Leitz Wetzlar Thambar 90mm F/2.2

Production type
Order No.
Original name
Pros and cons
Genres or subjects of photography
Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld

Leitz Wetzlar Thambar 90mm F/2.2

Short telephoto prime lens • Film era • Discontinued • Collectible

Model history

Leitz Wetzlar Thambar 90mm F/2.2 [TOODY] [LSM]M4 - 31.00mE48 1935 
Leica Thambar-M 90mm F/2.2 [11697]M4 - 31.00mE49 2017 


20 blades

Optical design:
35mm full frame
Leica screw mount
27° (35mm full frame)
4 elements in 3 groups
Diaphragm mechanism:
Diaphragm type:
Aperture control:
Aperture ring
20 (twenty)
Coupled to the rangefinder:
Focusing modes:
Manual focus only
Manual focus control:
Focusing ring
Physical characteristics:
<No data>
Screw-type 48mm

Source of data

  • Own research.

Manufacturer description #1

The Leitz-Thambar F/2.2, 9 cm. focus gives at full aperture and moderately stopped down, soft definition and is therefore chiefly suitable for portraits and for certain landscape photographs; when stopped down further the definition becomes sharp, so that it may also be used for sharp landscape and distance photographs.

The degree of the soft effect obtained is controllable within wide limits by the use of the normal iris diaphragm and an addition screw-in central diaphragm. It is greatest with the iris diaphragm at full aperture and with the central diaphragm screwed in, and somewhat less when working with the iris diaphragm at full aperture and without the addition screw-in diaphragm. Stopping down the iris diaphragm lessens the softness, but only then uniformly over the whole field when the central diaphragm is screwed in.

The white aperture scale on the Leitz-Thambar applies when working without the central diaphragm, the red one when the central diaphragm is screwed in.

Manufacturer description #2

From the LEICA photography magazine (1961, No. 1):

Some 20-odd years ago, when there were still romantics left in the world, even among photographers, Leitz made a special lens for them. It was the 90mm Thambar f/2.2, long discontinued, but one of the most interesting lenses ever computed. And the greatest boon to 35mm portraiture since faces.

The Thambar was a variable soft-focus lens, producing images ranging from soft (when wide open) to critically sharp (when stopped down below f/6.3).

The Thambar, as you may have guessed, achieved its unique image qualities by means of incomplete correction of the edge rays which passed through the peripheral lens areas. Thus, it was softest at highest apertures and gradually reached critical sharpness as the diaphragm confined light passage to the center of the lens as it was stopped down. The center of the lens had better correction than the extreme edges.

Ultimate image softness was achieved with a special mirrored "spot" centered in a thin, clear glass, filter-like disc which came with the lens. This was attached in front of the lens, blocking off the more highly-corrected central area and causing the image to be formed only by the relatively uncorrected peripheral rays, but even with the spot in use, softness was controllable.

The spot, however, could not be used at apertures smaller than f/6.3, since depth of field at small apertures was sufficient to register the spot as a light blob in the center of the negative area.

An aspect of the Thambar which was more useful as a clue to the maker's integrity than as a practical feature, was its double diaphragm scale. A white scale beginning with f/2.2 etc., was used when the lens was used without the spot. A red scale beginning with f/2.3, etc., was used when the spot was in place. The reason for the minute difference in aperture rating is, of course, because the spot blocked off some lens area and hence some light. Thus, it made a small change in the f/ratio, since a given diaphragm opening had the same area both with and without the spot in place. The difference in exposure at f/2.2 and f/2.3, practically speaking, is zero. But those who would rather have been right than have been President were given the opportunity to be so.

Thambar images had much to commend them, especially in portraiture. They were kind to wrinkles and skin texture (which solved retouching problems), and they offered an ineffable but striking luminosity, especially in strongly-lit pictures. And Thambar landscapes were as effective as Thambar portraits, taking on an enchanted air especially when back- or side-lighting was used.

The Thambar was a specialist's lens, demanding practice and experience from the photographer who used it successfully. But for the Leicaman who knew the result he wanted, and how to get it, the Thambar offered nuances of performances no other lens could match.

From the Classic Camera magazine (November 2002)

From the very beginning, Leitz lenses for Leica have always stood out for their sharpness and special tonal performance, features that have made them popular with amateurs and professionals the world over and have helped to establish the Leica legend.

Because of its performance characteristics, the 9cm f/2.2 portrait tele lens called the Thambar occupies a place of its own in Leitz lens output. In fact, it is the only soft focus lens produced by Wetzlar, soft focus refering to the fact that even the areas of the image that are perfectly in-focus appear softened and diffused. Designed at the beginning of the 1930s by Max Berek, the Thambar was Leitz's answer to some of the criticism it had been receiving. Some had accused Leitz lenses of producing an image that was too hard and high-contrast to be utilized for portrait work. In fact, from the nineteenth century, all sorts of tricks had been used to soften portrait images, especially those of the "fair sex", in order to obtain photographs that had a soft, "dreamy" effect.

With the Thambar, Leitz presented an absolute first for 35mm cameras, opening up a new, highly-specialized sector. The name Thambar was derived from Greek, meanning "something that inspires wonder", wonderful. The lens formula was comprised of four elements in three groups, with two cemented central elements. A very similar lens formula would be used twenty years later for the 125mm f/2.5 Hektor for Visoflex. In the Thambar, the soft-focus effect was obtained by allowing a certain percentage of spherical aberration at the edges to pass in order to lower contrast. The effect was further accentuated by the addition of a special filter equipped with a silver bubble in the center, one centimeter in diameter, that neutralized the influence of the central part of the lens, notorious for being the sharpest zone.

Thambar features included a focal length that was ideal for portrait-taking, a noteworthy maximum apelture of f/2.2 that became f/2.3 with the special filter, a minimum focusing distance of one meter and the ability to control the soft-focus effect through the aperture. The minimum aperture was f/25, the lens weighed 520 grams and it used E48 diameter filters. Using the lens without the special filter and at apeltures above f/9 produced sharp, high-contrast images like those of a normal 90mm telephoto lens; alternatively, using the filter with smaller apertures than f/9, the central circle created an area of shadow on the frame. To create a soft image, the special filter had to be used and the aperture not closed more than one or two stops.

The Thambar was equipped with two aperture scales, the one in white gave the f/stops without the filter, while that in red gave aperture values with the filter inserted. The red scale went from f/2.3 to 6.3 because above this value, use of the filter became useless and counterproductive. The maximum effect was obtained using the filter and with an aperture setting of f/2.3 or 3.2, the soft-focus effect lessening with values from f/3.2 to f/4.5. Without the filter and with the same f/stops, the soft effect existed, but was much less accentuated. Photographing with back- or flare lighting increased the Thambar's soft focus effect, and the distance of the subject also had significant effect on the softness. However, it was a difficult lens to use and required considerable practical experience. Having been designed for rangefinder cameras, the Thambar's soft-focus could not be controlled through the viewfinder as in modern reflexes and required a significant amount of experience.

Production of the Thambar began in 1935 and ended in 1949 and, according to Leitz production logs, 3151 lenses were produced, with only 200 of these made in the later period from 1942 to 1949. Rogliatti and Laney, on the other hand, give a total of 2984 pieces. It is likely, but not totally confirmed, that those produced after the war had anti-reflection coating.

Today, the 9cm Thambar is one of the most sought after pieces by Leica collectors, even if, with approx. 3000 having been produced, it is not all that rare. However, it is often difficult to find one complete with the original filter that was sometimes replaced with other filters, adapted as best as possible. Its special position within the Leitz universe, its filter accessory and last, but perhaps not least, the allure of its name, have made the Thambar a legendary object among Leica enthusiasts who disburse huge sums for the honor of owning one.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a Soft Focus effect and what are its benefits?

    Spherical aberration has been purposely introduced into this lens to produce photographic images that are sharp yet which have an alluring softness.

    Because of the ethereal glow that can be achieved by using Soft Focus, the lens is ideal for creating scenes with a dreamy feel. It is also good for masking blemishes in portrait photography, leaving the model's skin looking flawless.

    The effect of Soft Focus is a complex phenomenon that depends on focusing distance, distance to background, relative aperture etc. It is not the same as an out-of-focus image, and cannot be achieved simply by defocusing a common lens.

    The effect can be approximated in post-processing but it is not as trivial as just applying a blur filter over the image.

Other short telephoto prime lenses in the Leica SM system

Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order
Leica screw mount (11)
Leitz Wetzlar Hektor 73mm F/1.9 [HEKON, HEKONKUP, HEKONCHROM, HEGRA, HEGRAKUP, HEGRACHROM]M6 - 31.50mA42 1931 
Leitz Wetzlar Summarex 85mm F/1.5 Black (276 units) [SOOCX / 11025]M7 - 51.50mE58 1943 
Leitz Wetzlar Summarex 85mm F/1.5 [SOOCX / 11025]M7 - 51.50mE58 1950 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [I] Type 1 [ELANG, ELANGKUP, ELANGCHROM]M4 - 31.00mA36 1931 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [I] Type 2 [ELANG]M4 - 31.00m 1933 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [I] Type 3 [ELANG / 11730, ELANG / 11030]M4 - 31.00m 1950 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [II] [11730]M3 - 31.00mE39 1964 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit 90mm F/2.8 [ELRIT / 11029, ELKOO / 11026]M5 - 31.00mE39 1959 
Leitz Wetzlar / Leitz Canada Summicron 90mm F/2 [I] Type 1 [SOOZI]M6 - 51.00mE48 1957 
Leitz Canada Summicron 90mm F/2 [I] Type 2 [SEOOF / 11023]M6 - 51.00mE48 1959 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 105mm F/6.3 [ELZEN, ELZENKUP, ELZENCHROM]M4 - 32.60m 1932 

Lenses with similar focal length

Sorted by manufacturer name
Leica screw mount (16)
Canon Serenar 85mm F/1.5 IM7 - 41.00mS.VII 1952 
Canon 85mm F/1.5 IIM7 - 41.00m⌀58 1960 
Canon 85mm F/1.8M5 - 41.00m⌀58 1961 
Canon 85mm F/1.9 IM6 - 41.00mS.VII 1951 
Canon 85mm F/1.9 IIM6 - 41.00m⌀48 1958 
Canon Serenar 85mm F/2 IM6 - 43.5 ft.S.VII 1948 
Canon Serenar 85mm F/2 IIM6 - 43.5 ft.S.VII 1951 
Canon 100mm F/2M6 - 41.00m⌀58 1959 
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 85mm F/2.8 [C]M5 - 31.35m⌀40 1948 
Enna Munchen Lithagon SII 85mm F/1.5 C
aka Enna Munchen Ennalyt 85mm F/1.5 C
aka Enna Munchen Ennaston 85mm F/1.5 C
P6 - 51.00m 1954 
Nikon Nikkor-P·C 85mm F/2 LSMM5 - 31.00mS.VII
Nikon Nikkor-S·C 85mm F/1.5 LSMM7 - 31.00mS.VIII
Rollei HFT Planar 80mm F/2.8 LSM (90 units)M5 - 41.20m⌀43 2002 
Sankyo Kohki Komura 80mm F/1.8 LSMM5 - 41.25m⌀48
Jupiter-9 85mm F/2
aka ЮПИТЕР-9 85mm F/2 [П]
M7 - 31.15m⌀49 1951 
Yashica Super Yashinon 100mm F/2.8M? - ?1.00m 1959 
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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.


Sorry, no additional information is available.

SHADE (1939)

New York, replacement hood for THAMBAR 9cm, normally supplied with lens.

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 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/2.2 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.