Pentax MZ-30

aka Pentax ZX-30

35mm AF film SLR camera

Pentax MZ-30


Production details:
Announced:February 2000
Also known as:Pentax ZX-30
System: Pentax K (1975)
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Film type:135 cartridge-loaded film
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

Pentax adds affordable ZX-30 to its ZX series of SLR cameras.

Ultra-compact dimensions and functional design: Like all other ZX series models, the new ZX-30 is one of the most compact and lightweight 35mm autofocus SLR cameras available on the market today. In addition, its well conceived design and ideal positioning of controls make it extremely maneuverable and comfortable to operate – even for beginners.

User-friendly Picture Mode with direct access Mode selection: The ZX-30’s Picture Mode simplifies complicated exposure control in many different situations. Mode selection is simple and direct; all the photographer needs to do is turn the model dial on the camera’s left side to one of six exposure programs (Standard Program, Portrait Program, Landscape Program, Close-up Program, Action Program, and Night Scene Program). Once the desired program is set, the ZX-30 handles the rest, creating the ideal visual effect for each subject and ensuring beautiful pictures – frame after frame.

Multi-mode exposure system: In addition to the simple to use Picture Mode, the ZX-30 offers two conventional auto exposure modes (Aperture-Priority AE and Shutter-Priority AE). The Metered Manual mode and the Bulb mode offer greater freedom of visual expression. These modes can also be selected with one quick turn of the dial.

Reliable multi-pattern metering: The ZX-30’s six-segment multi-pattern metering system assures optimum results, even when the subject is positioned under difficult lighting conditions – such as side-lighting and backlighting situations.

Pinpoint autofocus with focus prediction: Thanks to the acclaimed SAFOX VI phase-matching autofocus system, the ZX-30 assures high precision, high speed autofocus operation – even under low light conditions. The predictive autofocus function automatically activates when the camera detects the subject’s motion and predicts the subject’s position at the moment of shutter release for pinpoint focusing. This function even allows the user to take a few frames after the subject moves out of the AF frame. Under poor conditions, the built-in auto flash assists the AF system by making a brief flash discharge.

Multi-function auto pop-up flash: Covering up to a wide 28mm angle of view, the built-in auto flash automatically pops up and discharges when the camera detects low-light and/or backlight situations. Thanks to the advanced TTL flash control system, complicated flash techniques such as daylight sync, slow-shutter sync and bulb sync are made simple and effortless – even when used in combination with a dedicated flash unit. The red-eye reduction function* effectively reduces the red spots which can appear in the subject’s eyes when using the flash. The flash unit also makes a brief discharge in the dark to assist the camera’s AF system.

* This function does not eliminate “red-eyes” in all instances.

User-friendly data display system: The ZX-30 allows the user to confirm its operational status in two easy ways: the large LCD panel on top of the camera displays vital information using large icons and numbers, while the viewfinder LCD display offers a full range of information, including the selected picture program and an exposure compensation factor. The viewfinder display even comes with automatic brightness control for easy data confirmation in the dark and a diopter adjustment mechanism (-2.0m-1 ~ +1.0m-1) for near- or far-sighted users.

Easy-setting exposure compensation and memory lock: Using the exposure compensation button and select lever, the photographer can easily set the desired exposure compensation factor between +3EV and -3EV in 1/2EV increments to create a specific visual effect. The memory lock function offers another quick way to adjust exposure on the subject. With a single push of the memory lock button, the camera memorizes the metered exposure value for approximately 20 seconds, during which the photographer is free to re-frame the image at will.

Creative multiple exposure mode: With a simple push of the multiple exposure button, the user can make two exposures on a single frame to create eye-catching images. When the photographer wants to capture three or more images on the same frame, just press the multiple exposure button after each exposure to prevent the film from advancing to the next frame.

A wide variety of optional accessories: The ZX-30 is compatible with most existing Pentax 35mm system accessories, including the AF500FTZ and AF330FTZ dedicated flash units and the AA Battery pack FG.

Manufacturer description #2

An Assortment of Features for Photographers at All Levels

The MZ-30's seven user-friendly Picture Program Modes let you create the ideal visual effect for a subject, simply by selecting the pictograph corresponding to the desired mode on the mode dial. It also offers a variety of convenient features and creative functions to make SLR photography easier and more fun for all levels of photographers. These include multiple exposure to capture the desired number of images on a single frame and memory lock to memorize the desired exposure value before recomposing the image. All these features and functions can be controlled with extremely simple operation using dials and buttons.

Built-In Flash with Automatic Pop-Up and Discharge

When the MZ-30 detects poor lighting conditions in one of the Picture Modes (except Flash-Off Standard Program Mode), the built-in flash automatically pops up and makes a discharge to properly expose the subject.

Night Scene Program for Creative Flash Portraits

In the creative Night Scene Program mode, the MZ-30 automatically synchronizes the built-in auto flash with a slower shutter speed, creating a clear, well-defined flash portrait combined with sparkling illuminations or a beautiful sunset in the background. This Picture Program is designed to make sophisticated slow-shutter-sync flash techniques simple, effortless and entirely automatic!

Other Outstanding Features

  • Bright, clear viewfinder with built-in diopter adjuster
  • External flash synchronization to couple an optional PENTAX dedicated flash unit with the camera's flash mode

Manufacturer description #3

TYPE: TTL autofocus, auto-exposure 35mm SLR with built-in TTL auto flash (RTF)

FORMAT: 24x36mm

USABLE FILM: 35mm perforated cartridge film. DX-coded film with ISO 25-5000; non-DX coded films with ISO 6-6400

EXPOSURE MODES: Picture Mode (Green Operation Mode, Portrait Program Mode, Landscape Program Mode, Close-up Program Mode, Action Program Mode, Night-scene Program Mode), Shutter-Priority AE Mode, Aperture-Priority AE Mode, Metered Manual Mode, Bulb Exposure Mode, TTL Flash Mode

SHUTTER: Electronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter, Electromagnetic release, Speed range: (1) Auto 1/2000-30 sec. (stepless), (2) Manual 1/2000-2 sec. (3) Bulb. Shutter lock by setting Main switch in OFF position

LENS MOUNT: Pentax KAF bayonet mount (K-mount with AF coupler, lens information contacts)

COMPATIBLE LENS: Pentax KAF2- and KAF-, KA- lenses are usable. Autofocus is possible using AF Adapter with KA- mount lenses

AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM: TTL phase-matching autofocus system, AF operational brightness range: EV0 to 18 (at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens), Focus lock available using shutter release button, Focus Mode: AF (predictive AF provided), Manual [MF]

POWER ZOOM: Not available

VIEWFINDER: Pentamirror finder, Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, Field of view: 92%, Magnification: 0.7X (with 50mm lens at infinity), Diopter range: -2 to +1m-1

VIEWFINDER INDICATION: Focus Information: In-focus (Green lamp is lit), front or back focus signals and unable-to-focus indicator (Green lamp blinks), Shutter speed indication, Aperture indication, Flash ready indication is lit, Bar graph (exposure compensation), Over or Under exposure indication in Manual Exposure Mode, Green Operation Mode, Portrait Program Mode, Landscape Program Mode, Close-up Program Mode, Action Program Mode, Night-scene Program Mode, [*] memory lock indicator

EXTERNAL LCD PANEL INDICATION: Shutter speed, Aperture value, Built-in flash ready indication, blinking slowly flash recommended warning, blinks rapidly Inappropriate lens warning, Red-eye reduction flash mode, Auto pop-up flash function, Flash disable function, ISO indication, Film status information, Battery exhaustion warning, Exposure counter, PCV signal indication, Exposure compensation, Exposure compensation value, Self-timer, Consecutive shooting, Multiple exposure

SELF-TIMER: Electronically-controlled type with delay time of 12 sec. Start by depressing of shutter release button, Operation confirmation: By PCV beep tone. Cancelable after operation

MIRROR: Instant-return mirror with AF secondary mirror

FILM LOADING: Film advances automatically to 1st frame after back cover is closed. Film information window is provided

FILM WIND & REWIND: Auto wind/rewind by built-in motor, Consecutive or Single advance mode, Approx. 2 frames/sec. (consecutive mode), Auto rewinding starts at end of roll, Film rewind/completion of rewinding is displayed on the LCD panel, mid-roll rewind button will rewind film in mid-roll

EXPOSURE METER: TTL multi(6)-segment metering, Metering range from EV0 to EV21 at ISO 100 with 50mm f/1.4 lens

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: +/- 3EV in 0.5EV step increments

FLASH: Series-control, Auto pop-up TTL Auto Flash (RTF), Guide number: 11 (ISO 100/m), Illumination angle covers 28mm lens angle of view, Flash-sync-speed in the range from 1/100 to a slower speed, Day-light-sync flash, Slow-speed-sync flash, Contrast-control-flash sync (ISO range=25-800), Automatic flash function, Red-eye reduction flash function

FLASH SYNC: Hot shoe with X-contact which couples with Pentax dedicated auto flashes, ISO range = 25-800. Red-eye reduction flash function

POWER SOURCE: Two 3V lithium battery (CR2 or equivalent)

BATTERY EXHAUSTION WARNING: Battery exhaustion symbol is lit (blinking when the shutter is locked; no indication on the right-hand edge of the viewfinder)

BACK COVER: Interchangeable for replacing Data Back FJ

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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.

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:

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.