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 manufacturer and date of introduction to the market;
  • 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.);
  • 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 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 types

On our website, lenses are divided into the following types based on their Focal Lengths:

Prime lenses Condition for the 35mm format Standard focal lengths
Ultra-wide angle prime lens F.L. < 24mm 14mm(*), 15mm(*), 18mm, 20mm, 21mm (Leica, ZEISS)
Wide-angle prime lens F.L. >= 24mm but < 43mm 24mm, 25mm (ZEISS), 28mm, 35mm
Standard prime lens F.L. >= 43mm but < 60mm 50mm, 55mm(*), 58mm(*)
Short telephoto prime lens F.L. >= 60mm but < 135mm 75mm (Leica), 85mm, 90mm (Leica), 100mm, 105mm
Medium telephoto prime lens F.L. >= 135mm but < 300mm 135mm, 180mm, 200mm
Super telephoto prime lens F.L. >= 300mm 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, 800mm, 1000mm, 1200mm, 1600mm, 2000mm
Zoom lenses Condition for the 35mm format Typical focal lengths
Wide-angle zoom lens F.L.2 < 43mm 16-35mm, 17-35mm(*), 18-35mm(*), 19-35mm(*), 20-35mm(*)
Standard zoom lens F.L.1 < 43mm and F.L.2 < 150mm 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 24-120mm, 28-70mm(*), 28-80mm(*), 28-105mm(*), 35-70mm(*), 35-80mm(*), 35-105mm(*), 35-135mm(*)
Telephoto zoom lens F.L.1 >= 43mm 70-200mm, 70-210mm(*), 70-300mm, 75-300mm(*), 80-200mm(*), 100-300mm(*)
Superzoom lens F.L.1 <= 35mm and F.L.2 >= 150mm 28-200mm, 28-300mm
Specialized tools Condition for the 35mm format Typical focal lengths
Fisheye lens Ultra-wide angle prime or zoom lens with strong uncorrected barrel distortion and extreme 180-degree or wider angle of view 8mm, 15mm(*), 16mm
Macro lens Prime lens with a maximum magnification ratio of at least 1:2 and F.L. > 28mm but <= 200mm 50mm, 55mm(*), 60mm(*), 90mm, 100mm, 105mm, 180mm, 200mm
Shift lens Prime lens with shift capability 24mm, 28mm, 35mm

(*) - film era.

This classification is generally accepted by all lens manufacturers including but not limited to such major brands as Canon, Cosina, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, Schneider-KREUZNACH, Sony, Tamron, Tokina, ZEISS.

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 lower a lens is in the list, the later it was released. The lens you are at is highlighted in blue. Special limited editions are indented. A change in the background hue indicates a change in the optical design. For example:

Carl Zeiss C/Y Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 [AE, MM]A7 - 60.45mE55 1975 
Carl Zeiss C/Y Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 Gold “CONTAX 50 Years” [AE] (200 units) 1982 
Carl Zeiss Classic Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZE / ZF.2 / ZK / ZSA7 - 60.45mE58 2006 
ZEISS Milvus Distagon T* 50mm F/1.4 ZE / ZF.2A10 - 80.45mE67 2015 

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

Alternatives in the system

Lenses in this list are always sorted by focal length and speed. 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).

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. As in the previous list, 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.

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.

Samyang AF 35mm F/1.8 FE (ROKINON) ⌀58 2020 
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.

Sony FE 50mm F/2.5 G [SEL50F25G] ⌀49 2021 
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Dan
Dan
1 year ago

Missing Nikon 16-35 f4 G ED VR AF-S
It’s not a new or discontinued model.
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-nikkor-16-35mm-f%252f4g-ed-vr.html

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

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.

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

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…

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

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!

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