Mamiya RZ67 Professional

Medium format MF film SLR camera


Production details:
System: Mamiya RZ67 (1982)
Maximum format:Medium format 6x7
Film type:120 roll film
220 roll film
Mount and Flange focal distance:Mamiya RZ67 [104mm]
Type:In-lens leaf shutter
Exposure metering:None
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

The World's Most Versatile, Most Responsive Medium-Format Single-Lens Reflex Photographic System - MAMIYA RZ67 Professional

The primary development theme behind the exciting new Mamiya RZ67 Professional was the need for a photographic system capable not merely of handling the many challenges that face today's professional, but handling them with an ease and versatility that would leave the photographer free to concentrate solely on the creation of the image. And this, naturally, required the development of an entirely new series of lenses, which Mamiya also created, that surpass in quality even the famed RB Series lenses. These new RZ Series optics have been designed and produced to offer absolute accuracy to the photographer, sharp, clear images of outstanding color rendition and contrast. The combination of RZ67 and RZ Series lenses creates a photographic tool that meets fully and completely all the severe challenges and demands of modern professional photography to allow total dedication of the photographer's attention to the important task of creation. Every function and operation, every control and feature, every component and accessory has been designed and developed to require absolutely minimal distraction from the photographer's primary need-achievement of the desired image. From the basic, physical, act of holding and operating the camera to the electronic and optical parameters of performance, the RZ67 Professional has been designed to make minimal demands on the photographer-excepting the photographer's imagination and creativity, which the design both challenges and enhances.

The photographer enjoys the capability to do more with the RZ67, because the camera requires so much less. Fundamentally, the new RZ67 Professional follows the basic design of the internationally acclaimed Mamiya RB67 system: a single-lens reflex design in the proportionally ideal 6 x 7cm medium format, with interchangeable lens shutter optics, interchangeable/revolving film backs and integral rack-and-pinion bellows focusing system.

But the RZ67 Professional incorporates major advances in lens performance, handling ease, electronic operation and control functions, along with new system accessories, to give the photographer more and simpler creative potential than ever before available. And all this while retaining maximum compatibility with the lenses and system accessories of the RB67 system.

Simplified Handling & Operation Provide Greater Response, Less Distraction

Some of the most important advances of the new Mamiya RZ67 Professional are in the area of handling and operating the camera body. One significant contribution to more responsive and easier handling has been the integration of the shutter cocking and film advance systems, so that both actions are accomplished by means of a single lever.

This improved mechanism works in both horizontal and vertical formats, and requires far less pressure on the side charging lever, which is set at an angle to fit hand position perfectly when the camera is held in a natural grip.

The basic waist-level finder opens and closes smoothly, with a single touch, as does the built-in focusing aid magnifier, which accepts the same diopter correction lenses available for the RB67 camera.

A second distinct advantage of the new RZ67 is its automatic masking feature. With this camera body, moving frame masks are coupled directly to the revolving mechanism of the film back, so that the finder is correctly masked for either vertical or horizontal format. As the film back is revolved, the mask appears in place in the viewfinder automatically. Thus the photographer is always aware of the proper format while looking through the viewfinder, without any need to check the position of the film back. This is a considerable advance in the elimination of distractions during professional work.

Automatic masking operates under all circumstances, no matter which RZ system film back is employed, or which finder is in place.

Since the revolving mechanism for film backs is now built into the camera body itself, film flatness is improved for sharper images, and the reliability of the mechanical system is considerably enhanced. A special feature of the RZ67 body is a three-position switch incorporating the lock release for revolving film backs (R) and the multiple exposure function (M). This switch returns automatically from (R) to the neutral position when either the charging lever is slightly advanced, or the shutter release given slight pressure.

When the multiple exposure (M) setting is activated, the charging lever will recock the shutter without advancing film, so that a second exposure can be made on the same frame.

Finally, the RZ67 Professional now accepts its very own motor winder, allowing sequential photography, faster reaction to movement and remote control photography - all vitally important considerations to the working professional.

Sophisticated Electronic Advances For Professional Applications

The past decade has seen considerable progress made in the application of advanced electronics to photography. Now, the Mamiya RZ67 Professional incorporates a host of new electronic features designed to make the professional's job faster, simpler and easier than ever before.

Everyone of the electronic circuits built into the RZ67 body is present for the specific task of providing greater shooting advantages to the professional. At the same time, the use of sophisticated electronics allows not only greater precision in the process of exposing the film, but also provides a higher degree of performance reliability and camera durability, two of the factors most important in the selection of professional photo equipment.

Among the electronic advances incorporated into the RZ67 body are an entirely new electromagnetic shutter release system (which provides the basis for remote control accessory use). A system of monitor lamps clearly visible in the viewfinder, dark slide interlock and a special audible warning that precedes automatic power cut in the Bulb shutter speed or Mirror-Up modes. The electronic circuitry also provides the required linkages for such advanced electronic accessories as the PD Prism Finder, Winder RZ and MZ Flash units.

The new electromagnetic shutter release of the RZ67 Professional increases timing precision in the actual taking of the photograph, and also affords improved durability and reliability. Also, since the RZ67 accepts both electronic RZ system and mechanical RB system lenses, the shutter release incorporates a three-position ring with setting for Lock, Electromagnetic (RZ/RB lenses) and Mechanical (RZ at 1/400 sec., RB at all speeds) release modes.

An electronic innovation of the RZ67 Professional is the incorporation of a shutter speed dial on the camera body, rather than the usual lens shutter system of speed selection rings on each individual Iens. This dial incorporates settings for speeds from 8 to 1/400 sec., and Bulb (B). The proper speed is relayed from body to lens via a series of special contact points on the lens and body mounts. Since power is consumed by an open electronic shutter, the RZ67 sounds a warning buzzer when 50 seconds have elapsed on a B shutter speed. This warning continues for 10 seconds, after which power is cut off automatically to prevent over-drainage of the battery. For longer exposures, the T setting (mechanical) is recommended.

Three monitor lamps are now provided in the viewfinder to allow the photographer to check the operating condition of the camera while continuting to observe the subject. The red LED lights to indicate that the dark slide has not been properly removed from the film back (and also flickers to indicate battery power loss). If the charging lever has not been fully extended, and either shutter recocking or film advance are incomplete, an orange LED will light. Finally, a special green LED lights up to indicate completed recycling of the MZ Series flash units when attached to the RZ67 body. (NOTE: Monitor Lamps do not function in Mechanical Release mode.)

A convenient operating mode of the RZ67 Professional is Mirror-Up photography. A double cable release is used, linked to the mechanical cable release socket on each RZ Series lens, and the shutter release button. Slight pressure on the cable release then puts the body into mirror-up condition, after which full pressure releases the shutter. This is especially convenient in close-up and macro photography, to completely eliminate vibration. (NOTE: The auto warning and power cut-off feature functions in this mode if mirror-up condition is maintained for 50 seconds, in order to prevent power drainage.)

Large Controls & Special Finish Guarantee Secure Holding & Positiye Control Of All Functions

The complete restructuring of the RZ67 Professional camera body has led to a slightly more compact design than the RB67 model, despite the many new features incorporated within that body.

And the body itself has been designed and finished to allow photographic professionals both the positive control and the secure grip necessary to handling ease.

Designel's working on the camera body decided to employ a rubberized finish on all areas of the camera that come in contact with the photographer's hands. These include the side and underside panels, film back grips and lens mount ring. This special finish provides an exceptionally secure grip, with no fear of slipping, that is in large part responsible for the unique 'feel' of the body and contributes greatly to improved handling ease.

There are, at the same time, no design frills on the body, no unnecessary decorative effects. The RZ67 is a completely functional camera; its controls fall naturally into place, just where they belong. And each control on the body surface is large enough to provide sure operation, and positioned for rapid, positive response to the photographer's needs.

In addition to all these vital design elements adding to ease of operation, the RZ67 also offers a particularly 'clean' finish , with protrusions eliminated to the maximum extent. A good example of this is the folding handle of the dark slide, which keeps the side of the camera body smooth. This type of detail may appear quite minor, but professionals know that just such minor details can make the difference between a camera body that 'looks good' and one that 'performs' to the maximum.

Dimpled surface finishing of both camera body and film backs, combined with the sure-grip rubberized finish used at hand-contact points, means a control 'feel' that particularly suits the hard- working professional. After just a few minutes of familiarization, any pro will be able to handle the RZ67, even in pitch darkness, with certainty that every function is operating just as desired, every control in proper position.

A good example of the attention to detail provided by the RZ67 Professional is the charge lever. A lot of thought went into the design of this vital control, particularly into the contour of the thumbpad. The charge lever can be operated positively and rapidly even while the photographer keeps eye to the view- finder for the next shot.

Focusing is, of course, one of the most vital factors in the production of a genuinely professional quality photograph. So that focusing with the RZ67 Professional will be positive, sure and precise, the large twin knobs of the camera's rack-and-pinion bellows focusing system are given the same sure-grip rubberized finish as other contact points. And this finish is also used on the vital lens mount ring, so that the photographer always has positive control feel under any circumstances.

5mall-but-vital features are the strongest point of the RZ67. Although the basic camera system is completely finished in black, two vital controls are accented in blue. This provides not only a hint of color, but more importantlv an indication of use and operation, as well. The release buttons of the camera finder is one of these areas; the special depth-of-field ring on each RZ system lens is the other. While the aperture ring and lens mount ring are both finished in black, this depth-of-field indication ring is given a smooth, blue finish to distinguish it and to allow quicker identification during operation of the camera.

Manufacturer description #2

Building upon its long experience since the introduction in 1970 of the revolutionary RB67 SLR with revolving back and the later refinements incorporated into the RB67 Pro-S, Mamiya Camera Company has utilized the latest electronic technology in order to fulfill its commitment to advanced amateurs and professional photographers by producing the ultimate 6 x 7cm camera, the Mamiya RZ67.

The result is a camera with incredible versatility and handling ease. ideally suited for commercial, industrial, scientific, news, portrait, scenic, and fashion photography. In fact, the Mamiya RZ67 knows no bounds in photographic application.

The following exemplify how the outstanding features of the RB67 have been further refined in the Mamiya RZ67, resulting in unprecedented quality and performance.

1. Ultra Performance Lenses

Without changing the outer diameter of the lens mount on the camera body, the inner diameter of the mount on the RZ67 has been increased by 7mm (from 54mm on the RB to 61mm on the RZ). Furthermore, the flange back (distance of the lens mount to film plane) has been reduced by the same amount (from 111 mm on the RB to 104mm on the RZ).

The increase in size of the diameter of the mount and decrease in the distance of the flange back have made it possible to design a new series of ultra performance lenses designed exclusively for the Mamiya RZ67, offering performance previously believed unattainable. It is now also possible to design new, specialized optics, such as shift or high speed lenses.

Moreover, any RB lenses already in the possession of the photographer can be used on the RZ67 without an adapter or loss in performance.

2. Improved Handling

It is now possible to advance the film and Exposure Counter, set the mirror and Light Baffle, and cock the lens with a single stroke of the Cocking Lever.

With Winder RZ attached to the camera body, a gentle touch of the electromagnetic release makes it possible to effortlessly take consecutive photographs.

As the revolving back is rotated to change from horizontal to vertical format, or vice versa, the viewfinder masks also simultaneously change automatically, preventing the photographer from seeing anything other than the area actually being photographed.

While retaining the “T” (time) setting on the lens, a “B” (bulb) setting has been incorporated into the Shutter Speed Dial of the camera body for added versatility.

The mirror-up mechanism is now automatically engaged as soon as a cable release is attached to the Mirror-up Socket.

3. Improved Performance

Shutter speed accuracy and durability have been significantly enhanced by utilizing an electromagnetic release and Mamiya’s own Moving Coil system in conjunction with the Seiko #1 electronic shutter. Additionally, the longest fixed shutter speed has been increased to 8 seconds, making the camera more flexible than ever.

When the camera is not prepared for use, the shutter release automatically locks and awaming lamp illuminates in the viewfinder, informing the photographer precisely what needs to be done, a red lamp indicating that the Dark Slide must be removed from the Film Holder, and an orange lamp reminding the photographer to advance the Cocking Lever.

When using a Mamiyalite electronic flash, a green LED illuminates in the viewfinder when the unit is fully charged and ready to fire.

For viewfinders with built-in exposure meters, the film speed, shutter speed, and aperture information is electronically transmitted to the exposure meter.

With a Mamiyalite MZ36R or MZ18R attached to the RZ67, aperture and film speed information is automatically and electronically relayed to the flash unit, controlling its light output.

By attaching Winder RZ and Receiver MZ to the RZ67, remote control of the camera is possible with Transmitter MZ, thereby immensely increasing the applications of the camera.


CAMERA TYPE: 6 x 7cm roll film SLR with lens shutter.

FILM TYPE: Uses 120 (10 exposure) or 220 (20 exposure) roll film. Actual negative size of 56 x 69.5mm.

LENS MOUNT: Large diameter (61 mm) bayonet (breech lock) mount with built-in safety lock and 12 electrical contacts. Accepts RB lenses without an adapter.

SHUTTER: Seiko #1 electronic shutter; B, T, 8-1/400 sec.; mechanical shutter speed of 1/400 sec. usable without a battery; built-in Shutter Release Button safety lock and manual lock provided.

FOCUSING HOOD: Opens and closes with a single touch: equipped with 3.2 x Magnifier (interchangeable with 5 other diopter lenses): 95% of the field of view visible; several interchangeable viewfinders available.

FOCUSING SCREEN: All matte with Fresnel lens and instantly interchangeable.

VIEWFINDER INFORMATION: Orange warning lamp illuminates when Cocking Lever has not been set or properly advanced. Red lamp illuminates when Dark Slide has not been withdrawn; also doubles as battery check lamp. Green lamp illuminates when Mamiyalite electronic flash unit is fully charged.

REVOLVING BACK: Back revolves 90 deg. to change from horizontal to vertical format, or vice versa. Viewfinder format automatically changes as back revolves.

FOCUSING METHOD: Rack and pinion focusing extends built-in bellows up to a maximum of 46mm. Focusing Knob provided with Lock Lever.

FILM TRANSPORT: A single 114 deg. stroke of the Cocking Lever advances the film and Exposure Counter, sets the mirror and Light Baffle, and cocks the shutter.

FILM HOLDER: Interchangeable holders are available for various film types.

MULTIPLE EXPOSURE: The built-in automatic double exposure prevention mechanism can be overridden with a single touch of a lever, providing multiple exposure provision.

BATTERY TYPE: One 6V silver-oxide battery (4SR44) or 6V alkaline battery (4LR44).

ADDITIONAL: Camera has remote control capability and mirror-up capability (for vibrationless photography).

From the editor

The weight and dimensions are indicated for the camera body with the Mamiya-Sekor Z 110mm F/2.8 lens mounted.

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Copyright © 2012-2024 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

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.