Lens terms are so frustrating!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Markw, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When looking at lenses, I find myself just looking for the manufacturer, focal distance, and if it says VR (nikon), IS (canon) or OS (sigma). This is because those are the only acronyms I know what they mean :grumpy:. So my question is what do all of these mean?

    Sigma lenses-
    APO
    DG
    DL-M
    DC
    HSM

    Nikon lenses-
    ED-IF

    Thanks
    Mark
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This may help for Sigma lenses.
     
  3. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the Nikon lenses:

    ED: Extra-low Dispersion glass (to minimise chromatic aberrations)
    IF: Internal Focusing
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    For Canon, the main ones to know are:

    EOS-- electro-optical system, which refers to their current line of autofocus SLRs and dSLRS.

    EF-- electrofocus, what Canon calls their lens mount. A lens that is not EF or EF compatible (ie made by a third party company) will not mount without an adaptor. EF lenses will mount on all modern (post-1987) Canon SLRs and dSLRS

    EF-S-- electrofocus-short, Canon's name for lenses that will only mount on certain cropped digital SLRs, specifically, the Rebel series, and the 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D.

    USM-- ultrasonic motor, Canon's brand of silent, high speed autofocus that allows for full-time manal focus, that is, you can always adjust the focus manually.

    L-- luxuary, what Canon calls their professional series lenses that tend to have some combination of faster f/stops and focusing speed, better build, and/or some kind of exotic characteristic, such as super-telephotos.

    I don't think there's much else for Canon, it doesn't tend to be as much of an alphabet soup as some manufacturers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  5. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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  6. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    If it's any consolation, you don't really need to *memorize* them, just have the list available while shopping for new lenses.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    More initials means it's gotta be better, right? ;)

    Check out the lens manufacturers' websites. They will gladly explain all the arcane sales mumbo jumbo.
     
  8. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    oh poopy if it has more intials its better :( so if mine only has mm it sucks :p
     
  9. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    So in theory, the USM lenses are a better choice over the EF-S lenses?
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    EF-S refer to the lens mount vs USM refer to the autofocus motor.

    For example, this lens has both.

    EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM


    It is a lens designed for cropped sensor body and it has ultrasonic motor as well.
     
  11. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really you can avoid each and every one of those monikers for Nikon lenses except AF-S, AF, AI and AI-S. For the D90, everyone but the AI lens will meter on your D90.
     

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