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33
votes
5answers
6k views

How do constant aperture lenses work?

Cheaper zoom lenses usually are faster at the wide end and slower at the long end (for example, the $150 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6). More expensive constant-aperture zoom lenses have the same ...
22
votes
4answers
10k views

Why does my Lightroom/Photoshop preview change after loading?

Everybody who is using Lightroom probably has seen this: You have imported RAW files. Lightroom shows a preview, but contrast and color of the preview change after a few short seconds to a slightly ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

What megapixel value is equivalent to which ISO film?

Is there some kind of equivalency table or formula that expresses what kind of pixels you need in a digital camera to have roughly the same quality as a particular ISO graded film? What other ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?

Is it really useful to have a fast prime lens for portrait photography, considering a low budget? If it is, what about the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II? I have an entry level 18-55mm lens and a Canon 20D. ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do zoom lenses and compact cameras have varied maximum aperture across the zoom range?

Why does a camera's maximum (allowed) aperture get smaller when you increase its zoom?
11
votes
6answers
7k views

What focal length lens do I need for photographing the moon?

I would like to know whether it is possible to photograph moon without any flaws with a canon EOS 550d.. Also to get an image of the moon as close as the following image, what kind of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the formula for percent of frame filled at a specific distance and focal length?

I am thinking about buying a new lens specifically to take photos of distant targets (birds, bears, etc). I currently own the Canon 70-300 IS USM, which is a nice lens, but I find that if I want to ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I tell if a photo is real or faked?

How can I tell if a photo has been edited or manipulated? Are there techniques for distinguishing real photos from fakes? Are there software tools that can help? Are there things I can do in ...
6
votes
7answers
7k views

How can I visualize or simulate the effect of different focal lengths?

I have seen many camera review sites illustrate the effect of using different focal lengths on the same photograph using frames. There are also similar illustrations to compare different sensors (full ...
33
votes
3answers
251k views

What does STM mean on a Canon lens?

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 has a designation of STM on the lens. What does this mean? What are the advantages of having it and does it replace an older technology? We have a terminology thread that ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any practical difference between saving at 300ppi or 72ppi?

I often see statements in discussions about web displayed image quality that go something like this: "I only upload pictures at 72 dpi and 1200 pixels on the long edge, so if someone copies and prints ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How can aperture be f/11 on a lens with an aperture range designation of 3.5-5.6?

I made a series of outdoor shots with Nikon D5000, with the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens. On some shots, I see in the EXIF info f/11, and in another shot, f/9. How can that be, that the f-number ...
8
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I choose a point and shoot camera under $400?

I need a P&S camera for my family. They would probably use it for family functions,trips etc. I want a camera with flash for taking good night photos with a decent quality. They are not ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How can a prime lens focus on more than one plane?

By definition, a prime lens is a fixed lens system with a fixed focal length. Then, simple physics tells us that it should be able to focus only on one plane (at a fixed distance) in front of it. But ...
17
votes
5answers
905 views

What is an ultra-wide lens?

What is the point at which a lens is considered "ultra-wide angle" vs just wide angle?
32
votes
10answers
5k views

What makes a photo a good photo?

I don't know if this is a stupid question, this just came across my mind. Imagine a photo of a dog yawning. Someone could say that is a very good photo as it is taken just at the right moment, from ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Unsharp mask - what do the parameters do?

I'm interested in getting into post-processing stuff, and I'm wondering about the Unsharp Mask operation. Specifically, there are 3 parameters involved: amount radius threshold What do these do? ...
29
votes
9answers
9k views

How can I get a good HDR image from a single RAW file?

I've heard that it's possible to create an HDR image from a single RAW file. (Obviously, it won't be as good as using multiple bracketed RAW files; I know that much.) Every time I try — using ...
36
votes
5answers
7k views

What should one look for when buying a used lens?

When buying a used lens, what should the buyer check? Other than looking for obvious physical damage on the outside of the lens, what else should be inspected to identify the condition or quality of ...
61
votes
12answers
4k views

How can I get my portrait subjects to look natural and drop the cheesy smile?

I am surprised by how many people automatically put on a cheesy smile when I point a camera in their direction. How can I encourage them to act more naturally, and what can I do to get better, more ...
50
votes
7answers
3k views

What are the key photography-related features from Photoshop that are missing in GIMP?

I am on a tight budget and chose to use GIMP for editing since it is free. What important photographic post-processing features am I missing from Photoshop?
55
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do some lenses cost 10 times as much when the specs are very close?

For example, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is about US$110, while another Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens is about 14 times as expensive, at about $1450. Is the 1.8 or 1.2 the main reason for the price difference? ...
23
votes
6answers
8k views

How to capture the scene exactly as my eyes can see?

What settings of my DSLR camera will emulate the scene exactly as I can see through my naked eyes? I think it's not possible to get the contrast and colors exactly as my eyes can see, and it may vary ...
27
votes
8answers
15k views

What are the major differences between these camera series by Canon?

Here is a shot of the different series of camras that Canon has to offer: There's several models of Rebel, then there's the 50D, the 5D, and the 1Ds. Broadly, which one is for whom broadly?
14
votes
7answers
15k views

How do I properly do shadowless product photos?

My friend asked me to create a photo like this. I noticed that its shadowless and my first question is whether it was setup to be shadowless, or was it made shadowless in post? How many lights are ...
45
votes
4answers
47k views

What is moiré? How can we avoid it?

What is the image defect called "moiré"? What causes it, and how can we avoid or reduce it? Is it related to "false color"?
14
votes
3answers
987 views

What do I need to know to get started with food photography?

I'd like to get started in food photography, and my first attempts are worlds apart from the examples we see all around us on food labels, in cookbooks, and in advertising. What are some tips to ...
25
votes
7answers
19k views

How to do the ghost mannequin effect?

I'm looking into taking some product photography and I would like to get the ghost mannequin effect, but I can't find any proper documentation. Something a bit like this: Can you please give a ...
19
votes
5answers
14k views

What is dynamic range and how is it important in photography?

Wikipedia says that the dynamic range is the "ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity". Ok, I get that. I suppose that's why HDR photos have a "high dynamic ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What is a good general purpose lens for Canon?

As an upgrade from kit lens 18-55mm, which would be a better general purpose lens? Obviously there is no "best" option, as everyone has a different budget and style, but what are the best options ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

What makes a strong wide-angle composition?

A simple, effective way to improve most compositions is to crop (or zoom) more tightly. Cut out the "distractions", and boom, powerful composition. I usually shoot with a slightly-long lens in the ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

What is T-number / T-stop?

Usually, when discussing aperture of a lens, F-stop and F-number are used for quantifying. But some photographers, and especially videographers, also mention T-stop. The concept and numbering used ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

What workflow or tools can be used for tagging of a large number of running race photos?

Let's say you attend a marathon where participants wear bibs with their race number. You take hundreds or (cough) thousands of pictures and would like to upload them to share them (for free) with ...
27
votes
6answers
16k views

What's the best way to scan in hundreds of pictures?

I have thousands of old pictures which were sitting in a photo album. Unfortunately, instead of the photo album protecting the pictures, the plastic coverings yellowed, and the pictures themselves had ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture?

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture? I took this picture and feel very compelled to put the subject in the centre rather than on the sides.
13
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the differences between an entry-level DSLR and an advanced compact P&S camera?

A Canon Powershot series camera has shutter priority, aperture priority and complete manual mode that lets the user control the shutter speed and aperture Even though an Entry-level DSLR has more ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is color temperature and how does it affect my photography?

I have seen color temperature mentioned with regard to white balance, mixing different sources of light, etc., but I haven't come across a clear explanation of what it means to talk about the ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

Why am I getting black photos when I use the Manual feature on my DSLR?

I was taking photos a few days ago, and I had it set to Manual. After about four photos, the rest started coming out black. I could see through my eyepiece clearly, and it took the photo normally, but ...
43
votes
8answers
25k views

What does “expanded ISO” mean?

The ISO specification for the Canon EOS 7D reads as follows: High ISO For handheld shooting in low light, the EOS 7D offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. Expandable to ISO 12800, for low light ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why use a small aperture when trying to see sensor dust?

Here and there I read of people who set their lens to a small aperture while testing their sensor cleanness, supposedly to get the best image of dust speckles. However, the image of the on-sensor dust ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

What is 'freelensing'?

I've recently heard about a photographic technique called 'freelensing.' How do I go about 'freelensing,' and what can I do with the technique?
14
votes
3answers
8k views

What makes a camera 'weather sealed'?

What is the structural and mechanical differences between a weather sealed body and a non weather sealed body? Is weather sealing still effective if the lens isn't weather sealed?
14
votes
5answers
21k views

If I have a 18-55mm lens, is there a point in buying a 35mm prime lens?

I have the Nikon kit lens that came with a D5100 — the kit lens is 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom. I was thinking of getting a fast lens and I am looking to buy the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX. ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

When buying entry level cameras, are lenses really more important than the body?

Original Question: Is there a D5100 alternative I was considering my first DSLR Nikon D3000, then saw D3100 and was fixed on it, then saw D5100 and I though yes,this is the one to go for. While ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I easily remove an almost-white background?

I want a "product shot" style photo of several small objects without any background (pure white background). Knowing the hours of work involved in properly deep-etching, but not having nice lighting ...
9
votes
6answers
50k views

Is it possible to increase the pixel density of an image?

I have taken a picture whose resolution is less. I can resize the image easily (i.e I can scale to higher resolution) but the image quality goes for a toss, which is true because the image might not ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Does changing the focal length change focus?

When using manual focus or back focus on D60, I sometimes zoom in the lens, set the focus, and then zoom out. Does changing the focal length (zooming out), also change the focus? In case the answer ...
24
votes
9answers
4k views

Why would I want to select an autofocus point?

I'm trying to understand why I would ever want to select an auto focus point other then the center point. I have a Canon XTI Rebel DSLR which has 9 auto-focus points, but I'm also looking into getting ...
18
votes
1answer
542 views

What are Extension Tubes?

What are Extension Tubes?

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