mattdm
  • Member for 11 years, 3 months
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Does my crop sensor camera actually turn my lenses into a longer focal length?
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40 votes

The lens does not actually turn into a different focal length, since that's a real, physical property of the optics that can't be changed without more optics. So from that point of view, the answer is ...

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What does the term "sneaker zoom" mean?
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39 votes

It means the lens focal length doesn't change, but you can change the framing by moving your feet — which in this idiom are wearing sneakers (which, for non-native English speakers, are casual ...

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What is the "Rule of Thirds"?
38 votes

The rule of thirds is a popular and common compositional guideline for photography and for painting. In its most basic form, the rule of thirds suggests that dividing areas within the frame into ...

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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?
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37 votes

Theoretically one can do anything. It just takes more glass — and correspondingly, size, weight, and cost. A 300mm f/1.2 lens would need an apparent aperture of 250mm — which is almost 10 inches in ...

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

What you are looking for is large depth of field. This is an optical property, not something applied as a special effect, so it's not something you can turn on or off. The raw image captures the light ...

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What is the 'Diagonal Method' and should I use it instead of 'The Rule of Thirds?'
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37 votes

The "diagonal method" appears (as seen on a site dedicated to its advocacy) to have been invented — he says "discovered" — in 2006 by photographer and photography teacher Edwin Westhoff. The "method" ...

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Most Common Aspect Ratio?
36 votes

The two most common aspect ratios for digital photography are 4:3 and 3:2. You will also see a significant number of 1:1 (square) photos and 16:9 ("widescreen") images. 3:2 is the aspect ...

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What should I look for when shopping for my first DSLR?
36 votes

The general answer to this question is: whichever gets you done with worrying about what camera to buy the fastest. For some people, that means get whatever low-end equipment you can afford to start ...

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What's the result of stacking ND filters in terms of total stops?
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36 votes

It's six. Remember, the stops are already logarithmic. That is, a 3-stop reduction (as from a 3-stop ND filter) is a 2³× loss of light — ¹⁄₈ of the light gets through. A one stop filter halves light, ...

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Do digital cameras lose picture quality over time?
36 votes

The answer you found on Yahoo is mostly wrong. The basic statement (same as dpollitt's answer here) is correct — theoretically, image quality shouldn't degrade but a number of factors might make it ...

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So my iPhone 6 camera lens is as wide as my full frame 35mm DSLR lens?
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34 votes

You're right that the angle of view of the iPhone camera is a little bit wider than a 35mm lens on a full-frame film camera. Up until this point, you're not really confused. But the part after that, ...

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How do I rotate a lot of digital photos by 180 degrees in one operation?
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33 votes

I would recommend any of the applications from this list at JPEGclub.org, which develops and maintains software for the Independent JPEG Group. They have a free piece of code called jpegtran which can ...

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How to spot dust in images quickly while doing a shoot outdoors?
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32 votes

The dust isn't on the lens — it's on the sensor. Dust on the lens will not resolve so clearly. To check for it quickly, set your aperture to the smallest your lens can support. (Small apertures have ...

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What is a zone plate?
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32 votes

Summary A zone plate is a way of focusing light, like a lens, but using Fresnel diffraction instead of refraction. This is cool from a theoretical point of view, because it demonstrates the wave ...

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What does it mean when something is "distracting"?
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32 votes

"Distracting" is a word often thrown around in online photo-critique, usually without much specificity. It's a criticism that can be applied to any aspect of a photo without, ultimately, ...

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How do color spaces like sRGB and Adobe RGB overlap?
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32 votes

Check out this image by Jeff Schewe from wikipedia. It's a 2D slice of what's really a three-dimensional space, but it makes the basic concept clear: So: sRGB is a subset of AdobeRGB, which is a ...

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Without modification, is the built-in pop-up flash EVER appropriate?
32 votes

Sure. If you're in a situation where documenting the events in front of you is more important than making a photograph which looks nice, there's sometimes just no other way. You can open the aperture,...

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Can I legally sell a photograph with a border made to look like an old Polaroid print?
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31 votes

Polaroid applied for a design mark apparently covering the shape of their prints, but that application was abandoned in 2000. That shape is distinctive, but, for example, Fujifilm Instax looks similar ...

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Which prime lens for Pentax APS-C?
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30 votes

There's so many nice Pentax primes — why pick just one when you can collect a whole set? That's why we have Lens Buying Addiction, after all! In seriousness, based on what you've said, I think the ...

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Is there a black and white physical filter?
30 votes

Pardon me while I get a little metaphysical for a bit. "Color" as we understand it isn't a real property of anything in the universe. It's something created by our vision system — a complicated ...

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Why do images get "corrupted"?
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30 votes

Likely culprits, in order of probability: Bad SD card (by far the most likely, especially with cheap cards). Bad cable or card reader (more common than you might think). Something wrong on your ...

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Will I lose image quality by adjusting white balance in post processing?
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30 votes

No. If you shoot in RAW, there is nothing lost. In fact, in RAW, the white balance you set in-camera is nothing but advisory information to the post-processing software. A different multiplier is ...

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Why did my ND filter produce washed out exposures?
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29 votes

You've got the sun almost in the frame. This is causing huge amounts of veiling flare — light bouncing all around, reducing contrast. You'll get better results from a different angle, or at a ...

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What is the correct pronunciation of "bokeh"?
29 votes

The definitive answer for the word in English is Mike Johnston's article on the topic at Luminous Landscape. Mike says "it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal ...

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Is it practical to shoot portraits by only candlelight?
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29 votes

Yes, this can work. I know because I've taken photos of children lit only by their birthday-cake candles and they've come out nicely. First, some general tips, without regard to your specific camera. ...

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Signal to Noise Ratio over the years
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28 votes

This data was iffy then — not really enough data points, and the trendline is dubious: Source: a very timely xkcd That said, the company DxOMark does measurements of camera sensors all the time, ...

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Can I leave the batteries in my camera?
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28 votes

Leaving the batteries in your camera for a week or two between uses will be no problem. If you plan to leave your camera unused for six months to a year, you might want to take them out. And, the ...

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I know the basic technical stuff, what now?
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28 votes

Now is the time to take photographs. There are definitely some books you can read that go beyond the technical basics. I highly recommended Michael Freeman's series The Photographer's Eye, The ...

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Why don't today's lenses come with a polarizer by default?
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28 votes

A polarizer cuts out light — about one and a half to two stops, give or take. Additionally, one does not always want the effect. In wide angle shots, it can make skies look distinctively uneven. So, ...

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How can I get perfect sharpness when shooting still art?
27 votes

It sounds like you're doing almost everything right, but there's one detail that caught my attention: Aperture highest the lens offers. I'm assuming that this means that you are stopping the lens all ...

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