PART 2: UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS ON LENSES:

HERE WE GO! UNDERSTANDING ALL THOSE NUMBERS

You have your new camera, and so far you like it. Now it’s time to look at adding more lenses to your equipment. Not sure what all those numbers mean? That is what we are here for!

WHAT DOES THE FIRST SET OF NUMBERS MEAN?

As you look at the top of your lens, or the front of your lens, the very first set of numbers, or number, tells you what the focal length of your lens is. For example the photo above show the focal length of your lens to be: 24-105mm. How does that equate to anything? Here is your reference point:

A normal lens is one who’s focal-length is equal to the diagonal of the sensor or film. This is said to give a natural perspective similar to that of a single human eye.

On a full-frame DSLR, it is usually a 50mm lens. On a cropped-sensor (APS-C) DSLR, a normal lens falls around 35mm but from 30 to 55mm, it would still be considered normal. For Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds, you would use a 25mm. Usually most manufacturers make sure to have one bright prime that corresponds to the normal focal-length for the sensor-size.

Then going back to the lens above, let’s suppose your camera is a DSLR camera. The normal lens would then be about 30mm. If you were to look through the lens, it would appear that the image is the same size as what you see, without the camera. Then, if you go below the number 30mm you enter the range of wide angle lenses. Which means that the lens pushing the image back further to get more into the picture.

Definition of “WIDE ANGLE LENS”

(Photography) a lens system on a camera that can cover an angle of view of 60° or more and therefore has a fairly small focal length. Any number that is less than 30 is therefore a wide angle lens.

Definition of “telephoto” lens:

A telephoto lens is a lens that appears to magnify distant objects. To do that, they need to have a focal length longer than that of a normal lens, or a lens that approximates the optical qualities of the human eye. A normal lens has a focal length of 30mm on a full frame camera so any lens with a focal length longer than 30mm can be considered a telephoto lens. The longer the focal length, the more magnification there is.

WHAT IS THE PROPER USE OF WIDE ANGLE AND TELEPHOTO LENSES:

Generally, a normal lens (around 30mm) is used for…. normal everyday use. Photos of the family, the dog, the cat, the things around the house.

A wide angle lens is most popular for landscape or scenic photos, to get the whole picture into the frame.

And the telephoto is generally used to bring objects in closer to you. The most common use is for wildlife, sports, and things from afar.

NEXT SET OF NUMBERS:

CANON ZOOM LENS WITH ALL THE NUMBERS.

THE “APERTURE RANGE”

Every lens has an aperture in it. It controls the amount of light getting through the lens. This has another major function that photographers really use and that is the “depth of field”. That has been discussed before in a previous blog. JUST : CLICK HERE

It is usually expressed in f-stops such as f/1.4 and stated on the name of the lens. For example, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, whereas the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G has a maximum aperture of f/1.8.

One lens, and several different aperture openings:

Here is where it can get interesting and you can see why the price of a lens goes up. Listed below is a list of Nikon lenses. And they are all 50mm lenses. You can see the Nikkor lens 50mm F1.8 lens lists for only $134.95. Now go to the second lone on the list: Nikkor 50mm 1.4D lens. It sells for $369.95. And go to the top one: the 50mm f1.2 lens sells for $724.95.

50mmf/1.2NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2FXM$724.95Get a quick view for the NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2
50mmf/1.4AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4DFXAF$369.95Get a quick view for the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
50mmf/1.4AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F1.4GFXAF-S$449.95Get a quick view for the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F1.4G
50mmf/1.4NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4FXM$469.95Get a quick view for the NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4
50mmf/1.8AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8DFXAF$134.95

The difference between each 50 mm lens is that the f1.4 lens lets in almost twice the amount of light through it than the f1.8 lens. I don’t know how many actual lens elements are in each lens, but, say they have 14 elements in the lens. That would mean the f1.4 lens elements, all 14 of them have to be made larger than the f1.8 lens. But if you are a person who wants the lens to be able to shoot in lower light, then the f1.4 lens is a better choice. Better still, the f1.2 which doubles the amount of light transmission would even be better. But you would end up paying for all those elements in the lens housing to be bigger than the previous version.

So, in summary on this number, the lens with the smallest number, let’s a lot more light through the lens than a lens with a bigger number. And that allows you to also have a depth of field even smaller, but, the usual case for having a lens with a lower aperture number is usually to allow you to shoot in lower light.

THE LAST IMPORTANT NUMBER:

Most lenses have this important number on it. It is a 2 digit number with a circle and a line through that circle.

THE FINAL IMPORTANT NUMBER TO KNOW IS THE FILTER SIZE THE LENS TAKES.

On this photo above, all lenses (at least I think almost all lenses) have a number to tell you what size filter this lens takes or the size of the lens cap. If you are a photographer who uses filters (and I think all photographers should use filters), you will appreciate knowing what size filters you would need to enhance your photography. On this lens above, the filter size is a 72mm. That is a big filter, but certainly good to know. If you would like to learn more about using filters, CLICK HERE AND one more link: CLICK THIS ONE TOO

An email list is the best way to get the detailed new, the latest news, plus special offers on products and even coupons to get free access to sites, and information, and products.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: 123PhotoGo, 1793 E Juniper St, Layton, UT, 84040, http://www.123photogo.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

UNDERSTANDING ISO

photo of candles inside cages
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com
ANOTHER ARTICLE ON: “SOMETHING YOU CAN’T DO WITH A CELL PHONE”

Too often in today’s world, it seems that people are thinking that cell phone photography is getting close to everything a regular SLR or DSLR, or even a mirrorless camera can do.

This article will dispel that myth so you can see that cell phone photography is still far away from doing what a good camera can do.

WHAT IS ISO?

ISO refers to your camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive your camera sensor becomes, and the brighter your photos appear.

ISO is measured in numbers. Here are a few standard ISO values: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200.

That said, pretty much every camera offers intermediate ISO values (for instance, ISO 125 and ISO 160 between ISO 100 and ISO 200). And most cameras these days include additional ISOs on the high end of the range, such as ISO 6400, ISO 12800, ISO 25600, and beyond.

WHAT DOES ISO STAND FOR?

ISO is the acronym used by the “International Standards Organization”. This is where the ISO came up with it’s standard across the world.

For the purposes of photography, the name isn’t important. Just think of ISO as your camera’s sensitivity to light, and you’ll do just fine!

ISO AND YOUR EXPOSURE SETTINGS:

By increasing the ISO in your camera, you are making the light meter more sensitive to light. It would allow you to shoot in different types of light, even when light is not good.

person standing beside waterfalls
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

The first number that you would use in your ISO setting is usually 100, and is the basis for shooting in good light, such as sun, and bright light. You would then be setting your shutter speed and aperture according to what your desired effect is.

THE HIGHER THE ISO NUMBER, THE BETTER YOUR RESULTS WILL BE IN LOWER LIGHT:

Now if we go from 100 ISO to say 800 ISO, you will now have some control over what is normally not scene in the darker shadows of your photo. Like this:

an underexposed image of a room
A Picture shot at 100 ISO.
a well-exposed image of a room
Maybe shooting the same photo at 800ISO will give you a great exposure inside where it once was dark.

Both the above pictures have something to be aware of. If shooting at 100 ISO, the photo is usually perfect if shooting outside. Look at the exposure of the outside through the window, with the first picture.

Now, looking at the second exposure, for sure it seems like it’s a better picture. But, now the outside is so washed out, the picture really seems kind of useless, because it is now over exposed. Although it looks perfect inside, where the lighting isn’t so good. So, which one do you like? Either one will work, it just depends on what you want in your photo.

HOW DOES YOUR ISO WORK WITH YOUR SHUTTER SPEED AND APERTURE?

To get the perfect exposure, it is all a combination of ISO, the proper shutter speed, and the best aperture setting. All 3 of these are important. Let’s look at why you would change your ISO setting when you have the perfect light.

A QUICK LESSON ON SHUTTER SPEEDS:

I know this is a lesson on ISO settings, but, let’s look at the other settings it has to work with: The first being the shutter speed.

If you set your camera at ISO 100, the perfect exposure outside will probably be: 1/125 second, and the aperture or F Stop will be F16. Perfect exposure. If you will recall, the faster the shutter speed, you can now stop action:

timelapse photography of green and white racing vehicle on lane
Photo by Chris Peeters on Pexels.com

If you want to stop action, then your shutter speed will need to be close to 1/1000 second. To get the proper picture then, the easiest thing to do is to raise your ISO from 100 to 800 ISO to get the proper exposure. (That is as long as the aperture stays the same).

You see that changing your shutter speed, you will need to change your ISO to keep things in proper exposure.

CHANGING YOUR APERTURE WILL ALSO GIVE YOU THE NEED TO CHANGE YOUR ISO:

pink rose
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Pexels.com

Now let’s see what can happen if you want to change your aperture setting to get a shallow depth of field, like the above photo.

If you change your setting on your aperture to F2.8, there may be the need to change your ISO, but it can’t go lower than 100, right? (Most newer cameras will only go as low as ISO 100). So, the only thing you can do here again, is to change your shutter speed, to match the ISO of 100. Changing it to F2.8 would mean you would need to change your shutter speed to 1/2000 second. That will allow you to get the exposure you need.

DIFFERENT SCENARIOS YOU WOULD USE TO CHANGE YOUR ISO SETTINGS:

* WHEN TO RAISE YOUR ISO:
  • You’re shooting at an indoor sports event, especially if your subject is moving fast
  • You’re shooting a landscape without a tripod and you need a deep depth of field
  • You’re shooting a landscape at night (or doing astrophotography) and you need a reasonable shutter speed to freeze the stars
  • You’re photographing portraits in a dark room or in the evening/night
  • You’re shooting an event indoors with limited window light (such as a party)
  • You’re photographing a dark concert
  • You’re photographing an art gallery, a church, or a building interior (you might also consider using a tripod, but this is against the rules in a lot of spaces)
  • You’re photographing wildlife in the early morning or evening (especially if you need a fast shutter speed)
  • You’re photographing fast-moving subjects and you need an ultra-fast shutter speed
* WHEN TO LOWER YOUR ISO:
  • You’re shooting motionless landscapes and your camera is mounted on a tripod
  • You’re photographing portraits in good light
  • You’re photographing an event, and you have plenty of window light or you’re using flash
  • You’re photographing products with a powerful artificial lighting setup
portrait of a handsome man with muscular body
Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com

CONCLUSION :

ISO and shutter speeds and aperture settings all work together. It just depends on what you want to achieve in your photo, that will be what you need to set for ISO, Shutter speed, and F Stops. We will go into why you would change your shutter speeds and the effects you can get with changing it. And then we will get into why you would change your aperture setting as well. Keep with me…….