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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a lambda print (RA-4) and a color inkjet print?

I can't seem to find any good information about the differences between the lambda printing process (on RA-4 paper, also known as a C-prints or chromogenic color prints) and inkjet printing (also ...
37
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What is CLA service?

I've seen the term used in used lens listings, e.g "recently CLA'd". I have a few questions, but I think they're related enough to only warrant one post: What does CLA stand for, and what is it? ...
11
votes
4answers
841 views

Why is sensor sensitivity called “ISO”?

I was curious to know how the term "ISO" was coined for referring the image sensor's sensitivity. Is there any reason or circumstance that contributed for terming "ISO"? Also, does ISO has a literal ...
0
votes
1answer
596 views

What does ISO stand for? [duplicate]

I've recently been learning how to use a camera, and was wondering what ISO stood for?
9
votes
3answers
12k views

What is flat light and how to counter that?

I have often heard people saying that the light in the picture X is appearing "flat". I want to understand what exactly does that mean, and what are the possible ways to counter that?
7
votes
2answers
211 views

What does it mean to excite aliases?

I recently came across the phrase 'excited aliases.' The phrase seems to be related to lens sharpness in some way. While a web search turns up the phrase a few times, I am unable to locate a decent ...
12
votes
6answers
912 views

What makes “fine art” fine art?

I've always been shy to refer to any of my work as "fine art"... preferring instead to call it "still life". But I recently had an interesting conversation with an Art History major who said that my ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a “slave flash” and “master flash”?

My Nissin Di866 II flashgun supports operation in both "slave flash" and "master flash" mode. The former I know needs to be used with a Nikon DSLR's "Flash Commmander" mode. What's the latter mode? ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a vertorama and is it really different from a panorama?

Is "vertorama" a real photography term, or is it simply something that people use to describe a vertical panorama? I never thought that panorama was limited to horizontal landscape oriented images, ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the meaning of W and T on a camera's zoom buttons?

On every conventional digital camera (excluding the models with detachable lenses), there are buttons to zoom in and out with W side and T side. When you press W, the lens zooms out. The lens zooms ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Flat Field Focus” mean?

Looking at lenses, specifically sigma macro lenses, I noticed that it had a ""Flat Field" front lens element". What does this mean? And how is it different to the norm?
8
votes
3answers
793 views

How can a 24-70mm and a 10-22mm both be “wide angle” lenses?

I've been looking at a 10-22mm lens for my Canon T2i. I've also come across some other "wide angle" lenses, like the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8. I don't understand how a wide angle lens can have such high ...
3
votes
2answers
365 views

Nikon Lenses: what is the difference between Micro/Macro vs non-Micro/Macro of the same focal length? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a macro lens? What is the difference between a Nikon “Micro” lens and a “Macro” lens? I know what macro photography is, but what makes a macro (or in Nikon's ...
1
vote
3answers
408 views

Is the angle of view actually different on APS-C?

A 50mm prime lens, whether APS-C or Full-frame is designed around the 35mm format. As such, is the angle of view actually different on a DX/APS-C crop sensor or are we just seeing less of the full ...
11
votes
2answers
600 views

What does the term “sneaker zoom” mean?

I saw the term used when describing the Canon 85mm f/1.8. What do they mean?
4
votes
2answers
338 views

What does the term “saturation luminance” mean in the definition of dynamic range?

The concept behind the dynamic range definition given by ISO 15739 is based on the ratio of the maximum luminance that receives a unique coded representation (the "saturation" luminance) to the lowest ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Retrofocus lens? What's that?

I saw that in Why do some people prefer 50mm to 35mm prime lenses? , in @MattGrum's answer: ... The 50mm is a simpler design compared to the retrofocus 35mm ... What's retrofocus?
23
votes
2answers
4k views

What do Hue, Chroma, Saturation, Value, Tones, Tints, Shade, etc. mean?

I've read several online tutorials about color theory but I'm still confused about how to "visually" catch color concepts and use them efficiently. The only thing I seem to understand is "hue" which ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What does pixels per inch mean, exactly?

I have not found anything using Google that actually contains a definition of this term. Most of the sites tell me that it affects the image quality, or something similar, and that more is better. So ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

What does DPI mean?

What does DPI mean and how does it affect images displayed on screen versus printed?
6
votes
3answers
563 views

What do the measurements for colour depth mean?

Colour depth is often referred to as being X bits. What does this mean and how does it effect a photograph? What scale is used, i.e. is it linear, exponential, logarithmic, etc.?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What are screw drive lenses?

Are lenses known as screw drivers actually available?If so what are their features and why are they called so.Name some of the lens and their manufactures.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How does a fly-by-wire focusing lens work?

I have learnt that fly-by-wire focusing is an electrical manual focusing system. But how does this focusing method work? How do you manually focus with fly-by-wire? What is the scope of this ...
17
votes
4answers
12k views

What are shutter actuations?

I was just reading the question How many actuations are "too many actuations"? and trying to figure out what a shutter "actuation" actually is. The only thing I can guess is that it's the number of ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a point-and-shoot and a mirrorless?

Both point-and-shoot camera and mirrorless cameras seems to be mostly similar in the way they work. So, What are the differences between a point and shoot and a mirrorless camera? Is a mirrorless ...
32
votes
7answers
1k views

What is “Hyperfocal Distance”?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is DRI? And how does it differ from HDR?

I recently came across the term DRI meaning Dynamic Range Increase. What exactly is it and how does it differ from HDR or High Dynamic Range (or is it the same thing just different terminology?
5
votes
1answer
264 views

Why would a photographer do focus stacking?

Recently, I come across the term called Focus Stacking where you combine different pictures with different focus points. My question is, why do the focus stacking? Are there any benefits from the ...
1
vote
3answers
180 views

What are IS modes and what are their purposes?

After reading the answer by Bill to this question became curious about IS modes. So, What is basically IS mode? Does all lens comes with various IS modes? And what are various situations to use these ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

How does exposure fusion work?

I understand that "exposure fusion" is a method for combining different exposures into a single image. How exactly does it work, and how is it related to HDR?
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the 'Maximum Reproduction Ratio' of a lens?

A review of a Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens contains the following line It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm /7.9in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.4. So, as in the title, what is 'maximum ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

What is this “lines in the sky” effect called?

I see a lot of pictures with those "line" effects in the sky and I'm wondering how this technique is called (so I can google how it's done). http://500px.com/photo/3464783
6
votes
1answer
288 views

What is Coating?

I see the word "Coating" in different questions (related to lenses and filters). What is Coating, Multi-Coating, and Nano-Coating? Update: For Coating Definition see Matt's answer For ...
10
votes
1answer
928 views

What is a focusing screen?

I've seen a couple other questions such as this one talk about focusing screens. What is a focusing screen? Where is it located?
11
votes
4answers
809 views

What does 'Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens' mean?

In the specifications of Canon 550D, about the lens the following is mentioned LENS Lens Mount EF/EF-S Focal Length Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens Now this is really ...
25
votes
3answers
9k views

What does the number of elements and groups in a lens mean?

All lens specifications include a statement of how many elements the lens contains, and in how many groups, for example: Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300 mm 1:4,5-5,6G: 17 elements in 12 groups (two ...
8
votes
3answers
864 views

Image processing & editing: what is an “unmanipulated” image?

What is considered an "unmanipulated" image? As defined by photo.net: Unmanipulated a single uninterrupted exposure cropping to taste common adjustments to the entire image, e.g., ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is Aliasing and Anti-Aliasing?

What is Aliasing and Anti-Aliasing? Is it a bad thing to have in an image? If so how to avoid it? If you can describe your answer using examples then that would be great.
11
votes
2answers
859 views

What exactly is “base ISO” and how do I find what is base ISO on my camera?

If I understood correctly, base ISO is in full stop steps from the lowest possible ISO setting on my camera. For example if the lowest setting on my camera is ISO 100, than the following table would ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't comparisons of aperture take sensor size into account?

When one compares focal length, many times we use the 35mm equivalent length. A 50mm lens on an APS-C sensor camera(1.6x) would be a 80mm equiv. length on a full frame camera. But when we state the ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between a soft and sharp image?

I have seen several questions talking about images being soft or sharp. What is the difference? Is soft simply the opposite of sharp in this context, or is there something more to it? Sample images ...
0
votes
1answer
640 views

What is Canon's Super Spectra Coating?

In the Canon EF 25-105mm f/4 L USM IS lens specs, it says that the lens coating is "Super Spectra Coating". What is the Super Spectra Coating and how it differs from other types of coating?
7
votes
2answers
919 views

What does “lifted blacks” mean?

What does "lifted blacks" mean? How does it affect your image? How do I do it in Lightroom?
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Why do people say they like “art” and “photography”, instead of just “art”?

Always puzzle me to hear people list photography (in the context of it being art) and something different than art. Is there a reason for this historically?
40
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
696 views

What are the different categories of photography?

After reading some questions, I am getting lost with stage photography, curtain photography? etc.. I only know portrait, landscape, street, sports etc..is there a standard lingo somewhere?
4
votes
1answer
217 views

What are Medium Format and Large Format cameras?

What are they and what are they used for? And how are they different from regular SLR or DLSR cameras?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

What is focal length and how does it affect my photos?

What is focal-length? Are focal-length and zoom synonymous? How does the focal length of a photo affect it?
5
votes
2answers
555 views

What's the difference between a wide angle lens and a landscape lens?

Question pretty much says it all. Seems like when I look around people are asking "what's the best wide angle lens for landscape?", but on sites like LensHero they categorize wide angle and landscape ...