smc Pentax-DA* 55mm F/1.4 SDM

Short telephoto prime lens • Digital era

Abbreviations

SMC Multi-layer anti-reflection coating is applied to the surfaces of lens elements. This anti-reflection coating increases light transmission, eliminates flare and ghosting, and maintains color consistence among all lens models.
* 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.
DA Autofocus lens optimized for Pentax digital SLR cameras. Learn more
SDM The lens is equipped with Supersonic Drive Motor.

Sample photos

F/1.4
F/2.2
F/1.6
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/2
F/2
F/2.2
F/2
F/6.3
F/2
F/2.2
F/2.2
F/1.4
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/2.2
F/2
F/1.6
F/4
F/2
F/4
F/1.4
F/1.4
F/1.8
F/2
F/2
F/1.4
F/2
F/4
F/4
F/2.8
F/1.4
F/2
F/2
F/1.8
F/4
F/1.8

Features highlight

APS-C
Ultra fast
1
ED
F.E.
SDM
QFS
9 blades
DP/WR
SP
⌀58
filters
TC

Specification

Production details:
Announced:September 2008
Production status: In production
Original name:SMC PENTAX-DA* 1:1.4 55mm SDM
System:Pentax K APS-C (2003)
Optical design:
Focal length:55mm
Speed:F/1.4
Maximum format:APS-C
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:28.8° (Pentax K APS-C)
Lens construction:9 elements in 8 groups
1 ED
Floating element system
35mm equivalent focal length and speed:
35mm equivalent focal length:84.2mm (in terms of field of view)
35mm equivalent speed:F/2.1 (in terms of depth of field)
Diaphragm mechanism:
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:None; the aperture is controlled from the camera
Number of blades:9 (nine)
Focusing:
Closest focusing distance:0.45m
Magnification ratio:1:5.88
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Autofocus motor:Supersonic Drive Motor
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Focus mode selector:AF - MF
Quick-Shift Focus System (QFS):Yes
Shake Reduction (SR):
Built-in SR:-
Physical characteristics:
Weight:375g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀70.5×66mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Super Protect (SP) coating:Yes
Accessories:
Filters:Screw-type 58mm
Lens hood:PH-RBH58 - Bayonet-type round, with filter access window
Teleconverters:HD Pentax-DA 1.4X AF Rear Converter AW → 77mm F/2
Sources of data:
1. Manufacturer's technical data.
2. smc Pentax-DA interchangeable lenses operating manual (May 2009).

Manufacturer description #1

September 22, 2008 - HOYA CORPORATION PENTAX Products is pleased to announce the launch of two high-performance interchangeable lenses for the acclaimed smc PENTAX-DA (DA Star) series. These lenses are designed exclusively for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras to deliver top-quality digital images. The smc PENTAX-DA60-250mmF4ED[IF] SDM is a versatile telephoto zoom lens offering a high zoom ratio, while the smc PENTAX-DA55mmF1.4 SDM is a compact medium-telephoto lens offering a large maximum aperture.

[Common Features of Two New Lenses]

1. High image quality

The two lenses are the newest members of the exclusive DA Star series, developed as part of PENTAX’s pursuit of the highest image quality, and are designed to deliver the top optical performance of all PENTAX interchangeable lenses. Combining a host of advanced technologies including super-low-dispersion optical elements, extra-low dispersion (ED) optical elements and PENTAX-original lens coatings, they assure outstanding image description with clear, high-contrast images, even at edges of the image field.

2. Dust/water-resistant construction

Featuring a set of special seals, the lenses feature a reliable dust-resistant, water-resistant construction to prevent intrusion of dust, water and moisture into the lens body.

3. Quick-Shift Focus system

The PENTAX-invented Quick-Shift Focus system allows instant switching to manual-focus operation, after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s autofocus system.

4. SP coating to block dust and stains

The front surface of the optics is treated with the PENTAX-original Super Protect (SP) coating. Applying a special fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapor deposition process, this coating effectively repels dust, water and grease, making it easy to wipe off annoying stains such as fingerprints and cosmetic marks.

5. Digital SLR-exclusive optical design

Thanks to a combination of special lens coatings, ideal curvature and best positioning of optical elements, these lenses are designed to optimize digital imaging characteristics, while effectively minimizing flare and ghost images. Their image circle is perfectly proportioned to the image-sensor size of PENTAX digital SLR cameras. Despite their large maximum aperture, they are designed to be compact and lightweight to enhance maneuverability and operability.

[Main Features of the smc PENTAX-DA60-250mmF4ED[IF] SDM Lens]

  1. When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens provides focal lengths from 92mm to 383mm in the 35mm format. Its 4.2-times zoom ratio covers a broad telephoto range, making it ideal for capturing various sports scenes and portraits.
  2. Two extra-low dispersion (ED) optical elements are incorporated into the optics for minimal chromatic aberrations. A unique nonlinear shifting system employed in the zoom mechanism effectively reduces field curvature aberrations and assures solid image-description performance at all focal lengths.
  3. The large F4 maximum aperture is retained over the entire zoom range to assure a faster shutter speed or reduce the depth of field.
  4. An innovative hybrid AF system offers both extra-smooth, super-quiet SDM autofocus operation using a supersonic motor installed in the lens body and conventional autofocus operation using a motor built into the camera body.

[Main Features of smc PENTAX-DA55mmF1.4 SDM Lens]

  1. When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this medium-telephoto lens offers a focal length of 84.5mm in the 35mm format. Coupled with its large F1.4 maximum aperture, it is ideal for portraiture applications.
  2. A newly developed Aero Bright Coating enhances image-description performance by effectively reducing reflections over a wider wavelength range. Compared to conventional multi-coatings, this new coating greatly improves light transmittance in the lens, while drastically reducing flare and ghost images that deteriorate image quality.
  3. A combination of the latest optical design and a round-shaped diaphragm assures soft, beautifully obscured out-of-focus description, maximizing the advantage of a large-aperture lens in shallow depth-of-field applications.
  4. Super-low-dispersion optical element is incorporated into the optics for effective compensation of a variety of aberrations.
  5. The advanced SDM mechanism assures extra-smooth, super-quiet autofocus operation using a supersonic motor installed in the lens body. Thanks to its SDM-exclusive autofocus system, the lens is designed to be quite compact, despite its large maximum aperture.

Manufacturer description #2

This medium telephoto lens is ideal for portraits and versatile for all shooting conditions. Its large aperture F1.8 combined with its round diaphragm produce natural, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus effect). In addition, it has the new coating (Aero Bright Coating) allowing greater light transmittance and better filtering of flare. Its ultrasonic technology (Super Directdrive Motor) ensures speed and quiet operation focus. Protection against humidity and dust makes it a reliable lens for outdoor use.

Manufacturer description #3

Featuring both sharpness and natural out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. Large aperture Star series lens ideal for portraits. This lens features high resolution for sharp, crystal-clear images of subjects and a smoothly connected out-of-focus (bokeh) softness. This is a medium telephoto lens that is ideal for portraits. The lens uses Anomalous Dispersion Glass for reducing color blurring and enabling images with high contrast and sharpness. It also uses the "Aero Bright Coating," which features higher transmissivity than conventional coatings for delivering high image quality with unparalleled sharpness and a minimum of flare. The lens uses a round iris diaphragm for providing natural out-of-focus (bokeh) effect and has a dust-resistant and drip-proof construction. The AF system is for SDM (AF using internal lens ultrasonic motor) only.

This is a medium telephoto single focal point lens equivalent to 84.5mm in the 35mm film format, and it includes a large aperture with an extremely bright open F value of 1.4. This lens is ideal for portrait and other photography.

The newly developed Aero Bright Coating provides exceptional reflection performance over a wide wavelength range. This enables a significantly higher transmissivity for a substantial reduction in flare and ghosting, which adversely affect imaging performance.

The newest optical design and a round iris diaphragm (up to F2.8) were developed with special attention to providing a natural, soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect with a shallow depth of field that is only possible with large aperture lenses.

The various lens components have been sealed for enabling a dust-resistant and drip-proof construction that prevents the entry of water and dust into the lens.

If you turn the focus ring after focusing by the AF, focusing instantly switches to the manual focus. This enables smooth focusing operations without the need for a switching operation.

A special coating is used on the front lens for repelling water and oils. This enables any water and oils on the lens to be easily removed for effective protection of the lens surface.

This design has been optimized for digital image characteristics to minimize ghosting and flare. Also, the image circle is tailored specifically to the size of the imaging elements for allowing a compact, lightweight body size for a large aperture lens.

Pentax-DA series

The fourth generation of autofocus lenses designed for Pentax APS-C digital SLR cameras. Introduced with the Pentax *ist D in 2003.

  • Lens barrels made from engineering plastic;
  • Do not have an aperture ring. The aperture is controlled from the camera;
  • Automatic focusing using in-camera or in-lens motor;
  • Quick-Shift Focus System (except for DA L models).

Travellers' choice

  • Ultra fast speed (F/1.4)
  • Lightweight (375g)
  • Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
  • Super Protect (SP) coating

From the editor

The lens uses linear extension method for focusing however the front element does not extend beyond the lens barrel during focusing.

The front element is deeply recessed inside the lens barrel which eliminates the need for a lens hood.

Unfortunately, the window cap cannot be attached or removed when the hood is mounted on the lens.

Compared to other short telephoto prime lenses in the Pentax K APS-C system

  • Fastest speed (F/1.4)
  • Largest magnification (1:5.88)
  • Heaviest weight (375g)
  • Longest length (66mm)
  • Not a pancake lens, along with the smc Pentax-DA 50/1.8
  • Weather sealed
  • Largest filter size (58mm)

Other short telephoto prime lenses in the Pentax K APS-C system

Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order

Pentax K mount (5) • APS-C
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited ⌀49Pancake lens 2004 Compare45
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited ⌀49Pancake lens 2013 Compare44
smc Pentax-DA 50mm F/1.8 ⌀52 2012 Compare24
smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited ⌀49Pancake lens 2006 Compare46
HD Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited ⌀49Pancake lens 2013 Compare45

Lenses with similar focal length

Sorted by manufacturer name

Pentax K mount (8)
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.4 ⌀49Pro 1991 Compare36
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.7 ⌀49 1991 Compare36
smc Pentax-F 50mm F/1.4 ⌀49Pro 1987 Compare36
smc Pentax-F 50mm F/1.7 ⌀49 1987 Compare36
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F/1.4 SDM AW ⌀72Pro 2018 Compare03
HD Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.4 ⌀49Pro 2023 Compare34
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.4 Classic ⌀49Pro 2023 Compare34
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM ⌀77Pro 2008 Compare05
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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.

Supersonic Drive Motor

AF - MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

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.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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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, 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.

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.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

The basic mechanism of the floating element system is also incorporated into the internal and rear focusing methods.

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 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.

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/1.4 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 lens element 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.