Lens Terms

It seems that everyone’s a photographer these days.  But oops… when you ask them about something, technical, they cry artist, saying they just like to create.  Knowledge, however, is power.  Rather than combing through the user feedback on the B&H photo website for hours, here are a few of the stand-out terms for understanding lenses you can use to sound very smart…*

Bokeh (background blur) - Every lens has a different background blur style.  Some blur points into circles, some into rings, some into blobs.  for example, mirror lenses cause blurred dots to appear as rings, while fixed-focal length 35mm lenses tend to look like filled-in circles.

Lens speed- This refers to the minimum aperture the lens is capable of.  A faster lens can shoot in Lower-light situations.

Focal length (EFL) - a measurement of the ability of the lens to focus light.  This is useful to determine the magnification of the particular lens.  Long lenses are more magnified than Short lenses, making objects far away seem closer.  The Focal Length is usually expressed in millimeters, so 50mm or 110 mm is talking about the focal length.  EFL is closely tied to Angle of view.

Angle of view - a measurement that describes the angle of light that enters the lens and therefore ends up in the picture.  For example, a wide-angle lens lets you capture an image that includes a lot of peripheral area.  This is also the measurement that determines how close or far away objects appear in relation to each other: wide angle lenses make farther objects look smaller in comparison to closer objects than ‘normal’ lenses.

In my opinion and that of many professionals, these lenses are tested and hold up to the highest standards of quality and performance: Zuiko, Zeiss, and Leitz all make lenses that have become classics. Definitely among the best glass you can find.

There’s lots more but that’s enough for now- time to impress your friends…

*note: I do not receive any compensation for listing any of these brands, websites, or companies.  They are listed here purely for informational purposes - LEC

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