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09-14-2009, 12:31 PM   #1
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Lens elements...why do i need to know?

Learning and buying...I am completely confused as to why reviews include the number of elements etc on a lens...is it purely mathematical or does it have a significant and very clear meaning to the actual picture taken?
Any help to the newbie would be appreciated!

Cheers

09-14-2009, 01:43 PM   #2
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At this stage, just get the best lens you can afford, to do the job you need done.

The rest comes much later down the road, when you can start to worry about such things, I don't even now. Its a bit like a car engine, I know it's there, but I don't really need to know about all the bits inside it, to make it work for me.
09-14-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Learning and buying...I am completely confused as to why reviews include the number of elements etc on a lens...is it purely mathematical or does it have a significant and very clear meaning to the actual picture taken?
Any help to the newbie would be appreciated!
Before people who actually know something about this jump in and answer your question correctly, I'm going to sneak in and say, You don't need to know nuthin' about the number of elements. I've been doing this for decades and I've never paid any attention to this. I'm sure it's terribly important to the construction of the lens. But it makes no difference to me when I'm shooting. And as far as I can tell, there's no rule like "a lens with 11 elements is better than a lens with only 9".

If you're technically inclined, there's a ton you can read on the Web about this. Knock yourself out. I don't think for a second that knowing this will HURT you. But this knowledge won't help you take better photographs, or for that matter, buy better lenses.

What you need to know about a lens is whether people who've used it consider it to be a good lens, and in what ways. You find this out by looking in the excellent lens databases here (one for Pentax lenses, one for third-party lenses). You find out from other users. You try to see photographs that have been taken with the lens. You read reviews in online magazines or print mags. And if you can't test the lens before buying it, you buy from reputable dealers with a good return policy.

It's useful to know a little about things like chromatic aberration, etc.

Will
09-14-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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Oo

Thanks guys! I am glad i didnt need to know it. I have been ignoring it so far, but today i thought..what if this was important? I am glad to know its like a car engine. i Dont know anything about cars either, but i let the mechanic worry about the engine ^_^.

Cheers!

09-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #5
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Evening - Well after a BS in Computer Science, MS in Systems Engineering, 35+ years doing System Architecture & Design, and that includes in helping to design the 5th largest telescope in the world (it use to be #2, and by now it may be #6 or so - I have lost track). I have taken all the physics, numerical analysis, statics, dynamics, thermo, and a couple of optic courses - just do what Will / WMBP recommends, and you will not go wrong!!!!

Get the best you can afford (and do not go bankrupt doing it), put the lens on the camera and go enjoy taking pictures. That's all that counts, really!!!! Then post them here - I am trying to polish my skill and I like looking at all the work that is posted! Maybe some day I can get past all the numbers and have some of the photographic and composition skills you all have (I know - practice, practice, practice). In the mean time - I like to look at great pictures!


[I always wanted to take that ice cream making class over in dairy science. Cheese making sounded great too - but they were only open to the dairy science majors. Wine making also sounded wonderful - but it too, was only open to their majors. Shucks - So I have been reduced to only eating and enjoying the ice cream and wine.....]
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