10th Anniversary 2012-2022
More than just a camera lens database

FAQ

Which lenses won't be added to the database?

We don't record:

  • lenses designed for formats other than medium format, 35mm full frame or APS-C,
  • pre-WWII lenses, except for Leica screw mount lenses,
  • vintage lenses with aperture controlled from the camera body only, including but not limited to: Deckel (DKL) and Topcon UV mount lenses,
  • lenses with external automatic diaphragm, including but not limited to: lenses with Exakta mount, Tokyo Kogaku Auto-Topcor lenses, Miranda dual mount lenses with Pressure Automatic Diaphragm,
  • lenses with Alpa, Altix, Bronica Classic, Canon J (+ Nippon-Kogaku focusing mount), Contax RF, Olympus OM AF, Pentacon Six, Petri, Practica B, Voigtlander Prominent, Yashica AF, Yashica Pentamatic mounts,
  • lenses of little-known brands, including but not limited to: Acall/Kyoei, Access, Accura, Albinar, Asanuma, Beroflex, Berolina, Bower, Cambron, Carena, Centon, Chinon, Computar, Cosmicar, Danubia, DeJur, Elicar, Focal, Formula 5, Hanimex, JC Penny, Kaligar, Kalimar, Kawanon, Kenlock, Kobori, Komine, Komura, Lensbaby, Lomography, Makina, Old Delft, Opteka, Optomax, Osawa, Ozeck, Pallas, Panagor, Paragon, Pentor, Petri, Phoenix, Photax, Porst, Prinz, Pro Optic, Promaster, Promura, Quantaray, Revuenon, Rokinon, Sakar, Samigon, Sears, Sirius, Soligor, Spiratone, Starblitz, Sun, Sunagor, Tefnon, Telesar, Tou/Five Star, Unitor, Universar, Upsilon, Varexon, Vitacon, Vivitar (non Series 1), Walimex, Weltblick, Wollensak,
  • Cosina manual focus lenses (before the company began to use the Voigtlander brand), Kiron manual focus zoom lenses, Sigma manual focus zoom lenses, Sigma-XQ lenses, Sigma YS lenses, Tokina manual focus lenses (due to inconsistencies in specifications in the company's materials over the years and release of versions with different optical formulas under the same name), Rikenon P manual focus zoom lenses for the Ricoh K mount (as most of them were rebranded lenses from such third-party manufacturers as Cosina, Sigma and Tokina), YUS (Yashica US) lenses due to the total lack of manufacturer information,
  • lenses made by the following German manufacturers: A. Schacht München/Ulm, Carl Zeiss Jena, Enna München, Isco (Optische Werke) Göttingen, Meyer-Optik Görlitz, Pentacon Dresden, Rodenstock München, Steinheil München,
  • Soviet/Russian lenses, including but not limited to: Granit, Helios, Industar, Jupiter, Kaleinar, Mir, Peleng, Rubinar, Russar, Tair, Telear, Telemar, Vega, Volna, Yantar, Zenitar, Zodiak,
  • Chinese lenses (not gonna even bother making a list of brands),
  • lenses developed for military applications (for example, ELCAN lenses made by Ernst Leitz Canada for U.S. Navy),
  • CCTV, projection, cine, stereo, enlargement, microscope lenses,
  • lenses designed for twin-lens reflex cameras,
  • lenses designed for use with reflex housing (Canon Mirror Box, Leica Visoflex, etc.),
  • autofocus lenses designed for manual focus cameras,
  • body cap lenses,
  • attachment lenses,
  • telecompressors,
  • prototype lenses.

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

On our website, lens specifications are unified and filled out strictly on the basis of data contained in booklets or instruction manuals published by lens manufacturers. We do not use unverified information (i.e. private information not based on manufacturer documents). Because similar independent websites never state their sources, we are not interested in any information from them, and we never sync with them.


Why are there no lens ratings on your website?

We do not believe that ratings can reflect an objective view of a particular lens. Any assessment is always subjective and often does not take into account the whole complex of factors that have a significant impact on performance of the lens.

In particular:

  • The sharpness of the final image depends on the combination of camera and lens used. In addition to focal length and aperture, sharpness can also be affected by focusing distance: conventional lenses are optimized to provide the best image quality when focusing at infinity, and therefore may exhibit reduced image quality at short to medium distances;
  • The bokeh depends on the DISTANCE between the camera and the subject (the smaller it is, the more the background is blurred), as well as the DISTANCE from the subject to the background (the larger it is, the more the background is blurred);
  • The autofocus performance of a lens depends on factors, not all of which are directly related to the lens itself: available lighting, autofocus algorithms used by the camera, contrast of the subject, focusing distance, and much more;
  • The resistance to flare depends on whether the original lens hood is used with the lens.

Are you sure that users who rate lenses on other websites are aware of all these factors and are taking any careful account of them?..


Do you collect information about lens serial numbers?

Sorry, but we do not collect this kind of data. We do understand that sometimes serial numbers are important and useful (especially in the case of Nikon and Leica lenses), because they can help to distinguish one variant of the lens from another, or roughly determine the year of production. Anyway, currently we do not have any plans to record sets of serial numbers in our knowledge base.


Do you sell cameras, lenses or other photographic equipment?

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


Can you please help me determine the original or current market price of the lens?

Sometimes users of our website have been questioning us in the comments about original or current market prices of certain lenses. Typically, these questions are due to the fact that such users plan to sell lenses on marketplaces (for example, eBay).

Please be informed that our website specializes solely in providing information about lenses. We do not sell them or track their prices: it's just not interesting to us. We also do not provide users with the opportunity to place advertisements. Therefore, we cannot help you determine the original or current market price of a particular lens.

Comments

Sierra Anderson

Hiya! I’m curious to know if there is an API available for your site – I’m looking to build a discord bot & it would be a really good way to implement getting lens specifications



Giovanni Gatto

I would have asked the same. Would you allow to do it as open source contribution?



Giovanni Gatto

To make the data referable and augmentable. I collect lenses for example, and write an inventory in a spreadsheet, but all the raw data already existing on your website, has to be entered manually for each one. Also as the name API suggests, one could write apps that work with your data, including your own ones, like the website. It is a good practice to decouple the GUI and the database this way. Also, it is precious data, publicly accessible anyway, just not so convenient as it could be, but that is maybe my minority philosphy.


1. But the data is already being referenced by hyperlinks from various domains. As for the data augmentation, the main principle of this website is that users cannot add or edit lenses. There are many websites based on User Generated Content principle, and practice shows that usually the content of such websites is a total mess, and the main purpose of their existence is to earn money from ads, and not to provide high-quality, reliable content (about cameras and lenses, for example). At one point, I simply realized that I cannot trust those UGC-sites and decided to create LENS-DB.COM. That’s why I will not allow anyone to make any changes to the database, even the smallest ones. Never.

2. Earlier, the user asked if there is an API to make a Discord bot. OK, if such bot is created and will provide comprehensive information about lenses for Discord users, then why would these users visit my website? Besides, such bot will make Discord even bigger, more popular and more profitable. But why would I do that if I’m not a Discord shareholder or an employee (at least)? The same is true for all other cases of API-based applications. For example, suppose someone, using my API, creates an application based on my data, but with more convenient design and additional features (for example, allowing uploading sample photos). Why would I create competitors for my website with my own hands?


HI, I have a Rolleiflex 6008i Apo Symmar lens that is having error issues with the 6008i body. I believe it is the lens internal problem and would like your advise on which part in the world is Service being offered for such Rolleiflex equipment. As I am from Malaysia I would prefer an Asian centre. Thank you.



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