Cosina Voigtlander BESSA-L

35mm MF film viewfinder camera


Production details:
Announced:January 1999
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Film type:135 cartridge-loaded film
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica screw mount [28.8mm]
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), stop-down
Exposure modes:Manual
Rangefinder and Viewfinder:
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

In 1952, Ike was elected President, Lucy and Ricky were ducking custard pies on TV every week, and Mickey Mantle was stepping up to the plate for his second full season in the Big Leagues. Glorious times for all, for sure, but especially for average American photographers who, for the first time, were discovering in great numbers the possibilities and powers of 35mm cameras. Names like Leica, Nikon, and Canon were gaining a foothold in our collective subconscious thanks to the reliability, functionality and elegance of those cameras. Chief among them? Voigtlander, a camera maker and optical company from Braunsweig Germany founded in 1756, whose first interchangeable-lens 35mm rangefinder, the "Prominent", had reached American shores to great acclaim that year. Throughout the Fifties and Sixties, the Voigtlander 35mm's became synonymous with faultless operation, and elegantly styled 35mm rangefinders and SLRs capable of superb pictures.

Now almost thirty years later, the Voigtlander name is back. Resurrected by the Japanese, Voigtlander is back with a unique and different 35mm wide-angle camera, the beautiful Bessa-L. Fully restoring the Voigtlander claim to fine photography, the Bessa-L features the retro styling and flawless operation of earlier Voigtlanders, but it's a distinctly 1990's camera with all the advantages that modernity brings: lightweight, simplicity, superb imaging and, yes, affordability.

What is the Bessa-L? It's like no 35mm camera you've every experienced. Is it an SLR? No. The Bessa-L has no reflex mirror and no roof prism viewfinder. Then it must be a 35mm rangefinder camera like a Leica M6, right? No, it's totally scale focusing, with no built-in rangefinder to add costly optics and mechanics. There's not even an integral viewfinder. Well then it must be a point-and-shoot-type 35mm with an in-lens leaf shutter, right? Wrong again. The Bessa-L uses a focal-plane shutter like the most sophisticated 35mm's.

Well, if it's not an SLR, a rangefinder or a point-and-shoot, was IS the Voigtlander? Answer: a scale-focusing, interchangeable lens, interchangeable viewfinder camera that most resembles the classic 35mm rangefinders of the 1940's and '50's. Its strength? Wide angle photography. Voigtlander offers two lenses for the Bessa-L, and one of them, the 15mm f/4.5 Super-Wide Heliar Aspherical, is probably the widest lens ever made for a non-SLR 35mm camera. But that's not all. It's amazingly compact, shockingly sharp using aspherical elements, and most importantly, it's practically distortion free. Because the Voigtlander engineers didn't have to design the Heliar to work with a reflex mirror, the lenses are smaller, sharper and with much less distortion than you'll find in comparable SLR optics. Now ultra wide angle photography is yours without the tell-tale distorted lines commonly found in most ultra-wide angle shots.

The second lens? An equally sharp 25mm f/4 Snapshot-Skopar, perfect for more general photography. Both lenses sport conveniently click-stopped aperture rings, with distance scales color coded for meters and feet. The distance scale on the 25mm f/4 Snapshot-Skopar is nicely click stopped at 1, 1.5 and 3 meters, making it possible to focus without removing your eye from the finder.

Styled with a distinctly retro look, the Voigtlander appears, at first glance, to be an expensive collectible from the 1950's. But as beautiful as the Bessa-L is to behold, it's even MORE beautiful to hold. Its rubberized matte-black outer covering is easy on the fingers, and the camera body is much more grippable, and much less heavy than the old-style rangefinders thanks to its sturdy, but light weight, die-cast all-aluminum body. You'll find the Bessa-L compact and easily balanced in two hands, with the controls falling immediately under appropriate fingers. The shutter release is smoothly arced, easily accessed for fast and responsive shooting, and it's conveniently threaded to receive a standard cable release. For flash operation, the Bessa-L offers a PC terminal and a 1/125 second top flash synch speed. Other amenities include a bottom-plate tripod socket, a 10-second self-timer, and depth-of-field scales on both lenses.

The Bessa-L delivers dead-on exposure using a TTL, center-weighted averaging meter whose readings appear on the top of the camera, fully visible with your eye at the viewfinder. Three brightly-lit meter LEDs (red arrows and a green circle) tell you which direction to turn the aperture ring for the perfect reading.

Perhaps the most unusual Voigtlander trait? No built-in viewfinder. The camera does without the complicated viewing systems required by most 35mm's. There's no reflex mirror flapping around, for example, clattering noisily with every shot. No mechanical rangefinder vulnerable to failure. The Bessa-L's interchangeable viewfinders slip easily on and off (but not so easily that they'll fall off), and their images are clear, bright, contrasty and free of etched framing lines or other unnecessary clutter.

The Voigtlander's simple thumb-activated, single-stroke film advance is much quieter and also less vulnerable to mechanical problems than motordrives that stop dead as soon as the batteries die. That's right: everything except the meter will work if the Bessa-L's batteries run down. Try THAT with your $2000 high-tech SLR!

Are you tired of digital this and auto that? The Voigtlander is your camera. The Bessa-L is an instant classic and certain to achieve cult-camera status, as aesthetically sophisticated as it is electronically simple. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Voigtlander Bessa-L? Nostalgia fans can use the body as the central building block for reconstructing an affordable and reliable system using lenses and viewfinders made for cameras back in the 1940's and '50's. Its L-mount threaded lens mount accepts optics made for all the famous-name rangefinder cameras that are still to be found on the pre-owned market, plentiful and often inexpensive. You can mix and match lenses and accessory viewfinders to build your own hybrid classic with elements from the glory days of 35mm. It's as close as many of us ever come to owning a vintage Leica.

The Bessa-L brings back the glory days of 35mm photography affordably. Are you as hung up on elegance and style as you are on performance? The Voigtlander Bessa-L is an instrument that looks as good as it shoots. Sleek lines, beautiful curves, deco-inspired design. Check it out today at your local camera dealer, and learn why the camera has already taken Japan by storm.

Learn why, with Voigtlander, it's easy to fall in love with pictures again.

Manufacturer description #2

The BESSA was once the cornerstone of precision photographic engineering. After an absence spanning several decades, the Bessa has returned as a dedicated wide-angle viewfinder camera.


The Bessa-L is composed of an all aluminum die-cast metal casing with a streamline body that fits comfortably into the palm of your hand making it a paradigm of design simplicity. It is lightweight, precise, and extremely durable with excellent corrosion resistance. This camera offers precision and reliability under all photographic conditions.


The unique double mechanical shutter is a combination of a mechanically controlled focal plane shutter that can operate up to 1/2000 of a second and a newly developed light-shielding shutter. Reliability of these mechanisms is very high; meaning, the photographer no longer has to keep a lens cap over the front or keep the lens set at a small aperture to avoid the possibility of stray light damaging the film.

The BESSA-L features manual lever operated film winding and simple manual film rewinding. In addition, the camera has a highly responsive photographing speed with a pleasantly quiet shutter sound.


Through the lens (TTL) center-weighted light metering, measures light reflected from the shielding shutter with a photo receptor device (silicon photocell) on the base of the body. Pressing the shutter button halfway activates the light measuring circuit. LED lamps at the rear of the camera display whether the correct exposure has been selected. The LED lamps are positioned at the lower left of the viewfinder, allowing the exposure accuracy to be checked without the user taking their eye away from the viewfinder.


The Bessa-L is equipped with a highly compatible 39mm L-screw mount system used for interchanging lenses. The ability to attach to other L-screw mount wide-angle lenses from Leica and Canon makes it an even more unique and versatile camera.

Light metering can be performed with most L-screw mount lenses, but TTL light metering can not be performed with lenses having extremely short back-focus.

Manufacturer description #3

Type: 35mm camera with focal plane shutter and TTL metering system.

Shutter: Vertically moving metal focal plane shutter B, 1-1/2000 sec.

Self-Timer: Mechanical self-timer with 10 sec operating time.

Exposure display: Over exposure warning, Good exposure warning, Under exposure warning.

Exposure Metering System: Center-weighted average metering. By pressing Shutter Release Button.

Exposure Coupling Range: EV4-19 (ISO 100, F4, 1sec.-F16, 1/2000sec.).

Flash Terminal: X synchro contact synchronized at 1/125 sec or lower speed.

Film Advance: By single-lever action with 135 deg. throw and 30 deg. stand-off.

Film Rewind: By film rewind button and film rewind crank.

Frame Counter: Additive type with autoreset by opening the back cover.

Film Speed Range: ISO 25-1600 by 1/3 steps.

Power Source: Two 1.5V Alkaline batteries (LR44) or Silver batteries (SR44).


This is lens-interchangeable super wide-angle camera with TTL exposure metering function. The camera is lens interchangeable via L-mount, yet is lightweight and compact. Attaching 15mm/f4.5 or 25mm/f4 lens onto this camera, you can enjoy easy-to-take snap-photography, landscape, etc.

From the Classic Camera magazine (August 1999)

After an absence of some thirty years, Voigtlander cameras are back in production with a revival of a famous name in a rangefinder style camera, with interchangeable lenses, called the Bessa-L. The German owners of the Voigtlander trade-mark have licensed the manufacturer of the new camera, Cosina, in Japan, to use the name and produce the camera to their specifications.

Although the new camera is referred to as a rangefinder style model it is not, in fact, fitted with a rangefinder, but uses separate direct vision clip on viewfinders which are supplied with the two currently available wide-angle lenses, a 15mm ultra wide plus a 25mm. Both lenses will, no doubt, be sought after by Leica enthusiasts as they are made in Leitz screw thread and are available for sale independently.

The 15mm lens is a fully corrected Super Wide Heliar f4.5 Aspherical, which comprises of 8 elements in 6 groups. It covers and angle of view of 110 degrees and focuses down to 0.3m. The diameter is 49.6 mm with a length of 30.7mm and it weighs 33gm. The second lens is a 25mm f4 Snapshot Skopar which is made up of 7 elements in 5 groups. The closest focusing distance is 0.75m. The lens is 46.5mm in diameter and 29.5mm long with a weight of 30gm.

The camera body is constructed with an aluminium die-cast frame which gives both ightness and strength. The dimensions are: 135.5mm wide x 78.5mm high x 33.5mm deep and the weight is 320 gm. The camera is fitted with a vertical running, metal bladed focal plane shutter with speeds from 1 sec. to 1/2000 sec. plus B and an X sync. setting of 1/125 sec. The front curtain has a pattern to read the TTL, centre weighted exposure readings, which are set manually via the red and green LED panel which is on the rear panel of the camera adjacent to the position of the viewfinder shoe. Left and right red LED's indicate under/over exposure, with a central green one to show the correct setting. The exposure meter has a range of EV4 to EV 19 with ISO 100 film. The film speed setting range is from ISO 25 - 1600. Film advance is by a single stroke of 135 degrees with a 35 degree stand-off position. A self timer giving a 10 second delay is fitted but there is no shutter release lock or provision for double exposures to be made.

Special limited editions (1)

Similar cameras (6)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Viewfinder • Leica screw mount mount

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Leica I (Model C) M, 1/500 -- M 1930
Leica Ic M, 1/500 -- M 1949
Leica If M, 1/500 -- M 1952
Leica Ig M, 1/1000 -- M 1957
Leica Standard (Model E) M, 1/500 -- M 1932
Zarya M, 1/500 -- M 1959
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Chromatic aberration

There are two kinds of chromatic aberration: longitudinal and lateral. Longitudinal chromatic aberration is a variation in location of the image plane with changes in wave lengths. It produces the image point surrounded by different colors which result in a blurred image in black-and-white pictures. Lateral chromatic aberration is a variation in image size or magnification with wave length. This aberration does not appear at axial image points but toward the surrounding area, proportional to the distance from the center of the image field. Stopping down the lens has only a limited effect on these aberrations.

Spherical aberration

Spherical aberration is caused because the lens is round and the film or image sensor is flat. Light entering the edge of the lens is more severely refracted than light entering the center of the lens. This results in a blurred image, and also causes flare (non-image forming internal reflections). Stopping down the lens minimizes spherical aberration and flare, but introduces diffraction.


Astigmatism in a lens causes a point in the subject to be reproduced as a line in the image. The effect becomes worse towards the corner of the image. Stopping down the lens has very little effect.


Coma in a lens causes a circular shape in the subject to be reproduced as an oval shape in the image. Stopping down the lens has almost no effect.

Curvature of field

Curvature of field is the inability of a lens to produce a flat image of a flat subject. The image is formed instead on a curved surface. If the center of the image is in focus, the edges are out of focus and vice versa. Stopping down the lens has a limited effect.


Distortion is the inability of a lens to capture lines as straight across the entire image area. Barrel distortion causes straight lines at the edges of the frame to bow toward the center of the image, producing a barrel shape. Pincushion distortion causes straight lines at the edges of the frame to curve in toward the lens axis. Distortion, whether barrel or pincushion type, is caused by differences in magnification; stopping down the lens has no effect at all.

The term "distortion" is also sometimes used instead of the term "aberration". In this case, other types of optical aberrations may also be meant, not necessarily geometric distortion.


Classically, light is thought of as always traveling in straight lines, but in reality, light waves tend to bend around nearby barriers, spreading out in the process. This phenomenon is known as diffraction and occurs when a light wave passes by a corner or through an opening. Diffraction plays a paramount role in limiting the resolving power of any lens.


Doublet is a lens design comprised of two elements grouped together. Sometimes the two elements are cemented together, and other times they are separated by an air gap. Examples of this type of lens include achromatic close-up lenses.

Dynamic range

Dynamic range is the maximum range of tones, from darkest shadows to brightest highlights, that can be produced by a device or perceived in an image. Also called tonal range.

Resolving power

Resolving power is the ability of a lens, photographic emulsion or imaging sensor to distinguish fine detail. Resolving power is expressed in terms of lines per millimeter that are distinctly recorded in the final image.


Vignetting is the darkening of the corners of an image relative to the center of the image. There are three types of vignetting: optical, mechanical, and natural vignetting.

Optical vignetting is caused by the physical dimensions of a multi-element lens. Rear elements are shaded by elements in front of them, which reduces the effective lens opening for off-axis incident light. The result is a gradual decrease of the light intensity towards the image periphery. Optical vignetting is sensitive to the aperture and can be completely cured by stopping down the lens. Two or three stops are usually sufficient.

Mechanical vignetting occurs when light beams are partially blocked by external objects such as thick or stacked filters, secondary lenses, and improper lens hoods.

Natural vignetting (also known as natural illumination falloff) is not due to the blocking of light rays. The falloff is approximated by the "cosine fourth" law of illumination falloff. Wide-angle rangefinder designs are particularly prone to natural vignetting. Stopping down the lens cannot cure it.


Bright shapes or lack of contrast caused when light is scattered by the surface of the lens or reflected off the interior surfaces of the lens barrel. This is most often seen when the lens is pointed toward the sun or another bright light source. Flare can be minimized by using anti-reflection coatings, light baffles, or a lens hood.


Glowing patches of light that appear in a photograph due to lens flare.

Retrofocus design

Design with negative lens group(s) positioned in front of the diaphragm and positive lens group(s) positioned at the rear of the diaphragm. This provides a short focal length with a long back focus or lens-to-film distance, allowing for movement of the reflex mirror in SLR cameras. Sometimes called an inverted telephoto lens.


A photographic lens completely corrected for the three main optical aberrations: spherical aberration, coma, and astigmatism.

By the mid-20th century, the vast majority of lenses were close to being anastigmatic, so most manufacturers stopped including this characteristic in lens names and/or descriptions and focused on advertising other features (anti-reflection coating, for example).

Rectilinear design

Design that does not introduce significant distortion, especially ultra-wide angle lenses that preserve straight lines and do not curve them (unlike a fisheye lens, for instance).

Focus shift

A change in the position of the plane of optimal focus, generally due to a change in focal length when using a zoom lens, and in some lenses, with a change in aperture.


The amount of light that passes through a lens without being either absorbed by the glass or being reflected by glass/air surfaces.

Modulation Transfer Function (MTF)

When optical designers attempt to compare the performance of optical systems, a commonly used measure is the modulation transfer function (MTF).

The components of MTF are:

The MTF of a lens is a measurement of its ability to transfer contrast at a particular resolution from the object to the image. In other words, MTF is a way to incorporate resolution and contrast into a single specification.

Knowing the MTF curves of each photographic lens and camera sensor within a system allows a designer to make the appropriate selection when optimizing for a particular resolution.

Veiling glare

Lens flare that causes loss of contrast over part or all of the image.

Anti-reflection coating

When light enters or exits an uncoated lens approximately 5% of the light is reflected back at each lens-air boundary due to the difference in refractive index. This reflected light causes flare and ghosting, which results in deterioration of image quality. To counter this, a vapor-deposited coating that reduces light reflection is applied to the lens surface. Early coatings consisted of a single thin film with the correct refractive index differences to cancel out reflections. Multi-layer coatings, introduced in the early 1970s, are made up of several such films.

Benefits of anti-reflection coating:

Circular fisheye

Produces a 180° angle of view in all directions (horizontal, vertical and diagonal).

The image circle of the lens is inscribed in the image frame.

Diagonal (full-frame) fisheye

Covers the entire image frame. For this reason diagonal fisheye lenses are often called full-frame fisheyes.

Extension ring

Extension rings can be used singly or in combination to vary the reproduction ratio of lenses. They are mounted between the camera body and the lens. As a rule, the effect becomes stronger the shorter the focal length of the lens in use, and the longer the focal length of the extension ring.

View camera

A large-format camera with a ground-glass viewfinder at the image plane for viewing and focusing. The photographer must stick his head under a cloth hood in order to see the image projected on the ground glass. Because of their 4x5-inch (or larger) negatives, these cameras can produce extremely high-quality results. View cameras also usually support movements.

135 cartridge-loaded film

43.27 24 36
  • Introduced: 1934
  • Frame size: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2
  • Double perforated
  • 8 perforations per frame

120 roll film

71.22 44 56
  • Introduced: 1901
  • Frame size: 56 × 44mm
  • Aspect ratio: 11:14
  • Diagonal: 71.22mm
  • Area: 2464mm2
  • Unperforated

120 roll film

79.2 56 56
  • Introduced: 1901
  • Frame size: 56 × 56mm
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Diagonal: 79.2mm
  • Area: 3136mm2
  • Unperforated

120 roll film

89.64 56 70
  • Introduced: 1901
  • Frame size: 70 × 56mm
  • Aspect ratio: 5:4
  • Diagonal: 89.64mm
  • Area: 3920mm2
  • Unperforated

220 roll film

71.22 44 56
  • Introduced: 1965
  • Frame size: 56 × 44mm
  • Aspect ratio: 11:14
  • Diagonal: 71.22mm
  • Area: 2464mm2
  • Unperforated
  • Double the length of 120 roll film

220 roll film

79.2 56 56
  • Introduced: 1965
  • Frame size: 56 × 56mm
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Diagonal: 79.2mm
  • Area: 3136mm2
  • Unperforated
  • Double the length of 120 roll film

220 roll film

89.64 56 70
  • Introduced: 1965
  • Frame size: 70 × 56mm
  • Aspect ratio: 5:4
  • Diagonal: 89.64mm
  • Area: 3920mm2
  • Unperforated
  • Double the length of 120 roll film

Shutter speed ring with "F" setting

The "F" setting disengages the leaf shutter and is set when using only the focal plane shutter in the camera body.

Catch for disengaging cross-coupling

The shutter and diaphragm settings are cross-coupled so that the diaphragm opens to a corresponding degree when faster shutter speeds are selected. The cross-coupling can be disengaged at the press of a catch.

Cross-coupling button

With the cross-coupling button depressed speed/aperture combinations can be altered without changing the Exposure Value setting.

M & X sync

The shutter is fully synchronized for M- and X-settings so that you can work with flash at all shutter speeds.

In M-sync, the shutter closes the flash-firing circuit slightly before it is fully open to catch the flash at maximum intensity. The M-setting is used for Class M flash bulbs.

In X-sync, the flash takes place when the shutter is fully opened. The X-setting is used for electronic flash.

X sync

The shutter is fully synchronized for X-setting so that you can work with flash at all shutter speeds.

In X-sync, the flash takes place when the shutter is fully opened. The X-setting is used for electronic flash.

Unable to follow the link

You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

Cannot perform comparison

Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. Magnification is expressed as a ratio. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.