Questions tagged [optics]

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.

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definition of focal length inconsistent [duplicate]

I have been learning about cameras recently and I got incredibly confused about the use the word "focal length". In the wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal_length and other resources, it is ...
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3answers
216 views

What is the necessary recess on an enlarger lens board?

I have recently acquired a Meopta Belar 75mm/f4.5, to use with my Durst M605 enlarger. I was remiss in not checking the mount of this lens (M23.5) before I bought it, and have therefore ended up with ...
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3answers
2k views

Do convex lenses make parallel light rays of different wavelength converge to different points?

I'm starting to study cameras and lenses. By reading explanations and watching videos on convex lenses, I learnt that they make parallel light rays converge to a single point called the focal point. ...
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5answers
441 views

Is there an optical filter that reduces the film's contrast?

As far as I know, the change of the exposure moves the negative' density curve left or right only (moves the objects to the different zones), and to shrink or enlarge overall contrast, one has to ...
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2answers
74 views

No more turn left to get focus at infinity (hit the lens limit) [duplicate]

Academic question: If I run out of turn attempting to achieve an infinity focus (close, but no cigar) would I: Move the lens away from the sensor? OR Move the lens closer to the sensor?
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146 views

What's the best choice of lens from an optics surplus shop to get a Stanhope Lens-like magnifying function?

I am looking to do some experiments with my cellphone and a lens, holding the lens in contact with my cellphone lens. I'm looking for a lens that has the shortest back focal length length possible, so ...
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3answers
386 views

Why are adapters for slightly too-short backfocus lens mounts not made with just a thick glass window instead of a lens element?

Infinity-correcting adapters tend to incorporate a weak teleconverter usually. It would appear that a thick, planar optical glass window is also capable of lengthening back focus - and would probably ...
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6answers
1k views

What lens characteristics contribute to attractive lens flare?

Some lenses give really harsh and unwanted flares. Some gives beautiful flares that add depth to an image. What's the science behind this?
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7answers
11k views

How do constant aperture zoom 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 ...
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2answers
114 views

Which is better in lens hoods, felt-like material or sawtooth surface?

I have noticed that many1 Canon lens hoods contain a felt-like matte black material designed to reduce reflections. The material probably does so admirably, but tends to get dusty over time. On the ...
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2answers
583 views

How do graduated ND filters actually work?

My question stems from the fact that the surface of the filter is completely out of focus. My understanding is that light from any one point of the subject hits the lens all over... some of it ...
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1answer
160 views

How can i calculate the direction vector of a pixel? [closed]

So if you take a pinhole camera and make it as the origin of our plane(3D) and a pixel from the image plane and connect the two with a straight line it should make a vector, which has direction and a ...
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1answer
140 views

Why is there a maximum focus distance when using an extension tube? [duplicate]

I am using the Nikon D850 together with the Sigma 50mm/1.4 Art and the MEIKE MK-N-AF1-A extension tube(s). During first shots I found out that the combination not only has a minimum focus distance (...
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1answer
193 views

How do focal reducers affect image quality?

I have a bunch of lovely old full frame K mount lenses (like the 50mm f1.2 and the 135mm f2.5) and the idea of using them in a proper mirrorless body (I have the K-01 and that's a hell of a brick) ...
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3answers
4k views

What's the opposite of a fisheye lens?

A fisheye lens is an extremely wide-angle lens that is purposely designed to have extreme barrel distortion. Is there such a thing as a lens purposely designed to have pincushion distortion? What ...
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3answers
1k views

Which formula for f-numbers is correct: f/D or 1/(2NA)?

I've seen two different definitions for the f-number of a general-purpose lens. Are they consistent ? I'm assuming that subjects are distant (not macro, magnification is small), and we have a lens ...
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2answers
47k views

What is the difference between a pentaprism and a pentamirror?

Higher-end SLR cameras include a pentaprism to transmit the image from the lens to the viewfinder, whereas lower-end SLR cameras use a pentamirror to accomplish the same task. What are the ...
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3answers
101 views

What techniques do higher-end lenses use to reduce astigmatism at high apertures?

I own a few lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. For this question, I'll focus on two specifically: A Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, which retails around the $500 CAD mark; and A Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, which ...
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167 views

What useful information can one gain from a lens element diagram?

On many photo gear review sites, cutaway diagrams of lenses are featured which show the layout of the elements in each lens. Here's the style of diagram I'm talking about, taken from Nikon's website ...
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5answers
4k views

Why can't my custom camera body focus to far distances?

I have built a custom optical device that uses a standard C-mount lens as found on CCTV cameras. Wikipedia states that the flange-to-film distance of a C-mount lens is 17.526 millimetres. I have ...
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3answers
3k views

What causes lens flare along specific axes?

When photographing bright objects, what causes lens flare along specific axes? First two images captured from Reds Rhetoric & Vincent Jones's video, last from SpaceX's feed. In reflecting ...
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What explains a lens flare “streak” on only one side of light source?

We know than an axial streak can be caused by a smudged lens that has been wiped in one direction. The following image shows both lens flare and a lens "streak." But what could explain the one-sided ...
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1answer
53 views

Are front lens focusing and unit focusing equivalent in triplet/tessar style lenses?

Some vintage tessar or triplet type lenses (eg such intended for viewfinder cameras) implement focusing by merely moving the front element or front cell. When adapting such lenses to other cameras, ...
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1answer
54 views

I have a Nikon D60 and two lenses: 70-300 and 18-135. Should I get a 50mm 1.8 prime? [closed]

I have a Nikon D60 and two lenses: a Tamron 70-300 mm f/4-5.6, and a Nikon 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6. I got all of these things really cheap, and now I want to buy a prime lens. I was thinking about a 50 ...
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2answers
111 views

How can a subject stay in focus if the shot is recomposed afterwards?

I have a doubt about a procedure that I see many photographers continuously apply and they taught me. I see that, when they want to take a picture with their reflex, they do this sequence of steps: 1)...
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1answer
41 views

Lumix G85 - Black Corner regardless of lens and no hood - please help

I have owned a Panasonic Lumix G85 for about a year. This month, I've started getting a black area on the left corner of my images, which you can also see on the EVF. I can't see anything on the ...
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1answer
101 views

How to get close to 180 degrees with minimal fisheye look on iPhone X or 11?

I'm trying to film my rugby practices with my iPhone and wondering what is the best lens to use to capture the entire field without much that fish eye look? I noticed that the new iPhone 11 (Pro) ...
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2answers
50 views

How do i find the distance required to resolve a point on a page from a mobile camera?

Given all details such as focal length , aperture etc , how can i find the size of a point on a paper that is at a given distance from a mobile camera ? Or vica versa , the distance required to ...
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6answers
10k views

What is the farthest a camera can see?

At what distance can a face no longer be identified using a camera? At what distance can a figure of a person no longer be captured?
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1answer
67 views

Ghosting artefacts in narrow DOF photographs

Snapping with a Canon EOS 600D in narrow DOF situations (for example with low f-stop numbers at long focal lenght), I get ghosting artefacts on the parts of the photograph which are out of focus. ...
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1answer
101 views

What is a good reference for the technological aspects of modern digital photography? [closed]

What is a good readable, technically detailed reference on the technology involved in modern digital cameras, raw file conversion, and digital image processing? (Possibly a complete a complete answer ...
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2answers
93 views

Is it possible to get green and red chromatic aberration?

In one of the hallucinating scenes in a video I have played. The vision is blurry and objects nearer the edges of the screen are green and red Now the usual chromatic aberration patterns are purple/...
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1answer
201 views

Can a camera be a mile long?

Could parts of a camera be spaced out over a distance rather then together to work in a way a normal camera cannot? What characteristics would this camera have over a normal camera? In the picture ...
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0answers
225 views

What causes this repetition pattern in a picture? (when re-arranging its pixels by their intensity - code included) [closed]

Just out of curiosity, I was playing with RGB coordinates and pixels of pictures. Then for some reason I decided to get all pixels of a picture, get the RGB coordinates/values of each pixel (eg. RGB(...
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0answers
67 views

How did technicians individually hand-shim each Pentax/Konica 35mm slr lens mount?

I just received a Konica Autoreflex T and I found out that the lens mount is individually hand shimmed. How did the technicians determine if the lens mount is correctly parallel to the focal plane?
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1answer
124 views

Why do CCTV and pro camcorder lenses often have vignettes, and apertures that can be fully closed?

I noticed this on both CCTV and "TV lens" C-mount lenses. Is this for manual black level calibration, or protecting some early sensor or *icon tube style from wear, or entirely another reason? It ...
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3answers
15k views

What is a zone plate?

I was looking into alternative methods of photography and I happened upon something called a 'zone plate.' Three questions: What is a zone plate? How does it work? What can I do with it?
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2answers
710 views

Is this a bubble in my lens element?

Both images show the same artifact.
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2answers
63 views

Determine the effective aperture size by f-stop/sensor size/focal length/Size of CoC [duplicate]

Is it possible to calculate the effective aperture size by the parameters below? f-stop sensor size focal length of lens size of circle of confusion If yes, what is the equation? If no, what are ...
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1answer
66 views

Is there an online lens diffraction and maximum sharpness table?

I simply want to see an table that lists the lens diffraction limit of each camera. I have came across this well done answer with animated PNG and I realized there i also the perfect sharpness ...
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6answers
16k views

Why is depth of field affected by focal length?

As the focal length decreases, the depth of field increases as well. Why is this? I'm not so much interested in a physics lesson as I am interested in a simple, down-to-earth explanation.
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2answers
78 views

Relationship between f-number and amount of light being let into the lens system [duplicate]

Why does smaller f-number imply greater aperture diameter and consequently, greater amount of light entering the lens of a camera? As evidenced from my study across a number of resources, an absolute ...
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2answers
112 views

DSLR lens image inversion?

 Out of simple curiosity, do DSLR cameras produce an inverted image on the sensor, with the image being flipped by software?  I've dabbled with astronomy prior to my current interest in ...
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3answers
3k views

What causes barrel distortion?

Here are some scenarios for barrel distortion: When a target is too close to a camera, the photo will show barrel distortion. My flip cell phone's camera often produces barrel distortion. Some lenses ...
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2answers
118 views

What's the actual physics behind the optical apodization? [duplicate]

Canon seems to plan to introduce a 50mm with apodization for a more natural bokeh [1], but it is not the first in photography [2]. Wikipedia article is only an introduction [2], and does not develop ...
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0answers
60 views

What creates a calisson-like shaped light bokeh ? How to craft this aspect of the bokeh? [duplicate]

What creates a calisson-like shaped light bokeh such as this one (made with Arri signature T/1.9) ? The further from the center the more present are the angles, why ? Another lens (Zeiss Supreme T/1....
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1answer
191 views

How wide does the front element of a lens have to be, given the focal length and the aperture?

Clearly, a lens with focal length F and aperture 1/f has to be at least F/f mm wide. Maybe a little more to accommodate the angle of view. However, lenses tend to have wider front elements than F/f. ...
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3answers
14k 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 ...
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2answers
138 views

Is it theoretically possible to use a mirrorless lens for a smartphone camera?

A example situation. I want to take photo of a far away text for identification but my camera has a dead battery! If I decide to use my phone (Just another 1/2.55 smartphone) and a RF (Or a EF-S) ...
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6answers
1k views

Why is the area in focus in front of the focus distance narrower than behind it?

I guess the title and the picture explain my question well.