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Optics is the science of light, and in photography often refers more specifically to to the properties and construction of lenses or the technical aspects of light sensors.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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67 views

Is a quartz lens necessary to prevent UV blocking on full spectrum enabled cameras?

I have read that in order to operate a "full spectrum" camera properly, so as to not block light in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum, that one needs to acquire quartz lenses for one's camera. ...
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0answers
67 views

Projector Design and lenses

I am working on a project where I need to project a single image onto an object, Originally I was looking at the digital projector route but due to cost and complexity this has been ruled out. I found ...
3
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0answers
76 views

Background warping through foreground defocus

I came across this effect the other day, and have spent the better part of the last week trying to figure out exactly what is happening. When photographing two layers, with the foreground in front of ...
0
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2answers
94 views

Why does the same f-number mean same amount of light? [duplicate]

Intuition tells me that a bigger lens will collect more light with the same f-number than a small lens. But photographers tell me I am wrong. I cannot understand why. There are quite a few posts both ...
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2answers
114 views

What is the importance of the back focal length of a lens?

What is the effect and importance of the back focal length of a lens? For instance, if I look at these two lenses by Ricoh, they have the same focal length and aperture, but their back focal lengths ...
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1answer
106 views

Lenses round ..Photographs square shaped why? [duplicate]

If camera lenses are round then why is the photograph taken by the camera is square-shaped? photography
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4answers
2k views

How can a super tiny iPhone 6 Plus lens produce significant DOF?

According to Apple specs the iPhone 6 Plus thickness is 0.28 inch (7.1 mm) and the lens length is only a part of that. And according to an article I found, Depth of Field is a function of "aperture ...
2
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2answers
183 views

What do resolution figures mean in lens specifications?

I'm working in computer vision and choosing the right lens is obviously as critical as having a good sensor if you're going for quality inspection (for example). Sadly I have very little experience ...
3
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2answers
298 views

How to determine if a new lens is a subpar copy?

I have read some posts like the ones below about testing a lens to determine how well it performs optically. What I didn't see was anything on determining whether the lens performs as it should and is ...
2
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1answer
151 views

Explanation of the fisheye phenomenon

It seems that the fisheye effect can look different with the same lens. So I want to understand how it works. For example, I use a Dji Phantom vision 2 drone to take pictures, all of my pictures have ...
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34 views

Technical book or resource (non-creative) [duplicate]

I'd like a resource from which to learn about technical, non-artistic/technique aspects, such as: Onion ring bokeh, and what causes it. Choosing of lens hoods, Why chromatic aberration happens/why ...
7
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1answer
221 views

How is Nikon's PF optics different from and similar to Canon's DO optics?

Nikon has just announced a new 300 mm lens featuring a new technology called "PF" or "Phase Fresnel." This has been compared to Canon's existing DO (Diffractive Optics) lenses such as the 400 mm f4 ...
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0answers
69 views

How can I calculate the effect of a supplementary close-up lens (a.k.a macro filter)?

If I have a +1, +2, +4, or +10 close-up lens which attaches to the front of my regular lens, how can I calculate its effect on close focusing distance, figure out how much magnification I can get from ...
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1answer
175 views

How do add on macro smartphone lenses allow you to take macro photos?

It may sound obvious, but how exactly does an add on macro lens allow you to take close up photos? Can someone give technical reasons? I'd like to know the physics behind add on macro lenses and how ...
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1answer
72 views

Why do I need an add-on lens to take smartphone macro photos?

Why do you need an external macro lens for a smartphone to take macro photos. Why can't the smartphone lens itself take macro photos?
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1answer
99 views

Where do rays of light from one point strike the film?

I am a programmer and I am doing a camera simulation, I am stuck in a matter of how to know where does every ray of light incident after traveling through the lens, every point of the object will give ...
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0answers
60 views

Where is the focal point of a camera lens? [duplicate]

If the distance between the center of the lens and the film is called Focal length, does that mean the focal point of the camera lens is located on the film?
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3answers
139 views

How to estimate the minimum magnification to capture features of a certain size?

What is the correct way to estimate the minimum magnification (maximum subject distance) at which features of a certain size are resolved? My thinking is that given a system capable of resolving a ...
3
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3answers
221 views

How can the focal length of a lens be many times greater than the lens's physical length?

I bought a Tamron 16-300. Question is: how can it have a focal length 0f 300 mm when it is only about 30 mm long? Doesn't the lens have to be 300 mm from the sensing element?
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2answers
690 views

Why are large zoom ratio constant apertures lenses not generally available?

I know about 17-55 f2.8 and the likes of it, but I am talking about something say 18-135 f2.8. There exists 70-200mm f2.8 and the range (200-70 = 130mm) is much bigger than in 18-135. I am aware of ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Why Isn't This Photograph Pin Sharp?

I Have Been Trying Out My New Canon EF 24-70mm and I'm pretty underwhelmed by its sharpness. Here is a RAW file shot from a solid tripod on an (almost) windless day using a remote. Obviously it ...
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4answers
365 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 ...
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43 views

Technical question about aperture and lens [duplicate]

F stop = focal length / iris diameter So for example, my Lumix 20mm pancake, f1.7, has iris diameter of 12mm at that f stop, correct? So if Panasonic wanted to make a faster lens, could they do it ...
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46 views

What defines camera's size? [duplicate]

Smartphone cameras are small while others are big. I know some functions like zoom can change physical size, etc. So, ignoring a zoom lens, what defines a camera lens? I want to get the general idea ...
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1answer
84 views

Pentax k-30: can i buy all lens not stabilized?

I'm interested to buy a Pentax K-30. I'm wondering : can I buy not stabilized optics because of body' stabilized sensor ? Is the overall image quality comparable to an optic with stabilizer (like ...
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2answers
1k views

How does an apodization filter improve bokeh?

The new Fujifilm Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD has an "apodization" filter, which Fujifilm says "smoothes the outline of the subject to create a more natural bokeh effect". The Wikipedia article on ...
2
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1answer
153 views

How does a focus ring bring a subject in or out of focus?

When you manually adjust your focus ring on the lens, what actually happens inside the lens? Is this changing simply the point at which the lens is focusing, so that anything at this distance away ...
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2answers
156 views

What is the maximum aperture consistent with the Nikon F-mount?

In a related thread, it's been debated whether there is a hard limitation to maximum possible lens aperture; it seems there is none. However, using the example of the nikon F mount, this technical ...
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4answers
138 views

Should lenses of equal quality for smaller sensors be cheaper?

In theory do we expect lenses of identical specs and quality to be cheaper when designed for smaller sensors? My expectation is that the answer is yes, because all of the things that lenses struggle ...
8
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2answers
372 views

In what way does the lens mount limit the maximum possible aperture of a lens?

In many answers to questions about different aspects of really large aperture lenses it's pointed out that the lens mount sets a hard limit on the maximum possible aperture of the lenses to that ...
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1answer
64 views

Is there an “optimal” background distance when striving for a minimally distracting background?

Let's assume a thin lens and an object O in focus at a distance of dO from the lens. Further, let's assume there's a large out-of-focus background object B at a distance of dB. Now, we know ...
4
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2answers
203 views

Use of DOF adapters in stills photography

The camcorder guys figured out long ago how you can get the shallow DOF of a larger sensor system (typically full frame) on a camcorder equipped with a much smaller sensor (typically 1/2.8") by doing ...
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1answer
173 views

How to find numerical aperture of lens

I need to find the precise collection cone angle of an arbitrary objective at an arbitrary (but known and finite) object-side focal length. This is typically given as the "numerical aperture", defined ...
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3answers
852 views

Why do circular fish eye lenses create circular images?

I'm trying to understand the physics of circular fish eye lenses. As far as I can see circular fish eye lenses create an circular image because the area of the sensor is larger than the projected ...
6
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1answer
152 views

Can the method from the paper “High-Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses” compete with conventional lenses?

This answer to another question of mine linked to an interesting article: High-Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses. It proposes the use of simple optics and computational photography ...
7
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2answers
996 views

What is the cause of this non-uniform bokeh effect?

A friend of mine is thinking of buying a used medium-format film TLR camera (a Mamiya C330), and he showed me some of the test shots he'd taken with it. I was struck by the curiously non-uniform ...
3
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1answer
139 views

Do lenses have focal planes or focal spheres/ellipsoids?

The title says it pretty much all. I'm asking this because I find myself always using the focus point in the center, and after I focused, I rotate my camera to make the framing right. However, if ...
2
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4answers
2k views

35mm vs 40mm: Does it matter?

I want to buy the lens Voigtlander Nokton 40mm F1.4, $449 Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F1.4, $629 I am asking, why the slightly difference in focal length, the price difference in so much as $180? ...
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3answers
2k views

Why image at 400mm is LARGER THAN DOUBLE of image at 200mm? (according to lens formula)

Like most of us, I thought it was yes. Until I really look into the Lens Equation: (1/subject distance) + (1/image distance) = (1/focal length) ...
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1answer
108 views

Aperture and field of view - percepted by eye vs camera

I very well informed and I know about how aperture works and why is it not restricting field of view, but I somehow cannot get around the following: Aperture doesn't restrict field of view for the ...
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0answers
231 views

How is it possible for bridge camera with 50x zoom to cost so little? [duplicate]

i state that i'm a completely beginner in the wonderful world of photography. Last year i bought a Fujifilm FinePix S2980 ...
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1answer
134 views

Is it possible to make an image which is only photographable in black or white?

Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this. Here is what I'm looking for: Example: I have a color photo could be text could be an image What I would like: if someone photographs this ...
13
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3answers
466 views

What is the Leica look?

What is the Leica look that fans of the company claim is unique to them? What concrete differences are there that are most obvious to a layman?
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2answers
286 views

How can I build an underwater camera housing?

I'm thinking about building simple waterproof housing for camera. I don't expect high quality I want to record some videos good enough to identify fish species, nothing more for now. My housing will ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
224 views

How to compare the speed of lenses taking transmission into account?

When comparing the speed of two lenses, you almost exclusively hear about the maximum aperture. This of course makes sense, since at a certain lighting condition, a larger aperture in general allows a ...
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0answers
38 views

What causes the rays surrounding strong lights? [duplicate]

I've noticed, especially in long-exposure city lights photos, that strong light sources are surrounded by rays. The number of rays seem to depend on the lens being used. What causes these rays and the ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Differences between canon 17-85mm and 18-55mm

I was given a 450d with a canon 17-85mm lens, it has USM and image stabilzing. It has always seemed okay to me but after a few years i have decided to upgrade to the 700d, which has now come with a ...
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2answers
138 views

Why human eye doesn't exhibit aberrations?

Eye's optical system is composed of single lens and is capable of producing very sharp results, but if I use single lens (monocle) with my camera I'll get soft image.
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2answers
743 views

Does wide angle equivalent in crop sensor skew image?

I see many posts on both this forum and elsewhere the discuss the use of a wide angle on a crop sensor. For example, they discuss how at 14mm lens is 14mm on a 35mm film or full frame, but with a ...