Nikon Lens Glossary

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AF- Nikkor's initial autofocus label, signifying that focus handled by a motor integral to the body of the camera. All the newer AF lenses, including AF-S and specifically G, are also D. Nikon no longer makes an effort to mark the D

. powered by a DC coreless motor. Employed high powered telephoto lenses only (300 mm f/2.8 thru 600mm f/4.0) beginning in 1992. Supplanted with AF-S in 1996. As of 1992 All AF-I lenses are either AF and AI-S

AI-S - The descendant of AI, AI-S lenses added a pair of mechanical features necessary for both automatic and semi-automatic exposure functions of the Nikon F4, F501/N2020, F301/N2000 and FA cameras. First off, the AI-S lens aperture changes linearly in relationship to it's stop-down levers, furthermore this feature is denoted with a special indentation in the lens's mount.

Secondly, AI-S lenses having a 135mm or longer focal length are signified by a unique rim on the lens's mount (employed by the F4, F501, and FA exclusively). When the CPU-facilitate AI-P and the AF lens was developed it signified that no later model cameras would need these features, even though the linear aperture manipulation of AI-S still has its advantages over the in-consistent controls of AI & pre-AI Nikkor lenses.

Now the acronym AI-S is regularly used to identify manual focus Nikon lenses, even though all Nikkor autofocus lenses featuring aperture rings also encompass the AI-S specifications. Nikon unwrapped the AUTO INDEXING SHUTTER (AIS) lens In 1981 although no Nikon camera could make use of the AIS features until 1983 when the FA was introduced.

AIS lenses resemble AI lenses, but their minimum f/stop is marked with orange lettering. The current collection of Nikon AF camera bodies does not distinguish between AI , AI'd, or AIS lenses by way of attributes or metering alternatives (the F4 did so, but it has long been discontinued). 

AF-L Switch - When auto-focusing, focus may be locked in position by pushng the AF-L switch; an AF-ON switch provides quick auto-focusing on and off. Pushing the Memory Set switch allows you to compose a scene and save the focus distance in the memory of the lens; it stores the details even when the camera is switched off. By using the Memory Recall the lens returns automatically to the stored focus distance.

AF-S Autofocus lens featuring a Silent wave, coreless, integrated, focus motor (unwrapped in 1996). Basically an updated AF-I Autofocus-Silent sporting a "Silent Wave Motor" (ultrasonic) to focus near silently and fast. Some older bodies are unable use them to autofocus (N60, N8008). What distinguishes the Nikon F mount entry level D40, D40X, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000 and D5100 cameras from other Nikon DSLR cameras is the absense of an integrated on-board focusing motor. These cameras autofocus only using AF-S. All the newer AF lenses, including AF-S and specifically G, are also D. Nikon no longer makes an effort to mark the D

AF-N Signifies the "New" edition of the AF lens. A switch from plastic focus rings on the early AF lens versions to the a new "inset rubber focus ring" (RIFR) is often marked with the AF-N label.

AI - Manual focus lens featuring "Automatic Indexing" light meter connection, unveiled in 1977. Supplementing the pre-AI meter prong, also an AI lens adds a ridge to the aperture ring that programs the aperture setting in relation to the maximum aperture, plus includes a post on the mounting flange which encodes the maximum aperture value. Lenses designated Series AF, E, and AI-S, all incorporate the attributes of AI. AI - Aperture Indexing: AI-E 1979, AI-S 1982, and AI-P 1988 which includes an integrated CPU.

AI-P - An AI lens variation (1988) that was "chipped" to relay information detail to the camera.

A/M -
autofocus encompassing manual override, AF precedence mode. that minimizes the sensitivity to the manual focus override to preclude surprising changes from auto mode to manual.

A-M Switch
A-M -
A function that locks down the focus ring while auto focusing featuring behavior not unlike a manual focus lens set to focus in manual mode with a damped load as the focus ring is turned. The Nikkor 18-55mm VR, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G, and the 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6GII focus rings all rotate during autofocus. 

AS - Aspherical lens elements
Nikon unveiled the first lens in 1968 featuring aspherical  camera lens elements. What makes them different? Aspherical lenses all but eliminates the issues of coma and related kinds of lens aberrations even when employed at the maximum aperture. They are especially useful in correcting wide-angle lenses distortion. Furthermore, using aspherical lenses is a factor to smaller and lighter lens designs. Nikon utilizes three styles of aspherical elements. meticulously-ground aspherical elements are the highest representation of lens-crafting art, requiring extremely accurate production methods. Hybrid lenses are manufactured using a unique plastic fashioned onto optical glass. A molded glass aspherical lens is made by molding a special type of optical glass employing a unique metal die technique. .

CRC - Close-Range Correction is another Nikon extremely significant focusing break-through, as it allows advanced image perfection at close focusing range and expands the focusing distance. Using CRC, the elements become arranged in a "floating element" configuration whereby each lens group relocates as an individual unit to accomplish focusing. This ensures exceptional lens operation even when photographing at close range. The CRC system is employed in fisheye, Micro, wide angle, plus other selected medium telephoto Nikon lenses.

D- Distance. denoted after the  f-number. It signifies the lens has the capacity to use Nikon's 3D Matrix Metering on camera bodies where it is supported. The lens relays focus distance details, which is integrated into the camera exposure computations. Not to be mistaken for earlier lenses labeled "Nikkor-D" denoting a lens with10-elements (refer to the pre-autofocus description). (1992) Informs the camera's meter the relative distance from your subject. This assists somewhat for exposure flash metering. Furthermore, employing a D-type Nikon lens also takes full advantage of the capability of Nikon's Creative Lighting System while employing express Nikon flash units such as the Nikon SB-400, SB-600, SB-800 or any of the Wireless close-up Speedlights. All the newer AF lenses, including AF-S and specifically G, are also D. Nikon no longer makes an effort to mark the D

AF DC-Nikon Defocus Control
AF DC-Nikon lenses include proprietary Nikon image Defocus Control engineering. This permits photographers to manipulate the amount of spherical aberration occurring the foreground or in the background by simply rotating the DC ring on the lens. Doing this creates a circle of out-of-focus bokeh which is perfect for portrait photography. There's no other lenses on the planet that provide this special technique for capturing unique portraits

Compact and lightweight Nikon DX lenses feature a lesser image circle and are specifically created and optimized for the Nikon D-series, digital SLR camera bodies. An ideal option for photographers and enthusiasts who require shooting of expansive landscapes with Nikon DX DSLRs. Note: Using DX NIKKOR lenses on 35mm or IX240 film cameras is not recommended.. DX - Only works correctly with digital SLR camera bodies. Corners of the image will be dark at a large number of focal lengths when employed on full frame FX or film cameras.

Nikon digital SLRs feature either a DX or FX image sensor. The FX image sensor measures 24x36mm, and is approximately equivalent to 35mm film frame dimensions. The DX image sensor is much smaller and measures 15.8x23.6mm. Nikon DX lenses are optimized and engineered for exclusive mounting on Nikon DX DSLRs and are intended to envelop the smaller size image sphere of the DX image sensor. Mounting a DX lens on an FX Nikon DSLR automatically engages the FXís DX-Crop Function, initiating the 1.5x cropping factor.

E- Electromagnetic diaphragm. The aperture diaphragm integrated in an a Nikon E lens is digitally controlled by the camera, which is electromagnetically activated by a operation residing within the lens, instead of using the more traditional F-mount mechanical diaphragm connection. Presently this system is installed on only specified Perspective Control lenses, engineered with lay-outs which prevent a mechanical connection. This E attribute only functions on the Nikon D3, D3x, D3s, D300, and D700 camera bodies. PC-E lenses necessitate manual diaphragm procedures on other camera bodies. Not the same as Series E lenses. 

ED- (Extra-low Dispersion)
a necessary element of the Nikon telephoto lens Nikon engineered Extra-low Dispersion optical glass to facilitate the manufacture of lenses that provide superior color correction and sharpness by diminishing chromatic aberrations. Simply put, chromatic aberration becomes a form of color and image dispersal that happens when varying wavelength light rays go through optical glass.

Correcting this issue for telephoto lenses in the past required unique optical elements that provide anomalous dispersion distinctiveness, in particular calcium fluoride crystals. Conversely, fluorite cracks easily and is susceptible to variations in temperature which can have a negative affect on focusing by varying the lens refractive pointers.

So Nikon conceived ED glass, which provides all the advantages, but none of the shortcomings of calcium fluorite-derived glass. As a consequence to this innovation, Nikon created a number of forms of ED glass appropriate for a variety of lenses. They dispense stunning crispness and contrast even wide open. In this way, the Nikon ED lenses epitomize Nikonís dominance in lens originality and accomplishment.

Super ED
S-ED - Super ED glass -a substantial new substance that is more durable than mainstream fluorite lenses and provides step-above optical behaviors with incomparable uniformity even at wide apertures. Super ED Glass is also more resilient to quick temperature fluctuations.

Electronic Focus Preset function - restores a focal preset point in an flick of an eye with a simple click of a button

Focus Limiter Switch - limits AF-servo movement to a controlled shooting distance or range. This basically prevents the lens from scrolling through an entire focus range

FX-format sensor
The leading factor setting the Nikon FX apart from other sensors is the large size of the pixels, which allows for more light collection. For example, The D3 contains 12.1mp, encompassing a 8.45 x 8.45Ķm pixel size which is 2.4 times the pixel size of the DX image sensor employed in the D7000 camera body. The actual dimensions of the CMOS image sensor in the D3ís r is approximately. 36.0 x 23.9 mm which is more than double the size. Larger pixels have the ability to gather more light. Additionally, the photodiode structure has been redesigned. The photodiode is typically surrounded by a substantial layer of electrical wires which could obstruct the light prior to it reaching the photodiode. Therefore when engineering the photodiode opening where light is expected, it is most important to shrink the wiring layer size as much as can be done.

G - labeled after the f-number.
A G-lens contains no aperture ring, therefore aperture may only be electronically controlled by the camera and only autofocus camera bodies featuring function dials have the capacity to control G lenses. Older model autofocus bodies will function with G lenses but in program and shutter priority modes. G lenses have the same attributes as D lenses except a few later model G lenses contain a gasket surrounding the mounting flange. The G-type Nikkor lenses provide simpler, virtually error-free operation as there is no requirement to set the aperture to minimum. These lenses are designed for exclusive use with Nikon DSLR models.All the newer AF lenses, including AF-S and specifically G, are also D. Nikon no longer makes an effort to mark the D

HRI - High Refractive Index lens Featuring a refractive index exceeding 2.0, a single HRI lens can provide effective equivalents to those acquired with a number of standard glass elements which can counterbalance for both spherical aberrations and field curvature . Therefore, HRI lenses attain great optical feats even when encased in a compact body. 

IF- Internal Focusing
The ability to have a lens focus while it's size remains unchanged. Nikonís IF engineering allows that to happen. All internal optical travel is contained within the inside of the non-extension lens container. Internal focusing provides a more lightweight and compact assembly along with a shorter focusing space. Furthermore, a lighter and smaller lens focusing group is used to guarantee quicker focusing. The IF function is employed in a majority of Nikon telephoto and selected Nikon zooms. The lens has the ability tp focus with a very slight movement of a small number of internal elements in place of having to move the entire lens assembly in and out. Which leads to the front of the lens no longer rotating while focusing, allowing for easy use of polarizing and graduated filters. Filter attachment does not rotate during focusing and zooming

i-TTL Fill-flash
The Nikon intelligent through-the-lens (-TTL) equalized Fill-Flash balances the Nikon Speedlight output automatically along with the subjects ambient illumination. Immediately prior the main flash firing, the Speedlight releases a sequence of pre-flashes, that relay Information about the lighting of the subject to the camera. This information combined with details from the camera 3D Color Matrix metering system, is scrutinized to regulate flash output to equalize the subject's ambient illumination. All of these multifaceted processing occurs fractions of a second, just prior each exposure, providing unparalleled levels of precision flash and performance.

M/A mode
AF-S Nikon lenses include the exclusive Nikon M/A focus function, that permits switching from auto to manual focus virtually without time lag - even while the AF servo is in operation regardless of the AF mode in play. M/A (Manual/Automatic) setting - Even while shooting in autofocus one may simply grasp the focusing ring to permit focus adjustments manually. The very next time the shutter is tapped it goes back to the AF mode, and any time you grasp the ring you're quickly in manual mode. How good can it get?

ML- Meniscus Protective Lens
An arched meniscus protecting glass element is placed in front end of the optical lens to diminish ghosting by diffusing illumination re-reflected back from the sensor or film plane and the protection glass. By employing a meniscus protecting lens make certain of a bright image with minimum ghosting Nikon has customarily integrated their optical and mechanical lenses and carefully put into practice to thwart internal reflections, and the meniscus elements succeed in curtailing ghosting that can happen when reflected illumination off a cameraís digital image sensor travels back up the barrel of a lens and reflects off a flat plain protective glass element.

A lens modified for shooting close-ups which encompasses a some sort of focusing mount to expand to 1:2 (for manual focus) or 1:1 (for autofocus) reproduction ratio. all 200mm lenses encompass IF; shorter length lenses either feature a longer helicoid (for a manual focus lens) or a combination of helicoid mixed with IF (AF). The Micro lenses have the capacity to reproduction high ratios, characteristically 1:2 or 1:1, to shoot macro.

N-Nano Crystal Coat
Nano Crystal Coat consist of an antireflective coat that stemmed from the cultivation of Nikon NSR-series (Step and Repeat type) semiconductor fabricating devices. It virtually eradicates internal lens element manifestations throughout a wide variety of wavelengths, which is specifically effectual in minimizing ghost and flare atypical to an ultra-wide-angle lens. Nano Crystal Coat uses multiple layers of extra-low refractive index coatings, and includes ultra-fine crystallized fragment of nano size (a single nanometer is equal to one millionth of a single mm). A world first was scored by Nikon with pride by utilizing this technology for coating a wide variety of consumer optical lenses

NIC - Nikon Integrated Coating. In past years, light reflecting off of specific lens elements including the glass itself absorbing light caused a massive amount of problems, including ghosting, poor contrast, flare, and distorted color rendition. n the early 1970's as various camera manufactures' started applying anti-reflective microscopically thin multiple layers of material to lens elements immense progress was made

However, unlike other companies who willy niilly apply the identical number of lens coatings to every element irrespective of its nature or the glass employed, the Nikon multilayer coating procedure is incorporated into the engineering of a particular lens. Only the correct amount of coatings are put on each lens element to match the type of lens and the glass used which is done inside a vacuum chamber.

The results are remarkable increases in actual image contrast and light transmission plus a corresponding decrease in flare created by internal reflections. However more important uniform color stability from one lens to another is accomplished throughout the entire Nikon Series . Now, (NIC) is a complicated procedure, but then optical superiority demands nothing less.

PGM - An aspherical lens features a curved surface which is non-spherical but is able to fix aberrations. A special form of aspherical lens especially superior from a practical use performance point of view is a molded-glass lens, or at Nikon called a Precision Glass Mold lens.

RD- Rounded Diaphragm
Soft-focus images of point light resources create accepted polygonal shapes that mirror the form of the cavity produced by the diaphragm blades. The rounded diaphragm employs blades designed to produce a circular style opening for an added lovely soft-focus result

RF - Rear Focusing
Nikonís Rear Focus system divides all lens elements into express lens groups, allowing only the back lens group to move for focus purposes. This arrangement allows auto-focusing functions to be smoother and quicker. Rear focusing lens acquires focus by adjusting the rear elements; quite similar to IF

SIC SIC - Nikon Super Integrated Coating
Nikon uses an elite multilayer lens coating to augment the operation of its lens elements which also helps diminish ghosting and flare to minute levels. Nikon Super Integrated Coat also accomplishes several purposes, including reduced reflection in the broader wavelength ranges including exceptional color calculations and reproduction. NIC is particularly effective for lenses employing a large amount of elements, like the Nikon Zoom lenses. In addition, Nikon's multilayer coating procedure is customized for each individual lens design. The specific number of coatings that are added to every lens element is precisely formulated to complement the lens style and the type of glass employed and also to maintain the consistent color balance that epitomizes Nikon lenses. The effects are lenses that have loftier levels than others in the camera lens industry

SWM- Silent Wave Motor
Nikon AF-S engineering is yet one more rationale why professional photographers like Nikon telephoto optical lenses. NIKKOR AF-S lenses feature SWM which transfers "traveling waves" into a form rotational power to focus the optical elements. This facilitates extremely accurate, super quiet, high-speed auto-focusing.. The Silent Wave Motor, an ultrasonic piezo mechanism not unlike Canon's USM by noiselessly moving things. The silent lens focus is convenient for spy photography and for shy pet and wildlife photography. .

VR - Vibration Reduction
Normal mode Employs a moving optical assembly to minimize the effects of photographic camera shake. There are some VR lenses which also use Active Mode which provides for a panning mode by distinguish horizontal lens movement and reducing only vertical vibrations. Vibration Reduction (VR) is optimized specifically for each Nikon VR lens and allows handheld shooting by as much as 3 shutter speeds less than otherwise could be possible and assuring sensationally sharper images.

VR II system
Provides the equivalent of employing a 4 stops faster shutter speed This second generation VR is known as VR†II, that was engineered to provide an additional 1-stop improvement over the initial VR, although lenses offering this function are still labeled simply "VR." This optical VR structure also adds stabilization to the viewfinder image allowing more accurate autofocus composing and framing to provide ideal low light shooting conditions without using a tripod.

Tripod Detection Mode - A function of select NIkon VR lenses, Tripod Detection reduces shutter releas vibration automatically when the camera tripod mounted

Zoom Lock / Focus Lock Switch - Lets photographers fasten down the lens barrel to its shortest length, eliminating any gravitational consequence that might let the barrel creep downward during transport.