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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
94 views

Difference between luminance and brightness [duplicate]

What is the difference between Luminance and Brigthness? If there is any...
19
votes
7answers
5k views

What makes a camera “professional” vs. amateur/hobbyist?

I will be attending a music festival (Lollapalooza) this weekend, and according to the site's FAQ page, attendees are not allowed to bring in "professional" recording equipment. From the site: ...
10
votes
4answers
25k views

What is USM, and what are its pros and cons?

My Canon lenses have the designation USM on them, which I assume is for the same reason that they say "Ultrasonic". What does this mean, and why or why do I not want it?
48
votes
5answers
12k views

What is “angle of view” in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

What is “100% crop?”

I use the term "100% crop" to mean a portion of a picture that has been cropped but not resized, but I have also seen some confusion around that term. Is there an accepted definition for "100% ...
3
votes
2answers
311 views

If it's not a 100% crop, what is it? [duplicate]

I've been reading a camera review which shows a picture with a tiny rectangle highlighted. It then shows that rectangle expanded to the same size as the original picture so that one can see the ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
0
votes
1answer
256 views

What does “OS” mean on a Sigma lens? [duplicate]

I want to buy a Sigma 180mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro OS HSM Sigma. What does EX mean? What does DG mean? What does OS mean? What does HSM mean?
43
votes
8answers
21k views

What does “expanded ISO” mean?

The ISO specification for the Canon EOS 7D reads as follows: High ISO For handheld shooting in low light, the EOS 7D offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. Expandable to ISO 12800, for low light ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the difference between colour space and bit depth?

I know that there are different types of colour space and that sRGB is the most common. Bit depth defines the variations of a colour channel, where (I think) 8 and/or 16 bits are the most common. ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the name of this ruler for Photogrammetry? Where to find similiar ones?

i want to measure something in a picture on a plane. To adjust the picture after shooting it e.g. to do lens correction and de-skewing I want to use a calibration ruler as attached. What is the ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does every digital camera save photos in a directory called DCIM?

It seems like every digital camera that I have ever used creates a folder called DCIM on its removable storage to save photographs into. Can anyone tell me what this name (DCIM) stands for (if ...
3
votes
3answers
653 views

Is there a term for “not portrait” photos?

My photos rarely have people (faces) in them. Is there a term for such photography?
4
votes
2answers
284 views

What's the proper name for the eye viewfinder?

I can use the screen as a viewfinder or the smaller, eye viewfinder on most cameras. Is there a proper name for the eye viewfinder?
2
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the relationship of aperture, focal length, and ISO in a SLR?

I was using Nikon digital camera, and recently bought a Canon 550D. I am totally new to SLR. I am not familiar with SLR terms: Aperture, focal length and ISO, and their relation to one another. What ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

What is “micro contrast” and how is it different from regular contrast?

What is micro contrast, and why is it important? How is it different than regular contrast? Matt Grum mentioned it in his answer about larger-format cameras: There are other advantages to medium ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

What is the name for the type of photography where the subject is close-up?

I believe there is a name for this particular type of photography where the subject is close-up such as the below examples:- I'm trying to search for photography like this on the web but unsure ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

about luminance and illuminance: what is the difference? [duplicate]

First of all, let me say that english is not my first language, so please excuse any mistakes that you could meet from here on out. I read several articles and explanations about luminance and ...
0
votes
4answers
137 views

What is a standard kit lens?

I know what a kit lens is, but I am wondering what a standard kit lens is. There is a post for what a kit lens is, but I couldn't find a post on standard kit lenses. Standard or normal, in general, is ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean for light to be soft or hard?

I've heard of "soft lighting" and "hard lighting". What do these mean? How can I control how soft a light is?
16
votes
2answers
10k views

What is a kicker?

In lighting, what is a kicker and when should I use it? (And is it any different from hair light?)
1
vote
1answer
197 views

What do you call a photo session that involves youth & erotica?

I'm not really sure how to ask this question, so I'll just explain what my potential client says they want. I have potential female clients that want to have pictures taken of them partially (maybe ...
8
votes
3answers
811 views

What is a kit lens?

I am new to photography and am looking to purchase my first DSLR or mirrorless camera. While reading Buying a digital SLR on Digital Photography Review the author keeps referring to the camera's kit ...
13
votes
1answer
464 views

What is lomography?

I've been seeing some buzz about lomography lately. I've been trying to understand what it is and how it is different from photography. Most refer to it as 'experimental analogue film photography'. Is ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

What is “north light”, and how can I use it in my photographs?

I've heard that some painters favored "north light". I suppose that this is light coming from the north, but what is so special about it? If I live somewhere where the literal north light is blocked ...
2
votes
3answers
144 views

What is the part of the tripod head which attaches to the quick-release plate called, so I can find replacements/alternatives?

I want to replace this with something less prone to error, but I'm having trouble searching for it and not everything else related to tripods. This is the part that attaches the quick release plate ...
33
votes
5answers
10k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
2
votes
2answers
242 views

What is the name of the part that goes between a camera strap and eyelet?

What is the name of the part that goes between a camera strap and eyelet? Sometimes camera-straps fits directly onto an eyelet which is fixed on the camera body. On some cameras though, there is a ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What type of software is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

I have heard or thought of many terms for what Lightroom is such as image management, digital asset management, photo editing software, and the list goes on and on. Does this package or type of ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

What is meant by 'centering quality'?

I'm reading lens reviews and I have encountered the term 'centering quality' a few times (e.g. http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/720-sony50f18nex?start=1). What does this term mean? What are the ...
-1
votes
0answers
27 views

What is Exposure value [duplicate]

can you guys help me with understanding the basics about what is Exposure value and how to use that for better photography?
3
votes
1answer
179 views

What is it called when you intentionally expose a film negative during development?

Back in the film days, there was technique of exposing a negative, while it was being developed, which distorted the image, sometime very strikingly. This manipulation had a name, which I cannot ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

What is the purpose of the small meter behind window on a lens?

I'll buy a zoom lens for my Nikon D5100 Either the 55-300 VR or the 70-300 VR But on the site I saw this meter (sorry, I don't know the name of this meter) on the Nikon 70-300 VR lens and have seen ...
8
votes
2answers
225 views
0
votes
1answer
806 views

How is f-stop a measure of dynamic range?

As far as I have read f-stop is a measure of the aperture. This affects the amount of area in the foreground and background which is in focus. While having a look at the dynamic ranges of cameras I ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a “small” aperture?

It happens a lot. People refer to the aperture being small (or big!). By default does this imply a small opening of the iris (literal aperture), or a small f-value (how the aperture is measured, for ...
48
votes
4answers
4k views

What exactly determines depth of field?

There are several questions here about the definition of depth of field, about focal length, and about subject distance. And of course there's the basic how does aperture affect my photographs. And ...
2
votes
4answers
835 views

What is “Dragging the Shutter”?

Ive heard this term of "dragging the shutter" and was wondering what it means and why would i use it Can anyone answer this?
0
votes
2answers
311 views

How is zoom measured? [duplicate]

Zoom meaning the ability to make something distant appear closer. Consumer cameras are sold with a maximum zoom which is supposed to define how much closer. For example a camera might be 40x zoom, ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is sharpness vs. clarity in photo editing software?

I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop Pro for past 7 months. For all my photos, I used to increase the sharpness using the options available. I now see another option called clarity, and when I ...
8
votes
2answers
804 views

Is there a DSLR fixed lens camera?

A DSLR by definition does not tell us if the camera has a mount for interchangeable lenses. The lens of a DSLR could be a fixed lens, right? Is there, or was there ever, such a camera? If not, why ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Is there a word for the point where the optical axis meets the ground plane in a scene?

In aerial photography, or photography in general: Is there a term for the point where the optical axis intersects the ground plane( scene)?
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the types of aperture blades?

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L USM IS lens has rounded aperture blades. What other types of aperture blades are there, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them? Is the aperture ...
1
vote
2answers
327 views

How does photography (as opposed to physics) define “focal-plane”?

This wikipedia article concerning focal-plane shutters opens with the following statement (bold emphasis added by myself): In camera design, a focal-plane shutter (FPS) is a type of photographic ...
17
votes
5answers
780 views

What is an ultra-wide lens?

What is the point at which a lens is considered "ultra-wide angle" vs just wide angle?
3
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the difference between Nikkor D type and G type lenses?

I recently bought a Nikon D5100. And along with this camera, I got the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens as kit. It's "G" type lens, right? One of my friend suggested to buy a 50mm f/1.8D ...
9
votes
4answers
610 views

What is the technical name for a zoom lens which has a fixed maximum aperture?

What is the technical name for a lens which has the same maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is EV, when used as an absoute measurement?

I know there is already a question about EV, but it doens't quite answer my question. I understand EV as a relative measurement, 1 EV being one stop (doubling or halving the amount of light), but what ...
32
votes
3answers
205k views

What does STM mean on a Canon lens?

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 has a designation of STM on the lens. What does this mean? What are the advantages of having it and does it replace an older technology? We have a terminology thread that ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the relationship between “macro” and “telephoto” lenses? [duplicate]

Can anyone explain the difference between "macro" and "telephoto"? I know that a macro lens will give you a magnification of 1:1 but how does it differ from a telephoto lens?