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Nikon Nikkor Z 800mm F/6.3 VR S

Super telephoto prime lens • Digital era

Abbreviations

Z The lens is designed for Nikon Z digital mirrorless cameras.
VR The lens is equipped with Vibration Reduction system.
S Professional lens with high quality optics and robust build. Meets the highest standards and provides excellent performance and flawless image quality unachievable with traditional optical technologies.

Features highlight

3 ED
1 SR
1 PF
9 blades
IF
STM
Focus limiter
VR 5 stops
DP/WR
FC
Drop-in filters
TC

Specification

Production details
Announced:April 2022
Production status: In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:Nikon NIKKOR Z 800mm 1:6.3 VR S
System: Nikon Z (2018)
Optical design
Focal length:800mm
Speed:F/6.3
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Nikon Z [16mm]
Diagonal angle of view:3.1° (35mm full frame)
(Nikon Z APS-C)
Lens construction:22 elements - 14 groups
3 ED, 1 SR, 1 PF
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades:9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:5m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:6.25 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Internal focusing (IF)
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Stepping motor
Focus mode selector:A - M
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:Determined by the camera
Focusing distance range limiter:FULL;10-
Vibration Reduction (VR)
Built-in VR:Yes
VR features:Determined by the camera
VR efficiency:up to 5 stops
Physical characteristics
Weight:2385g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀140×385mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating:Front element
Accessories
Filters:Removable front filters are not accepted
Additional features:Drop-in filter holder (46mm)
Lens hood:Bayonet-type HB-104 (round)
Teleconverters: Nikon Teleconverter 1.4X → 1120mm F/8.8
 Nikon Teleconverter 2X → 1600mm F/12.6

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description #1

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, a super-telephoto prime lens that is compatible with full-frame/FX-format mirrorless cameras for which the Nikon Z mount system has been adopted. The development of this lens was announced on December 14, 2021.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, featuring the longest focal length of 800 mm among NIKKOR Z lenses, employs a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens for the first time in the NIKKOR Z lineup, realizing approx. 48% reduction in weight and approx. 16% in length compared to the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR. It not only facilitates shooting handheld or with a monopod, but also allows users to capture images of wild birds and other wildlife in mountain areas, reducing the burden during long hours of picture-taking and transportation.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S belongs to the S-Line* lens series that pursues the ultimate in optical performance. In addition to the PF lens element, ED glass and SR lens elements are employed to compensate chromatic aberration for minimized color bleeding, allowing accurate depiction of even the finest feathers of distant wild birds. The adoption of Nano Crystal Coat, as well as the optimized shape and location of the PF lens element also contribute to reducing ghost, achieving clearer images. Furthermore, with the lens' center of gravity positioned closer to the body side, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is optimal for shooting moving subjects such as airplanes, because users are less aware of the weight of the lens even if it is swung around during panning. High operability and superior rendering performance support reliable use of this lens by many users ranging from advanced amateurs to professional photographers.

Nikon will continue to pursue a new dimension in optical performance while meeting users' needs, contributing to the development of imaging culture, with the hope of expanding possibilities for imaging expression.

*The S-Line is a grade of NIKKOR Z lenses that demonstrate outstanding optical performance, adhering to a high standard of design principles and quality control.

Primary features

  • Focal length can be extended to 1,120 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x, and 1,600 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x while maintaining outstanding resolution*1.
  • Focal length can be extended up to 1,200mm-equivalant without a teleconverter by setting the camera's image area to [DX (24x16)] format.
  • The optical VR function that provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed 5.0 stops*2 faster is incorporated. When paired with the Z 9, the effect of 5.5 stops*2 is achieved with Synchro VR activation.
  • The employment of an STM ensures high-speed and accurate AF with quiet operational sounds.
  • Superior dust- and drip-resistant performance*3, outstanding reliability with robustness and weather resistance, and anti-fouling performance with the adoption of fluorine coat.
  • Anti-slip rubber coating is applied to a larger area of the lens body, ensuring more comfortable holding.
  • Four L-Fn2 buttons and one L-Fn button to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned are adopted to suit users' preferences.
  • The supplied lens hood featuring an improved lock mechanism enables attachment and removal with one hand even on a large-diameter lens.
  • Employs the Memory Recall function*4 that instantly recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button.
  • A design considering video recording including a focus-breathing compensation function which effectively reduces shifting of the angle of view when focusing, and stable exposure.

*1 AF performance may deteriorate depending on the subject, brightness and focus position regardless of the camera body, causing inaccurate focus, slow focusing speed or flashing of the focus point.

*2 Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when attached to a camera with full-frame/FX-format sensor, with the camera's VR function set to "NORMAL".

*3 Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.

*4 The cameras compatible with this function are the Z 9, Z 7II and Z 6II only at the timing of the product release. When using the function, the firmware for cameras must be updated to the latest version. For other models, this function will be supported via later firmware updates.

Manufacturer description #2

Melville, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S super telephoto lens for Nikon’s Z series of high-performance mirrorless cameras. This new S-Line full-frame lens gives aviation, sports, bird and wildlife photographers a super-telephoto focal length to fill the frame with fantastic clarity at extreme distances. The new NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is approximately 48% lighter and 16% shorter than its F-mount counterpart, due to the use of a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element. While the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S benefits from the latest optical technologies for maximum sharpness and fidelity, its significantly lighter weight makes it easier to trek out to the best vantage point, and shoot comfortably, even handheld or with a monopod.

“This 800mm lens is smaller and lighter than ever imagined, which is a true testament to Nikon’s advanced optical expertise as well as the next-generation technology that’s at the core of the Nikon Z system,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “This latest NIKKOR Z lens is not only surprisingly easy to carry, but also gives photographers the fast focus response, intense sharpness and beautiful color reproduction they need to create amazing images from extreme distances.”

The new NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens is built with an emphasis on comfortable usability and extreme optical performance. The Phase Fresnel element is optimally positioned to minimize ghosting, and is combined with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) element to effectively suppress axial chromatic aberration. From the sharp contrast of small branches to the finest feathers of distant birds, every detail is rendered with stunning precision. The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S was engineered with a close attention to balance, as the lens’ center of gravity is positioned closer to the user’s body to enhance smooth panning motion while tracking swiftly moving objects such as a falcon in flight or banking plane.

Primary features of the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S:

  • Extreme super telephoto capability for Z-series photographers with an 800mm focal length that brings distant subjects in close, with incredible clarity and sharpness.
  • Easy to pack and carry, weighing in at approx. 5.25lb (2385g) with a reduced footprint of 5.6 in. x 15.2 in.
  • Features Nano Crystal Coat, as well as an optimized shape and location of the PF lens element that contributes to a reduction in ghosting for maximum clarity. This is especially useful when shooting into the sky or in the vicinity of bright light sources.
  • The optical VR function provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed of 5.0 stops2 faster. When paired with the Nikon Z 9, an effect of 5.5 stops is achieved with Synchro VR activation.
  • Built to pro standards: Rubber gaskets keep dust, dirt and moisture out of the moving parts and the lens mount.3 The barrel is constructed of robust magnesium alloy, offering an ideal balance of strength and light weight. The front element has Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine Coat, which repels oil, moisture and smudges and easily wipes clean.
  • A Memory Recall function4 instantly recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button. This function makes it simple to quickly acquire an anticipated subject on a branch or perch.
  • Customizable controls include four L-Fn2 buttons and one L-Fn button, to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned to suit users’ preferences, including subject tracking, AF lock, playback and more. A customizable control ring can also be assigned to adjust ISO, aperture and exposure comp.
  • The focal length can be extended to 1,120mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x, and 1,600mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x while maintaining outstanding resolution5. Users of high resolution cameras such as the Z 9 and Z 7II will appreciate the ability to also shoot in DX mode for even further extended reach (1,200mm).

Manufacturer description #3

Bird, wildlife, aviation and sports photographers, your moment of change has arrived. Experience the freedom of shooting at monumental distances without sacrificing mobility. Pack lighter and cover more ground. Shoot handheld while you're on the move. Track fast subjects with fluid precision and rock-steady VR. All with the extraordinary image quality of an S-Line NIKKOR Z lens at a price that's beyond extraordinary.

*The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is approximately 50% lighter than the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR when used with the Mount Adapter FTZ.

At a mere 5.25 pounds and just over 15 inches, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is the most mobile, comfortable handling 800mm super-telephoto lens we've ever created. You can even shoot it handheld. The secret is Nikon's proven Phase Fresnel element, which allows the lens to be lighter, shorter with fewer elements and pristine image quality.

A long lens is a must when you can't get physically closer to your subject. Whether you're photographing birds and wildlife from the blind, framing tight compositions of banking planes from the ground or recording surfers from the sand, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S brings the action right to your viewfinder.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is compatible with the 1.4x and 2x Z series teleconverters. Increase your reach to 1120mm or 1600mm with outstanding resolution, no loss of focus points and very little extra weight and length.

Switch your shooting area to DX Crop Mode, and the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S takes on an angle of view equivalent to 1.5x the focal length—1200mm alone and up to 2400mm when using a Z series teleconverter.

The Phase Fresnel element is positioned to minimize ghosting. When combined with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) element, axial chromatic aberration is virtually eliminated. From the sharp contrast of small branches to the finest feathers of distant birds, every detail is rendered with stunning precision.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S bears the S-Line designation, reserved for premium NIKKOR Z lenses with the most advanced optics, superior resolution, beautiful bokeh, robust weather sealing and precision design.

Even the smallest vibrations can soften details. Nikon's powerful in-lens optical VR compensates for vibrations—an effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed up to 5.0 stops* faster. When used with the Z 9, Synchro VR combines the in-lens and in-camera systems for up to 5.5 stops of VR.

*Based on CIPA Standard; in NORMAL mode; this value is achieved when attached to a mirrorless camera equipped with a 35mm film size image sensor.

The center of gravity on the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S has been moved toward the rear of the lens, nearer the camera body. This optimal balance is ideal for quick acceleration during handheld panning and stopping your movement on a dime. Acquire and track fast-moving subjects with fluid precision.

When tracking subjects across the sky, we often encounter moments of glare or harsh backlighting. The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S prevails in these moments, delivering sharp, high contrast images. Nano Crystal Coat (N) virtually eliminates internal reflections and cross-lighting, while the shape and placement of the PF element has been optimized to reduce ghosting.

With its extreme reach, brilliant resolution and quiet focusing, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S opens new possibilities for long-distance videos. Optical VR keeps handheld shots steady, and suppressed focus breathing keeps the angle of view consistent while tracking subjects moving toward or away from you. Record 4K/120p with the flagship Z 9's 2.3x crop factor—equivalent to an 1840mm angle of view—for even more reach and incredible detail in slow motion.

The autofocus of NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is optimized for shooting fast-moving subjects like birds, airplanes and jets in both stills and videos. Its high-speed Stepping Motor (STM) is extremely quiet during focusing and movie recording—perfect for capturing timid wildlife.

Rubber gaskets keep dust, dirt and moisture out of moving parts, including the lens mount. The barrel is robust magnesium alloy, an ideal balance of strength and low weight. The front element has Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine Coat, which repels oil, moisture and smudges and easily wipes clean.

The front grip encourages a stable, comfortable shooting posture, whether mounted to a tripod or shooting handheld. All buttons, rings and switches are designed with tactile details to help you quickly make adjustments without taking your eye off the viewfinder.

When you know where the action will occur, like the moment a bird on a perch spreads it's wings, you can save a focus position with the Memory Set button*. As your subject approaches the decisive moment, instantly snap back to the saved position by assigning it to the Fn or Fn2 buttons.

From the editor

Since both Nikon and Canon released their 800mm super telephotos almost simultaneously in 2022, the comparison of these two lenses suggests itself.

Both lenses feature:

  • Low-dispersion elements in the optical construction to minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.
  • 9 aperture blades for almost circular rendering of out-of-focus highlights.
  • Internal focusing for a consistent center of gravity and optimum balance.
  • Focusing distance range limiter.
  • Manual focus override in autofocus mode.
  • Built-in optical image stabilizer.
  • Dust-proof and water-resistant design.
  • Holder for drop-in filters.
  • Fluorine coating to repel dust and water droplets.
  • Support of 1.4X and 2X teleconverters.

On the one hand, the Canon RF 800/5.6L IS USM has the following advantages over the Nikon Z 800/6.3 VR S:

  • The RF 800/5.6L is faster, but the difference in speed between F/5.6 and F/6.3 is only 1/3 of a stop, which is not that significant. However, it will also allow you to set a one-third lower ISO value, which may actually improve image quality at high ISO settings.
  • The RF 800/5.6L focuses closer (2.6m) and offers larger magnification (1:2.94) at the closest focusing distance compared to the Z 800/6.3 (5m and 1:6.25, respectively).
  • The focusing distance range limiter of the RF 800/5.6L offers three useful focusing ranges: FULL (2.6m - INFINITY), 2.6m - 20m, and 20m - INFINITY, while the Z 800/6.3 only has two: FULL (5m - INFINITY) and 10m - INFINITY.
  • The white coating is applied to the RF 800/5.6L's barrel to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating; the Z 800/6.3 is all-black.
  • Unlike the Z 800/6.3, the RF 800/5.6L does not incorporate diffraction elements in its optical construction, which, along with a slightly larger maximum aperture, has a positive effect on bokeh quality.

On the other hand, the Z 800/6.3 has the following advantages over the RF 800/5.6L:

  • The Z 800/6.3 is more lightweight (2385g) and more compact (⌀140×385mm) compared to the RF 800/5.6L (3140g and ⌀163×432mm, respectively). However, lenses of this class are usually used on a tripod, so the 755g difference in weight and almost 5cm difference in length are no longer crucial in this case.
  • The stepping motor of the Z 800/6.3 is also suitable for movie recording while the RF 800/5.6L's Ring Type Ultrasonic Motor is only optimized for stills.
  • The built-in optical image stabilizer of the Z 800/6.3 is slightly more effective (up to 5 stops) compared to the RF 800/5.6L (up to 4.5 stops).

You may ask: why compare these two lenses if the Z 800/6.3 cannot be mounted on Canon EOS R series bodies, and the RF 800/5.6L cannot be mounted on Nikon Z series bodies? Well, the thing is that lenses of this class belong to the flagship professional models, therefore photographic systems are always evaluated by such lenses.

Typical application

distant subjects, distant landscapes with perspective compression effect, wild nature

Slowest shutter speed when shooting handheld

VR OFF11/21/41/81/151/251/301/601/1251/2501/5001/8001/10001/2000+
VR ON11/21/41/81/151/251/301/601/1251/2501/5001/8001/10001/2000+

Notes and recommendations

  • Use of a tripod is recommended due to heavy weight of the lens.

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best slow super telephoto primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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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.

Stepping motor

Focusing distance range limiter

The lens features focusing distance range limiter which allows to choose between the following focusing distance ranges:

FULLFull range of focusing distances.
10m - ∞Range of focusing distances suitable for shooting distant subjects.

By setting the suitable focusing distance range, the actual autofocusing time can be shorter.

A - M

AAutofocus mode.
MManual focus mode.

Drop-in filter holder

A drop-in filter holder with a neutral filter comes with the lens. The holder accepts 46mm filters. The filter holder must be always in place because the filter is a part of the lens optical system.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

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

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),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

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, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

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.

Speed

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. 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 focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

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.

Weight

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 and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

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

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.

Efficiency of image stabilizer

The efficiency of image stabilizer is measured in stops and each stop corresponds to a two-times increase of shutter speed. For example, if you are shooting at focal length of 80mm and it is known that the efficiency of image stabilizer is 3 stops, it means that during handheld shooting at such focal length you can use shutter speed of 1/10 second which is exactly 23 times longer than the shutter speed 1/80 second needed to obtain sharp image in sufficient lighting conditions.

Hybrid IS

The image stabilizer has Hybrid IS technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. Hybrid IS dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

XY-Shift

The image stabilizer has XY-Shift technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. XY-Shift dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

Dynamic IS

The image stabilizer has Dynamic IS technology which especially effective when shooting while walking because it compensates strong camera shake. Dynamic IS activates automatically when the camera is set to movie shooting.

Mode 1

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Mainly effective for shooting still subjects.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction. Corrects horizontal camera shake during following shots in a vertical direction.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction.

Mode 2 (Intelligent OS)

The lens incorporates Intelligent OS with algorithm capable of panning in all directions. In Mode 2, the movements of subjects can be captured with panning effects even when the camera is moved horizontally, vertically, or diagonally — regardless of the position of the lens.

Mode 3

Corrects camera shake only during exposure. During panning shots, corrects camera shake during exposure only in one direction the same as Mode 2. Effective for following fast and irregulary moving subjects.

Panning Detection

The image stabilizer automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

Tripod Detection

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.

VR NORMAL

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR ACTIVE

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle, or some other unstable position. Panning is not detected.

VR SPORT

Allows a continuous shooting frame rate and release time lag similar to those that are possible when image stabilizer is turned off. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR TRIPOD

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.