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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

137
votes
3answers
59k views

What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean?

Then looking at a lens name there is a lot of acronyms in the name describing it's features (often specific to the manufacturer). Examples, Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon ...
9
votes
4answers
18k views

Are 2 megapixels enough for HD resolution pictures?

HD pictures has 1920x1080 = 2073600 pixels = 2025 kilopixel = 1.98 megapixel. Does this mean that we can take HD pictures with a 2 MP camera? If not, why not?
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How to read ND filter description?

When I search on Amazon for eg. neutral density 67mm, I get long list of different filters. Some of them are marked like: ND2, ND4, ND8 etc. I'm guessing this means 2-, 4- or 8-stops filter, am I ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

What is it called when a camera generates files with more megapixels than the actual sensor provides?

I found in many Android devices that the "real array size", which is the actual pixel count of the camera sensor, is lower than the 4:3 Max picture the user can take. For example: Sensor Array = 1616 ...
36
votes
8answers
52k views

What is aperture, and how does it affect my photographs?

How does aperture affect my photographs? Why should I care about the aperture with which a photo was taken?
2
votes
1answer
262 views

Is there a technique for combining multiple images to create a sharper result?

I've been experimenting with photogrammetry for a while, and the main hurdle I keep tripping over is the clarity (lack thereof) of my images. Rather than spend a lot of money on a better camera, I'm ...
10
votes
3answers
17k 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?
12
votes
6answers
25k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

What makes the Foveon X3 a “direct” image sensor?

In marketing materials mentioning the Foveon X3 sensor, I usually see it referred to as the "Foveon X3 direct image sensor" (example): I understand how the Foveon X3 sensor works (stacked ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it called “macrofocus” and not “microfocus”?

Typically, when referring to an image of a small object, or just something small, the prefix 'micro' is used. For instance, a tool to look at tiny objects in clear focus is a microscope. A device that ...
50
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
602 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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
5answers
3k 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

What are some other terms for a 3/4 shot?

I know it as the American shot or American wide, but what are some other names?
22
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

How are “Tele Photography” and “Candid Photography” different for a wedding?

For wedding functions, are "tele photography" and "candid photography" the same? If not, what are all the similarities and dissimilarities?
2
votes
0answers
84 views

What is this plastic ring called on a tripod and can I get a replacement?

I have a Hama Compact Traveller Tripod in which the plastic ring that inserts where the tripod head and metal tube goes is broken. Is it possible to get a replacement for this as I do not wish to ...
6
votes
2answers
410 views

Lenses and Filters: what do the terms Coating, Multi-Coating and Nano-Coating mean?

I see the word "Coating" in different questions (related to lenses and filters). What are Coating, Multi-Coating, and Nano-Coating?
102
votes
7answers
8k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a parfocal lens and how beneficial is it to photography?

I heard someone say that after using a parfocal lens for the first time, they would never switch back. What is a parfocal lens, how is it different from any other lens, and what are the advantages and ...
32
votes
9answers
7k views

Does a photographer take pictures or make pictures?

Most people speak of the process of photography as taking pictures. However, many serious photographers instead refer to making pictures. One might be inclined to dismiss this as jargon, but there's ...
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

How much zoom does a lens need to have before we call it a superzoom lens?

I've read that superzoom lenses have poor image quality, but how much zoom does a lens need to have before we call it a superzoom lens? 3x is certainly not a superzoom, while 10x probably is. ...
1
vote
0answers
138 views

What is a “pseudo mannequin”?

I am applying for a clothing store at Amazon and they are telling me pictures cannot be on a mannequin or a ghost mannequin, rather they should be on a real model or a pseudo mannequin. What is the ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
391 views

Is there a standard vocabulary for posing?

I've been looking for a definitive catalog of named poses. Catalogs consisting mainly of unlabeled photos are easy to come by. "1,001 Poses for the Professional Photographer," kind of thing. This ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

What is the difference between image processing and image editing?

I've been facing a few questions in my mind about the terms image processing and image editing. What is the difference?
2
votes
4answers
701 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
456 views

How does physical aperture size relate to f/stop?

There are two lenses on the market I am comparing AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED If I use the formula for calculating apertures of both the lenses I will use ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

What's the generic term for portable flashes (Speedlites, Speedlights etc)?

What's the generic term for portable flashes (Speedlites, Speedlights etc) to distinguish them from studio strobes and alike? Is it simply speedlight/speedlite or has that just become a generic ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is color temperature and how does it affect my photography?

I have seen color temperature mentioned with regard to white balance, mixing different sources of light, etc., but I haven't come across a clear explanation of what it means to talk about the ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views
14
votes
5answers
13k 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?
5
votes
1answer
264 views

What is the difference between a step-up and a step-down ring?

What is the difference between a step-up and a step-down ring? I want to put a large diameter filter on a small diameter lens. Do I need a step-up ring or a step-down one?
1
vote
3answers
107 views

What is it called when two images from different locations are blended seamlessly into one?

I have compiled two images to become one. The one image is from Nova Scotia and the other in Utah. I placed the Utah image on top of the top half of the image from Nova Scotia and it looks like it's ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the distinction between a professional and amateur photographer?

I describe myself as an amateur photographer to other photographers and avoid using qualifiers like "pro" or "amateur" when talking to clients, but after reading a number of articles in Rangefinder ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What to label digital prints made from scanned negatives in an exhibit?

I have my first exhibit coming up but I am not sure about how to properly label my photographs. All the pictures were taken with 35 mm film, then the negatives were scanned and the images were ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Is resolution the same thing as active pixel count?

If you have a camera with resolution Y x X, then is active pixel count always the product of the resolution? Are they saying essentially the same thing?
7
votes
3answers
3k 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?
0
votes
4answers
170 views

What is the photography term for blurred / dragged lights?

What is the photography term for blurred / dragged lights? Hare are two quick examples from my phone: Would this be considered bokeh, or does a term even exist for this?
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Why can I see beyond sRGB in CIE Chromatic Diagram

According to CIE 1931 color space chart, the sRGB gamut is what's inside the triangle: As you can see from the diagram, blue is shown outside the sRGB gamut (at about 460 nm wavelength). Knowing ...
19
votes
5answers
14k views

What is dynamic range and how is it important in photography?

Wikipedia says that the dynamic range is the "ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity". Ok, I get that. I suppose that's why HDR photos have a "high dynamic ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

What does Time for Print (TFP) mean in practice?

I've seen the cut and dried version of what Time for Print (also called 'Trade for Print' by many) means on Wikipedia. I was wondering what it is and what it means for the photographer and model ...
9
votes
5answers
398 views

How to identify whether the available light is too harsh or too soft?

When I go out in a park what factors should I consider to determine whether the present light is too harsh or too soft?
13
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you pronounce “bokeh”?

I've had a lot of trouble working out how to pronounce "bokeh". Amusingly enough, I've thus far been unable to get any of the small handful of photographer friends I have to ever say it out loud, ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What exactly is focal length when there is also flange focal distance?

If focal length is the measure between the rear element and the sensor then how can you have different flange focal distances? Is the focal length not literally the measure between the rear element ...
7
votes
8answers
4k views

How many pixels in a megapixel?

I am trying to find out the definition of a megapixel? Some references on the web place it at 1 million pixels, and other places say it is equal to 2^20 = 1,048,576 pixels.