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Lenses and Optics

Fast Lenses: A Primer

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by Stephen Michael Garey What is a Fast Lens? A fast lens is any lens of any type and focal length that has an aperture design capable of opening to f/2.8 or wider. There are fast lenses currently available that open as wide as f/1.2, and there are any number of popular lenses that open […]

Lenses and Optics

Have You Seen My Acutance?

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Have you seen my acutance? A few words about sharpness and MTF charts Many of you know one of my pet peeves is strident internet arguments between photographers who are splitting hairs or misinformed. One major cause of these arguments is terminology: people use a nonspecific term which means something different to each of them. […]

Lenses and Optics

Optimus Prime

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Today’s topic is prime lenses, those lenses that (GASP!!!) don’t zoom! Wait, don’t leave. This is really worth your time. (OK, those of you who already shoot entirely or mostly with primes can leave, there’s probably not much for you here.) About 10 times a week, in discussing the best lens for the job with […]

Lenses and Optics

Teleconverters 101

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The problem, I think, is that it seems so simple. “If I add a 2x teleconverter I’ll get that closeup shot I want.” We all know what a teleconverter’s purpose is: it magnifies the image by a factor of 1.4x or 2×. A 300mm lens with a 1.4x converter becomes a 420mm lens. With a […]

Lenses and Optics

"This lens is soft" and other myths

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One of the most common examples of anti-logic we see at LensRentals is the statement The lens is soft/front focuses/back focuses. Now don’t get me wrong, there are bad copies of lenses out there, as best we can tell ranging from 3% to 7% of lenses. And we know, despite our checkout procedures, that 1 […]

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