largest aperture serial (f/2) number focal \__/ brand length largest aperture serial (f/2) number focal \__/ brand length
focusing ring distance scale lens-aperture ring
Front of lens
Front of lens focusing ring distance scale lens-aperture ring
Manual-focus 50mm lens zoom setting focal length scale manual focusing ring manual/autofocus distance scale
Autofocus 28-105mm zoom lens switch distance scale
Camera lenses vary in appearance, depending on the manufacturer, but all share some common characteristics. Manual-focusing lenses have somewhat different features than autofocusing lenses.
The lens is fixed on some cameras and interchangeable on others.
SLR, rangefinder, and view cameras: chapter 2
Other cameras have interchangeable lenses, which offer a lot of creative control. Interchangeable means you can remove the lens from the camera body and replace it with a variety of other lenses for a wide range of uses. For example, you might choose to replace your lens with one that's better for low-light situations, close-ups, or shooting distant subjects. Cameras that accept interchangeable lenses include the very popular 35mm single-lens-reflex (SLR) models and medium-format SLRs, some rangefinder models, and view cameras. There also are digital SLRs that accept interchangeable lenses.
When buying an interchangeable lens, note that compatibility is crucial. A lens from one camera manufacturer usually doesn't fit on a camera from another manufacturer. Your best bet is to buy lenses made specifically for your camera, either from the camera's manufacturer or from an independent lens maker. Many independent brand lenses are of good quality and relatively affordable, but make sure you specify your camera model when buying any lens to make sure it is compatible.
Whether fixed or interchangeable, all lenses control or affect these basic functions: focus, film exposure, angle of view, and depth of field.
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