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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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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3answers
8k views

Does a bigger aperture create better photos?

I have observed that the wider the aperture, the more expensive the lenses are. However, I would like to know whether it really makes a difference in your photos or not?
13
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7answers
679 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
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4answers
3k 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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3answers
714 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
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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
5k 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
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2answers
345 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
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2answers
1k views

Why are some lenses so expensive?

I have read about and seen many lenses that are very expensive; upwards of 8-10 thousand (US) dollars. I ran across this lens and it was priced at an incredible 26,000 dollars. And this one at ...
6
votes
4answers
412 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
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2answers
335 views

What to look for when testing a wide angle lens before buying?

I'm looking at buying a used wide angle lens (specifically Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 ) for a crop camera. The question What should one look for when buying a used lens? covers the basics when ...
6
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4answers
865 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
4answers
802 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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6answers
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
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4answers
1k 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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2answers
19k views

What's the difference between Canon EF-S and EF-M?

What is the difference with Canon EF-S and EF-M lens?
4
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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, ...
4
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4answers
8k 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Do Nikon AF-S lenses perform better than AF lenses?

I am going to be getting a Nikon D7000 soon. I think I'm correct in assuming that the Nikon D7000 will use its own focus motor for an AF lens, but allow the lens to use its motor for an AF-S lens. ...
3
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3answers
1k views

How do I choose a zoom lens for my Canon DSLR when I'm ready to move beyond the kit lens?

I am using Canon 500D with the kit lens (18-55). I think I have done enough with 18-55 and want to try out next lens. I have already decided to purchase 50mm prime. I also wanted to get a Zoom lens. ...
2
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3answers
1k views

EF-S lens focal length [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does my crop sensor camera actually turn my lenses into a longer focal length? If I have an EF-S lens with a focal length of 10mm on an APS-C camera (i.e. with sensor ...
2
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1answer
578 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 ...
2
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11answers
10k views

What Canon lenses do you suggest for wedding photography on a tight budget?

I am new to photography. I have Canon 1000d (with 18 -55 mm lens). My basic interest is wedding photography. I am planning to get a prime and a telephoto lens. So, my dilemma is: Should I go for ...
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1answer
960 views

Which lenses can I use with adapters on my Sony A-mount body and what are the disadvantages of such adapters?

I own a Sony A77 APS-C SLT A-mount camera. For someone who likes to experiment and is on a budget, mount adapters are tempting, since they greatly expand the catalog of available lenses and open up ...
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2answers
245 views

What does different focal length offer me?

I have a beginner photographer and I have spent a lot of time learning the basics (exposures, lenses, focal lengths, crop factor etc). It's all good except I'm not so sure when I need to buy lenses of ...
21
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3answers
9k 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 ...
15
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4answers
2k 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
381 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
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4answers
918 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?
13
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4answers
2k views

What can cause an “Err 99” on my Canon DSLR?

Err 99 Shooting is not possible. Turn the power switch to <OFF> and <ON> again or re-install the battery. Every now and then when shooting with this lens, I'll get this error ...
12
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4answers
5k 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
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8answers
7k 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 ...
11
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4answers
6k views

How wide can a lens be before it begins to produce distortion?

Some lenses will produce distortion near a photo's edges (lines that should be straight begin to curve). Fisheye lenses definitely do this, and some ultra-wide lenses will do this too. I like wide ...
10
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9answers
29k views

Can I shoot a photo with my DSLR without the lens on?

I thought it would be interesting to see what kinds of effects I could get by shooting a photo without any lens on my DSLR. However, when I take the lens off, it tells me that no lens is attached ...
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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5answers
3k 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
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
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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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6answers
286 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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2answers
1k 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
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5answers
3k 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
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2answers
153 views

How does sensor size affect the brightness of an image given the same field of view and aperture?

Lets say we have two image sensors, each one with 1MPixel resolution but differing in size. The first sensor has the size 1/3", the other one 1". Each sensor is equipped with a suitable lens (for the ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Would it be better to use a 35mm prime instead of a 50mm prime on a cropped sensor body?

It's said that 50mm is close to what the human eye sees and is a very versatile focal length in general, especially good for street photography which is what I'm most interested in. That being the ...
6
votes
1answer
662 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
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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
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1answer
4k views

Why Must I Lock The Aperture On My AF Lens On My Nikon D40

I am using the Nikon 50mm f1.8 AF lens on my D40 and the photographs look excellent - I have to manual focus, but this suits me just fine for the portrait shots I'm taking. The problem is that to use ...