported" and "USA" lenses. What is the difference between ...
12
votes
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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
309 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?
7
votes
6answers
279 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
votes
3answers
388 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
votes
2answers
731 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.
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Are third-party alternatives to the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 worth the price savings?

Has anyone used the 3rd party 70-200 lenses? Are you happy with the quality, or do you wish you had saved up for longer and got the Canon?
6
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
6
votes
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
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it important that the Canon 1DX isn't specified to autofocus with lenses slower than f/5.6? [closed]

Seeking the lens market AND the related info WRT Canon 1D X, I found some things which seems concerning: 1st, a note from Canon's Chuck Westerfall (see here) saying: “AF is unavailable on the ...
6
votes
1answer
713 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
votes
3answers
585 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What does the millimeter measurement of a macro lens mean?

I understand that the millimeter measurement on a lens is, for lack of a better term, how far it can "zoom" in or out, but what about macro lenses? What does the millimeter measurement signify? How ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

wide angle and macro lens converter or adapter

I'm new to the world of photography and also have a pretty tight budget, so I'm interested if anyone has tried using a wide angle + macro lens converter/adaptor such as this (Forum discussion about ...
4
votes
2answers
791 views

What tools and spare parts are needed to repair Canon 200mm f/1.8 USM prime lens?

The focus of Canon 200mm f/1.8 L seems to be entirely USM driven. Manually rotating the black ring has no impact at all on mine, as it is broken. What tool set would be the best I could buy (from ...
4
votes
2answers
218 views

How do I best compare lenses?

Recently I purchased a $280 50 mm f/1.4 Canon lens. I've got a few lenses at this point, and I generally buy them on reviews and my needs. I bought this lens to do portraits. I also have a `18 - 55 mm ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I avoid dust entering my camera when changing lenses?

Akin to Should I be worried about getting dust inside my SLR? and What should I do to avoid switching lenses?, I have a certain paranoia of dust/debris entering my camera when changing lenses. Are ...
4
votes
1answer
700 views

What's difference between DSLR and bridge camera lenses?

A typical zoom/telephoto lens can cost a lot but a Canon PowerShot SX40 model has a zoom lens of 24-840mm ! And the camera as a whole still costs less than a single lens. I know that they differ a ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Does sensor size affect lens distortion?

There was recently a video posted about how different focal lengths affect portrait photography, specifically how distortion at smaller focal lengths have more distortion and are less flattering. So ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

If I have an 85mm lens for portraits, is a 50mm useful as well?

I recently got my Canon EF 85mm f1.8, after lot of thought over if I should buy Canon EF 85mm f1.8 or Canon EF 50mm f1.4, I decided on 85mm so that I can shoot portraits of people even from a ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G lens good for both macro and portrait photography?

I'm thinking of buying a macro lens am considering the Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR. Is this lens really good for portraits? Where can I find sample pictures taken with this lens? Is ...
3
votes
3answers
526 views

Will a filter cause more or less damage when lens is dropped?

I recently dropped my camera bag from around waist level to the ground. The ground is somewhat padded (carpet) and the bag itself has padding (the typical messenger type of bag's padding). The camera ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Can the lenses of a Canon EOS film camera be used on a digital one?

I have lenses from a Canon EOS rebel Xs film camera: 28-80mm f/4-5.6 II (diameter 58mm) and a Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7. I am thinking to buy a Canon Digital 40D and use these lenses. Will those ...
3
votes
4answers
29k views

What should I do when my Nikon AF-S lens won't auto focus?

I have a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX I bought for my Nikon D5100, it's only a couple months old, never been dropped or anything, and it all of a sudden won't auto focus. Anyone know if this is a simple ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Will a prime lens help me get better portraits at a wedding?

I have a Canon 600D with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. I have a friend's wedding coming soon, and I'm not sure if my zoom lens will do a good job or not. I was thinking of buying a prime lens so ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What is a “2.2X Pro Telephoto” lens?

I am looking to enter the world of SLR cameras and learning some more about lenses. I came across a package that has a 2.2X pro Telephoto what exactly does that mean and how does it work? (Please ...
3
votes
3answers
815 views

Image Stabilization in Lens vs Body: Which is Cheaper?

Is Image Stabilization better in the lens or the body? Someone already asked that. But I'm trying to make a purchasing decision. It seems that the short answer to my title question is that it's ...
2
votes
4answers
186 views

What should I look for in lenses for long range and close up animal and natural shots?

I am looking at trying to buy a long range lens for shooting animals and nature. I'm kinda new to photography and am not sure which brand or size I should be looking for. What features are important ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Nikon D3200 does not recognize the Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1.8G

I bought a new Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1.8G to add to my Nikon D3200, however, it will not recognize the lens. It says "Lens Not Attached" in all modes with error "NON CPU lenses can only be used in manual ...
2
votes
1answer
914 views

What does “angle of view equivalent to that of some lens in 35mm format” mean?

Does "angle of view equivalent to that of 22.5-585 mm lens in 35mm [135] format" for a digital camera mean that the lens is equivalent to a 22.5-585 mm lens for a DSLR camera?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do lenses affect color fidelity?

It seems to me that my costlier (Tamron 90 f/2.8 macro) lens gives better colors than my cheap Canon 18-55 IS kit lens. So does lens matter for color quality? What physical processes are involved in ...
2
votes
1answer
329 views

How do I select a superzoom lens for travel?

I have my good old Nikon D40. Almost all time I was using default "boxed" 18-55mm lens, but now I feel a big need to buy a lens for getting pictures that I can't get now. I travel a lot and like to ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Where to buy used Nikon lenses in the USA?

What are some of the sites available for buying used lenses for the Nikon D-90 camera body? Do any specialize in Nikon or have enough supply to deeply cover Nikon lenses?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Which lens should someone who enjoys the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 get next?

I bought a Canon 550D months ago, and at that point I chose the 50mm f/1.8 because it was super affordable and quite popular. I must say I've taken some really wonderful photos with it; mostly with ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Which 70-300mm lens between the Nikon VR and Sigma? [duplicate]

I am confused about selecting a 70-300mm lens. I have 2 lenses to decide between, the 'Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5 - 5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR' and the 'Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG'. I hear lot of good things ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I buy this Nikon 50mm f/1.8?

I've got an opportunity to buy a Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D prime lens for £75. Has anyone used this lens who could give an opinion? The reason I'm looking into buying it is that in an earlier ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Which sensor “full frame” vs. APS-C (1.6 crop) gives more distortion?

Which sensor "full frame" vs. APS-C (1.6 crop) gives more distortion using the same lens? I mean, would a 10mm lens on a full frame camera show more or less distortion than if it were on an APS-C (1.6 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Difference between Minolta MC and MD mounts and can they be used on AF camera?

I am looking at some older lenses for sale. There are a lot of Minolta MC and MD mount lenses out there. Can they be used on an AF mount body at all (as a fully manual lens)? Will either of the MC ...
1
vote
4answers
387 views

Why does crop factor apply with APS-C lenses, and why aren't these brighter than FF ones at same aperture?

I know that the image circle of FF-lenses is bigger than it needs to be on APS-C sensors, thus the FOV spears narrower. I've heard that APS-C lenses sit closer to the sensor, thus projecting a smaller ...
1
vote
2answers
549 views

Why am I getting a “lens not attached” message on my Nikon camera?

I have a Nikon D3100 with the Nikkor 18-55mm lens. Whenever I attach the lens and turn the camera on, its simply saying "lens not attached". The only time it will take a picture is in manual mode and ...
1
vote
1answer
408 views

Can I save money on lenses by buying a Nikon camera with an in-body autofocus motor?

I have dilemma what camera is better Nikon D5100 or D90. The first one is newer but the second one has lens servo ("screwdriver") motor. My question is: can I save some money overall with the more ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

Is the Nikon 55-300mm a good choice for indoor and outdoor portraits?

I have the most basic model of Nikon DSLR, the Nikon D3200, with the 18-55 kit lens. I'm thinking of buying the Nikon 55-300mm lens, mainly for its zoom purpose. Is it a good lens? Can I take portrait ...