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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a Nikon “Micro” lens and a “Macro” lens?

When it comes to macro photography and Nikon, what is the difference between a Micro and a Macro [Nikkor] lens? Is the answer as simple as to say that Nikon uses Micro in its nomenclature for its ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What do “Frontfocus” and “Backfocus” mean?

I've read those terms in a couple of lens reviews, and not even Wikipedia has an article about it. So my questions are: What is back/frontfocus? What causes back/frontfocus? Is there any preventive ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

What do the lens parameter abbreviations mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean? Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II What does EF, II mean? Sigma 10mm/F2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM compatibil ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What is exposure compensation?

What does exposure compensation do? If I take a photo with a given shutter speed, aperature, and ISO, and then take the same shot with +1EV or -1EV, what is actually happening? Is this just a gain ...
12
votes
1answer
513 views

What's it called when two photographs are printed on triangles so you see a different one from different angles?

This is kinda hard to explain, but I've seen it several places before. I'm looking for a special way that two photographs are printed — they're printed so you from each angle can see just one of the ...
1
vote
5answers
337 views

How do I navigate the particular camera model number structure of manufacturers?

How can I tell whether I'm going up or stepping down in model quality based on the model of camera I'm considering? With the more recent consumer Nikons, this is relatively simple because "Bigger ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What does the magnification ratio number mean on a macro lens?

I'm looking for a macro lens. I have 28-105mm Nikkor which gives me "1:2 Magnification Ratio" (whatever that means). I found another lens, Tamron 90mm Macro, which has magnification ratio of 1:1. ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What does small depth of field mean?

Can anyone clarify for me the various terms used to describe depth of field? There are so many it's hard without a photo dictionary to relate in my head what's actually being said to me about the ...
19
votes
3answers
12k views

What does TTL mean?

I'm new to photography and I see the term TTL all over the place. What does it mean? And how do I use it to make my pictures better?
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What is decentering?

I have heard of a condition in imperfect lenses known as "decentering". What is decentering? When a lens is decentered, what exactly is wrong with the optical elements? What are its symptoms and ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the difference between a telephoto lens and a zoom lens?

Looking at the product page for Nikon lenses, I notice a distinction between telephoto lens and zoom lens. What is the difference between the two? Why would I want one over the other? I wiki'd ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

What does “long exposure” mean?

Very often, when people are talking about photography, they use the expression "long exposure". Here's a quote from a recent answer: A tripod and long exposure were required for this shot. Where ...
16
votes
1answer
445 views

Why are photographic gels called “gels”?

This question has been bugging me for a while, as I've been digging through filters on Adorama and B&H and various other sites for days now. I keep seeing numerous types of filters often tagged as ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are effective pixels greater than the actual resolution?

This page compares Canon EOS 550D and Canon EOS 500D cameras and mentions 18.7 million effective pixels for 550D. However the best resolution possible using this camera is 5184 * 3456 = ...
22
votes
5answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
221 views

What is the Term for “Positional Photography”?

I’m wondering if there is a term for the kind of photos where the subject and the background together form an optical illusion that they are connected. The classic example is a photo of a person ...
0
votes
2answers
191 views

Is there a term for the people who always compliment your work? [closed]

I'm not talking about chimping in particular. I'm talking about how some photographers will post their photos only to look for compliments and they'll show it to people who usually just tell them ...
5
votes
1answer
609 views

Choosing a Gitzo Tripod head - deciphering series, model #, etc

I recently purchased a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod, the GT0541. It is a Series 0 (not really sure what that means), 4 section with ground-lock capability. The G-Lock capability has been really nice for ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “stopped down”?

Was reading this answer (emphasis mine): It also tells us that the lens was stopped down, as if it were wide open there would be no corners to cause diffraction, regardless of the number of ...
10
votes
4answers
839 views

Do any other manufacturers other than Canon use the terms Av and Tv?

Canon uses "Av" (aperture variable) for the automatic exposure mode that entails the user choosing the aperture and the camera body choosing the shutter speed. This mode is called "A" by Nikon, and I ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Lens “family” names - what do they mean and should I care?

Some lens manufacturers have special names for their lens designs/families. Just to name a few: Leica - Summar/Summarit/Summilux, Elmar/Elmarit, Noctilux Carl Zeiss - Planar, Tessar, Sonnar, ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What is background compression?

What does the term "background compression" mean? How would you tell you're achieving it, and how would you achieve it? Ideally, the right answer would also explain how this is related to ...
13
votes
6answers
823 views

Why is chimping a derogatory term?

Chimping - the act of reviewing the picture you just took on the camera's LCD, is used as a way to disparage shooters. I heard that chimping might refer to proudly showing off a shot after you taken ...