Lenses and Optics

Things You Should Know About Your Lenses, But May Not

Published February 6, 2011

This is not an article. A good article is like a five course meal, leading you through various tastes until you get to the big point of the whole thing: cheesecake. But I had a few things I wanted to talk about that weren’t an article in themselves, just blurbs, really. So I planned this one to be more like a buffet. Just go through the line and sample what you want.

That was the plan, anyway. I think what I ended up with was really more like a school cafeteria: go through the line and the big hairy lady slaps down a few various mystery dishes on your plate. If you’re really hungry, some of it might be edible. If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?

Most people will already know about half of this stuff. Which means that most people won’t know about half this stuff. And I doubt any of it will change the way you shoot. But if you’re hungry for some lens knowledge, some of it’s probably edible.

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Lenses and Optics
  • Cfreak

    I know a lot about cine lenses and less about still lenses. It was a very informative read: confirming things I do know, confirming things I suspected and informing me still more. Using still lenses to shot HD video I realize how spoilt I was in the movie business and why the true cine lenses COST SO MUCH 🙂 -Thank you.

  • Mini

    This article is also available in German.

    Thanks for mentioning after i have already read THE WHOLE ARTICLE in English!
    Anyway there are some interesting facts in here.

  • Jacek Z.

    One thing that seems closely connected, but might be missing on page 4 is “Aperture and Shutter Values Aren’t Totally Accurate”. For example, switching a 50 mm prime from f/4 and 1/500s to f/5.6 and 1/250s on the same object the amount of light coming to the sensor – at least theoretically – should be equal. But often IT ISN’T.

    So… either something is not too accurate with the shutter speed, or the lens diaphragm mechanism doesn’t work perfectly, letting more or less light than declared. Let it be just 1/3 EV. Small difference, but a difference, especially when this “pleasing circular aperture” gets a bit oval at some values.

  • David

    That bit about the magical wizard’s tube made me laugh. Oddly, my TC is the only lens I regret buying. Never seem to use the thing; never willing to sully the performance of the base lens.

  • Walter

    Ugh, the rattling IS.

    It turns out that Olympus sensor-shift IS systems calibrate/reset themselves every time you turn the camera off, which makes a rattling noise. Easily the most common newbie question on the 4/3 forums over at DPReview is “I got this E-whatever and it’s great, but it makes this horrid rattling noise every time I turn it off, is it broken?”

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