Sigma MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic Fisheye

Fisheye lens • Film era • Discontinued

Abbreviations

FISHEYE An ultra-wide angle lens with strong uncorrected barrel distortion and extreme angle of view.

Model history (2)

Sigma MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA9 - 80.15m-- 1980 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 

Features highlight

Extreme AoV
Diagonal fisheye
Fast
MF
Auto
Compact
Built-in hood

Specification

Production details:
Announced:1980
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:SIGMA-FISHEYE 1:2.8 f=16mm FILTERMATIC MULTI-COATED
System:-
Optical design:
Focal length:16mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Canon FD [42mm]
Contax/Yashica [45.5mm]
Fujica X [43.5mm]
Konica AR [40.5mm]
M42 [45.5mm]
Minolta SR [43.5mm]
Nikon F [46.5mm]
Olympus OM [46mm]
Pentax K [45.5mm]
Rollei QBM [44.46mm]
Diagonal angle of view:180°
Lens construction:9 elements in 8 groups
Diagonal (full-frame) fisheye
Diaphragm mechanism:
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:Aperture ring (with or without Auto Exposure setting)
Number of blades:6 (six)
Focusing:
Closest focusing distance:0.15m
Magnification ratio:<No data>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics:
Weight:305g (Pentax K)
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀66×50mm (Pentax K)
Accessories:
Filters:Removable front filters are not accepted
Lens hood:Built-in petal-shaped
Teleconverters:<No data>
Source of data:
Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description #1

While the Circular Image Fish-Eye gives you a circular image picture, this 16mm Fish-Eye gives you a full frame picture of its 180 degree angle of coverage. With this Fish-Eye lens you can create special effects and because its unique design creates less distortion, you can use it just as you would use an ordinary lens. Featuring an amazingly bright f2.8 aperture, it is very compact, and offers the same easy, bayonet lock filter change system as the 8mm Fish-Eye lens.

Manufacturer description #2

180 degrees of full frame fisheye effects. Brilliant corner-to-corner, even in low light.

Magic, almost surreal panoramas, covering an incredible 180 degrees, filling the full 35mm frame with dramatic, never before achieved perspectives. The lens is the Sigma 16mm fisheye, and putting it on your camera is like inventing a whole new kind of photography!

Depth that's endless

Looking through a full-frame fisheye is a new experience. Horizons are curved, nearby objects are huge, distant ones tiny. With everything, from near to far, in sharp focus. And you can focus down to just 5.9", for even more startling effects.

Speed and quality too

Many fisheye lenses are extemely slow, and produce images that are round, or with poor corner resolution. Not the Sigma 16mm. It has a fast f/2.8 speed, so you can shoot even in dim light. It's sharp, right out to the corners. And Sigma's unique sculptured lens hood helps prevent flare and reflections.

Small in size and cost

It used to be that fisheyes were big and heavy, with prices to match, and required special oversized filters. But the Sigma 16 accepts standard 22.5mm filters, inserted right in the lens by way of a unique internal bayonet mount system. And four filters are included. The Sigma 16mm fisheye. Compact and light enough for any camera bag. And amazingly affordable, too!

Manufacturer description #3

Shooting with a fisheye lens with the mobility of a standard lens.

Sigma's 16mm lens is a very compact, bright f2.8 aperture full frame diagonal fisheye lens. With a 180 degree angle-of-view that captures the entire scene around you. And as a special technique facilitated by the broad depth-of-field one can even shoot without using the viewfinder.

The lens construction is a simplified 9 elements, 8 groups and provides good contrast and corner to corner image sharpness. Sigma's built-in perfect hood protects against ghosting and flare. It employs a screw-in type filter system with bayonet lock lens separation. Filter size is 22.5mm with four filters included as standard equipment.

Manufacturer description #4

Sigma's innovative design opens a whole new category of creative applications with this full frame fisheye lens. Its super fast f/2.8 maximum aperture now makes it possible to create extreme perspective compression effects in available light situations. And this larger aperture means brighter, faster, more accurate full frame focusing, too. Sigma also reduced minimum focusing distance to just 5.9", further enhancing the power of this fisheye to deliver dramatic effects.

The optical design of the new Sigma 16mm lens corrects the image problems inherent in many fisheye lenses. Problems such as poor corner resolution and loss of contrast at low f/stops. Computer-controlled multi-layer coating assures optimum light transmission throughout the visible spectrum, with a minimum of flare or aberration. A new degree of image brilliance is also achieved by a lens that utilizes fewer elements.

Most super wide angle lenses require oversized, add-on filters. The Sigma 16mm fisheye takes standard 22.5mm filters that slip easily into a special bayonet type release mount within the lens system itself. Four filters: Normal, Y-52, O-56, R-60 are included with the lens at no additional cost and mean added economy as well as added convenience. And an innovative "Perfect Hood" sunshade has been designed into the Sigma 16mm Fisheye to permit shooting at an angle 20 degrees closer to the sun without fear of flaring.

From the Modern Photography magazine (July 1981)

Sigma was one of the first independent lens makers to offer flexible filter holding arrangements for their wide-angle optics. The Filtermatic series pioneered the use of built-in filter turrets in reasonably-priced extreme-wide-angle lenses. With the new 16mm f/2.8 Filtermatic, they've bridged the gap between the convenient and inexpensive, yet unavoidably limited, filter range that could be permanently mounted in a turret, and the full line of conventional filters available for external mounting. The large diameter and wide field of view of ultra-wides and fisheye lenses makes the use of external filters almost impossible. The whole front of the new Filtermatic bayonets off in a trice, exposing a tiny 20.5mm screw-in filter for easy interchange. With the lens you get a set of four - normal (UV), R60 red, O56 orange and Y52 yellow tucked away neatly in the top of the lens case. Most importantly, almost any filter your heart desires can be ordered from independent filter manufacturers including Tiffen, Hoya and Kenko. Seems that 20.5mm screw-ins are a standard item so you can choose from the whole spectrum of color-correction, black-and-white and CC flters (from Tiffen).

LENS-DB: 20.5mm is a typo: the lens actually uses 22.5mm screw-in filters.

As it stands, the Sigma 16 is a fast, compact, easy handling semi-fisheye - a lens which covers the whole 24 x 36mm format, but with increasing barrel distortion toward the ends of the frame. The diagonal coverage is 180°. With the circular image adapter, a circular image is produced. In other words, you can get either the circular effect of the true 180° fisheye (but not the full field) or the conventional full-format rectangle with one optic.

The lens is compact, considering its high speed and super-wide angle of view. Generous 10mm textured rubber focusing collars and 6mm aperture collars, click-stops at half-stop intervals, and a built-in cutaway shade provide an easy handling package. A short 45° turn disengages the front optical groups, providing easy access to the filter. Locking is solid but provided by a ball-detent, not a latching mechanism. This makes it very easy to remove, but you should make sure that it is turned fully to the stop when replacing it to avoid rude suprises when focusing furiously or changing lenses. Quality of the internal bayonet seems high, so lens element alignment should hold up with frequent filter exchanges.

Close focusing to 6 in. and apertures to f/22 (and great depth of field, typical of wide angles), add up to dramatic close-up possibilities as well as all-encompassing curvalinear wide-angle photography.

Typical characteristics of fisheye lenses

  • Extreme angle of view (at least 180° diagonally);
  • Circular types (the image circle of the lens is inscribed in the image frame) or diagonal types (cover the entire image frame);
  • Usually of equidistant projection type, with the distance from the picture center to any given point always proportional to the angle from the optical axis to that point;
  • Huge barrel distortion;
  • Short closest focusing distance (0.20 - 0.30m with 35mm full-frame prime lenses);
  • Very large depth of field, eliminating the need for autofocus or precise manual focusing;
  • Due to the extreme angle of view and convex front element, front filters cannot be used;
  • Often equipped with a filter turret with swivel-mounted filters;
  • Often come with a small, built-in petal-shaped lens hood.

From the editor

The number of elements and groups is indicated taking into account the filter.

The lens was also produced for the Ricoh K system under the name RICOH XR RIKENON FISHEYE 1:2.8 16mm.

Lenses with similar focal length

Sorted by manufacturer name

M42 mount (8)
Asahi Fisheye-Takumar 17mm F/4 [43841]A11 - 70.20m-- 1967 
Asahi Fisheye-Takumar 18mm F/11 [356, 43560]Pancake lensM4 - 30.25m-- 1963 
Asahi Super-Multi-Coated Fisheye-Takumar 17mm F/4 [43842]A11 - 70.20m-- 1973 
Fuji Photo Film EBC Fujinon 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA12 - 80.25m--
Auto Mamiya/Sekor SX 14mm F/3.5 FisheyeA10 - 70.30m--
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Zodiak-2M-2 15mm F/3.5 Fisheye MCA9 - 50.20m-- 1979 
Zenitar 16mm F/2.8 Fisheye MCA11 - 70.30m-- 1990 
Canon FD mount (4)
Canon FD 15mm F/2.8 S.S.C. FisheyeA10 - 90.30m-- 1973 
Canon FDn 15mm F/2.8 FisheyeA10 - 90.20m-- 1980 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Fujica X mount (2)
Fuji Photo Film EBC X-Fujinon 16mm F/2.8 DM FisheyeA12 - 80.20m-- 1979 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Konica AR mount (2)
Konica Hexanon AR 15mm F/2.8 UC FisheyeA10 - 70.15m-- 1975 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Minolta SR mount (7)
Minolta MC Rokkor[-OK] 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA11 - 80.30m-- 1973 
Minolta MD 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA10 - 70.25m-- 1981 
Minolta MC Rokkor-OK 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA11 - 80.30m-- 1969 
Minolta MD Rokkor 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA10 - 70.25m-- 1980 
Minolta MD Rokkor 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA11 - 80.30m-- 1977 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Nikon F mount (8)
Nikon AI-S Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F/2.8A8 - 50.30m-- 1981 
Nikon Fisheye-Nikkor Auto 16mm F/3.5A8 - 50.30m-- 1973 
Nikon Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F/3.5A8 - 50.30m-- 1975 
Nikon AI Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F/3.5A8 - 50.30m-- 1977 
Nikon AI Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F/2.8A8 - 50.30m-- 1979 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Zenitar 16mm F/2.8 Fisheye MCA11 - 70.30m-- 1990 
Olympus OM mount (3)
Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-Fisheye 16mm F/3.5A11 - 80.20m-- 1972 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Pentax K mount (6)
smc Pentax-A 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA9 - 70.20m-- 1984 
smc Pentax 17mm F/4 FisheyeA11 - 70.20m-- 1975 
Ricoh XR Rikenon 16mm F/2.8 FisheyeA9 - 80.15m-- 1982 
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Zenitar 16mm F/2.8 Fisheye MCA11 - 70.30m-- 1990 
Rollei QBM mount (3)
F-Rolleinar-MC 14mm F/3.5
aka Voigtlander Color-F-Skoparex AR 14mm F/3.5
A10 - 70.30m-- 1977 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Carl Zeiss F-Distagon HFT 16mm F/2.8
aka OPTON Oberkochen F-Di HFT 16mm F/2.8
A8 - 70.30m-- 1972 
Contax/Yashica mount (4)
Sigma MF 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye ZENA8 - 70.15m-- 1990 
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic FisheyeA11 - 90.15m-- 1978 
Yashica ML 15mm F/2.8 FisheyeA10 - 70.30m-- 1976 
Carl Zeiss F-Distagon T* 16mm F/2.8 [AE]A8 - 70.30m-- 1975 
Interchangeable mount (2)
Sigma[-XQ] MF 16mm F/2.8 Filtermatic Fisheye [YS]A11 - 80.15m-- 1973 
BelOMO Peleng A 17mm F/2.8 Fisheye MC [T]P? - ?0.30m--
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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

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

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

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.

Diffraction

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

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

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.

Flare

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.

Ghosting

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.

Anastigmat

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.

Transmittance

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.

MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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MF

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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

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. 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".

Modified M42 mount

The mount was modified by the manufacturer to allow exposure metering at full aperture.

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/2.8 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.

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.