Watching Over

by Vian Esterhuizen

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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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7
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7answers
3k views

What are hidden-gem “bang for the buck” lenses for Nikon?

I'm about to buy a D700 Nikon (no, NOT D800). I have no Nikon equipment at all. I'll initially be retaining my "main" Sony based system while I get the D700 'up to speed'. In time I expect to have to ...
7
votes
4answers
48k views

How do I decide between the Canon 55-250mm or 70-300mm + 50mm?

I just bought a Canon Rebel T2i (EOS550D/Kissx4) with 18-55mm kit-lens and I have an additional $300 USD to spend on a lens. I had decided to buy a Canon EF-S 75-300mm f/4-5.6 (without IS) and a Canon ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How difficult is it to correct mustache-style distortion?

I am considering the Samyang 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC but I am somewhat concerned about the 5.3% of mustache-style distortion this lens produces. I like most of what I read about this ...
6
votes
4answers
684 views

Are there any pinhole “lenses” available from lens manufacturers?

I know that it is possible to make your own pinhole, but do lens manufacturer's make pinhole "lenses" that include aperture data, etc? If so, who makes them?
6
votes
3answers
203 views

Why is the amount of light a lens lets in called the 'lens speed'?

It seems very counter intuitive that the amount of light let in by a lens is referred to as the lens speed. This term confused me for a while because I couldn't logically see how a speed would be ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

Can I use Minolta Maxxum lenses with Sony Alpha cameras?

I have an old Minolta Maxxum 7000i AF-SLR camera from early 90s. I have a complete set of lenses, filters, etc., I found out that Sony ultimately ended up buying Minolta, and developing their alpha ...
4
votes
4answers
387 views

Lens Cleaner Recommendations

What is, in your opinion, the best lens cleaner? Which do you think is the most effective/best value for your money/most easy to use, etc. Please include advantages/disadvantages as well as price and ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

What mm lens for distance shots?

If I am looking to take landscape and wildlife shots and some of those shots being from a decent distance what mm lens would I need? I am not sure what else I should be adding here, I am just looking ...
1
vote
6answers
438 views

What are some artistic techniques that can be performed with lenses?

I have recently been attempting to perform various different techniques for taking pictures, like using a tilt-shift lens, freelensing, HDR photography, and a couple others. The styles that I want to ...
0
votes
2answers
654 views

So my iPhone 6 camera lens is as wide as my full frame 35mm DSLR lens?

I am trying to understand what is the deal with "full-frame" and what difference it makes, so did a silly test: I sat at my bed and aligned the iPhone 6 camera with the door of the room and took a ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I damage the focus system by turning the focus ring when the lens isn't mounted?

I have a couple lenses that don't have an internal focusing system, and whenever I want to put them back in my bag, I turn the focus ring to make the lens shorter. I noticed that when the lens is set ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it physically possible to build a long zoom (17-300 mm for example) at an aperture value of around 1.4 or 1.2?

I'm curious if the physics allow a company to build such a lens of course with good IQ, minimal color aberration, maximum sharpness, and little to none lens vignetting or edge softness
17
votes
2answers
859 views

Do rounded edges on aperture blades improve image sharpness, and how?

In the description for the XF lenses for its new X-Pro system, Fujifilm crows: The [XF lenses] all offer precise control over depth-of-field and deliver excellent out-of-focus bokeh thanks to the ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

When would one need manual focus override?

In lens reviews, ability to override auto-focus manually is often referred to as a good (and important) feature. I have rarely, if ever used that feature, so I feel I might be missing out on an ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

Why don't more people use fisheye lenses as a cheap wide angle lens?

From my understanding, a fisheye lens usually has a coverage of 180 degrees or close to it. Given the extreme coverage and the availability of software that can turn fisheye images back to a ...
17
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5answers
2k views

How does a circular lens produce rectangular shots?

Is it something like the sensor captures a circular image and then what we get is the cropped version? Something like this: Or did I get it completely wrong?
14
votes
1answer
798 views

How does a macro lens focus so close?

How does a macro lens focus so closely and how is the system different to that of a non-macro lens?
14
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3answers
4k 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?
12
votes
3answers
859 views

Lightroom Upgrade vs Lens Metadata

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 supports new lenses compared to earlier versions. I was hoping that it would change some of my lenses from 'Unknown Lens' to a specific model, but it did not. Synchronizing ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a camera's crop factor apply to the magnification of macro shots?

If I have a lenses (or in my case extension tubes) that would allow the lens to magnify 1:1, does a 1.5x crop factor body make it really 1.5:1 ?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How can a lens like a 18-55mm have more than one focal length?

How can a lens have a range of focal lengths? Shouldn't it be a single number? Isn't focal length supposed to be fixed for a lens of a particular shape and geometry? What am I missing? How many ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

Would the 40mm pancake or 50mm prime be better for street photography with a Canon APS-C camera?

I have a Canon EOS 600D, and I already have 18-55mm,55-250mm. I plan to buy a new lens for street photography. I already have picked out one of the following lenses: 40mm STM(pan cake). EF 50mm ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS USM really a 'L series' grade lens?

Some reviews say yes. But since it costs as much as an EF equivalent, why not name it as 'L'? Is there any better lenses in this range (EF or EF-S)?
10
votes
4answers
364 views

How do you reconcile generally positive user comments with negative comments in a review?

My question was prompted by this DPReview review of the Nikon DX 18~200mm, wherein on page 3 the author reveals some significant sharpness and distortion issues, leading to final assessments of ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

How can a Frazier lens achieve that massive DOF?

I've read in PetaPixel about this "Frazier lens" that can achieve a massive DOF. In this video is shown the capabilities of this lens and I must say I'm very impressed. How can this lens achieve such ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

Will lenses from a Rebel work on higher-model Canon cameras?

I am thinking about purchasing a Canon 60D and selling my Rebel XT and wondered if I would need to purchase new lenses? I only have two but as you all know, once you invest it is hard to not take ...
10
votes
3answers
416 views

Are fast lenses only fast when shot wide open?

Given two lenses with different max apertures but the same size image circle (say, full frame on a Nikon FX DLSR camera) and taking shots at the exact shutter speed and focal length under the same ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Mark I vs Mark II Canon L Lenses

Are there any Canon L lenses in which one iteration was significantly better than the other? The price for older Canon L lenses are significantly cheaper than mark II lenses and I was wondering if it ...
9
votes
2answers
834 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
322 views

Aside from sharpness & speed, what are the benefits to photo composition\optical quality provided by premium lenses over their cheaper counterpart?

I have gone through quite a few lens reviews and questions on this site that recommend expensive lenses over their cheaper counterparts. From what I've seen in the reviews, there is a marked ...
8
votes
2answers
782 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
1answer
196 views

Can the sharpness of the lens be evaluated with no relation to the DSLR?

When I read lens reviews, they all say that one lens is sharp, another is very sharp, another one is not sharp at all, etc. For me, it doesn't make sense to just say that a lens is sharp or not, with ...
8
votes
7answers
8k views

How do I get the best results for sports with a 70-200mm f/2.8?

Can anyone help? I am using a nikon d7000 for sports photography. My husband kindly bought me a sigma 70-200mm telephoto lens 2.8 as I shoot a lot of low light indoor sports. I have only just started ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Which lenses are best for macro and for birdwatching (both Canon and Nikon)?

Now I have old Sony A100 DSLR + Minolta AF 24-50/4, Minolta AF 50/1.6, Tokina ATX 80-400/4.5-5.6, ... My camera is old. In near future I am going to buy new DSLR. I think it will be Canon or Nikon. I ...
8
votes
3answers
857 views

Cameras using mirrors instead of lenses?

In astronomy, telescopes are most commonly built with mirrors, but there are refractors using lenses. All cameras I know of for Earthly purposes — portraits, landscapes, etc. — use only lenses, not ...
7
votes
2answers
619 views

What's the difference between a wide angle lens and a landscape lens?

Question pretty much says it all. Seems like when I look around people are asking "what's the best wide angle lens for landscape?", but on sites like LensHero they categorize wide angle and landscape ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Where can I rent a camera and lens online within the US?

I'm considering buying a Canon 5D Mark II camera with Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens. But before I buy, I would like to rent it to try it out. Where can I rent camera gear online, and have it ...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

Can you recommend a macro lens for a micro 4/3 camera?

I've recently purchased a micro 4/3 camera (Panasonic GF1), and I'm aware that with an appropriate adapter, I can use a large variety of third-party lenses. I'm interested in experimenting with macro ...
6
votes
1answer
351 views

Why do lenses have different diameters?

Why do lenses (full frame) have different diameters? Does this difference affect the image circle? Whats the significance behind this? For example Nikon AF-S 70-300 has 80mm diameter and Nikon AF-S ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM suitable for wildlife photography?

I got my first DSLR about a week ago (600d) + af-s 18-135mm kit lens, but I want another lens with greater focal length. So I thought about this lens: CANON 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM How does it ...
6
votes
4answers
292 views

How do I clean the external forward-facing glass on my lens?

How do I clean the external forward-facing glass on my lens? Over the last year or so of use it has accumulated a little dust and a translucent smear mark. Nothing serious, but I'd like to remove ...
6
votes
4answers
951 views

What should I buy as my first (and initially only) lens to go with a Canon 60D?

I was able to get a great deal on the Canon EOS 60D body and now I have to buy myself a suitable quality lens. Unfortunately my order was later revoked so no great deal for me. Will have to ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Would the Tamron 18- 270 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD make a good choice as my second lens?

I have a Canon 50/f1.8. I am looking for a zoom lens. After much research, I have zeroed in two lenses as my second lens: either Tamron 18-270 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD or Canon EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III ...
5
votes
3answers
534 views

For MTF, why does 10 represent contrast while 30 represent resolution?

I'm trying to learn to read MTF charts. Everything is making sense to me, except why most explanations of MTF will refer to the 10 l/mm line as a measure of contrast while referring to the 30 l/mm ...
5
votes
3answers
754 views

What are the metal items on top of an older Nikon lens?

Does anybody knows what the two metal items on top of the lens are used for?
5
votes
5answers
622 views

How often should I clean my lens?

You may have read Lens Cleaner Recommendations, and now I would like to know how often to clean my lens. I have been using one lens for about a year without cleaning it yet and recently got a new zoom ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can't auto-focus at full zoom

I have a Canon 1000d, and the standard lens EF-S 18-55mm. Recently I was out taking photos and I've noticed that if I zoom in fully, the lens can't auto focus. I can still take shots using manual ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Seriously considering upgrading my Rebel T2i (550D) to either a 6D, 7D or 70D

I shoot a lot of performers in low lighting conditions. Essentially I am looking for a camera that will help me reduce the noise level significantly. I find myself rarely using the kit lenses and ...
4
votes
2answers
9k 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
votes
1answer
691 views

Is Fujifilm's “Super EBC” a modern nanocoating?

In the Luminous Landscape review of the Fuji X-Pro1, Nick Devlin notes: ... how else could one read the “Super EBC” labelling on the lens other than as a nod to the company’s [Range Finder] past. ...