Just like other telephoto lenses, ultra-telephoto lens buyers should shop for the most speed for the greatest focal length. Let’s break apart what both focal length range and maximum aperture mean for your own lenses. Below we’ll cover what each of these lens categories is used for in more detail, but this will provide a general idea of the range of focal lengths you might find stamped on your lenses: Beginning photographers should spend some time learning about the focal lengths of the lenses they own. Compare the images in post-processing. If I use it on a crop sensor camera, though, the effective focal length changes to 80mm. f/5.6, f/2.8, f/2). Brand name, lens type, focal length (in mm), maximum aperture, other lens features/abbreviations.For example, the official name for one of Nikon’s professional zooms is the “Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 E ED VR” lens. Telephoto lenses are popular among sports, wildlife, and nature photography. A versatile zoom lens with a range of at least 70-300 mm is also helpful to have around. Using a zoom lens also reduces the number of times you need to change the lens which saves time and limits the possibility of getting dust in the camera's mirror box or on the sensor. While the focal lengths vary, macro lenses come with a ‘minimum focus distance’ that will indicate the closest you can be and still have the subject clearly in focus. They are sometimes called ‘fixed’ lenses because the focal length is fixed at one distance between the lens and the image sensor to keep the subject in focus. The quality of the glass used in the lens and other factors determine the quality of the image you get from the lens. Prime lenses have one fixed maximum aperture. There’s no common set of letters that are used across brands like Canon, Nikon and Sony to indicate image stabilization in the lens. There are also numbers like 49mm or 58mm on the end of your lens. To explore the focal length of your camera, try this exercise: Once you’ve done the exercise with stationary objects, move outdoors and attempt the same exercise with an object at a further distance or a landscape. The same applies to lens filters, remote shutter releases, and external flash. Below are the silent wave motor abbreviations for the common lens brands: It’s important to note that the difference in these letters and what words like ‘hypersonic’ means is completely dependent upon the manufacturer. It is what you’ll use to prove that a particular camera or lens belongs to you if you ever need to make an insurance claim or report something stolen. Aperture is measured by dividing the focal length of the lens by the diameter of the aperture opening. Nikon and Sony crop sensor cameras are usually 1.5x. In digital photography, camera resolution is associated with a number of different factors: 1. It is also known as the focal ratio, f-ratio, or f-stop, and is very important in photography. A-B mm f/C (e.g. What are the best camera lenses for beginners? In this exercise, the only thing that changes is the focal length. For example, the kit lens that came with my first camera is an 18-55mm zoom. You can carry less camera equipment but still, have a subject in focus at any of those distances. look for MACRO printed on your lens for true macro technology. With that, you have a good overview of what all those lens terms and numbers mean. It is believed that more lens elements mean better picture quality. The glass guides the light to the sensor. This is an important consideration when choosing a camera lens: even if you do not plan on using a lens at its maximum aperture, this aperture may still help the camera achieve better focus accuracy. However, if the digital camera offers some additional wide-angle capabilities and has a minimum 28mm equivalency, then the 10X optical zoom would only have a maximum focal length of 280mm. Looking at the image above, you can see that the focal length of that lens is 24-105mm. It's measured on three axes: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. Lenses come in a wide variety of focal lengths. Check this list of Adorama Black Friday deals, Amazon Black Friday deals, and much more! However, the effective focal length of that lens is different depending on the camera I use. The basics of camera lenses explained, tips on how to choose a lens for video, and examples of what different focal lengths look like! It has the same focal length and maximum aperture as the first model but is an ‘improved’ version with higher-quality features. Telephoto lenses compress distance, making subjects look closer than they are to the naked eye. Prime lenses—also called fixed lenses—can only capture one focal length. Telephoto Lenses (70 mm or longer)  — Lenses that are 70 mm or longer are known as telephoto lenses. Though the numbers listed with the security camera lens seem simple enough, it is far more confusing to know the implications behind those numbers. Another aspect of aperture values is that the larger the maximum aperture a lens can achieve, the faster that lens is said to be. Macro (focal lengths vary)         Another common lens to find in a photographer’s bag is a macro lens. Shorter focal length prime lenses have maximum apertures ranging from approximately f/1.2 to f/2.8. What do they mean? Check out the video below to get an in-depth explanation from Strome Breaker: Basically, a crop sensor camera has a smaller sensor than a full frame camera. Lets look at an 18-55mm lens as an example. When on, image stabilization helps minimize camera shake. The focal length of your lens can be found in a couple of places: one, on top of the lens, toward the base where it connects to the camera, and two, on the end of the lens. A-B mm f/C-D (e.g. printed somewhere on the lens, or the words “hypersonic” or “ultrasonic.”  You’ll especially find this on higher-end or specialty lenses. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Telephoto lenses often have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/5.6. There’s also a small subset of wide angle lenses known as ultra-wide angle lenses. It basically tells you how wide the view is when you look through the camera. Most photographers start to specialize in lenses that match the types of photography they shoot the most. The first number used to describe a lens is its focal length; in combination with the camera's sensor size, this defines the angle of view covered by the lens, with smaller numbers indicating a wider angle. No matter how the lens is designated, somewhere in the middle of it you’ll find a series of numbers, typically in one of the following formats: 1. Zoom lenses can have a fixed maximum or they can have a range of maximum apertures. Rest assured, by the end of this guide you’ll be an expert on how to read camera lens numbers and choose the best lens for your next shoot. Therefore, an 18mm lens is quite short; a 200mm lens is quite long. The mm is the view angle of the lens. Focal length is the length or distance from the front of the lens to the sensor inside of the camera. This is because it can allow more light into the lens than my kit lens. Those numbers indicate the maximum aperture the lens can achieve, so that lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at all times. It’s a technical term to describe the ‘halo’ of purple/yellow coloring that occurs on the fringe of subjects in macro photos. 50 mm or 85 mm). Let’s break apart what both focal length range and maximum aperture mean for your own lenses. While it may be tempting to switch lens brands when you upgrade equipment or when you see a good sale on lenses, there’s no way to interchange a Canon lens with a Nikon lens. Prime lenses have benefits over zoom lenses because they tend to be lighter weight and also have larger maximum apertures or f/stops. Focal length range will be listed as XX-XX before the letters mm, (e.g. In other words, angle of view is how much you can see with the lens you're using. Typically when the new lens version becomes available, the older version will no longer be available from licensed camera retailers. Telephoto lenses are most often zoom lenses, giving you a wide variety of focal lengths to shoot with. Some camera bodies have built in stabilization so the lens doesn’t need to provide stability. Many of these camera accessories are exclusive to the brand of lens and are not interchangeable. Hi my name is Brandon. However macro lenses provide the best magnification and image quality without distortion. The next number we are going to look at from the numbers on your lens is the aperture. The trade-off is that the wider the view, the smaller everything is in the picture. When you purchase filters, you’ll need to make sure that they are large enough to cover the full lens or the correct diameter for circular screw-on filters. When purchasing telephoto lenses, it’s important to select the most speed for the greatest focal length. For example, if a 10X optical zoom lens on a digital camera has a minimum focal length of 35mm, the camera would have a 350mm maximum focal length. Focal length range will be listed as XX-XX before the letters mm, (e.g. There are several different types of camera lens available for a wide range of uses. We will be identifying all of the major (common) lens mount types, and then some more uncommon or rare lens mounts as well. You may also see them marketed as ‘standard zoom’ or ‘normal’ lenses. The smaller the focal length, the more of your subject you’ll be able to capture in a photograph. The lens bends these rays inward so they trace out the shape of a cone. So the 1D is the most advanced, professional-grade DSLR … Naturally, in autofocus mode, the lens takes care of acquiring the subject in focus. Where zoom lenses have a variable focal length, prime lenses have a fixed focal length. Zoom lenses allow you to capture a range of focal lengths using the same lens. It effectively crops out the outer edges of the scene, meaning you see less of what's in front of you than if you were taking the same photo with a full frame camera. You can check that out for a more thorough look. The main advantages of prime lenses or fixed focal length lenses are their size and weight as well as their maximum aperture or f/stop. For example, Canon crop sensor cameras have a magnification of 1.6x. It’s a gold standard for portraits and street photography. In the latter, it's 58mm. As with image stabilization, every camera manufacturer advertises and markets their own type of silent wave motor. A camera lens’ focal length (the distance from the lens’ most focused image to the camera’s sensor itself) is written in millimeters. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! If your camera body does not have it built in, you’ll want to confirm that your lens has image stabilization technology by looking for letters printed on the lens.Unfortunately, the common camera manufacturers abbreviate and market their image stabilization differently. It's just one of the essential camera parts that allow the camera to capture images. Consider choosing a prime wide-angle lens as they have fewer components and tend to be priced cheaper. Depending on the type of lens that you own, the focal length will either be listed as a range of numbers (e.g. However, this is not the case. For example, if I'm using my 50mm lens and my 85mm lens and both are set to an aperture of f/4, both lenses will allow the same light into the lens. At the wide end, it can open to f/4; on the narrow end, it can only open to f/5.6 (as seen below). Wide angle lenses are popular for landscape and architecture photography where it’s important to capture as much background and scope of the scene as possible. While there are lots of numbers and letters on lenses, once you’re familiar with how to read them, it’s easy to know what lens you’re working with and what the lens will do for your photography. Given how important it is to stop motion in these photos (and the high potential for noise and blur at long distances), it’s often better to choose a slightly shorter focal length if it means you can achieve a higher speed. You’ll know your lens is a prime lens because the focal length will be a single number listed in front of the millimeter measurement (e.g. In an earlier article, I offered up an essential guide to prime lenses. Arguably, it’s the most important thing you need to know about your current lenses and it’s very important when buying new ones. Lens mount and contacts - This is the part of the lens which connects with the camera body. Aperture gets a little tricky though because the f-numbers are inversely related to the size of the opening. Macro lenses come in short lengths (good for low light, macro, and some portraits) as well as standard macro lenses (shooting about 9-11 inches away from the subject in good lighting) and telephoto macro lenses (shooting up to 2 feet away). Part of what can be confusing about lenses is some of the terms that are thrown around when discussing them. Most photographers start with lenses in this focal length range, and they are common as camera kit lenses. These are just a few questions a beginner photographer might have... To clear things up a bit, I've put together this quick guide on a few terms related to lenses. Learn more about aperture and f-numbers in the detailed tutorial below by Dylan Bennett: F-numbers are consistent across all lenses, so even if the diameter of the aperture opening is different from one lens to the next, if two lenses are using the same aperture value, both lenses will allow the exact same amount of light into the lens. Conversely, wildlife photographers tend to use telephoto lenses because their narrow angle of view allows them to get a close-up shot of the animal, even from a great distance away. In this tutorial, get simple instructions on using a reflector for portraits. Prime Lens Benefits. In general, camera manufacturers advertise silent wave motors because they tend to be faster and quieter than the standard focusing motor you’ll find in entry-level lenses. Nikon’s has been around since 1959. There are tons of Black Friday photography deals available this year. If you think of f-numbers as fractions, this becomes much more clear: 1/4 is bigger than 1/22, so f/4 is also bigger than f/22. If possible, it’s helpful to line up your lenses least to most so that when you view the images later on the images are in order from the shortest focal length to the longest focal length you own. They don’t often come in basic lens kits but should be one of the first you consider adding on. More on that here. Well today we're kicking off a mini-series on lens mounts. As a result, my 50mm lens is said to be faster. In this ViewSonic VP3481 review, learn about the features, specs, pros, cons, and price of this curved, widescreen monitor. Place one of the items near the camera, and the others and distances on the table farther away from the camera. A few lenses everyone should consider having in their camera bag:  A 50 mm f/1.8 prime lens. Place the camera on a tripod or at a fixed location from the objects. https://creativepro.com/digital-camera-how-to-understanding-lens-specifications Wide Angle Lenses (25 mm or less) – The first type of common lens with some of the shortest focal lengths are wide angle lenses. If you’re reading reviews about lens performance from other photographers, be sure you have the exact version as performance and quality may be quite different. In much simpler terms, it's the measurement (in millimeters) of how long your lens is. Others rely on the lens to provide stabilization. Some lens specifications like the one for the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 include a number like the “7P lens” spec above. The higher the focal length (larger number), the less you will see in your image (more zoomed in). If you have zoom lenses, take photos at the minimum and maximum focal lengths as well as use the range guide to take a photo at each of the focal lengths stamped on the side of the lens. This is because they have fewer pieces and parts, so light has fewer obstructions to go through to reach the camera's sensor. The lens pictured above uses a 67mm filter. For SLR cameras, the number and accuracy of autofocus points can also change depending on the maximum aperture of the lens being used, as illustrated above. These have focal length ranges of 10-15 mm and are used to get very close to a subject and still include a background in view. Different camera manufacturers have different focal length multipliers. 1. The lower the number, the wider the view. Finally, consider a wide-angle lens. Not all lens manufacturers have these numbers and letters printed, but it helps to be familiar with the other types of abbreviations you might find on a lens. With these family portrait tips, you'll learn a few strategies for taking much-improved Thanksgiving family portraits. Go through our 30-Day Creative Eye Challenge and discover the long last secrets to finding awesome shots, anywhere, anytime (with any camera). This results in an f-number like f/4, f/8, or f/11. Think of the resulting image as being magnified. On APS-C cameras, like the Canon 7D, 60D, and Rebels, the sensor has a 1.6x crop factor meaning that the sensor will see a 50mm lens as an 80mm lens – so it kind of gets “zoomed in”. Light from a far distant object enters the lens as parallel rays. When comparing lenses, the two most important numbers are the focal length range and lens speed. A 100mm lens is a much tighter angle. Each camera manufacturer handles image stabilization slightly differently. The focal length is one of the most important considerations you need to take into account when buying a new lens. Standard lenses are considered ‘general purpose’ lenses because they can be used for all types of photography. 50 mm f/1.4) Other methods for expressing this information also exist. It’s the best way to learn more about focal length and the lenses you own. In this review, learn all about its specs and capabilities. If you own a full-frame camera, you won’t be able to use a lens built for a crop sensor camera and vice-versa. With careful composition and some post-processing techniques, it’s possible to correct this, but you’ll want to read performance reviews before purchasing Macro lenses to be sure you’ll be getting the highest quality image possible. The size of the aperture is controlled by a diaphragm like the one shown above, which opens wider to allow more light in and closes down to restrict the amount of light. It’s commonly written with f/stop on the camera lens (e.g. It will give a bit more zoom than your standard kit lens and offer higher quality images. Every bit of camera gear you own has a unique serial number to identify it. As a result, crop sensor cameras give lenses a longer effective focal length, much like I described my 50mm lens acting like an 80mm lens when I use it on my crop sensor camera body. If we are to give focal length a technical definition, it would be this: the distance from the camera sensor to the center of the lens when the lens is focused at infinity. Angle of view refers to the angle from the middle of the lens (the optical center) to the outer edges of the image that's viewable through the lens. Fixed maximum ranges on zoom lenses tend to be more expensive, it’s more common to have an aperture range. Super Telephoto/Ultra Telephoto – 300mm and above. The more light it allows into the lens, the faster the shutter speed I can use. f/2.8). Lens speed or maximum aperture will be listed as some number immediately following the letter f.  (e.g. Popular ranges include 70-200 mm, 80-400 mm, 70-300 mm. Thankfully, the manufacturers know this and each lens should be printed with a set of letters that match the same letters of your camera body to indicate compatibility. In this example, the minimum aperture for that lens ranges between f/4.5 and f/5.5, depending on what focal length you’re using. I can shoot wide-angle shots at 18mm, short telephoto shots at 55mm, and everything in between. In much simpler terms, it's the measurement (in millimeters) of how long your lens is. The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR features ED glass and a variable aperture. It's confusing at first, to be sure, but the more you use your lenses and become familiar with these features, the easier it will become to remember it all. Part of what can be confusing about lenses is some of the terms that are thrown around when discussing them. One of the biggest distortion concerns with macro lenses is called chromatic aberration. A good multi-purpose lens can elevate all types of photography. This refers to the diameter of the end of the lens and is helpful when purchasing filters for the camera. The Sony a7 II might be five years old, but it still has features and specs that are well worth the price in 2020. Arguably, it’s the most im… Not to worry. Canon’s equivalent is the “Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM” lens.The most important terms are focal length and maximum aperture.

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