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# Glossary

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In this section, you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs.

Choose word or phrase

Abbe number A numerical value indicating the dispersion of optical glass, using the Greek symbol v. Also called the optical constant. The Abbe number is determined by the following formula using the index of refraction for three Fraunhofer's lines: F (blue), d (yellow) and c (red). Abbe number = d = nd • 1/nF – nc

An optical glass characteristic distribution chart is a graph using the Abbe number as the horizontal axis and the d line index of refraction as the vertical axis. Aberration The image formed by an ideal photographic lens would have the following characteristics: 1. A point would be formed as a point. 2. A plane (such as a wall) perpendicular to the optical axis would be formed as a plane. 3. The image formed by the lens would have the same shape as the subject. Also, from the standpoint of image expression, a lens should exhibit true color reproduction. If only light rays entering the lens close to the optical axis are used and the light is monochromatic (one specific wavelength), it is possible to realize virtually ideal lens performance. With real photographic lenses, however, where a large aperture is used to obtain sufficient brightness and the lens must converge light not only from near the optical axis but from all areas of the image, it is extremely difficult to satisfy the above-mentioned ideal conditions due to the existence of the following obstructive factors: • Since most lenses are constructed solely of lens elements with spherical surfaces, light rays from a single subject point are not formed in the image as a perfect point. (A problem unavoidable with spherical surfaces.) • The focal point position differs for different types (i.e., different wavelengths) of light. • There are many requirements related to changes in angle of view (especially with wide-angle, zoom and telephoto lenses). The general term used to describe the difference between an ideal image and the actual image affected by the above factors is "aberration." Thus, to design a high-performance lens, aberration must be extremely small, with the ultimate objective being to obtain an image as close as possible to the ideal image. Aberration can be broadly divided into two classifications: chromatic aberrations, which occur due to differences in wavelength, and monochromatic aberrations, which occur even for a single wavelength. Achromat, achromatic lens A lens which corrects chromatic aberration for two wavelengths of light. When referring to a photographic lens,

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Glossary

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the two corrected wavelengths are in the blue-violet range and yellow range. AF Stop feature Another feature unique to Canon's four Image Stabilized super-telephoto lenses. Four buttons appear on the outer barrel near the front of these lenses; pushing any one will temporarily lock AF if the camera is in the AI Servo AF mode. Custom Functions on many newer EOS bodies allow these buttons to assume a variety of additional functions. Air lens The air spaces between the glass lens elements making up a photographic lens can be thought of as lenses made of glass having the same index of refraction as air (1.0). An air space designed from the beginning with this concept in mind is called an air lens. Since the refraction of an air lens is opposite that of a glass lens, a convex shape acts as a concave lens and a concave shape acts as a convex lens. This principle was first propounded in 1898 by a man named Emil von Hoegh working for the German company Goerz. Angle of view The area of a scene, expressed as an angle, which can be reproduced by the lens as a sharp image. The nominal diagonal angle of view is defined as the angle formed by imaginary lines connecting the lens’ second principal point with both ends of the image diagonal (43.2mm). Lens data for EF lenses generally includes the horizontal (36mm) angle of view and vertical (24mm) angle of view in addition to the diagonal angle of view

Air Lens Concept Diagram

Angular aperture The angle between the subject point on the optical axis and the diameter of the entrance pupil, or the angle between the image point on the optical axis and the diameter of the exit pupil. Aperture / effective aperture The aperture of a lens is related to the diameter of the group of light rays passing through lens and determines the brightness of the subject image formed on the focal plane. The optical aperture (also called the effective aperture) differs from the real aperture of the lens in that it depends on the diameter of the group of light rays passing through the lens rather than the actual lens diameter. Aperture ratio A value used to express image brightness, calculated by dividing the lens’ effective aperture (D) by its focal length (f). Since the value calculated from D/f is almost always a small decimal value less than 1 and therefore difficult to use practically, it is common to express the aperture ratio on the lens barrel as the ratio of the effective aperture to the focal length, with the effective aperture set equal to 1. (For example, the EF 85mm f/1.2L lens barrel is imprinted with 1:1.2, indicating that the focal length is 1.2 times the effective aperture when the effective aperture is equal to 1.) The brightness of an image produced by a lens is proportional to the square of the aperture ratio. In general, lens brightness is expressed as an F number, which is the inverse of the aperture ratio (f/D). Apochromat, apochromatic lens

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but due to the extreme difficulty of actually processing and accurately measuring aspherical surfaces. ultra-precision glass molded (GMo) aspherical lens elements. The theory and usefulness of aspherical lenses have been known since the early days of lens making. Aspherical lens Photographic lenses are generally constructed of several single lens elements. is called an aspherical lens.. the dots are called “circles of confusion. an infinitely small dot with zero area). Since the effect of chromatic aberration increases at longer focal lengths. have spherical surfaces.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.2AL released in March 1971. i. In other words.” Thus. and "chromatic difference of magnification. In actual photographs..e. Chromatic aberration in a photographic lens is corrected by combining different types of optical glass having different refraction and dispersion characteristics.Glossary Page 3 of 6 A lens which corrects chromatic aberration for three wavelengths of light. Chromatic aberration When white light (light containing many colors uniformly mixed so that the eye does not sense any particular color and thus perceives the light as white) such as sunlight is passed through a prism. and since it occurs at different wavelengths is called chromatic aberration. axial chromatic aberration appears as color blur or flare.2 Noctilux lens with aspherical surfaces for its rangefinder cameras many years before 1971. This phenomenon occurs because the prism's index of refraction (and rate of dispersion) varies depending on the wavelength (short wavelengths are more strongly refracted than long wavelengths). with aberration reduced to a large degree particularly in the secondary spectrum. unless otherwise specified. appearing as a reduction in sharpness. or its “minimum circle of confusion.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_a.com 3/5/2007 . Note: While chromatic aberration is most noticeable when using color film. composite aspherical lens elements and replica aspherical lens elements.” The maximum http://www. precise chromatic aberration correction is particularly important in super-telephoto lenses for good image sharpness. it affects black-and-white images as well. While most visible in a prism. (Leica offered the 50mm f/1. Axial chromatic aberration is also sometimes referred to as "longitudinal chromatic aberration" (since it occurs longitudinally with respect to the optical axis). it becomes especially difficult to correct spherical aberration in large-aperture lenses and distortion in super-wide-angle lenses.canon. and chromatic difference of magnification can be referred to as "lateral chromatic aberration" (since it occurs laterally with respect to the optical axis). all of which. this phenomenon also occurs in photographic lenses. practical aspherical lens manufacturing methods were not realized until fairly recently. significant performance improvements can be achieved using man-made crystal such as fluorite or UD glass. a lens having a free-curved surface which is not spherical. they cannot perfectly converge rays from a subject point to form a true image point (i.e. images are formed from a composite of dots (not points) having a certain area." where the image magnification in peripheral areas varies according to the wavelength. or size. and chromatic difference of magnification appears as color fringing (where edges show color along their borders). one way of indicating the quality of a lens is by the smallest dot it can form.usa. Because all surfaces are spherical. Since the image becomes less sharp as the size of these dots increases. a rainbow spectrum can be observed.) Due to revolutionary advances in production technology since that time. The first SLR photographic lens to incorporate an aspherical lens was Canon's FD 55mm f/1. Circle of confusion Since all lenses contain a certain amount of spherical aberration and astigmatism. Although there is a limit to the degree of correction possible with optical glass. Canon's current EF lens group makes abundant use of various aspherical lens types such as ground and polished glass aspherical lens elements.pdffactory. A special lens element with a surface curved with the ideal shape to correct these aberrations. There are two types of chromatic aberration: "axial chromatic aberration." where the focal point position on the optical axis varies according to the wavelength. EF super-telephoto lenses are examples of apochromatic lenses.

or comatic aberration. The comet shape is oriented radially with the tail pointing either toward or away from the center of the image. the lens opening is virtually circular from f/2. lenses are processed with a special coating.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. the light passing through a circular polarizing filter differs from light passing through a linear polarizing filter in that the vibrational locus rotates in a spiral pattern as it propagates. where n is the index of refraction of the lens glass. These lenses retain all the benefits previously available with Canon's Electromagnetic Diaphragm – smooth and consistent stop-down operation (even at up to 10fps with the EOS-1v). This not only reduces the amount of light passing through the lens but can also lead to repeating reflections which can cause unwanted flare or ghost images.2-0. Color balance The color reproduction fidelity of a photo taken through a lens compared to the original subject. which uses curved aperture blades to provide for a more rounded opening as the lens is stopped down. Circular polarizing filter A circular polarizing filter is functionally the same as a linear polarizing filter as it only passes light vibrating in a certain direction. When using a polarizing filter with an EOS camera. The resulting blur near the http://www. near-silent aperture control.com 3/5/2007 .canon. comatic aberration Coma. Coating When light enters and exits a lens.3%) which effectively prevents reflections of all wavelengths in the visible light range. however. The effectiveness of a circular polarizing filter in eliminating reflected light is the same as that of a linear polarizing filter.usa. with the film made of a substance (such as magnesium fluoride) which has an index of refraction of n. EF lenses feature a superior multi layer coating (multiple layers of vapor deposited film reducing the reflection rate to 0.8L IS lens. In lenses such as the EF 70-200mm f/2.pdffactory. To prevent this reflection. By coating the various lens elements with appropriate substances having different properties. the effect of the filter does not interfere with the effect of half-mirrors: allowing normal operation of TTL-AE and AF functions.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_a. be sure to always use a circular polarizing filter. approximately 5% of the light is reflected back at each lens-air boundary due to the difference in index of refraction. Color balance in all EF lenses is based on ISO recommended reference values and maintained within a strict tolerance range that is tighter than ISO's CCI allowable value range. However.8 to f/5. coating plays an important role in providing the overall lens system with optimum color balance characteristics. Basically this is carried out using vacuum vapor deposition to coat the lens with a thin film having a thickness l/4 the wavelength of the light to be affected.Glossary Page 4 of 6 allowable dot size in an image is called the “permissible circle of confusion. and causes light rays entering the edge of the lens at an angle to converge in the form of a comet instead of the desired point. Instead of a single coating affecting only a single wavelength. hence the name.6. Coma. Lens coating is carried out not only to prevent reflections. Thus. and total absence of mechanical levers or switches in the lens mount. is a phenomenon visible in the periphery of an image produced by a lens which has been corrected for spherical aberration. It's especially effective at rendering out of focus background highlights as natural rounded shapes. however.” Circular aperture Certain Canon lenses feature a new Circular Aperture diaphragm unit.

the periphery is out of focus. A certain degree of improvement is possible by stopping down the lens. For example. preventing the lens from producing a flat image of a flat subject.e. even if the lens is completely free of vignetting. Coma increases as the angle of the principal ray increases. and causes a decrease in contrast near the edges of the image.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. i.. The peripheral image is formed by groups of light rays entering the lens at a certain angle with respect to the optical axis. Coma. it cannot be avoided. As this is a law of physics. http://www. and a lens corrected as such is called an aplanat. Petzval’s Condition states that a lens element is good if a result of zero is obtained when the inverse of the product of the index of refraction and focal length of that lens element is added to the total number of lens elements making up the lens.canon.pdffactory. The degree of curvature of field is largely affected by the method used for correcting astigmatism. When the center of the image is in focus. Curvature of field Curvature of field is a phenomenon which causes the image formation plane to become curved like the inside of a shallow bowl.com 3/5/2007 . with wideangle lenses having a large angle of view. decreases in peripheral illumination can be prevented by increasing the lens’ aperture efficiency (ratio of the area of the on-axis entrance pupil to the area of the off-axis entrance pupil). However. one necessary condition that must be satisfied to simultaneously correct astigmatism and curvature of field is Petzval’s Condition (1843). and the amount of light fall-off is proportional to the cosine of that angle raised to the fourth power. This sum is called Petzval’s Sum. Since the image plane falls between the sagittal and meridional image surfaces. and when the periphery is in focus.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_a. In general.usa. which can occur even in lenses which correctly reproduce a point as a point on the optical axis. good correction of astigmatism results in small curvature of field. Cos4 law States that light fall-off in peripheral areas of the image increases as the angle of view increases. quality lenses producing high quality images have both high resolution and high contrast. and when unclear. is caused by a difference in refraction between light rays from an off-axis point passing through the edge of the lens and the principal light ray from the same point passing through the lens center. contrast is said to be high. Since curvature of field cannot be improved very much by stopping down the lens. when the reproduction ratio between white and black is clear. Contrast The degree of distinction between areas of different brightness levels in a photograph. Coma can also cause blurred areas of an image to flare.Glossary Page 5 of 6 edges of the image is called comatic flare. the center is out of focus. contrast is said to be low. The elimination of both spherical aberration and coma for a subject at a certain shooting distance is called aplanatism. resulting in an unpleasing effect. the difference in brightness between light and dark areas. lens designers reduce it as much as possible using various methods such as changing the shapes of the various single lens elements making up the lens and changing the position of the aperture. In doing this.

the following formulas can also be used: Hyperfocal distance X shooting distance Near Point limiting = Hyperfocal distance + shooting distance Hyperfocal distance X shooting distance Far Point limiting = Hyperfocal distance – shooting distance (Shooting distance: Distance from film plane to subject) In general photography.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. shallow at long focal lengths. the depth of sharpness to the front of sharpness to the front and rear of the subject where image blur in the film plane falls within the limits of the permissible circle of confusion. 2. Front depth of field is shallower than rear depth of field. so if these values are known.Glossary Page 1 of 6 In this section. Depth of field is deep at short focal lengths. Choose word or phrase Depth of field The area in front of and behind a focused subject in which the photographed image appears sharp.pdffactory.com 3/5/2007 . shallow at close shooting distances. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs. 3. aperture value and shooting distance. Depth of field is deep at small apertures.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_d. you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology. Depth of field varies according to the lens' focal length. Depth of focus http://www. Depth of field is deep at far shooting distances.usa. 4.canon. In other words. depth of field is characterized by the following attributes: 1. a rough estimate of the depth of field can be calculated using the following formulas: Front depth of field = d • F • a2 / (f2 + d • F • a) Rear depth of field = d • F • a2 / (f2 – d • F • a) f: focal length F: F number d: minimum circle of confusion diameter a: subject distance (distance from 1st principal point to subject) If the hyperfocal distance is known. shallow at large apertures.

Extension amount With a lens that moves the entire optical system backward and forward when focusing.canon. In the EOS system. Glass with this property is used in apochromatic lenses to compensate chromatic aberration. Most ordinary optical materials have similar partial dispersion characteristics. and glass that exhibits larger partial dispersion at long wavelengths. http://www. a German named Seidel determined through analysis the existence of five lens aberations which occur with monochromatic (single wavelength) light. such as glass that exhibits larger partial dispersion at short wavelengths.com 3/5/2007 . Expressed as a numerical value which indicates the inverse of the minimum visual angle at which the eye can clearly distinguish two points or lines. Flange back is also referred to as flange-focal distance. the difference in index of refraction between two different wavelengths is called partial dispersion. Flange back Distance from the camera's lens mount reference surface to the focal plane (film plane).pdffactory. FK glass which features a small index of refraction and low dispersion characteristics. flange back is set at 44. Extraordinary partial dispersion The human eye can sense monochromatic light wavelengths within the range of 400nm (purple) to 700nm (red). However.) Far-sightedness The eye condition in which the image of an infinitely distant point is formed to the retina when the eye is in the accommodation rest state. These are called the five aberrations of Seidel.Glossary Page 3 of 6 of freedom in designing unit layout. fluorite. visual acuity The ability of the eye to distinguish details of an object's shape. Eyesight. Five aberrations of Seidel In 1856.00 mm on all cameras. i. Within this range.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_d. (Ratio with a resolution of 1' assumed as 1.usa. the amount of lens movement necessary to focus a subject at a limited distance from the infinity focus position. partial dispersion characteristics differ for some glass materials.e.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. the resolution of the eye in reference to a resolution of 1'. These types of glass are classified as having extraordinary partial dispersion characteristics.

canon. Focal length When parallel light rays enter the lens parallel to the optical axis. degrading image sharpness. the point at which the circle is smallest is the focal point. Focal point.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_d. flare cannot be completely eliminated for all subject conditions. focus When light rays enter a convex lens parallel to the optical axis. although aberrations are well compensated at the reference shooting distance. Although flare can be reduced to a large extent by coating the lens surfaces and using anti-reflection measures in the lens barrel and camera. Canon in 1968 succeeded in establishing production technology for manufacturing large artificial crystals. it cannot be used practically in photographic lenses.usa. and in 1880 natural fluorite was already in practical use in the apochromatic objective lenses of microscopes. Fluorite Fluorite has extremely low indexes of refraction and dispersion compared to optical glass and features special partial dispersion characteristics (extraordinary partial dispersion). an ideal lens will converge all the light rays to a single point from which the rays again fan out in a cone shape. the focal length of a lens is the distance along the optical axis from the lens' second principal point to the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity. In answer to this problem. enabling virtually ideal correction of chromatic aberrations when combined with optical glass. To prevent this from happening.com 3/5/2007 . In optical terminology. This fact has long been known. since natural fluorite exists only in small pieces. the distance along the optical axis from the lens' second principal point (rear principal point) to the focal point is called the focal length. This method is also referred to as a close-distance aberration compensation mechanism. However. It is therefore desirable to use an appropriate lens hood whenever possible. The term "flare" is also used when referring to the effects of blurring and halo caused by spherical and comatic aberration. the inside of the lens barrel and the inner walls of the camera's mirror box can reach the film and fog part or all of the image area. These harmful reflections are called flare. In simpler terms. This point at which all rays converge is called the focal point. a focal point is further classified as being the rear or image-side http://www.Glossary Page 4 of 6 Flare Light reflected from lens surfaces. Thus opening the door for fluorite use in photographic lenses. Thus. Floating system General photographic lenses are designed to achieve an optimum balance of aberration compensation at only one commonly-used shooting distance.pdffactory. aberrations increase at other shooting distances (especially at close shooting distances) and cause image degradation. a floating system is used which varies the interval between certain lens elements in accordance with the extension amount. A familiar example of this is when a magnifying glass is used to focus the rays of the sun to a small circle on a piece of paper or other surface.

the side opposite the matte surface of the focusing screen is formed as a fresnel lens with a 0. Examples of front group linear extension lenses include the EF 50mm f/2. Since the filter attachment ring and hood rotate with the lens during focusing. Focus Preset A feature on the Image Stabilized super-telephoto EF lenses. Fraunhofer's lines Absorption lines discovered in 1814 by a German physicist named Fraunhofer (1787-1826). Fresnel lenses are also commonly used in flash units. to efficiently direct peripheral diffused light to the eyepiece.05mm pitch. The index of refraction of optical glass is measured based on nine wavelengths selected from among Fraunhofer's lines. the lines are used for reference in regard to the color (wavelength) characteristics of optical glass. Since each line is located at a fixed wavelength.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_d.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. and later return instantly to it with a brief turn of the metal "playback" ring on the lens' barrel. This type of focusing is used only in zoom lenses and is not found in single focal length lenses. calculations for correcting chromatic aberrations are also based on these wavelengths. Front group rotational extension The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing.5 Compact Macro and the EF 85mm f/1. Representative examples of lenses using this method are the EF 35-80mm f/4-5. formed by finely dividing the convex surface of a flat convex lens into many concentric circle-shaped ring lenses and combining them to extremely reduce the thickness of the lens while retaining its function as convex lens.Glossary Page 5 of 6 focal point if it is the point at which light rays from the subject converge on the film plane side of the lens.2L USM. The projection lens used to project light from a lighthouse is an example of a giant fresnel lens. More than half of Canon's EF lenses with Ultrasonic http://www. The photographer can focus upon a subject and memorize that focus setting.canon.com 3/5/2007 . Front group linear extension The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing.usa.6L. In an SLR. care must be taken when shooting through a glass window to make sure the end of the lens does not contact the glass.pdffactory. comprising the absorption spectrum present in the continuous spectrum of light emitted from the sun created by the effect of gases in the sun's and earth's atmospheres. Fresnel lens A type of converging lens. In lens design. indicated by the concentric circular lines visible on the white diffusion screen covering the flash tube.6 USM and EF 100-300mm f/5. Full-time manual focusing A system that allows the photographer to turn the lens' manual focusing ring and instantly override autofocus – while the lens' AF/MF switch is still in the autofocus mode. It is the front or object-side focal point if it is the point at which light rays entering the lens parallel to the optical axis from the film plane side converge on the object side of the lens.

html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.A.com 3/5/2007 . lens. This not only increases the functionality of the current system.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_d. technologies that were developed in 1985 to quickly respond to the trend towards full-fledged autofocusing SLR cameras. Multi-actuator system The ideal actuator for each drive unit is located near the drive unit to form a multi-actuator system that realizes high-level automation. 3. Multi-processor system control A high-speed processor in the camera body interfaces with processors in the lens and the flash units. and interchangeable backs. All rights reserved.canon. flash and interchangeable back is handled electronically. but also creates a network ready to accept future system developments. Speedlite flash units. 2. 1.usa. © 2004 Canon U. Inc. Fully electronic mount system Development of the EOS system began with Canon's own "body range-finding and in-lens motor drive system" and "fully electronic mount system". Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The EOS system centers on the camera body and consists of various components including Canon's full line of EF lenses. calculation and communications). The three main features of the EOS system are as follows. Privacy Statement | Terms of Use http://www. and high performance. (for high-speed data processing.pdffactory. to carry out high level systems control.. Fully electronic interface All data transfer between the camera body. high efficiency.S.Glossary Page 6 of 6 Motors have this feature.

9ft. (For example. the depth of field will extend from a distance equal to half the hyperfocal distance to infinity. the closest shooting distance at which "infinity" falls within the depth of field. as a lens is gradually focused to farther subject distances.2mm. This phenomenon is differentiated from flare by the term "ghosting" due to its ghost-like appearance.usa. you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology." The shooting distance at this point. is called the hyperfocal distance. especially when using a wide-angle lens. by presetting the lens to the hyperfocal distance. Interchangeable lenses for 35mm format cameras must have an image circle at least as large as the diagonal of the 24 x 36mm image area. The hyperfocal distance can be determined as follows: f2 d•F f: focal length F: F number d: minimum circle of confusion diameter Hyperfocal distance = Thus. however.e. Ghost images caused by surface reflections in front of the aperture have the same shape as the aperture a ghost image caused by reflections behind the aperture appears as an out-of-focus area of light fogging. Image distance http://www. Since ghost images can also be caused by strong light sources outside the picture area. when the EF 24mm is set to f/11and the shooting distance is set to the hyperfocal distance of approximately 1. TS-E lenses.. are designed with a larger image circle of 58.5m/4.pdffactory. Hyperfocal distance Using the depth of field principle.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_g.) Image circle The diameter of the sharp image circle formed by a lens. i. Choose word or phrase Ghost image A type of flare occurring when the sun or other strong light source is included in the scene and a complex series of reflections among the lens surfaces causes a clearly defined reflection to appear in the image in a position symmetrically opposite the light source.canon. all subjects within a range of approximately 70cm/2.com 3/5/2007 .html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.3ft from the camera to infinity will be in focus. a point will eventually be reached where the far limit of the rear depth of field will be equivalent to "infinity. Whether or not ghosting will actually occur when the picture is taken can be verified beforehand by looking through the viewfinder and using the camera's depth-of-field check function to close down the lens to the actual aperture to be used during exposure. and EF lenses generally have an image circle of about 43.6mm to cover the lens’ tilt and shift movements. This method is useful for presetting a large depth of field and taking snapshots without having to worry about adjusting the lens focus.Glossary Page 1 of 2 In this section. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs. use of a hood or other shading device is recommended for blocking undesired light.

This type of filter eliminates reflections from glass and water the same way as a circular polarizing filter. MTF chart – How to read MTF charts (short for Modulation Transfer Function) provide a graph analyzing a lens’ ability to resolve sharp details in very fine sets of http://www.pdffactory.canon. The stator.Glossary Page 1 of 3 In this section.com 3/5/2007 . Since the vibrational locus of the light allowed to pass through the filter is linear in nature. insects and other small items at life-size magnification or larger. and will cause focusing errors in AF cameras incorporating AF rangefinding systems using half-mirrors. Advantages over ring-type USMs The micro USM carries no lens diameter restrictions. high-torque characteristics make it possible to set the AF drive gear ratio low enough to realize quiet drive operation. you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology. Advantages over DC micro motors Low-speed. and its features are as follows. and the large holding torque provides superior focus positioning precision. sharp definition and true color fidelity combine to capture the appeal of your subject with bold realism. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs. so it can be incorporated into a wide variety of lens designs.usa. Micro USM The micro USM is an advanced motor developed as a "multi-purpose miniature ultrasonic motor". Macro lenses Macro lenses are essential for shooting close-ups of flowers. the filter is called a linear polarizing filter. Quality optical characteristics.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_l. The micro USM also features excellent start/stop response and control. Choose word or phrase Linear polarizing filter A filter which only passes light vibrating in a certain direction. but it cannot be used effectively with most auto exposure and autofocus cameras as it will cause exposure errors in AE cameras equipped with TTL metering systems using half-mirrors. (roughly 1/4 the level of a DC micro motor). And the cost is only about 1/3 that of the already reasonably priced ring-type USM.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. rotor and output gear are integrated into a single compact unit that is roughly half the size and weight of a ring-type USM. Mechanical distance The distance from the front edge of the lens barrel to the film plane.

At a 90° angle to these.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_l. in both the sagittal (parallel to the diagonal of the film format) and meridonal directions. Fine repeating line sets are created parallel to a diagonal line running from corner to corner of the 35mm frame. F2 = NA 0. so MTF charts typically show lines that tend to curve downward as they move left to right (tracking the lens’ performance from center to corner of the frame). However. is a numerical value calculated from the formula nsin . and of course features like Image Stabilization which may produce superior real-world results). or its resolution. Optical axis A straight line connecting the center points of the spherical surfaces on each side of a lens. usually indicated as NA. with the lens set to infinity focus. additional sets of repeating lines are drawn. At first glance. the NA value is commonly imprinted on the objective lenses of microscopes. this is often not the case. A useful relationship to know is that the NA value is equal to half the inverse of the F number. F 1.0 = NA 0.5mm away.5. The numerical aperture. These are called sagittal lines. Especially in the Meridional direction. is the distance from the dead center (“0”) of a 35mm image along a diagonal line to the corner of the frame.4 = NA 0. which is measured with thicker sets of parallel repeating lines drawn at 10 lines per millimeter. the optical axis is a hypothetical center line connecting the center of curvature of each lens http://www.canon. closest focusing distances. handling.Glossary Page 2 of 3 parallel lines. where 2 is the angle (angular aperture) at which an object point on the optical axis enters the entrance pupil and n is the index of reflection of the medium in which the object exists. called Meridional (or “M”) line sets. Even more important in the eyes of many optical designers is the lens’ contrast capability. While MTF charts don’t include many factors that can be important when selecting a lens (size. linear distortion. indicating 100% accurate reproduction from the center of the picture (toward the left of the chart) to its outermost corners (at the right side of the chart). which is about 21. and a lens’ contrast or ability to provide a sharp transfer between light and dark areas in sets of thicker parallel lines.357. faithful reproduction of fine line sets becomes increasingly difficult as you move away from the center of the image toward one of the corners.com 3/5/2007 . evenness of illumination. emmetropia The eye condition in which the image of an infinitely distant point is formed on the retina when the eye is in the accommodation rest state. Normal vision. Although not often used with photographic lenses. For example. sometimes designated “S” on Canon’s MTF charts. On the chart’s vertical axis is a scale representing the degree of accuracy with which the fine and coarse line sets are reproduced. And it’s a fact that almost all lenses produce sharper results in general near the center of the frame than at the outer edges. it would appear that any good lens would record lines running parallel to a diagonal drawn across the film with the same accuracy as lines drawn perpendicular to them. Repeating extremely fine short parallel lines spaced at 30 lines per millimeter measure the lens’ ability to record fine details. and stopped down to f/8. In other words. a perfect lens would produce nothing but straight horizontal lines across the very top of an MTF chart. they can indicate to the knowledgeable reviewer some of the optical characteristics they can expect from a particular lens. F 1. Canon’s MTF charts give results at two apertures: wide-open. Of course.usa.pdffactory. where it is used more as an indication of resolution than of brightness. AF speed. MTF charts display the lens’ performance from center to corner. in real-world testing.25. Near-sightedness The eye condition in which the image of an infinitely distant point is formed in front of the retina when the eye is in the accommodation rest state. Running along the chart’s horizontal axis. labeled 0 to over 20. In theory. Numerical aperture (NA) A value used to express the brightness or resolution of a lens' optical system.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. directly through the exact center of the image area. Solid lines on the MTF charts indicate the performance of sagittal lines (parallel to the diagonal of the film). cost. and so on. dashed lines are for the perpendicular meridional test target lines. no such thing as a perfect lens exists from any SLR manufacturer.

html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. All rights reserved. which are constructed of several lens groups that move in a complex manner.. In photographic lenses comprised of several lens elements. Overall linear extension The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. it is of utmost importance for the optical axis of each lens element to be perfectly aligned with the optical axes of all other lens elements. Representative examples of lenses using this type of focusing include the EF 50mm f/1.A. extremely precise construction is necessary to maintain proper optical axis alignment.8.Glossary Page 3 of 3 surface. © 2004 Canon U.8 II and TS-E 90mm f/2. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Privacy Statement | Terms of Use http://www. Particularly in zoom lenses. Inc.usa.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_l.pdffactory.S.canon.com 3/5/2007 .

they converge in the shape of a cone to form a point image within the film plane.com 3/5/2007 .Glossary Page 1 of 3 In this section. Polarized light Since light is a type of electromagnetic wave.usa. Peripheral illumination The brightness of a lens is determined by the F number. that light is called polarized light. When these rays pass through a lens. Peripheral illumination is affected by lens vignetting and the cos4 (cosine 4) law and is inevitably lower than the center of the image.pdffactory. Also. The brightness (image surface illuminance) at the edge of the image is called peripheral illumination and is expressed as a percent (%) of the amount of illumination at the image center. Since the image formed by a monochromatic paraxial ray is in principle free of aberrations. This type of light is called natural light (or natural polarized light)..canon. Choose word or phrase Parallel pencil of rays A group of light rays traveling parallel to the optical axis from an infinitely far point. the reflected light vibrates in one direction only and is completely polarized.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. If the direction of vibration of natural light becomes polarized for some reason. but this value only indicates the brightness at the optical axis position. for example.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_p. at the center of the image. it can be thought of as uniformly vibrating in all directions in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation. When natural light is reflected from the surface of glass or water. you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology. Paraxial ray A light ray which passes close to the optical axis and is inclined at a very small angle with respect to the optical axis. i. the paraxial ray is an important factor in understanding the basic operation of lens systems.e. The point at which paraxial rays converge is called the paraxial focal point. on a http://www. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs.

bringing practical fluorite production technology on-line by the late 1960’s. since actual photographic lenses consist of combinations of several convex and concave lens elements. Furthermore. Reflection Reflection differs from reflection in that it is a phenomenon which causes a portion of the light striking the surface of glass or other medium to break off and propagate in an entirely new direction.canon. Principal point (Nodal point) The focal length of a thin. By moving internal elements. it is necessary to increase the mutual power of the convex-concave groupings.pdffactory. Differences in wavelength are sensed as differences in color (within the visible light range) and differences in amplitude are sensed as differences in brightness (light intensity). Principal ray A light ray which enters the lens at an angle at a point other than the optical axis point and passes through the center of the diaphragm opening. so focusing can be faster and more responsive. When light enters and leaves a lens which does not have an anti-reflection coating.usa. the front of the lens does not move during focusing — ideal for photographers who use filters. The half-mirrors used in autofocus SLR cameras also cause light polarization. Fluorite’s low index of refraction makes it possible to achieve significant reduction in lens length while maintaining high image quality. The principal point measured from the front focal point is called the front principal point.Glossary Page 2 of 3 sunny day the light from the area of the sky at a 90º angle from the sun becomes polarized due to the effect of air molecules and particles in the atmosphere. The two elements of a light wave which can actually be detected by the human eye are the wavelength and amplitude. behind the lens’ diaphragm assembly. approximately 5% of the light is reflected at the glass-air boundary. naturally formed pieces of fluorite large enough for use in lens production are extremely difficult to find. double-convex. The direction of propagation is the same regardless of wavelength. Although the extraordinary optical properties of fluorite were discovered in the 19th century and lens designers have long desired to use it. Resolution http://www. This center point of the lens is called the principal point. The distance between these two principal points is called the principal point interval. less weight is required to be moved. The amount of light direction of propagation. The third element which cannot be detected by the human eye is the direction of vibration within the plane perpendicular to the light wave’s direction of propagation.com 3/5/2007 . The principal point of a multi-element lens is therefore defined as the point on the optical axis at a distance equal to the focal length measured back toward the lens from the focal point. Deciding to solve this problem. and the principal point measured from the rear focal point is called the rear principal point. Principal light rays are the fundamental light rays used for image exposure at all diaphragm openings from maximum aperture to minimum aperture. Rear focusing Focusing is accomplished by moving one or more lens elements positioned internally.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_p. single-element lens is the distance along the optical axis from the center of the lens to its focal point. Reduction in overall lens length To reduce the length of a telephoto lens. However. it is not visually apparent where the center of the lens might be.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. Canon took up the challenge of developing synthetic crystals.

html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.com 3/5/2007 ..usa. Inc. Privacy Statement | Terms of Use http://www. It is common to hear resolution expressed as a numerical value such as 50 lines or 100 lines.A.canon. and the resolution of the printing paper. and does not indicate resolution clarity or contrast. at a specified magnification. a chart containing groups of black and white stripes that gradually decrease in narrowness. This value indicates the number of lines per millimeter of the smallest black and white line pattern which can be clearly recorded on the film. All rights reserved. The resolution of the final photograph depends on three factors: the resolution of the lens.Glossary Page 3 of 3 The resolution of a lens indicates the capacity of reproduction of a subject point of the lens. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_p. the resolution of the film.pdffactory.S. a method is used in which a fine resolution chart is positioned in the location corresponding to the film plane and projected through the test lens onto a screen. To test the resolution of a lens alone. then using a microscope to observe the negative image at a magnification of 50x. The numerical value used for expressing resolving power is only an indication of the degree of resolution possible. Resolution is evaluated by photographing. © 2004 Canon U.

A point image affected by spherical aberration is sharply formed by light rays near the optical axis but is affected by flare from the peripheral light rays (this flare is also called halo. and produces a soft. Spherical aberration This aberration exists to some degree in all lenses constructed entirely of spherical elements. Choose word or phrase Shading A phenomenon where light entering the lens is partially blocked by an obstruction such as the end of a lens hood or the frame of a filter. and its radius is called lateral spherical aberration).com 3/5/2007 . As a result. you will find a useful compilation of relevant photographic and lens-related terminology. Understanding the language of lenses will in turn effect how you choose and use the lens for your particular needs. The position of the film plane is indicated on the top of most cameras by a “ “ symbol. Although commonly carried out by coming two lenses-one convex and one concavebased on light rays with a certain height of incidence (distance from the optical axis). Correction of spherical aberration in spherical lenses is very difficult. causing the corners of the image to darken or the overall image to lighten.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. low-contrast image which looks as if covered with a thin veil.pdffactory. (The amount of focal point shift along the optical axis is called longitudinal spherical aberration. Spherical aberration causes parallel light rays passing through the edge of a lens to converge at a focal point closer to the lens than light rays passing through the center of the lens. Shading is the general term used for the case where the image is degraded by some type of obstacle that blocks light rays which should actually reach the image.Glossary Page 1 of 4 In this section.canon.) The degree of spherical aberration tends to be larger in large-aperture lenses.usa. Shooting distance (camera distance) The distance from the film plane (focal plane) to the subject. spherical aberration affects the entire image area from the center to the edges.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_s. there is a limit to the http://www.

it is desirable for the index of refraction of the front convex lens element to be as small as possible. highly durable surface hardness and features and stable characteristics. UD glass does display partial dispersion characteristics similar to fluorite. Moreover.pdffactory. Another breakthrough was made in 1993 when Super UD glass was introduced as a new material that achieves almost the same performance as fluorite while achieving a new balance of greater cost reduction and even higher quality. The superior imaging characteristics realized by these exacting coating procedures includes sharp.usa. vivid images with high contrast. Of these. this process features a high permeation rate. the lens group behind the diaphragm has nearly the same configuration and shape as the lens group in front of the diaphragm.8 released back in 1951 succeeded in eliminating the comatic aberration which was the sole weak point of Gauss type lenses of that day. This remaining aberration can be largely eliminated by stopping down the diaphragm to cut the amount of peripheral light. triplet type. Named Super Spectra coating by Canon. While the indexes of refraction and dispersion of UD glass do not equal that of fluorite. the aperture is adjusted by turning an aperture ring on the lens barrel. http://www. Symmetrical lenses are further classified into various types such as the Gauss type.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. and true color reproduction that does not change over years of use. this mechanism is usually constructed as an iris diaphragm consisting of several blades which can be moved to continuously vary the opening diameter. With large aperture lenses at full aperture. aperture adjustment is commonly controlled by operating an electronic dial on the camera body. and the variety of single and multilayer coatings used are selected to optimally match the refraction of the lens to which it is being applied. ultraviolet ray filtering.canon. Super UD lenses The high cost of synthetic fluorite crystal production makes fluorite lenses extremely expensive. and thus became famous as a historical landmark lens due to the remarkable improvement in performance it afforded.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_s. they are significantly lower than those of other types of optical glass. however. (two UD lens elements are equivalent to one fluorite element). The Canon 50mm f/1. Super Spectra coating All EF lenses are coated in accordance with Canon’s own standards. which are even more strict than the CCI tolerances set by the ISO (International Standards Organization). Topogon type and orthometer type. Symmetrical type lens In this type of lens. Superior quality across the total image area To achieve a high level of sharpness both at the center and out to the edges of an image when shooting with a telephoto lens. One answer was found in the latter half of the 1970’s with the appearance of UD (ultra low dispersion) glass that could provide characteristics similar to fluorite but at a lower cost. and • a comparatively long back focus can be achieved. the only effective way to thoroughly compensate spherical aberration is to use an aspherical lens element. With modern camera lenses. Stop/diaphragm/aperture The opening which adjusts the diameter of the group of light rays passing through the lens. The selection of the proper lens element combination in consideration of the intended focal length and other factors can provide close to the same effect as fluorite. the use of fluorite with its low index of refraction effectively improves image quality over the total image area. the Gauss type and its derivations is the most typical configuration used today because • its symmetrical design allows well-balanced correction of all types of aberrations. Tessar type.Glossary Page 2 of 4 degree of correction possible using spherical lenses.com 3/5/2007 . In interchangeable lenses used with single lens reflex cameras. uniform color balance throughout the EF lens lineup. Accordingly. Subject distance The distance from the lens’ front principal point to the subject. so some aberration always remains. With conventional SLR camera lenses.

(two UD lens elements are equivalent to one fluorite element). all lens drive control is http://www. the overall length of a lens (the distance from the apex of the frontmost lens element to the focal plane) is longer than its focal length. in 1990. delivering a special optical glass which could provide characteristics similar to fluorite but at a lower cost and thereby answering another desire of lens designers. Moreover.8 II. high-speed lens drive control.2L USM. And. For telephoto lenses. This greatly reduces the presence of secondary spectrum and brings all three wavelengths ~ red.html PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www. Features of the ring-type USM include its ability to easily achieve the low-speed. The selection of the proper lens element combination in consideration of the intended focal length and other factors can provide close to the same effect as fluorite. they are significantly lower than other types of optical glass. In a telephoto lens. EF 50mm f/1. green and blue ~ together at the same focal point to realize virtually ideal chromatic aberration compensation. and it demonstrates excellent start/stop response and control.4 USM and EF 85mm f/1.com 3/5/2007 . Its construction is extremely simple. it is the value of the distance from the apex of the frontmost lens element to the focal plane divided by the focal length.usa. Every day Canon comes closer to realizing the goal of equipping every EF lens with a USM. UD glass lenses Lenses made from fluorite are extremely expensive due to the high cost of synthetic fluorite crystal production.8L USM is 0. Super UD glass was introduced in 1993 as a new material that achieves almost the same performance as fluorite while achieving a new balance of cost reduction and higher quality. Rotation speed control covers a wide variable range from 0. Canon developed the lower cost ring-type USM could be used in a variety of more affordable lenses. this value is less than one. High efficiency and low power consumption allow the lens to be powered by the camera’s battery. operation is virtually noise-free. the second principal point is located in front of the frontmost lens element. since using a normal lens construction would result in a very large.2 rpm to 80 rpm to realize high-precision.com/html/eflenses/lens101/glossary/index_s. This feat was followed in 1992 by the development of a new type of micro USM that enabled the automation of production. super-fast autofocus performance. however. Lenses of this type are called telephoto lenses. Put another way. Variablesensitivity electronic manual focus is also available. To keep the size of such a lens manageable while still providing a long focal length. the telephoto ratio of the EF 300mm f/2. Thorough elimination of the secondary spectrum When a convex fluorite lens is combined with a concave wide-dispersion optical glass lens to correct red and blue wavelengths.78. UD glass does display similar partial dispersion characteristics.canon. While the index of refraction and dispersion of UD glass are not as low as fluorite. resulting in a lens which is shorter than its focal length.91 . Large holding torque means the disc brake automatically holds the lens in place when the motor is stopped. and that of the EF 600mm f/4L USM is 0. The Tessar and triplet type symmetrical configurations are commonly used today in compact cameras equipped with single focal length lenses. This is not usually the case with lenses of particularly long focal length. Telephoto ratio The ratio between the overall length of a telephoto lens and its focal length is called the telephoto ratio.8L USM amazed the world with its silent. the partial dispersion characteristics of the fluorite also effectively compensate the green wavelength as well. The motor’s ring shape is optimally suited to lens barrel applications and its low rotation speed is ideal for lens drive purposes. Then. USM (Ultrasonic Motor) Canon became the first camera maker to apply the use of an advanced USM (Ultrasonic Motor) in 1987 when the EF 300mm f/2. a concave (negative) lens assembly is placed behind the main convex (positive) lens assembly.pdffactory.Glossary Page 3 of 4 Canon still uses a Gauss type construction in current lenses such as the EF 50mm f/1. UD (ultra low dispersion) glass made an appearance in the latter half of the 1970’s. unwieldy lens. For reference. Telephoto type (teletype) lens With general photographic lenses. high-torque characteristics needed to realize direct drive. The broad operating temperature range of -30ºC to +60ºC (-22ºF to 140ºF) ensures stable operation even in severe environments. (apochromatic performance).