Lens Acronyms

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kenmasters, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. kenmasters

    kenmasters TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    Completely new to lenses. Is there a list of acronyms used to describe lenses? There's AF, EF, EF-S, IS, DX, L, F/# etc, etc... I'm lost in what all this means.

    There should be a sticky for all these noob questions ! :)

    Thanks,

    Ken

    :)
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    there's no sticky, because most of them are pretty straight forward.

    AF is autofocus
    EF is Canon's lens mount, EF-S is the digital version
    IS is image stabilizer
    L is luxury
    f/# just means the maximum aperture
    ##mm is the focal length of the lens (bigger = longer/more "zoom" power)

    DX is not a lens acronym. It means that the film/camera is compatible with the DX system of automatically setting the ISO speed.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Dang Mark, you are quite the WIKI! Glad to have you on break, and holding fort here!

    -Shea
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Here's the direct link to Thom Hogan's page on Nikon lens designations:

    http://www.bythom.com/lensacronyms.htm

    It includes Nikon's use of DX to mean restricted coverage rather than the method of reading film speed on 135 cassettes. Speaking of confusing, I always thought that an acronym was an abbreviation that was pronounced as a word, like ANSI, SATA, ANFO etc, not just an abbreviation. Am I just behind the times, or is this an American/British thing?

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Cii

    Cii TPF Noob!

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    I read this page when I was trying to find out what all those meant too. It's not as comprehensive, but it'll give you the basics. After reading that, I still don't know what VR is :( but I have a pretty good idea what my next lens will be after reading that page.
    GL

    http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/best-digital-slr-lens.html
     
  7. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    ahaha...leave it to Nikon to make a stupid acronym the same as another...


    Oh, that's an easy one

    VR is Vibration reduction. Same as IS basically.
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My favorite lens acronym is "G" on Nikon lenses. This "feature" simply means that "we are screwing you out of the chance of manually setting the aperture on the lens".

    Gee, thanks, Nikon... can't tell you how much I appreciate that wonderful feature.
     
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree Sabbath, I don't own a "G" lens, yet. I'm sure I'll be forced to in the future. I still have a locker full of old aperture ring glass for my vintage film bodies. I is amazing how Nikon can take a thing like backwards compatibility, something they have all over the white lens guys and screw it up.
     
  10. GeorgeUK

    GeorgeUK TPF Noob!

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    So what does it mean? Grips are lined with leather? :mrgreen:
     
  11. kenmasters

    kenmasters TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone. Everything is starting to make more sense now. There are still lots of acronyms that are out there, and I think different manufacturers uses different terms creating even more confusing for us noobs :D

    One question that I haven't been able to figure out yet even after reading everything.

    Aperture. There's a preference for a higher maximum aperture. When would you ever want to set your camera at f/32 ? I want to take Macro (close up shots) of small objects. I assume I need a lens with the shortest focal length and lots of light and at the highest aperture (f/14, f/32, etc..) ?

    Ken
     
  12. kdabbagh

    kdabbagh TPF Noob!

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    If my time on this forum serves me correctly, to achieve the highest aperture you need to set your f/ stop setting to the lowest number - because the lower the setting the higher the aperture and the more light you will get.

    If I got it confused then I am a fool hahaha
     

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