Praktica LLC

35mm MF film SLR camera • Discontinued


35mm full frame
Film type:
135 cartridge-loaded film
M42 [45.5mm]
1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:
Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

The PRAKTICA LLC is a miniature single-lens reflex camera for the 24 x 36 mm picture format. Its novel type of steel-bladed focal-plane shutter, which travels across the shorter side of the frame, has a range of speeds from 1 sec. to 1/1000 sec. and B. It is synchronized for the use of bulbs and electronic flash units. As a result of the rapidly moving steel curtains, the electronic flash can be synchronized at 1/125 sec. The centre contact in the accessory shoe makes it possible to connect camera and flash unit without using a cable.

The pentaprism is firmly built in, and the focusing system, due to its Fresnel lens, reveals a finder image of maximum corner-to-corner brightness. The microprism screen and a circular groundglass area assure quick and perfect sharp focusing.

For use as interchangeable lens systems, the well-known PRAKTICA lenses are available. Up to a focal length of 180 mm they have automatic diaphragm control. In connection with the automatic mechanism in the camera they function as spring-diaphragm lenses which means that the diaphragm closes within the shortest time and opens again immediately after the shutter has run down. Through the instant return mirror the image is visible practically all the time, except for the short moment of the exposure.

The distinctive feature of the PRAKTICA LLC is the novel type of automatic exposure control with the through-the-lens metering.

The method of light metering is partially integral. The principal metering point is concentrated within an area of approximately 20 mm in diameter in the centre of the viewfinder field. The readings are thus true to reality, since this area, for the greater majority of objects, includes the details of uppermost importance to the picture. All subordinate parts of the object outside of this section of the image are photometrically of less value and cannot influence the reading.

Metering is performed with the taking lens at full aperture, which means that the viewfinder image is always at its maximum brightness. In the PRAKTICA LLC the diaphragm values are transferred from lens to camera electrically, without requiring any mechanical device. Also in connection with intermediate rings adapted for electric transmission, this modern method of light metering at full aperture can be employed.

Due to the special type of bridge circuit, the reading is not affected by any variation in voltage of the power source.

But also all the PRAKTICA lenses without electric transmission of the diaphragm values may be used thanks to the possibility of readjusting the light meter for measuring with the lens at taking aperture.

The PRAKTICA LLC is also equipped with a delayed-action device.

Manufacturer description #2

This model too is built like the PRAKTICA L and is fitted with automatic exposure control of the PRAKTICA LTL. This too is based on the famous system of the PENTACON internal metering; however, the aperture values are transferred in the camera not mechanically but electrically without friction or inertia. This is the first reflex camera in the world with this feature. Metering takes place at full aperture and with brightest finder image - even when taking close-ups with extension accessories. In addition to the special lenses with electric diaphragm control (29 to 135 mm focal length), all other PRAKTICA lenses may be used: the automatic exposure control is simply switched to stopped down aperture metering.

From the Popular Photography magazine (January 1971)

photokina 70

The engineer who demonstrated the unique way in which the Praktica LLC's automatic diaphragm was linked to the CdS through-the-lens metering system emphasized that it was neither mechanical as in most other cameras, nor electronic, since it did not use transistors. Instead, this electrical system incorporates a continuous, circular rheostat or resistance inside each Pentaconar Electric lens. The diaphragm ring is connected to a member which slides across the resistance. This in turn makes contact with three contact bands on the camera flange via three buttons on the rear of the lens mount.

Use of this system eliminates the friction and noise of mechanical linkages and simplifies the transmission of stop-down information through extension tubes or bellows. These need not have cumbersome mechanical linkages, only electrical contact points. When extensions are used, metering is done with the lens wide open, in the same manner as for regular exposure readings.

If desired, stop-down readings may be made with Pentaconar Electric lenses, by pushing a button next to the rewind crank. Praktica non-electric and similarly mounted lenses, such as those from Pentax or Edixa cameras, may be used with the LLC's metering system via the stop-down method. In all cases, exposure settings are carried out by matching a needle in the finder area against a mark.

The LLC's shutter is an East German metal focal-plane type, with speeds from 1 to 1/1000 plus B, and 1/125 sec synch for electronic flash. ASA ratings from 12 to 1600 can be used with the metering system. Other features of the LLC include the PL rapid film loading system, hot-shoe flash, plus regular PC contact, and microprism focusing. A similar camera, the Praktica L, does not have the electric diaphragm linkage. No firm delivery date or prices have been set for the U.S., but hopefully it will be Spring or mid-year of 1971.

From the Camera 35 magazine (December 1970/January 1971)

photokina 70

From Pentacon in Dresden, East Germany, came two new models of the Praktica. The fancier one, dubbed Praktica LLC, has a metal-bladed focal-plane shutter that in Japanese cameras is described as Copal Square but in East German cameras is described as a metal-bladed focal-plane shutter; electrical transmission of pre-selected diaphragm values from the lens to the meter system in the camera (with three lenses, at present) and slightly center-biased average light measuring. When the Praktica LLC is used with 29mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 or 100mm f/2.8 Pentaconar lenses (Meyer Goerlitz lenses for Pentacon cameras are being renamed Pentaconars in 1971), electrical contacts in lens and camera mount let the lens "tell" the camera meter what aperture is being set with the diaphragm ring. This provides wide-open metering with these lenses, and stop-down metering with other lenses made for the camera, which do not have electrical contacts. A pair of extension tubes (12.5mm and 25mm) with contacts is being made for the system. The Praktica LLC also has a quick-loading device that simply requires pulling film leader to a certain point and then closing the back.

The less fancy model, the Praktica L, is essentially similar to the LLC except that it has no built-in meter, therefore requires no electrical plumbing in the lens mount. Both machines operate smoothly, and are light in control effort as well as in weight. They sound quieter than previous models and appear to be much freer of vibration. They were quite pleasant to handle. U.S. prices appear to be state secrets.

From the editor

176,697 units were produced from December 1969 to December 1975.

The weight and dimensions are indicated for the camera body with the PENTACON electric 1.8/50.

Similar cameras (115)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Singe-lens reflex • M42 mount
Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Alpa Si 2000 E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 1977 
Argus CR-3E E, 1/2000 TTL • WA M
Argus/Cosina STL 1000 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970 
Asahi Pentax
aka Tower 26
M, 1/500 -- M 1957 
Asahi Pentax ES
aka Asahi Pentax Electro Spotmatic
aka Honeywell Pentax ES
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1971 
Asahi Pentax ES II
aka Honeywell Pentax ES II
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1973 
Asahi Pentax K
aka Tower 29
M, 1/1000 -- M 1958 
Asahi Pentax S
aka Tower 26
M, 1/500 -- M 1958 
Asahi Pentax S1
aka Honeywell Heiland Pentax H-1
aka Honeywell Pentax H1
M, 1/500 -- M 1961 
Asahi Pentax S1a
aka Honeywell Heiland Pentax H-1a
aka Honeywell Pentax H1a
M, 1/500 -- M 1962 
Asahi Pentax S2
aka Honeywell Heiland Pentax H-2
aka Honeywell Pentax H2
M, 1/1000 -- M 1959 
Asahi Pentax S3
aka Honeywell Heiland Pentax H-3
aka Honeywell Pentax H3
M, 1/1000 -- M 1961 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic
aka Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1964 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F
aka Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic F
M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1973 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic II M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1971 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SL
aka Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic SL
M, 1/1000 -- M 1968 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP 1000
aka Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic SP 1000
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1974 
Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP 500
aka Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic SP 500
M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1971 
Asahi Pentax SV
aka Honeywell Pentax H3v
M, 1/1000 -- M 1962 
Chinon AM-3 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Chinon CE II Memotron E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 1975 
Chinon CE Memotron E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 1973 
Chinon CE-3 Memotron E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 1977 
Chinon CM-1 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Chinon CM-3 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1977 
Chinon CS M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Chinon CS-4 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Chinon CX M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Chinon CX II M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Chinon LED Promaster M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Chinon M-1 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1973 
Chinon SLR M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1979 
Chinonflex TTL M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Cosina 1000S M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1975 
Cosina 4000S
aka Vivitar 400/SL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Cosina CSL / CSM
aka Vivitar XC-3
E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1977 
Cosina CSR
aka Vivitar XC-2
E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Cosina Hi-Lite M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1968 
Cosina Hi-Lite 202
aka Vivitar 220/SL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1975 
Cosina Hi-Lite 205
aka Vivitar 250/SL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Cosina Hi-Lite 402
aka Vivitar 420/SL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1975 
Cosina Hi-Lite 405
aka Vivitar 450/SLD
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1975 
Cosina Hi-Lite DL / DLR
aka Edixa 2MTL
M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970 
Cosina Hi-Lite EC
aka Argus/Cosina EC 2000
E, 1/2000 TTL • WA AM 1972 
Cosina Voigtlander Bessaflex TM M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 2003 
Exa 1b
aka Exa 1c
M, 1/175 -- M 1977 
Exakta FE 2000 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA SM 1976 
Exakta TL 1000 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Exakta TL 500 M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1975 
Exakta Twin TL 42 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M
Fujica AZ-1 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1977 
Fujica ST601 M, 1/700 TTL • WA M 1975 
Fujica ST605 M, 1/700 TTL • WA M 1976 
Fujica ST605 II M, 1/700 TTL • OA M 1978 
Fujica ST605N M, 1/700 TTL • WA M 1978 
Fujica ST701 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970 
Fujica ST705 M, 1/1500 TTL • OA M 1976 
Fujica ST705W M, 1/1500 TTL • OA M 1978 
Fujica ST801 M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1972 
Fujica ST901 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1974 
Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic IIa M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1971 
Mamiya DSX 1000 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1974 
Mamiya DSX 1000B M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1975 
Mamiya DSX 500 M, 1/500 TTL • OA M 1974 
Mamiya MSX 1000 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1974 
Mamiya MSX 500 M, 1/500 TTL • OA M 1974 
Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1968 
Mamiya/Sekor 1000 TL M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1966 
Mamiya/Sekor 2000 DTL M, 1/2000 TTL • WA M 1969 
Mamiya/Sekor 500 DTL M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1968 
Mamiya/Sekor 500 TL M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1966 
Mamiya/Sekor CP
aka Mamiya/Sekor CWP
M, 1/1000 Window M 1964 
Olympus FTL M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1970 
Pentacon super M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1968 
Petri Penta M, 1/500 -- M 1959 
Ricoh Auto TLS EE M, 1/1000 TTL • OA SM 1976 
Ricoh Singlex II M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1976 
Ricoh Singlex TLS M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1967 
Ricoh SLX 500 M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1975 
Ricoh TLS 401 M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970 
Sigma Mark-I M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1975 
Voigtlander VSL1 (TM)
aka Ifbaflex M 102
M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1974 
Yashica Electro AX E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 1972 
Yashica FFT M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1973 
Yashica J-3 M, 1/500 Window M 1962 
Yashica J-4 M, 1/500 Window M 1965 
Yashica J-5 M, 1/1000 Window M 1964 
Yashica J-7 M, 1/1000 Window M 1966 
Yashica J-P M, 1/500 -- M 1964 
Yashica Penta J
aka Yashica Reflex 35
M, 1/500 -- M 1961 
Yashica TL M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1968 
Yashica TL Electro X E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1968 
Yashica TL Electro X ITS E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970 
Yashica TL-E M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1969 
Yashica TL-Electro M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1972 
Yashica TL-Super M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1966 
Zeiss Ikon Icarex 35 (TM) M, 1/1000 -- M 1969 
Zeiss Ikon Icarex 35S (TM) M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1969 
Zeiss Ikon SL706 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1971 
aka Зенит-10
M, 1/500 Window M 1982 
aka Зенит-11
M, 1/500 Window M 1982 
aka Зенит-122[В]
M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1990 
aka Zenit-12xp
aka Зенит-12сд
M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1983 
Zenit-15M M, 1/500 TTL • WA M
aka Зенит-16
M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1975 
aka Зенит-18
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1980 
aka Зенит-19
E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1979 
Zenit-312m M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1999 
Zenit-412DX M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 2000 
Zenit-412LS M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 2002 
aka Зенит-Е
M, 1/500 Window M 1965 
aka Зенит-ЕМ
M, 1/500 Window M 1972 
aka Зенит-ЕТ
M, 1/500 Window M 1981 
aka Zenit-12
aka Зенит-12
aka Зенит-TTL
M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1978 
aka Зенит-В
M, 1/500 -- M 1968 
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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.