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Thread: Please explan lenses to me!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Not a complicated question, but the answer is I expect!!

    For example, what on earth does "50mm f/1.4" actually mean?

    I can get things like a wide angle lens on ebay pretty cheap, will these make much difference to the way I take pictures? Or should I learn how to manually set the ISO levels etc first?

  2. #2
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    I can explain in lay mans terms, the 50 mm is the focal length. It Is a fixed length or prime lens so you can't zoom in and out, you do the zooming with your feet. Prime lenses are usually said to be better quality. It depends which camera you've got it on to what length it will actually be ie whether it is a full frame camera or not.50mm on a cropped frame camera is perfect for head shots and portraits.

    The 1.4 is the aperture, the lower the number the more light let into the camera so the 50mm would allow you to shoot portraits in low light with good results. What you need to remember though is that each lens has a sweet spot, you can google this. This means the aperture that gives the sharpest shot. A large aperture has a narrow depth of field so if you took a picture of someones face at 1.4 and focussedinbetween the eyes the outside of the eyes may be less in focus.

    I have a 50mm 1.8, canon and for it's price gives me an excellent portrait.

    Hope that helps a little.















  3. #3
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    in basic terms the "mm" part is the zoom part.

    the f/1.4 is the aperture (opening of the lens that allows light to come in). So numerically lower aperture means more light comes in and means better at low light conditions but then also makes the Depth of Field very shallow. background is very blurred and only a few parts is focused/sharp.

  4. #4
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    just to add to what bento said - yes you would have a very shallow depth of field at 1.4 but you will be ableto manually make the aperture smaller on your camera to increase this and make the focus sharper accross the range f1.4 is the maximum size of teh aperture not the minimum and isn't fixed

    again apologies if teachinganyone to suck eggs - I am very new to this and ican be a little overwhelming at times

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