Adri's Blog

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Lens Operations and Controls Project

on April 17, 2015


For this project, we created a glossary of lens operation and control terms, as well as examples of different lens types. Then we found 3 creative commons images online, one for each type of lens (macro, zoom, wide angle), to model our own pictures off of. Once we took the pictures and put them on our blog with EXIF data, we had to make a video which outlined the operation of different lens types. I chose to make a video showing the differences between a standard lens and the macro, zoom, and wide angle lenses.


  1. Work on glossary
  2. Find 3 pictures online to model, start taking pictures if time
  3. Take pictures
  4. Finish taking pictures if necessary, put images into blog post with EXIF data
  5. Take pictures for slideshow-style video (use various lens types)
  6. Take pictures, start on video if time
  7. Video editing
  8. Video editing
  9. Finish editing video/upload
  10. Finalize blog post

Terms and Concepts

  • Focal length: the distance between the center of a lens to the focal point (where the lens will focus parallel rays of light)
  • F-stop: a number representing the aperture of a camera
  • Lens speed: the maximum aperture diameter (smallest f-stop number) of a lens
  • Iris: the (adjustable) lens opening which controls the amount of light let in to hit the image sensor
  • Depth of field: the range of distance in a scene which appears focused
  • Angle of view: the angular extent of the field of view of a camera
  • Zoom: adjustment of the focal length to make the image seem more close-up
  • Zoom ratio: the ratio of the shortest to longest focal length values of a zoom lens
  • Filter: a transparent disc of glass, gelatine, or other material which is inserted into the optical path to modify the spectrum of incidental light
  • Image stabilization: compensation for shaking and vibrating to reduce blur in an image or recording

Lens Types

Canon MP-E 65 mm macro lens (Image taken from Wikipedia).

Macro lenses are used for extreme close-up photography, usually for small objects such as insects or flowers.

Nikkor 28-200 mm zoom lens, extended to 200 mm at left and collapsed to 28 mm focal length at right (Image taken from Wikipedia).

Zoom lenses are lenses where the focal length is variable.

Canon 17-40 mm f/4 L retrofocus zoom lens (Image taken from Wikipedia).

Wide angle lenses have a substantially smaller focal length, allowing more of a scene to be included in a photograph. They can also be used to emphasize difference in size or the distance between objects.



 Macro Lens

Flickr Creative Commons image by Juan Pablo Lauriente.

I was inspired by the image above because I liked the narrow depth of field and the slanted camera angle of the shot.

I wanted to show the very shallow depth of field in macro, so I spaced out the letters of the word “focus” enough to show just how small it actually is. The main focus is on the “c” and the tip of the pencil. I also took the image from an angle to emulate the style of the photo I found.


 Zoom Lens

“Zoom effect” by B166ER at the German language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

I immediately liked the picture above because of the blurred edges and focused middle.

I chose this shot because the subject was best focused, and I also liked how the blurred effect made it look like light was emanating from the center of the photo. I found that a smaller subject at the center of focus yielded much better results than the larger subjects I tried.


Wide Angle Lens

Eiffel Tower photo by admin at

I really liked the upwards angle on this photo, as well as the straight/symmetrical lines.

I used the same upwards angle for my picture to make the subject look imposing, and tried to emulate the symmetrical, straight lines in the ceiling tiles/lights and skylight. This shot is less focused on the subject’s head than the other shots I took, but I liked this one better because the angle is more steep/dramatic.


What I Learned

I learned a lot about the macro and wide angle lenses, but the most surprising thing I learned was how to take a ‘blurred’ photo with the zoom lens, which I had no idea you could do until I found the example image online. I also was able to learn, by making my video, the visual differences between the standard lens and the other 3 types of lenses. I had understood them, but seeing them visually really solidified them for me. One problem I faced was using the wide angle lens, because it wouldn’t focus on anything closer or further away than about a foot from the lens. I had to change the ideas I had for the wide angle shots for my blog and video so that the pictures would be in focus. Luckily I was still able to convey the differences in the wide angle lens with these new photos.

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