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Let there be light

Lenses are needed to bring the light to the camera. Modern DSLR systems allow you to change lenses to suit your needs. There is a great variety to choose from, and too many people will convince you that you really need all those lenses (you really don't).

Quality of lenses

  • Focal length expressed in mm. The larger this number the narrower the view, which makes it look like you have magnified things (not entirely correct). For this reason it is also sometimes expressed as field of view in degrees.
  • Aperture expressed as an f number such as f/5.6, it determines basically how much light gets to the camera. The smaller the number, the more light gets in (the more open is the lens) and it is said that the lens is faster. Aperture also affects the depth of field.
  • Minimum focus distance, how close you can come to the object and still be able to focus. Usually this correlated well with the focal length (longer lenses also have a larger minimum focus distance), but lenses can be designed to allow you to come closer see macros.
  • Weight should be one of the main issues when considering a lens.
  • Then there are further issues like Sharpness, Bokeh, Distortion, Chromatic Aberration, Falloff that you can hear about.
  • The way the lenses are constructed also affects the number of spikes you see in sunstars, or the presence of ghosts and flares.

See Also

Lenses on this wiki

These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.