What is an Aperture?

The aperture of the lens controls the amount of light that passes through on its way to the camera's sensor or film plane. A camera's aperture is also commonly called its f-stop, though 'f-stop' technically refers to the diameter of the opening created by internal adjustable blades, rather than the entire mechanism.

How-to: Freelensing

Screen shot 2011 02 21 at 11 37The era of digital sensors has created a pervading fear of dust among photographers. Many shooters try not to change lenses except when they have to, and they pale at the thought of a gaping-open lens mount. But sometimes it's worth throwing caution to the wind. Often times I find the wrong way to use my equipment is the best way. Let me introduce you to the world of freelensing.

Carl Zeiss 25mm/f2.8 Distagon ZF.2

Carl Zeiss recently released an update of one of its long-respected wide-angle optics, the Carl Zeiss 25mm/f2.8 Distagon ZF.2. Based on a classic Zeiss Distagon optical formula first introduced back in 1961, the new ZF.2 update is designed for use on Nikon (D)SLRs.

Old Bikes and Bokeh

The other day, while I was out riding my old Schwinn, I had a work-related "Ah-hah!" moment despite the fact that the B&H Employee Handbook explicitly prohibits doing company business on personal time. But when one enjoys what one does for a living, it invariably spills into one's personal life, even when riding an old bike along a tree-lined canal trail.

Rules of Thumb - Finding Your Lens' 'Sweet Spot'

When defining the term image quality there are several qualifiers that go into the mix. Among them are tonality, contrast, brightness, and dynamic range, which is the degree of detail one can detect in the deepest shadows and brightest highlights. And then you have sharpness, which might be the trickiest to define.

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