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What Every Photographer Should Know About Lenses

What Every Photographer Should Know About Lenses

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Have you ever tried to learn about lenses, only to be overwhelmed by choice and technical information? Whether you’re a first-time photographer or a seasoned professional, it can be a daunting task. If you’ve ever wondered how lenses work, what makes a good or bad lens, and how to pick the one that’s right for the kinds of photos you want to take, this is the course for you.

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Dave Bode will take you on a comprehensive journey through the world of lenses, from common terms and acronyms through to field-of-view, lens coatings, the difference between full and non-full frame lenses, focus systems, and more. This course covers practical know-how including focal length, aperture, image stabilization and more, to help you choose the right lens for every situation.

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1. Introduction
00:00:00 1. Introduction

2. How Do Lenses Work?
00:02:27 2.1 Focal Length and Field-of-View
00:11:29 2.2 Aperture
00:24:14 2.3 What Does A Bad Lens Look Like?

3. Special Lens Features
00:45:34 3.1 Stabilization, Coatings, and Focusing Motors

4. Choosing a Zoom Lens
55:08:20 4.1 Standard Zoom Lenses
01:08:01 4.2 Wide Angle Zoom Lenses
01:16:55 4.3 Medium Telephoto Zooms
01:23:20 4.4 Telephoto Lenses
01:32:49 4.5 Super Zoom Lenses

5. A Guide to Prime Lenses
01:39:15 5.1 The Good and Bad of Prime Lenses
01:44:08 5.2 Fish Eye Lenses

6. Getting Perspective Right in Your Photographs
02:06:11 6.1 The Right Lens For Portrait Photography
02:17:30 6.2 Compress For Composition
02:25:21 6.3 Guide to Macro Lenses

7. Conclusion
02:41:27 7.1 Conclusion

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Comments (48)

  1. I learned more in three hours with you than in a whole semester of photography classes. Thank you so much!

  2. Very good to the point class, great job presenting / explaining ! Wish I had found this years ago .

  3. Amazing 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  4. I wish I could print all this out for reference. I’m just trying to learn by myself. I need to decide on a camera for movie set photography of the actors. I need to learn fast. So many options and nothing with everything one wants. I have a headache from all the videos I’ve watched and still don’t know what to purchase.
    This video is awesome and I will have to listen and replay each segment 15 times to grasp the concept of how each works and why. Great job! Thank you for putting it all in one place.

  5. 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

  6. Thank you for all of this info. It’s come at a good time for me and my photography journey.

  7. Great Vid. I wish I would have seen this about $8,000 ago. Learned a lot about full frame. My understanding of aperture is not cloudy like it used to be. I am very much considering adding a full frame camera to my collection now. I currently have a canon m50 (very first camera), BMPCC 6K Pro (the more I learn about the camera the better the videos are), and Lumix GH5S (just learning more about it, it has been my least favorite as it has been hard to get the good video I like). I shoot mostly sports video and prefer deep DOF because I like to see the reactions of others around plays. I shoot primarily football, basketball, and track. The BMPCC 6K Pro, strangely enough, has been my primary because I have put the most money into it. I tripod up in the stands, make what feels like a thousand adjustments and I go to town. So if were to entertain an FF cam just because I am curious, what would be a good FF to start with?

  8. Bellissimo video come sempre 👏👏🙏🏻

  9. Wow wow wow, I can't find words to to say thank you or describe how grateful I am that I came across this video and tutorial, you have one more SUBCRIBER, blessings to you and your crew for the rest of 2023, and beyond,

  10. I've just started watching this video and I'm only 3mins into it but already I can tell this is so good and so informative. If I was starting out as a photographer or had to recommend a tutorial video to a newbie I would hands down recommend this video in a heartbeat. You speak so well and so clear. It's always good to go back to basics so I will definitely put this video in my saved videos. We'll done 😀

  11. conclusion? If you compare something you going to be sad. So do not compare and be happy what you got. Van Gogh‘s Paints are not sharp and not made with perfect tools. But they are perfect. Don‘t compare or just the seller will be happy.

  12. good

  13. This video is absolutely the best! Thank you very much!

  14. Thank you very much


  16. Thank you so much, I was looking for like this explanation for the last 6 years, I even went to college 😅. Thank you ❤

  17. Nikon colors : the best

  18. Why is he going by millimeters? I’m so distracted by what the hell is a millimeter that I have no idea what he is saying because I keep wondering what the hell does that translate to inches or feet, I think this guy is American but what is he doing with this millimeter crap

  19. aps-c tele lenses and photos are terrible looking. terrible background separation and looks like phone photography. aps-c is cheap for a reason

  20. Much more R&D has been put into zooms than primes. You sounded like my father who purchased cars with "3-on-the-tree" transmissions instead of automatic one.
    No new R&D had gone into them since the early 1950's. They locked up and were sloppy. Automatics were far and away better (this was in the early '80's).

  21. You didn't mention that good wide angles do not have distortion. ONly cheap ones do.

  22. A bit too Canon focussed for my liking. No mention of Fuji as a manufacturer when you talked of APS which is odd when their main focus is APS and too much info on correcting fish eye images in LR etc. Not everyone uses LR and if you’re going to show how to manipulate images in one software you need to do it in all. I felt that whole section was superfluous for most people, especially as the most of the video covered the basics of lens design and use.

  23. After a couple of minutes you're already confusing angle of view with field of view like if they were the same… It should be easy to say: focus length (FL) determines angle of view (AoV). Then AoV and sensor size (SS) determines field of view (FoV), that is, FL -> AoV, AoV+SS -> FoV. Well, I'll skip the rest…

  24. Why don’t you talk about Pentax camera to? You’re just using the three popular names out there at all better than Pentex but nobody seems to want to talk Pentex I am a Pentex user from long time back.

  25. 4:31, no, you have yet another method. Get a bigger sensor. As such, focal length alone does not determine the FOV, only with the sensor size .
    Yes, I can see you are very full of yourself, pity you missed some crucial relevant physics lessons.

  26. Greetings to all! I have an APS-C camera from Canon. Lens from Tokinа/ 11-16mm/ f-2.8/ ATX-i. Excellent glass for the price and quality, I must say.
    135mm/ f-2.8/ 15-Blades/ Meyer Optik Görlitz Germany/ Bokeh Monster.
    100mm/ f-2.8/ Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan/ old version v 1.0/ Best of The Best Bokeh!

  27. Micro Four Thirds is not traditionally a crop sensor. It uses the full frame of the lens. I get what you're saying, but it's a bit like the half frame argument. If you can make the sensor smaller then you can also make the lenses smaller and this applies in general. The benefit of Micro Four Thirds is that the lenses are designed specifically for the sensor size. Micro Four Thirds sensors use the full frame of the lens.

    It's not the same argument at all to APS-C as all of the lenses from the ground up, even the third party lenses for Micro Four Thirds are designed specifically for the sensor. Micro Four Thirds is technically a "full frame" format.

    All of this nonsense happened when we mixed things up and moved between 110, half frame, APS, small format, medium format and large format. These terms have all been mashed up though and the difference between APS and small format has made a mess off things.

    Micro Four Thirds is technically closer to APS format, and in actuality the sensor size is really closest to super 35 (the cinema format) It's actually about the same size as super 35, which is why PL mount cinema lenses are easily adapted to Micro Four Thirds and what has made it relevant for cinematographers. it's just… All the APS users don't want to associate with Micro Four Thirds users even though the results will be about the same as APS format.

    What's the point?

    I don't like the misuse of the term "full frame" even if the entire industry is using it. It happens about that marketing people want "small format" to be seen as the only option, even if now with the Fuji GFX and Pentax 645D it isn't the only option on the table now that is affordable. Full frame is an overrated term… I much prefer the older term which makes more sense which is "small format."

  28. It's why my 135 2. 0 dc on full frame is my favorite. But perhaps for a head shot you should give distances, not lens length as distance governs compression, not lens length alone, ie, the distance to fill the frame with a lens. I like to shoot somewhat loose so could be 6 inches to a foot further back than 135 filling the frame, ie, your 150 mm crop on FF. I teach folk they think what they look like is what they see standing at the sink in the morning… 2 feet to the mirror PLUS 2 ' into it, about 4'. I recommend they lean close to the mirror and watch the nose appear larger. Take a step back to about 3.5' from the mirror, total distance 7' and note there is some nose compression, flattering but not noticeable or objectionable. Take a large step back to 7' from the mirror and voila, Michael Jackson nose. It demonstrates that distance, WITHOUT ANY LENS, governs perspective/facial compression.

  29. Not one word about prime lens rendering and 3d image pop from low element count primes. Zooms and high element count primes render flat, lifeless images, because there's no microcontrast/microshading.

  30. I learned so much from the end of this class. I had no idea of the degree to which focal length affects perspective. Thanks for making this video!

  31. That's some very in depth knowledge most other videos don't even teach you. Good job. I got alot out of it except the excitement from fisheye lenses. Gonna watch the depth of field video next.

  32. This would have made our training in various combat camera units so much simpler! Speaking as a videographer for the last 30 years, you truly have a lot of current info densely packed! Thank you.

  33. The best of the best

  34. As a teacher you should know better than to show bad or unsafe habits. When thunder roars stay indoors or at the very least in your car which is a faraday cage and offers some protection from lightning. You never ever stand under tall objects like Trees which are lightning magnets because they offer a path of least resistance until it reach your level then you become the path of least resistance. Good God man are you trying to kill someone? Proper safety is use Lightning meter like lighting pro or blitzortung app on your phone to tell if that is within 30 miles of you. Lightning can hit you 30 miles in direction of that storm, even if it is past you. at that point the only safe place to shoot lightning is from your car through the window. You should park in a location that has nothing around you that conduction electricity to your car or fall on your car. Wise to also pay attention to type storm to make sure you aren't derecho, in which case you want have nose into the wind when storm front hits you so your car doesn't roll and you don't want to be where things can blow at you, aka beware of flying farm implements. Best lightning storms to chase are the slow easy rolling electrical storms that come at the end of hot summer nights that don't have the tornados or derechos.

  35. 💜🖤🖤🧡❤️😘💚🤎💙

  36. 28:00 is f3.5 not delivering a relatively narrow depth of field in these examples? So the center of the wall is the focal point but the corners are parabolically further away, putting them out of focus, no? Maybe it would be best to conduct this test with focus bracketing/stacking in your results? Or manually adjust focus to put the more distant “corners” of the wall in focus? Is the degree of this effect as a result of typical spherical lenses’ concave curved field the very thing we’re testing?

  37. One of the best lessons I have ever heard/seen. Thank you 😊

  38. This is a masterpiece video ! Tons of excellent and valuable information. Thanks a lot !

  39. This is a great video! I understand so much more! You are a perfect teacher! Thank you!

  40. As we know, wide angle lenses elongate the spacial relationship of objects in the image and telephoto lenses compress the distance relationship. I was told that a 52mm lens reproduces the spacial relationship of objects true to life regardless of the sensor or film size.

    If that’s the case, while a 50mm lens will produce the angle of view on a crop sensor of approx an 85mm on a FF, the spacial relationship of the objects using a 50mm will be the same regardless of using a crop or FF sensor, or medium format for that matter. Is this true?

    A 35mm lens on a crop sensor is often called, “a 50mm equivalent,” but while this is true of the angle of view, since it’s still a 35mm lens will it slightly distort spacial relationships of objects in the image since it is still a slightly wide angle lens? I get as many answers on this as photographers I talk to.

    When shooting street photography I prefer the same apparent space between objects as one sees with our eyes and so am considering going with a FF camera w/50mm lens. Can you clear this up since for many reasons I prefer my Fujifilm gear.

  41. shame its in 720p but fantastic video

  42. All the portret lenses are 85mm.

  43. This was so helpful I learned so many things and have a better understanding about lenses

  44. Very well said , Thank you for sharing this video very informative your'e a genius ..👏👍🏼

  45. Thank you so much! You gave me all the answers to questions I wouldn't have known enough to ask but wanted to learn.

  46. Commit to watching this. You won't regret it. Every second is straightforward and packed with information.

  47. Very clear explanation of a topic that confuses many beginner and amateur photographers.

    35mm film cameras became a standard in terms of explaining the field of view related to lens focal length because they were smaller and easier to handle than cameras that used larger film sizes. They were more popular because of this. Kodak introduced the APSC smaller film format at one point, but the quality of images from a smaller piece of film was not very good. These film size standards were adopted for use in digital cameras because photographers were familiar with them.

    With film, ISO speeds were considerably slower than current digital cameras can achieve. ISO 100 gave a very good image. Photographers would use film rated around ISO 64 or slower for the best quality image possible. Fast film was rated at ISO 400, but could be pushed to 800 during chemical development. Just before digital cameras started to achieve usable quality levels, the top speed available with film was ISO 3200 – which was a pretty grainy image. Digital cameras have surpassed that over the last ten years.

  48. So perfect

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