lens-db.com was founded on July 6th, 2012 by Evgenii Artemov and was originally created as a regular photographic lens database. Over time, its creator developed an understanding that it is not enough just to provide visitors with general information - it is necessary to help choose the most suitable lenses for certain genres of photography and explain why it is advisable to opt for them. In addition, it is necessary to simplify the selection process as much as possible, without the need for the visitor to manually go through tens or even hundreds of lens models in the database. And, of course, it became clear that the extensive database formed over the years of the website's existence, along with expert experience, allows not only providing users with comprehensive information, but also giving advice on the choice and effective use of lenses, compare and evaluate them according to certain rules, without shifting this task to the visitors themselves.
This is how our website evolved into the expert system.
An expert system is a computer program that uses artificial-intelligence methods to solve problems within a specialized domain that ordinarily requires human expertise. Structurally, the expert system consists of a knowledge base, an inference engine and an user interface. A knowledge base is an organized collection of facts about the system's domain. Facts for a knowledge base come from human experts and are usually presented in the form of "if - then" rules that can be applied to known facts to generate new facts. The inference engine interprets and evaluates facts in the knowledge base to provide an answer. Expert systems do not replace human experts, but serve as additional aids.
Thanks to the hard systematic work, the database contains photos, model history, camera compatibility information, specifications and descriptions for 4382 autofocus and popular manual focus interchangeable lenses designed for SLR, rangefinder and mirrorless cameras: from APS-C to medium format 6x9cm, from fisheye to super telephoto lenses, from Asahi/Pentax to ZEISS.
It is not our goal to record as many lenses as possible in order to make the database the largest in the world. In our opinion, quality, uniformity and accuracy of information, as well as conclusions based on it, are much more important than quantity of information.
Unfortunately, being guided by this principle, we cannot entrust the users of our website to modify the database. The data come from the extensive collection of documents from manufacturers and dealers: over 2000 booklets, catalogs, ads occupying 16.5 GB of storage, plus hundreds of instruction manuals and datasheets, while the facts in the knowledge base come from the experts with an extensive level of knowledge and many years of experience in the use of photographic equipment. All this makes our data/knowledge base the world's largest credible.
Note: since the website is an expert system and not a test lab, we don't have lens tests and reviews here.
The website's inference engine solves the following tasks:
All these tasks are solved using a set of heuristic rules, or "rules of thumb", and not simply based on focal length and speed of lenses.
Other useful features include:
Thus, as you can see, our website has no competitors: on the one hand, there are ordinary databases dedicated to photographic lenses, and on the other hand, there is lens-db.com.
The website is intended for a wide range of visitors, whether they are beginner photographers or honored masters, amateur photographers or professionals.
The website is an independent non-commercial project: we are not affiliated with any photographic equipment manufacturers or commercial organizations and work out of love for art, not for money.
The website is absolutely free to use. The registration is not required (however, it will allow you an ad-free experience).
As a visitor, you may:
Also, feel free to share links to our website on social media, if you believe that our website is really useful and deserves that as many people as possible should use it.