Prime Lenses — Are They Better Than Fast Zooms?

Author’s Intro: This article is contributed by Subroto Mukerji. Subroto is an amateur photographer of long standing who especially loves to review cameras, lenses, etc. As a passionate hobbyist, he also loves to share his thoughts and insights on various topics related to photography. I became serious about photography in the late seventies of the last century, well before the dawn of the digital era. A 50 mm f/1.4 ‘standard’ lens was what usually came with the camera, with F 1:1.7 or F 1:1.8 as the cheaper alternatives. After getting my Minolta XE-1 (Ha! Minolta pipped Fujifilm to the post over three decades ago!) and the superfast 58 mm F/1.2 lens that came with it, I went on to acquire, after considerable effort, a 28 mm F/2.8 wide angle and a 100 mm F/2.5 – both original Minolta Rokkor lenses. While the amazing 58 mm F/1.2 gave me the ability…

Focal Length & The F-Number Mystery — Why Do We Call Them F-stops?

Focal length, f-number, f-stops – are you set for a little physics on the part of the art called photography? As much as photography is about capturing the shots with an artist’s eye, it is equally about understanding the science applied in the creation of a photograph. At a preliminary stage, we hold the camera in the hand and learn to see through the camera’s eye. As we spend more and more time with this awesome machinery (the shot-gun), we tend to learn more about photography like how does the camera work, the essence of drawing with light and the physics of photography. In the later realm, i.e., the physics of photography, we discover some of the very powerful basics of photography – the focal length, f-numbers and f-stops. This is what I will demystify in today’s post – the meaning of these mysterious numerals that are almost always found…