FAQ

What is this website about?

lens-db.com is a database of autofocus and popular manual focus lenses designed for medium format and 35mm single-lens reflex, rangefinder and mirrorless cameras. It’s an independent non-commercial project: we are not affiliated with any photographic equipment manufacturers or other commercial organizations.

Our mission is simple: to help you to quickly and conveniently choose the optimal lens for your camera. We provide you with an unprecedented range of services and features you will not find on any other websites dedicated to photographic lenses.

The website was created for a wide range of visitors, whether they are beginner photographers or honored masters, amateur photographers or professionals.


How can your website help me choose the right lens?

1. At our website, you can find a complete list of lenses ever produced for your camera. At the same time, websites of lens manufacturers usually list only those models that are currently available for purchase, and information on discontinued models may be scarce or even absent.

2. The website allows you to choose a lens not only by focal length, but also based on the brand, model of your camera and your desired genre of photography. This feature will be especially useful for beginner photographers.

3. In addition to model history, specification, manufacturer description and other useful information for a specific lens, the website also displays alternative models (that are lenses with similar focal length and speed) with the ability to compare specifications.

4. The website automatically decodes and displays abbreviations used by manufacturers in the lens names, so you don’t need to consult various “lens abbreviation tables” available online or remember specific abbreviations by yourself.

5. Thanks to the website’s built-in help system, when viewing the lens specification you don’t need to google what is the advantage of Tokina One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism over Tokina Focus Clutch Mechanism, what does MO stand for in Sigma AF – MO – MF focus mode selector name, and how Mode 1 of the optical image stabilizer differs from Mode 3. And of course, the possibilities of the website’s help system are not limited to the mentioned above examples.


What are the principles for maintaining your database?

1. The database only records interchangeable lenses that were produced in series.

2. The content of our website is created by a group of experts who have thorough knowledge of photographic equipment. Users of our website CAN NOT create or modify its content.

3. We do not use unverified private information. Lens specifications are unified and filled out only on the basis of data contained in brochures or operating instructions published by lens manufacturers.

4. We do not aim to create the largest lens database in the world. In our opinion, the quality and accuracy of information is more important than its quantity.

5. Since the website is a lens database and not a test lab, we DON’T have lens tests and reviews here.


I can’t see neither any images nor complete specification of lens XXX at your website. Did it ever exist?

Our database records camera lenses that were produced in series. So, yes, this lens existed FOR SURE. The lack of certain information about the lens only means that we could not find the manufacturer’s information. This is often the case with rare lenses made in small batches.


Website NNN states different information about lens XXX. Do you plan to bring your information in line with that website?

As we said above, we do not use unverified private information. At our website, lens specifications are unified and filled out only on the basis of data contained in brochures or operating instructions published by lens manufacturers. That’s why we don’t have to sync with any websites, except for lens manufacturers websites, of course. Anyway, the choice of source of information about camera lenses is yours.


Which lenses won’t be added to the database?

We don’t add:

  • lenses designed for formats other than medium format, 35mm full frame or APS-C,
  • lenses of little-known brands,
  • pre-WWII lenses, except for Leica and Canon M39 screw mount lenses,
  • lenses made in the German Democratic Republic (Carl Zeiss Jena, Meyer-Optik Gorlitz, Pentacon etc.),
  • Soviet lenses (Granit, Helios, Industar, Jupiter, Kaleinar, Mir, Peleng, Rubinar, Russar, Tair, Telear, Telemar, Vega, Volna, Yantar, Zenitar, Zodiak etc.),
  • Chinese lenses, except for Venus Optics lenses,
  • clones, copies, rebadges and rebrands, especially manual focus lenses made in 1970-90s by Cosina, Kino Precision, Kobori, Komine, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and sold as Elicar, Exacta, Panagor, Petri, Phoenix, Porst, Promaster, Quantaray, Revue(non), Sears, Soligor, Spiratone, Vivitar*, Vitacon etc.,
    * Nevertheless, Vivitar Series 1 lenses are included in the database.
  • specialized lenses (CCTV, projection, cine, enlargement, bellows, for infrared or ultraviolet photography, etc), except for consumer fisheye, macro and shift lenses,
  • rangefinder lenses designed for use with reflex housing (for example, Canon Mirror Box, Leica Visoflex etc.),

  • autofocus lenses designed for manual focus cameras,
  • interchangeable mount lenses, except for such well-known systems as Komura Unidapter, Tamron Adapt-A-Matic, Adaptall and Adaptall-2,
  • lenses with Altix, Braun Paxette Reflex DKL, Contax RF, Exakta, Kodak Retina DKL, Minolta V, Miranda, Nikon S (internal bayonet), Olympus OM AF, Olympus Pen F, Petri (bayonet), Practica B, Yashica AF, Yashica Pentamatic mounts,
  • module lenses (focusing units for which several interchangeable heads were developed),
  • mirror/reflex lenses,
  • body cap lenses,
  • teleconverters, telecompressors, attachment lenses,
  • prototype lenses.

Why don’t you have Micro 4/3 lenses in your database?

Because of the small sensor size, Micro 4/3 cameras compete with compact cameras with non-interchangeable lenses rather than with APS-C or 35mm interchangeable-lens cameras. Given the fact that our database records lenses designed for APS-C or larger sensors, Micro 4/3 system cannot belong to our database. The same is true for 4/3, Nikon 1, Pentax Q and Samsung NX Mini systems.

You disagree? Feel free to create your own website dedicated to those systems.


Do you sell cameras, lenses or other photographic equipment?

No, we don’t sell anything. Nevertheless, there can be links to online stores or private sellers of photographic equipment on the pages of our website, which we consider reliable and whose services we often use when we want to purchase photographic equipment.


Can I help you somehow?

Sure. You can tell us about lenses that are not in our database, but deserve to be in it. Use the “Contact” page to send message to website administration with specifications and descriptions of those lenses.

You can also support this website by donating any amount of money at your discretion to eugene.artemov@mail.ru (PayPal).


Can you show my ads on your website?

Yes, it’s possible, but the advertised goods, works or services should be related to photographic equipment. Please contact website administration through the “Contact” page to discuss terms and conditions.

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