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

How to use this website

Website structure

Our website is a catalog of photographic systems. A system is a collection of cameras, interchangeable lenses, flashes and other accessories designed for them. Each system, camera or lens has its own page on our website.

For example:

  • Canon EOS - A popular 35mm full frame SLR system consisting of Canon EOS series SLR cameras (both film and digital), Canon EF series lenses, Speedlight flashguns, adapters and other products [Please note that there are also Sigma, Tamron, Tokina etc. lenses designed for the Canon EF mount, but these are third-party lenses that cannot be considered part of the Canon EOS system. We do not display such lenses on the system pages, but of course they are recorded in our database].
  • Canon EOS 650 - Canon’s first EOS camera.
  • Canon EF 50mm F/1L USM - One of the first lenses for the Canon EOS system. World’s fastest autofocus standard prime lens for 35mm full-frame SLR cameras.
  • Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di [VC] USD F013 - One of the best fast standard lenses designed for 35mm full-frame SLR cameras, including but not limited to Canon EOS cameras.

There are currently 88 autofocus and popular manual focus systems in the database, so you have plenty to choose from. Please do not perceive our website as specializing only in vintage manual focus lenses - we pay equal attention to both vintage and modern photographic systems.

The item "LENSES" of the website's main menu contains various options related to the choice of system:

  • in the section "Timeline", the systems are sorted by the date of their introduction to the market, but you can also filter them by format, camera type and other characteristics;
  • in the section "Systems", the systems are sorted alphabetically, and also by the current production status;
  • the section "Collections" contains thematic lists of lenses based on some feature (for example, ultra-fast lenses, pancake lenses, etc.);
  • as its name implies, the section "Series" is dedicated to the various lens series (for example, Nikon AI-S, Pentax-M, Tamron Adaptall-2, ZEISS Classic, etc.);
  • the section "Genres" allows you to find suitable lenses for your camera by a particular genre of photography;
  • finally, the section "Advanced search" provides more possibilities for finding lenses. In particular, it allows you to find third-party lenses designed for your camera, and/or display only lenses of a certain type (for example, macro lenses).

Just like any other website, we have a search bar. However, the search is carried out only among lenses and only by their names, focal length and speed. Don't try to search for any phrases from lens descriptions - nothing will be found.

Advantages and disadvantages of our website

Like any website, lens-db.com has a number of advantages and disadvantages. We tried to honestly list the main ones:

ADVANTAGES:

  • the database is based strictly on official data from camera and lens manufacturers. Therefore, in the field of photographic equipment, our website is the world's most reliable - and this is not an exaggeration or a desire to stand out, but a fact;
  • we do not post unverified information (especially rumors), advertising, politically-motivated content or other informational garbage;
  • we do not have advertising contracts with any of the manufacturers of photographic equipment, so we provide objective and impartial information;
  • our website provides unique features that you will not find on other websites that you consider similar: automatic comparison of specifications of autofocus lenses, automatic search for best-in-class lenses, automatic search for suitable lenses by camera and genre of photography, and much more.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • no reviews and lens tests (but it was meant to be);
  • it is not possible to upload sample images (sorry but we won't change that);
  • no little-known lenses, Soviet and Chinese lenses (to be honest, we do not consider this a disadvantage, but still added to the list).

Lens names

On our website, lens names are recorded in the database as they appear on the lens barrel. The only exception we make is for focal length (range) and speed. In whatever form they appear on the lens barrel, we always bring them to the following format: XXmm F/x.x, where "XX" is the focal length in mm, and "x.x" is the speed. For example, 50mm F/1.4 or 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6. Wherein we always omit trailing zeros after the decimal point. For example, Canon Lens EF 50mm 1:1.0 L Ultrasonic is recorded in our database as Canon EF 50mm F/1L USM (also note that there is no space between 1 and L).

For autofocus lenses, we do not include the anti-reflective coating marking in the name. For example, Fujinon lens Super EBC XF 90mm 1:2 R LM WR is recorded as Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm F/2 R LM WR in our database. The only exception we make is for Pentax autofocus lenses: the smc or HD marking is always present in their names, because it has developed historically. For example: smc Pentax-D FA 100mm F/2.8 Macro WR, HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited.

We also reserve the right to exclude words that have no significant meaning when recording lenses in the database. For example, Sigma High-Speed Wide 28mm 1:1.8 Multi-Coated Aspherical is recorded as Sigma 28mm F/1.8 Aspherical ZEN in our database: the words "High-Speed" ​​and "Wide" are excluded as redundant, the words "Multi-Coated" are excluded, since all autofocus lenses are multi-coated, and the acronym "ZEN" is included because it was used with this lens in Sigma catalogs.

Other names by which the lens was known are indicated in parentheses. For example, Carl Zeiss Planar [HFT] 50mm F/1.8 (Ifbagon, OPTON, Rollei-HFT, Voigtlander Color-Ultron) means that this Carl Zeiss [HFT] Planar 50mm F/1.8 lens was also branded as Ifbagon, OPTON, Rollei-HFT and Voigtlander Color-Ultron.

Lens lists

As you visit the website, you will have to deal with lists of lenses. Here is a short description of them.

Model history

In the "Model history" list, lenses are displayed in chronological order: the higher a lens is in the list, the later it was released. The lens you are at is highlighted in blue. For example:

Cosina Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F/2 Aspherical SL II SA6 - 50.25m⌀52 2017 
Cosina Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F/2 Aspherical SL II NPancake lensA6 - 50.38m⌀52 2012 
Cosina Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F/2 Aspherical SL IIPancake lensA6 - 50.38m⌀52 2007 
Cosina Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F/2 Aspherical SLA6 - 50.4m⌀52 2002 

Immediately after the column with the lens name, there is a column that indicates the type of diaphragm, then the optical formula (number of elements - number of groups), the closest focusing distance in meters, the type and size of filters, and, finally, the year when the lens was announced.

Diaphragm types:

MManualPPreset
SSemi-automaticAAutomatic
--Fixed

Filter types (where xx is a filter size):

ExxScrew-type(Exx)Rear screw-type
BxxBayonet-type(Bxx)Rear/internal bayonet-type
AxxClip-on(xx)Rear drop-in
SxxSeries(G)Rear gelatin
Built-inBuilt-in--Not available

Best-in-class lenses

The higher a lens is on this list, the better it is in its class.

Please note that the lens format (APS-C, 35mm full frame, medium format), the lens category, and the mount are taken into account when determining whether a lens is one of the best in its class.

In addition, if the same model is produced for several systems (this applies to Sigma, Tamron, Tokina lenses, as well as some others), then it can be one of the best in its class in one system (for example, Nikon F), but not in another (for example, Canon EOS).

A comparison feature is available for autofocus lenses: click on the "Compare" link and the website will display a list of advantages and disadvantages of a lens compared to the lens you are at. The comparison is done automatically and based on the lens specification. Next to "Compare" are columns with the number of advantages (green) and disadvantages (red).

When generating a list of best-in-class lenses, the website's inference engine uses the following lens classification:

FISHEYE LENSES Fisheye primes Fisheye zooms
WIDE-ANGLE LENSES Ultra-wide angle primes Slow wide-angle zooms
Wide-angle primes Fast wide-angle zooms
STANDARD LENSES Slow standard primes Slow standard zooms
Fast standard primes Fast standard zooms
TELEPHOTO LENSES Slow short telephoto primes Slow telephoto zooms
Slow medium telephoto primes
Slow super telephoto primes
Fast short telephoto primes Fast telephoto zooms
Fast medium telephoto primes
Fast super telephoto primes
MACRO LENSES Wide-angle macro primes Macro zooms
Standard macro primes
Short telephoto macro primes
Medium telephoto macro primes
OTHER LENSES Shift lenses Superzooms

Mirror/reflex lenses and lenses designed for use with bellows are excluded from the list as they are specialized lenses that cannot be compared to conventional lenses.

Alternatives in the system

Lenses in this list are always sorted by focal length and speed. As with the best-in-class lenses, a comparison feature is available for autofocus lenses.

Lenses with similar focal length (range) and speed

This list mainly contains third party lenses that do not belong to any system, so the lenses in the list are always sorted by manufacturer name. Small-batch production lenses are displayed separately in the list. As with the best-in-class lenses, a comparison feature is available for autofocus lenses.

Miscellaneous conventions in lists

Production status:

Recently announced In production Discontinued

The "Pro" mark indicates that the lens is a professional model.

2.8 Sony FE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS [SEL400F28GM]Pro 2018 

Lenses from manufacturers who do not provide adequate quality control are crossed out. We do not recommend purchasing such lenses. However, they are recorded in the website database and you can get information about them in the same way as about any other lenses.

1.8 Samyang AF 35mm F/1.8 FE (Rokinon) ⌀58 2020 
1.4 Irix 45mm F/1.4 ⌀77 2020 

The ones that are highlighted in blue in the lists (except for the "Model history" list) are the lenses recommended by the website.

2.5 Sony FE 50mm F/2.5 G [SEL50F25G] ⌀49 2021 

Comments


Well, 16-35 is here but did not show up in comparison — want to compare 16-35, 17-35, 18-35 but 16-35 was not listed for comparison.


To be more specific, 16-35 did not show up in comparison when looking at the older 20-35 lens. So many ways of looking at things…


In addition to 16-35, lenses with a focal length range of 15-30 are also not displayed (Sigma and Tamron zooms in particular). To be honest, I am not sure if it is a mistake. After all, a focal length of 15 or 16mm provides a much wider angle of view than 20mm. Do you think it is worth displaying similar lenses with any focal length range specifically for wide-angle zooms (and for ultra-wide angle primes also)?


Well, I can’t say just yet if it is a “mistake” because I’m still getting to know your site. There are just different places to draw the line between super-wide and wide. Seems the line is somewhere between 20mm and 24mm in the Nikon primes. Zeiss has a 21/2.8 ZF.2 — is it super-wide or just wide? I can say I’m enjoying your site and grateful that it’s here. There’s always more to learn. Thanks!


On our website, wide is 24 up to but not including 43 (diagonal of a 35mm full-frame sensor), and ultra-wide is everything below 24, excluding fisheye lenses which are of course ultra-wide but at the same time also specialized lenses so we place them in a separate class.

But I must say that this classification is common for all manufacturers, including but not limited to Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony, Tamron, Tokina, ZEISS etc.

The only exception is maybe the Canon EF 40/2.8 STM which Canon calls a standard prime lens but we classify it as a wide-angle prime lens because its focal length is less than a diagonal of a 35mm full-frame sensor. Here we disagree with Canon. However, the optical formula of that lens is based on a double Gauss design which is typically used for standard prime lenses.


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