Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tools of the Trade- Lenses

Welcome to another Hohenfels Volks photography article. Today in Tools of the Trade, we’re going to discuss lenses. The lenses are like the eyes of the camera. Without them, your light is useless!

You may hear someone talking about their “glass.” Photographers like to refer to them that way, it’s a kind of insider speak. A fine example is the statement that for shooting pro-sports, you need “fast glass.”

Here are the basic parts of a lens;

The Focusing Ring - this allows you to focus your lens on your desired center of interest.
The Zoom Ring - this allows for changing your focal length on zoom lenses.
Front Optical Lens- the front-most element in a lens. This is where the light enters your lens for image recording.
Rear Element- the last element before the curtain or sensor. This is special because of back focus.
Lens Mount- this is where your lens connects to your camera body. It usually has electrical contacts for the camera to communicate with the lens.
Auto-focus On/Off selector- turns off the lenses auto-focus motor.
IS On/Off selector- if your lens is equipped with IS, this turns it on or off.
Diaphragm Blades- these are the blades used to adjust your aperture. they are sensitive and easily damaged. The more blades, the more circular your aperture.

Never try to mount a lens with a different mounting system than yours to your camera. Canon’s lenses cannot be used on a Nikon without a special adaptor, and vice versa. When mounting your lens, remember to align the mounting marks, and firmly seat the lens on the body. Once your lens is seated, you’re off to the races!

When shooting on a tripod or at higher speeds, turn your IS off. This saves battery life and prevents blurring caused by the IS looking for motion that doesn’t exist. A sufficiently high speed is no slower than 1 over your focal length in seconds. For a 300mm lens, you can safely handhold at no slower than 1/300 second.

Lens Care

When handling your lenses, never touch the glass!
Always keep the camera side of the lens facing down whenever the cover is removed to prevent dust settling on it.
When your lens is mounted, the best option is either a cheap UV filer or Circular polarizer. This will protect the glass of your lens from being scratched or broken.
Clean your lenses with either a cleaning kit or soft lint free microfiber cloth.
Always use a blower bulb to remove the dirt before wiping. Then wipe in a circular motion from inside to outside.
If it still needs cleaning, place a couple drops of lens cleaning solvent on the cloth and wipe again. Never put liquid on the lens.
Store your lenses in a clean dry place. Try to ensure it is free from dust, dirt, and moisture.
The case most lenses come with is a good place to store them.
Never subject your lenses to hard banging or jostling. This can damage the diaphragm blades used to adjust your aperture.
Take care of your lenses and they will provide a lifetime of great images and memories!

Not all lenses are created equal, some are better than others, but taking the time to learn about yours will make it more valuable and your images that much better!

Well, after that long-winded discussion, I’m sure your dying to get out and take some pics. Choose your lens and shoot away! There’s enough around Hohenfels to give all your lenses a workout! Make sure you post the pics to the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page and share the joy with all of us!

Remember; leave your comments and questions here and on our Facebook pages, also.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks to all of you, have a great day!

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