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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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2answers
999 views

What is a Carl Zeiss lens in a camera?

I have a Sony CyberShot camera and I don't know why they use a lens in the camera. What is a Carl Zeiss lens?
15
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2answers
953 views

Does a specific f number across all lenses denote same amount of light?

When we say a light source emits 1500 lumens of light, it does not really matter if the light source is incandescent, CFL, diode etc. Similarly, when I say f/1.8 can I assume that all lenses pass the ...
14
votes
7answers
914 views

Upgrade strategy for Canon EOS DSLRs

In February 2010 I bought my first DSLR: EOS Rebel XSi EF-S 18-55IS Kit I also bought a zoom telephoto lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM The XSi is a simple camera which I thought would be good ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

What lenses to bring while traveling? One good wide-telephoto or several smaller ones?

I have a Canon 7D and often take my camera on the road while traveling. In the past I've taken my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 and my Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6, which means that I must switch out lenses quite a ...
10
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5answers
3k views

is there a real difference between “digital” and “film” lenses?

I'm looking at the Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF lens right now to use on a 35mm film Camera (Nikon N80). The DG stands for "Digital Full Frame" according to Sigma, but they don't say what the ...
17
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5answers
1k views

How do I find the aperture that produces the highest-quality images for a given lens?

I'm not talking about large aperture (f/1.8, f/2.8...), rather, about small apertures (f/18, f/20, f/23...). I read somewhere (actually I think it was on this site, but I don't exactly remember which ...
16
votes
2answers
9k views

How iPhone 5S can have such a big aperture? f/2.2?

I thought that in order to have a big aperture such as f/2.2 a big amount of light should be able to enter to the sensor and in order to do it, a big lens was needed. How is it possible that in the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What camera & lens combination(s) are ideal for animal and bird photography?

I am interested about shooting animals (including, but not limited to, birds and in general animals that can move fast). So far, I would say I know the basic concepts of camera but I have never ...
9
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1answer
7k views

What is the 'Maximum Reproduction Ratio' of a lens?

A review of a Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens contains the following line It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm /7.9in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.4. So, as in the title, what is 'maximum ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a pancake lens?

I've read about a "pancake lens" but don't really understand what that means. What the pros and cons of having a pancake vs. another type of lens? I'm thinking of getting a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How do photographers manage multiple lenses?

This is probably a very naive question but I will ask anyway. It appears that most photographers carry multiple lenses. Each lens serves a different purpose. I understand that. However, I can't ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

What is a great portrait lens for Nikon (under $1000)?

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D90 and use the kit 18-105 lens and a 50mm f/1.8. Mostly I shoot as a hobby but lately I've been asked to do some family and engagement shoots. The 50mm is ...
13
votes
2answers
344 views

Is it a bad idea to activate lens-corrections in camera, when also use lens-correction in Lightroom?

My EOS has the option to correct known lens-aberration which is activated at the moment. I use Lightroom (5.2) for post-processing, which can also correct lens-aberration. Is it a problem to ...
13
votes
1answer
282 views

In which order is it recommended to set a tilt-shift lens?

After an entire week of having a Canon TS-E 17mm F/4 at my disposal, I am still not sure which control to start setting first. This particular lens has a total of 5 degrees of freedom: ±6.5° tilt ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What should I do to switch my gear from Sony to Canon?

So I currently have a Sony A700 which i bought a year ago, and wanting to get some quality glass. I was looking at the Carl Zeiss 24-70/f2.8 lens, but then got talking to a friend who's a canon user. ...
12
votes
3answers
22k views

Should I purchase a Tamron 70-300 USD VC or Canon 70-300 USM IS?

Good day all. I was almost decided on Canon 70-300 USM IS (non L) but recently came to know about the Tamron version (SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD) of this one. Neither of these makes you a better ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How can I determine if my Sigma 10-20mm lens copy is appropriately sharp and focusing right?

I just purchased a Sigma 10-20mm lens (Canon mount) and based on the reviews I was aware that many people receive copies of the lens that are soft or don't focus properly. I purchased from B&H, so ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a 50mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 a good lens for portraits in low light?

I only have one lens right now. It's the Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens. I think this lens is great when the lighting conditions are right but in low light I usually have to resort to flash. ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What CCTV lenses can I use with Micro 4/3 and adapter?

I keep hearing things about using CCTV C Mounts hacked into a Micro 4/3 camera using an adapter. Does anybody have any experience with this? Can any ebay lens work, or is the C-mount not universal? ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Do I need other camera lenses if I have an 18-200mm or other super-zoom?

I wanted to ask that once you have purchased a lens of say 18-200mm, then is it required to purchase other lenses — say 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 18-105mm, 28-135mm,etc. Does 18-200mm lens satisfy all the ...
7
votes
7answers
4k 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
314 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
51k 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
748 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
204 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
9k 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
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to manually-focus the Nikon 18-105 while in autofocus mode?

There are only A and M settings, no A/M. but I just noticed that Nikon website has mentioned three focus modes for this lens: Auto, Manual and Manual/Auto I'm confused if this is only a typo or is it ...
4
votes
4answers
406 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
1answer
2k views

How to read a lens spot diagram?

How to read such a lens spot diagram?
4
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
713 views

Would a 85mm lens have allowed me to blur the background better in this photo of a DJ in action?

This is the picture I took: I had a Nikon-D610 and a 24-70mm f 2.8 lens on it and I used it on Manual mode and metering was f:2.8, Shutter speed: 1/20 sec and Focal length: 62mm. Also I was as ...
1
vote
6answers
443 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
5k 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
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2answers
926 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 ...
14
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1answer
848 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
votes
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
894 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
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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
4answers
838 views

Other than speed and weight, what advantages might a prime lens have over a zoom at the same focal length?

At the same focal length, apart from speed and maybe weight, what other advantages does a prime lens like the 50mm have over a zoom lens like the 24 - 70mm? To put it better, If I set my 24-70mm lens ...
11
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 ...
11
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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
365 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
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3answers
17k 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
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3answers
423 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 ...