Exa 500

aka Exakta 500
aka VX 200

35mm MF film SLR camera • Discontinued


35mm full frame
Film type:
135 cartridge-loaded film
Exakta [44.7mm]
1/2 - 1/500 + B, T
Exposure metering:
Exposure modes:
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description

EXA 500 24 mm x 36 mm

  • Ultra-simple operation.
  • Type of film: perforated 35 mm-wide miniature film, giving negatives or transparencies 24 mm x 36 mm in size.
  • Non-detachable, built-in Prism Viewfinder. Framing and focusing controlled by means of magnified, brilliant and always erect and laterally-correct reflex image. Through-the-lens reflex focusing, giving parallax-free uniformity between reflex image and final picture.
  • Quick-return mirror: the reflex image is still visible in the Prism Viewfinder even when the shutter is not tensioned. A red signal in the reflex image indicates when the camera is not wound and ready for action.
  • On request, the EXA 500 can be supplied with a built-in Fresnel lens, giving extra image brightness (with Microprism focusing field centered in the brilliant, evenly illuminated ground-glass surface). The Microprism increases the certainty of correct focusing, as the visibly extra bright image will, by incorrect focusing, produce an image which is blurred to a greater degree. Therefore focusing is easier, faster and more accurate.
  • First-quality interchangeable lenses; an unrestricted range of special-purpose lenses from 20 mm to 1000 mm focal length. Lenses from f=20 mm to f=180 mm also available with fully-automatic spring or pressure diaphragms. World-famous quick-change bayonet mounts (also provided on EXAKTA Varex and EXA Ia, giving complete lens and accessory interchangeability between all three Ihagee reflex cameras).
  • Focal-plane shutter with exceptionally silent travel. Quick and convenient selection of shutter speeds from 1/2 second to 1/500 second, also B and T settings for short and long time exposures. Rapid-wind lever for shutter tensioning coupled with film advance mechanism, eliminating double exposures and blank frames. Body shutter release with cable release thread. Release lock to prevent accidental operation of shutter.
  • Universal flash contact with symbol-settings: red dot alongside lightning-flash marking = 1/60sec. shutter setting for electronic flash units; dot alongside bulb marking = 1/15 sec. shutter setting for flashbulbs.
  • Constantly-dependable film advance ensuring that film is held perfectly flat; film is either wound on to take-up spool and then back into the cassette by the rewind crank, or advanced from one cassette into another. Fully-detachable camera back. Frame counter counts up to 36 exposures. Film-type reminder disc with DIN speed ratings from 12 to 30, ASA and similar ratings from 25 to 400; also with 4 identifying letters for different types of colour film.
  • Attractively-designed, easily held light-alloy body, covered in durable material. External metal components chrome-plated and lacquer-finished.

Simple to operate

The EXA 500 is a genuinely simple camera to handle. The decisive factor here is that its simplicity is a natural consequence of the design principles of this truly modern camera, which make possible its remarkably low cost without restricting its all-purpose versatility in the slightest degree.

Loading the film into the EXA 500 is simplicity itself. Just remove the camera back, so as to expose the complete film track, and it wil be possible to load the film not only without the slightest difficulty, but with no possibility of making a mistake. The film winding and shutter tensioning mechanisms are interlocked, providing valuable protection against the elementary camera-handling errors of making double exposures or leaving blank frames. The built-in rewind crank makes even the rewinding of the exposed film an effortless procedure.

You will also quickly learn how to adjust the shutter speed and aperture settings, since it is only necessary to rotate two milled rings so as to line-up the desired values with the setting mark. The fully-automatic lenses eliminate any possibility of forgetting the all-important step of stopping-down the lens: the diaphragm closes down automatically to the pre-selected smaller aperture when you press the release button.

What about focusing? That's the simplest operation of all. Just look into the eyepiece of the built-in Prism Viewfinder and you will see a brilliant, highly-magnified and true-colour image on the focusing screen before your eye. Then turn the focusing ring until your subject appears needle-sharp. Now all you have to do is to press the shutter-release button and the image will be recorded on the film, with every detail just as you saw it in the prism viewinder.

The EXA 500 has a quick-return mirror: as soon os the snuter has run off the reflex image reappears in the Prism Viewfinder. A red signal in the viewfinder reminds you that the rapid-wind lever must be operated to retension the shutter before taking the next picture.

Boundless versatility

The single-lens reflex focusing technique opens up a limitless field of operation for the EXA 500. This is due to the fact that there is no parallax displacement between the finder image and the film image, since both are formed by the same lens. Whatever you see in the viewfinder of your EXA 500 will also appear in the final picture. The camera gives you a preview of the photo you are about to take: you can adjust the focus, check and control the depth of field and use the ever-reliable reflex image to determine the ideal framing of the subject and the exact moment to press the shuter release. The advantages of reflex focusing have been proved countless times over, not least because the procedure remains unaltered when using special-purpose lenses of longer or shorter focal length, with extension-increasing accessories for close-up photography on when even using the camera coupled to a microscope. This is just a hint of the boundless versatility of the EXA 500.

The Prism Viewfinder built into the camera shows you a reflex image which is a faithful true-to-nature section of the actual scene before you, and is both the right way up and the right way round. The magnifier system enlarges the reflex image by 4 times. All you have to do is to hold the EXA 500 to your eye and look in the proposed taking direction; in this way you can be absoluely sure of getting even rapidly-moving subjects "in the picture." For sporting scenes, you can slowly "pan" the camera during exposure to keep the subject within the viewfinder. The smooth-acting focal-plane shutter has a wide range of shutter speeds (1/2-1/500 sec.) to increase the versatility of the EXA 500. Unavoidable intervals between shots are kept to the briefest minimum by the short-travel rapid-wind lever. For flash-photography enthusiasts, the shutter provides universal treedom of choice and action. Here the wide selection of top-quality standard and special-purpose lenses plays an all-important role in ensuring that the EXA 500 is at home in every field of photographic activity. Characteristics shared by all these lenses include: optimum definition, correct colour rendering, high speed, helical focusing movement, depth-of-field scale, antireflection surface coating and quick-change bayonet mount. The latest type of diaphragm mechanisms allow you to focus at the full aperture of the lens to obtain the brightest possible finder image, and then - without removing the camera from your eye - to stop down to any pre-selected smaller aperture for taking the picture. With many lenses even this is performed quite automatically, at the moment of pressing the release.

Well-proven accessories

The EXA 500 shares a major part of the world-famous EXAKTA system: since its lens mount is identical to thoce of the FXAKTA Varex and EXA la, it is possible to use it with not only the standard and special-purpose lenses of these cameras, but with a wide range of their accessories as well. The EXA 500 therefore, ideally suitable for using as a "second camera" with the other models.

The EXA 500 is a product of traditional precision craftsmanship down to the smallest detail. It originates from a manufacturer who for the last 45 years has specialized in the production of single-lens reflex cameras and who has played a decisive part in bringing about the world-wide success of this type of camera: in 1936 appeared the first single-lens miniature reflex camera ever made, the Kine-Exakta 24 mm X 36 mm.

From the Popular Photography magazine (1968)

THE EXAKTA 500 is just a handful of camera: 4 15/16-in. long, 3 3/4-in. high, and 3 3/4-in. deep to the tip of the 50-mm Tessar f/2.8 lens, adding up to a mere 1 3/4 Ibs. It also costs a mere handful: with the automatic Tessar, $79.50, including case. Yet it can tackle almost as much as its big brothers, the Exaktas 1000, IIA, IIB, etc.

The 500 takes all Exakta lenses from 20- to 1000-mm, the Vivitar 85- to 205-mm zoom, and other optics in Exakta mount, extension tubes, bellows, etc.

This latest model has a return mirror, with red flag indicator in finder if you haven't cocked the shutter; focusing screen with microprism center, ground-glass doughnut, and groundglass/fresnel balance; shutter speeds from 1/2 to 1/500, including 1/15s sec plus B; 1/60 sec electronic flash synch; rapid rewind crank; and an extremely short, rapid throw on its film transport lever.

I like external diaphragm automation, such as is found on Exakta lenses. To check depth-of-field, gently depress the release button on the lens to stop it down; then a little extra pressure will release the shutter.

I like to be able to make double exposures, and this is very easy to do with the 500. Advance the film, turn the rewind crank to take up the slack; then take your first exposure. Next flip the rapid wind lever, while both restraining the rewind crank and depressing the rewind button, and you are ready for superimposing your second shot. Since the rewind button is right next to the transport lever, and not on the bottom of the camera, and since the body of the 500 is short, you don't have to be a contortionist to do all this.

From the editor

An improved version of the Exa IIb with fully automatic diaphragm lens, pentaprism with fresnel screen and micro-prism rangefinder, shutter speeds 1/2 sec. and 1/500 sec. and B, and XM flash synchronization.

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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, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance (distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane) is also different.

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 lens element 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.