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25
votes
6answers
111k views

How do I find the right size of filters for a lens?

I was looking to get a circular polarizing filter and an UV filter for my Canon 550D, 18-135mm lens. When I checked online I found these filters came in different sizes, like 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm. ...
56
votes
7answers
25k views

Why are Red, Green, and Blue the primary colors of light?

Colors don't have to be a mixture of red, green, and blue because visible light can be any wavelengths in the 390nm-700nm range. Do primary colors really exist in the real world? Or did we select red, ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

is it normal to get significant lens flare with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens?

I've purchased a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. But I'm really disappointed in the results, especially when using it for night photography. :( In my night shots a lot of lens flare appears in my photos. I'...
47
votes
5answers
50k views

What is the “Rule of 600” in astrophotography?

This question mentions the "Rule of 600" for avoiding star-trails in astrophotography. What is this rule? How was it derived? How should it be applied?
23
votes
3answers
7k views

How are virtual tour photos taken?

I am currently working to design a flash virtual tour, but I know little about how the photographs are taken. Ideally I'd like to be able to take a set of 6 shots from a single focal point, and be ...
36
votes
12answers
16k views

How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

Does the dpi number reported by camera in JPG have any meaning?

I have two cameras, a 6mpix Panasonic FZ8, and 14mpix Canon A2200. When I compare shots from two cameras, one of differences I notice is dpi number that camera reports in JPG info: FZ8 reports dpi=...
91
votes
4answers
15k views

What does an unprocessed RAW file look like?

I know people use fancy software like Lightroom or Darktable to post-process their RAW files. But what if I don't? What does the file look like, just, y'know, RAW?
34
votes
6answers
46k views

What is one “stop”?

I always hear this term, e.g., I had to go down one stop Increasing X by Y raises Z by one stop I turned down the flash/the light two stops This lens/sensor/strobe/Photoshop tweak raises X by around ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Why did manufacturers stop including DOF scales on lenses?

Seriously why? I hate it and I hate memorizing it or check my phone app for the depth of field of the current aperture. I find it so useful in old lenses. The DOF preview doesn't help that much ...
42
votes
5answers
181k views

How do I calculate the distance of an object in a photo?

If I took a picture of a windmill on the horizon — given that I know the sensor size and the focal length of the lens and other factors to do with the shot — could I calculate how far away an object ...
25
votes
1answer
6k views

Is it really better to shoot at full-stop ISOs?

The second half of this answer says Notice that I only shot full-stop ISO which is important with Canon DSLRs because the gain to obtain the 1/3 stops in between is applied in software by the ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Do smaller apertures provide more depth of field past the diffraction limit, even if peak sharpness suffers?

In Understanding Exposure (3rd edition, on page 48), Bryan Peterson has what might be called a rant against modern on-line conventional wisdom about diffraction limits. Answers on this web site are ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the advantage of a lens with a curved focal plane?

In this answer it is noted that: many lenses intended specifically for portraits or fisheye lenses, are designed to have a spherical field of focus What advantages does having a spherical (or ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

How to improve image sharpness on Canon 700D?

I'm currently using a Canon 700D with a few EF-S lenses, I like the Canon system, the looks, feel and ergonomics but I'm not happy with the files I'm getting. Whenever I come across a photo that ...
62
votes
3answers
4k views

What should I pay attention to when choosing a tripod?

I am a novice in photography and my current camera (Sony alpha 230 kit) which I recently have bought is the first DSLR of mine. Soon I'd like to buy a tripod for it. Please advise me what should I ...
43
votes
7answers
7k views

What is “Hyperfocal Distance”?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
12
votes
3answers
81k views

How can I take a photo with everything in focus with my DSLR?

I am quite new to DSLRs and one of the first things I noticed was the incredible focus points and appearance of depth that you can achieve. That is great in a lot of scenarios, but not in all. When ...
68
votes
4answers
152k views

What does f-stop mean?

What does f-stop mean? Is it the same thing when people say "2 stops" for example?
37
votes
5answers
21k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
107
votes
5answers
7k views

What is RAW, technically?

From a technical perspective, what exactly is RAW and how does it differ from JPG or bitmap images? I'm not asking about the pros/cons versus another format, but rather what constitutes RAW format, ...
71
votes
7answers
22k views

How is ISO implemented in digital cameras?

If I change the ISO settings on my camera, obviously the gain of the system is increased, amplifying the signal from the sensor. What's not clear to me is where the amplification takes place. I see ...
45
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the “Rule of Thirds”?

Please can someone explain the "Rule of Thirds"? What is it? What does it tell me? Why is it important? What can I do with it?
64
votes
11answers
25k views

Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras?

Digital photos can have colour filters applied after the fact by software, so are there any good reasons to use colour filters with a digital camera? As I understand it, the main reason for them ...
35
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I know what speed card to get for my camera?

Cameras rarely specify exactly what speed cards you should be using in them - I just checked the manual for my DSLR, and all it says is to use an SDHD card, and a "high speed" card should be used for ...
120
votes
7answers
9k views

How and why do you use an image histogram?

I realize that an image histogram is a graphical display of an images tonal distribution (i.e. horizontal darks to lights, vertical pixel distribution), but how does one really use it and why? I mean, ...
18
votes
8answers
48k views

How can I recover photo files from a memory card with a corrupt filesystem?

I know this is not specifically a photography issue but since many of us with prosumer/professional-level DLSRs use Compact Flash cards, it is bound to happen to others as well. I have a Sandisk 16GB ...
70
votes
11answers
13k views

Are there any downsides to using a good-quality UV filter?

Are there any real downsides to using a UV filter? I know that a poor quality UV filter can effect image quality ... but, assuming I use a good quality UV filter, will that actually be an issue? Is ...
27
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the shape of the focal plane?

This is something I just realised I don't entirely know the answer to, so I'm going to ask it here as I think it's interesting. In most non-scientific writing on depth of field, diagrams generally ...
64
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I get started in Astrophotography?

I have a Canon 20D. I'd love to take some photos of the moon and stars. How do I get started? I've search the web and the information is sparse and cryptic. I'd like to know what equipment is the ...
86
votes
4answers
14k views

What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

The most common width to height ratio rates in the "old good" paper photography seems to be 3:2, which was adopted by today's DSLRs. Early (non-professional) digital cameras adopted 4:3 aspect ratio, ...
70
votes
9answers
69k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
82
votes
8answers
38k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are "...
44
votes
14answers
9k views

What are the pros and cons when shooting in RAW vs JPEG?

In general shooting in RAW format uses a lot more file storage than JPEG. What am I gaining when shooting RAW? Besides file size are there any downsides to shooting RAW?
33
votes
13answers
30k views

Should I buy a camera with kit lens, or body plus lens separately?

I am planning to buy a DSLR soon. Before I zero in on the model, I want to know whether it is advisable to buy a kit (body + 18-55 lens) or not? OR should I go for the camera-body and the lens ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is sync speed? [duplicate]

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Pictures of surfers start in focus then go out of focus?

I was recently shooting some surfers after a session with my 7D and Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD. I started shooting while he was in focus, then as he got to the main part of the maneuver ...
121
votes
7answers
12k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

What is noise in a digital photograph?

What kinds of effects are present in digital images that are referred to as "noise"? What are the different sources of noise? What causes each type of noise? What are the characteristics of the ...
29
votes
5answers
38k views

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed to avoid blur from camera shake?

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed at which I can effectively avoid camera shake while hand-holding the camera?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can software correct white balance more accurately for RAW files than it can with JPEGs?

Why are post-processing JPEG white balance corrections not as accurate as white balance with Raw? My understanding is that when shooting jpeg the camera internally does the following steps: Convert ...
19
votes
3answers
48k views

Can you photograph the milky way with a full moon out?

Is it possible to photograph the milky way (or just any stars or stellar objects) when a full moon is out?
11
votes
13answers
2k views

What macro techniques offer an alternative to expensive optics?

I was wondering what are the alternative macro techniques people use instead of buying expensive macro optics. I know about single lens reverse macro technique; what other alternative techniques allow ...
8
votes
9answers
7k views

While shooting in RAW, do you have to post-process it to make the picture look good?

I always shoot in RAW. But I take lots of pictures, when I am out shooting I might come home with 600+ pictures. Many of these pics are copies of the same motive, but with different aperture, shutter, ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do my photos look different in Photoshop/Lightroom vs Canon EOS utility/in camera?

I've recently been shooting in raw with my new 100mm usm is macro but I'm getting strange results in out of focus areas with bright colours in. I've used Lightroom for ages and not had any issues with ...
69
votes
17answers
9k views

Where can I find reviews of lenses?

I want to check reviews when deciding to buy a lens. There are so many factors beyond what is written in the name. Where can I find such reviews? What information does each site cover? Which reviews ...
29
votes
8answers
13k views

How can I recover deleted photos from an SD Card?

My technophobe mother returned from a European trip to discover she'd erased all but 15 images from a nearly full 2GB card. As I am the computer guy in the family, she posted the card to me and asked ...
46
votes
19answers
117k views

Should I buy an original manufacturer battery, or is a generic brand OK?

I need another LP-E5 type battery for my Canon 450D. Should I buy an original Canon battery or one of the many generic brands available? There are loads of cheapos on eBay, for example. I should add ...
13
votes
4answers
20k views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Which offers better results: FoCal or LensAlign Pro?

I am in need of microadjusting my autofocus for a couple of my lenses with my Canon 7D. Namely, I need to adjust the 100-400 L lens, which seems to consistently AF a bit softer than I've seen from ...

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