Photographic lens Essay

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A photographic lens is a converging optical system made up of several lenses, and possibly mirrors, giving real images on the sensitive surface of the camera. A lens is characterized primarily by its focal length (or its focal length range for a zoom), its maximum aperture, and the maximum format of the sensitive surface (film or sensor) with which it can be used. A photographic lens or the cornea of ​​the eye originally have only one function: to concentrate the light (for each point of the image) to sensitize the retina or the photo sensor . This is a bit of what the parabola does for distant signals which are therefore practically parallel. Everything else: distortion, depth of field are just the flaws of the system.

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At the same time, it modifies the area of ​​sharpness or depth of field which is all the more important as the aperture of the diaphragm is small, which makes it possible to increase the number of sharp objects in the photo. For small apertures, the diffraction phenomenon degrades the precision of the image (sharpness). The aperture value from which diffraction becomes troublesome depends mainly on the size of the sensitive surface and the expected definition. It is generally considered that the limit from which the diffractions are too great is f / 16 in 24 x 36, f / 11 on APS-C sensor, f: 8 on "4/3" sensor. See also the chapter on depth of field in the Wikibook of photography.

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Adapter device allowing to install an objective upside down on the device, also to increase the magnification. We obtain ratios which can be much greater than 2 with a wide-angle lens. It is almost always associated with a bellows to obtain significant coefficients of magnification. Another advantage of this solution is to make the objective work in conditions "close" to those for which it was calculated (distance in front of the front lens large compared to a distance to the rear lens low). Given the mechanical and optical acrobatics that this assembly represents, it should be reserved for studio use.

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