Identify a camera lens

rosebayMay 27, 2012

Hi - I have some film camera equipment - canon body, a few tokina lenses, sigma (( think) and some other camera stuff.

How do I identify the lens - I really don't understand how to list this stuff for sale. (not mine, part of my mother's estate).

Thanks in advance,


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Without actually seeing the equipment it is a bit difficult to give you a finite answer, however I can give you some general information that should give you a starting point.

When specifying a lens the key information is"
1. Manufacturer
2. Focal Length
3. Maximum Aperture

For older lenses that were primarily used on film cameras if you look at the front of the lens you will see the information printed on the ring surrounding the front glass element.

The manufacturers name is obvious.

The focal length will be a number followed by the two letters "mm", indicating the focal length of the lens measured in milli-meters

If it is a "prime lens", meaning it has a single fixed focal length there will be one number - I.E.- 50mm

If it is a zoom lense it has an user adjustable range of focal lengths which is indicated by the low & high focal lengths... I.E. 70-210mm

The maximum aperture size is indicated by a small letter "f" followed by the number 1 and a colon.

Careful here, the number may have a decimal point. For a prime lens there will be one number but for a zoom it will have two numbers, the low one is the maximum aperture when the lens is adjusted to its shortest focal length and the larger number indicates the maximum aperture when the zoom is set to the maximum focal length.

By Example a 50millimeter "Normal lens" would be listed something like;

Canon 50mm f= 1:1.6

While a Canon zoom lens which can be user adjustable from 70mm to 210mm would be listed something like this.

Canon 70-210mm f= 1:3.5-5.6

I shoot Pentax cameras so I seldom pay attention to the type of lens mount because Pentax cameras are designed in such a manner that as each new feature was developed they incorporated it in such a manner that we can still use all previously owned Pentax lenses on the new cameras, but such is not the case with most of the other camera manufactures.

Quite often as a new feature such as auto aperture control, auto exposure & auto-focus control was developed they redesigned the lens mounts specific to a range of cameras that had that feature so for most camera lenses it is vitally important to know the lens mount type to insure it will function on the camera you want to use it on.

Generally if you remove the lens from the camera or remove the rear lens cap and examine the lens mount you will see a couple letters embossed into the lens mount, such as "MD or MC. Those letters indicate the type of lens mount on that lens and that would indicate what cameras that lens is compatible with.

If you could post some close up photos of your camera & the lenses we may be able to offer you more specific information.

If we could actually see photos I am sure that there are enough Canon fans here to offer you more specific information.

(If you don't know how to post photos email them to me and I will be glad to post them for you)


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:59AM
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