Many of you are familiar with the lens jargon being tossed around. EF, EF-S, AF-S, DX, and so on and so forth may be bread and butter for most of you. However, it’s unlikely that you’re familiar with all of the lens acronyms. So, here’s a quick refresher on a majority of these. If you’re just starting out in DSLR photography this might just be what you’ve been waiting for:
A kit lens is a short wide-zoom lens generally giving you a wide angle perspective of around 18mm to about 50mm. Some lenses like the 17–85mm offer you a slightly short telephoto reach.
A 50mm lens which gives roughly the same angle of view as the human eye
Wide Angle Lenses
A lens that has a focal length of 35mm or lower
Ultra-wide Angle Lenses
A lens with a focal length of 20mm or lower
A lens with a focal length of 85mm or higher
Super Telephoto Lenses
Lenses with a focal length of 400mm or higher
Lens Conversion Factor (Crop Factor)
When you use a lens optimized for a full-frame camera on a camera with a smaller sensor powering them, it uses only the center part of the image coming through the lens. This results in the image having a slightly telephoto effect. This phenomenon is known as lens conversion factor. For Canon cameras the conversion factor is 1.6x. This means a 50mm lens will become an 80mm lens.
Designed exclusively for Canon’s small sensor EOS camera systems, these lenses are optimized for the smaller imaging sensor. This allows for the lens prices to be more affordable.
TS-E stands for Tilt-Shift and is a lens that is specially designed for overcoming perspective distortions.
If you’ve shopped around for lenses or at least seen specifications you would know that lens names can get a bit technical. Such as the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM. The above acronym when broken down stands a lens that is designed for Canon EF mount (optimized for Canon’s full-frame cameras, but will also work on smaller APS-C cameras), has a focal length range of 16–35mm, has a fixed maximum aperture of f/4, has optical image stabilization, Canon’s proprietary ultra-sonic motor powered auto-focusing mechanism, and is an L series lens.
L Series Lenses
The L marking on certain Canon made lenses signifies that the specific lens is extremely high quality and often weather sealed. It’s basically a premium offering from Canon and is therefore labelled as such.
IS stands for image stabilization. It’s an imperative technology, especially when you intend to shoot hand-held most of the time, use a longer focal length, or shoot in low light conditions.
Canon developed the new Stepping Motor auto-focusing technology that ensures smoother auto-focusing performance especially when you’re shooting videos.
There are dozens of other acronyms and names. Watch the full video for a detailed understanding of each of them.
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