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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
265 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?
6
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
223 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?
7
votes
3answers
777 views

What are ED elements?

I find that some lenses are indicated with the letters "ED", referring to some special type of lens element. What are ED elements, and what advantages do they bring? Note that this question isn't ...
7
votes
2answers
585 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
856 views

What is “exposure safety shift”?

I ran into the term "exposure safety shift" in this answer. What is exposure safety shift, and what is its intended purpose?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

What is “infinity focus”?

I have been reading a bit about astrophotography and the term infinity focus keeps coming up. What is infinity focus and how do you set the camera to infinity focus?
6
votes
3answers
200 views

Why is the amount of light a lens lets in called the 'lens speed'?

It seems very counter intuitive that the amount of light let in by a lens is referred to as the lens speed. This term confused me for a while because I couldn't logically see how a speed would be ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the quantity of elements and blades in a lens affect the optics?

I am trying to get a greater understanding of how lenses work. Basically I bought this lens, the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6: The construction has really fascinated me. 14 Elements in 10 Groups?! What ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

What does “Tone” mean?

I hear "Tone", "Tonal scale/range" in the context of photography. What does it actually mean?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “R” mean in Fujifilm's XF Fujinon lens names?

Fujifilm currently makes three lenses for their new X-Pro1 mirrorless camera system: Fujinon XF18mmF2 R Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R Fujinon XF60mmF2.4 R Macro "Fujinon" is Fujifilm's lens division. The ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “Non-Mfg Zoom Lens” mean?

When I was surfing keh I found "Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses" and "Non-Mfg Fixed Focal Length Lenses"? What is the meaning of "Non-Mfg"?
2
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
478 views

How to figure out whether the colours in a photo are warm or cool, and how does that matter?

On 1x some people have said that this picture has warm colours. I wish to understand what qualifies to be a warm colour, cool colour, and how does that matter? Warm means bright? and Cool means ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

What is T-number / T-stop?

Usually, when discussing aperture of a lens, F-stop and F-number are used for quantifying. But some photographers, and especially videographers, also mention T-stop. The concept and numbering used ...
5
votes
2answers
347 views

How is the term Gaussian blur used?

Is the term Gaussian blur used strictly in post-production, or can it also be used as a term for an out-of-focus area in your image when you-re taking the picture? I'm pretty sure that bokeh is used ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the “visual center” of an image?

I've heard that one of the tricks designers use for a more effective result is placing an object in the visual center. Where is the visual center in an image, why is it important, and how could it be ...
25
votes
2answers
3k 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?
0
votes
1answer
133 views

If shoot pictures in 10.0 mode or 12.0 what is quality?

If my camera is shooting in 10.0 or 12.0...what will my megapixels be? I am a beginner and I know I need them to be at least 1600x1200 for my purpose.
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “viewfinder magnification” mean?

Viewfinders (both optical and electronic) typically come with two stats: magnification and coverage. The latter measuring how much of the actual exposed area (film or sensor) one sees. But what is ...
2
votes
3answers
337 views

Are these Nikon 16-85mm lenses actually the same?

I just ordered the D7000 with three lenses, one of them was the Nikon AF 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 DX G AF-S ED. Now I found that they sell a package "D7000 with 16-85mm, AFS G VR" for $100 less. I can undo ...
4
votes
1answer
528 views

What is an auto-focus motor?

I recently bought a Canon 550D, and I read it has an auto-focus motor, which not all cameras possess. I'd like to know what it is, and what I can do to keep it running smoothly; AFAIK the manual ...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

What does “Signing off attribution” mean?

I'm about to sell a range of images to a client and he asks me for a document to "sign off attribution". What does this mean and where can I find sample contracts?
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
128 views

Is it ever correct to describe a flash diffuser as opaque?

I've seen product listings online for flash diffusers where they are described as opaque. Is this an incorrect description? Should it be semi-opaque or is that assumed? How does opaque make sense in ...
9
votes
1answer
536 views

What does it mean to “mount” slide film for processing?

I just finished my first roll of a 35mm slide film and it is time to get it processed. I checked few places online and the options are to get them processed "mounted" or "unmounted". So what do ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the EV scale?

I have seen an "EV" (exposure value) scale that's sometimes used to express a camera's exposure settings, or scene brightness. How exactly does this scale work?
2
votes
1answer
533 views

What is the “Dust-Off Reference Photo” on a Nikon DSLR?

I have seen this in my D700 menu and just saw it again on Nikon's tech sheet for the new D4. Is this the same tech that Minolta is using to clean their sensor of dust or is it something else? How does ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a normal lens?

I've heard people call 50mm lenses "normal lenses". For a lens to be considered normal, does it have to be exactly 50mm or is there some leeway? Does the normal focal length depend on crop factor of ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

What is the meaning of “cropped sensor”?

What is the meaning of the term "cropped sensor"?
16
votes
4answers
5k 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% ...
2
votes
4answers
311 views

What do you call the symbols that you can see on the edges when you look into your camera viewer?

I'm talking about the tiny and sometimes quite useful symbols/indicators for this: http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK10D/Images/Features/viewfinderview.gif is there a general name for the ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the differences between a bridge camera and a D/SLR?

What are the differences between a bridge camera and a D/SLR?
6
votes
1answer
397 views

What does “distortion <XX%” mean in lens specs?

I'm going to buy a lens and I would like to understand what "distortion <XX%" means. It's a vari-focal 10-60mm lens, and mentions distortion <12-1%. According to my understanding, at 10mm focal ...
2
votes
2answers
278 views

How is this lighting and colouring effect achieved?

A few days ago, I saw this picture linked here on 500px and was wondering how the coloring technique is called. On a first glance, it looks like a high key shot, but it is unusual as it has no light ...
3
votes
3answers
511 views

Do Professional and Semi professional cameras have “steadyshot” technology?

Do professional and semi professional cameras have good optical image stabilization, sometimes called steady shot?
0
votes
1answer
578 views

What does “pop & drag” mean in low light photography?

I came cross this term "Pop & Drag" being used in low light setting. What does that mean? Is it the same as term as "dragging the shutter"? Can anyone please show some examples of "Pop & ...
8
votes
4answers
553 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?
7
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the definition of portrait photography?

Can we talk about a portrait photograph if, let's say, a grandmother and her 3-year-old grandchild are in the picture? Or, must it be only one person in the photograph?
0
votes
2answers
12k views

What is the difference between DX format and FX format lenses, and which to choose for what purpose?

http://www.nikon.co.in/products.php?categoryid=1011 What is the difference between DX format and FX format lenses, and which to choose for what purpose? What are the pros and cons of both?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of single focal length?

The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is described as a single focal length lens: http://www.nikon.co.in/products.php?categoryid=1014. What does that mean? What are its disadvantages as compared to ...
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
3answers
8k views

What does “the telephoto end” and “the wide angle end” of a zoom lens mean?

In the Canon Rebel T3i Manual, page 59, it's mentioned that "If you have a zoom lens, use the telephoto end to fill the frame with the subject from the waist up." Same note on page 61 and another one ...
10
votes
1answer
443 views

Is there a name for the type of portrait composition where the subject is looking out of the frame?

I'm wondering if there's a specific term to describe a portrait where the main subject is looking at something outside the frame that we (the viewer) can't see. I like it as a composition technique: I ...
10
votes
4answers
15k 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?
4
votes
1answer
498 views

Does the liquid effect in these photographs have a specific name?

I aspire to become a fashion and wildlife photographer, and I am starting out in that mission today. Lucky me, and the first photographer whose works I came across is Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz. His ...