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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
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0answers
5 views

How does “Unity Gain ISO” differ from Native ISO?

Native iso is "the sensitivity you get without amplifying the analogue signal you get from the sensor". Unity gain ISO is "the ISO of the camera where the A/D converter digitizes 1 electron to 1 data ...
8
votes
3answers
21k views

What does “Tone” mean?

I hear "Tone", "Tonal scale/range" in the context of photography. What does it actually mean?
16
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
244 views

What is still life photography?

As the question says, what is still life photography? Are there any 'rules' as to what it can feature? i.e., what sort of subjects? Does it need to be 'artistic' or to have a particular style?
5
votes
3answers
686 views

Since it's not “focal length”, what is the term for the distance at which things are in focus?

I was under the impression that the “focal length” of a lens is the distance at which stuff appears in-focus. (E.g., perhaps I set the camera so that objects 3 meters away appear sharp, ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Are all fixed-lens cameras mirrorless?

As far as I can tell, consumer interchangeable-lens cameras are all categorized as single-lens reflex, rangefinder, or mirrorless. I feel like I never see these classifications used, though, for ...
54
votes
4answers
79k views

What does f-stop mean?

What does f-stop mean? Is it the same thing when people say "2 stops" for example?
153
votes
14answers
79k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
12k views

What do “Frontfocus” and “Backfocus” mean? [duplicate]

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
763 views

How can I explain focal length to someone who isn't into photography?

Context So my friends and family are curious about how far my lens can reach. I usually explain with focal length and show them a few pictures. Question Is there any easier way to explain what ...
16
votes
8answers
5k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “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
242 views

What is a “3/4” picture and what makes it 3/4?

I have seen 3/4 mentioned a lot but no one bothers to say what exactly is 3/4. I googled and got many portraits with people that angle their body to the camera, but that definition may include more ...
1
vote
1answer
532 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?
0
votes
4answers
75 views

Is there a list of technical terms for angles shots are taken at?

I'm dealing with digital product (packaged goods) photos, and the data I get includes descriptions like "front", "front side right angle", "front side left angle", "top", "right", "left", "bottom", ...
7
votes
1answer
594 views

What is Nano USM and how does it compare to an STM or USM lens?

The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM has a designation of Nano USM on the lens. What does this mean? What are the advantages of having it vs STM or USM? We have a terminology thread that usually ...
1
vote
2answers
712 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
34 views

Is there a term for the area that a lamp lights?

Is there a term for the area that a lamp lights up? As in, the headlights on a car are small, but the area that they illuminate is large. I understand that distance to a surface would also be a ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

What do panning, tilt, etc., mean in the context of camera movement?

Panning is along the yaw/vertical axis, right? Tilting is along the pitch/lateral axis, right? Dutch/rolling is along roll/longitudinal axis, right? But, in the context of movement, Panning is lateral ...
0
votes
1answer
867 views

Below which focal length are lenses considered to be wide angle?

Focal length is the only factor that decides whether a lens is described as being normal or wide angle. Below which focal length are lenses considered to be wide angle? Is this focal length the same ...
12
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
92 views

What category would pseudo-glamour photos go in? [closed]

These photos seems to be semi-sexual, but without the in-your-face feel that most glamour photography tends to have. As if they've been toned down in subject matter. It's not exactly fashion either, ...
1
vote
4answers
150 views

What is a “losee file format”?

I am wondering what a "losee file format is". I came across the term in my photography class book The exact question in the book is: Which of these file formats are considered losee? Does that ...
9
votes
3answers
882 views

What is the difference between “color” and “tones”? [duplicate]

I am working through the Teach Yourself Photoshop book. I opened up a NEF file in Adobe Camera Raw. In the text it says: By shooting in raw you capture more information about the colors and ...
114
votes
7answers
30k views

What is the “exposure triangle”?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
1
vote
1answer
73 views

What does “linearization” mean in RAW processing?

I would like to ask about the linearization in RAW processing. What does this term "linearization" mean in the theory of RAW-processing ?
0
votes
6answers
130 views

What kind of lens do I need to get more of the scene into the frame?

I apologize for my lack of photography terminology. I am a beginner who enjoys taking pictures of my infant, and I would like to improve greatly. With the winter here and doing all my pictures ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

What kind of microfibre cloth is the lens-wipe? [closed]

I wish to know what exactly is the microfibre cloth used to wipe lenses. How does one describe this material?
13
votes
4answers
44k 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
375 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
488 views

What is split toning?

What is split toning? Some questions that seem highly related to the strict definition and might fit into an answer include: Why is the technique used? Is it achieved differently for digital vs ...
16
votes
3answers
674 views

What is Chromatic Aberration?

What is Chromatic Aberration? Is it a physical part of the lens, or just an optical illusion?
15
votes
7answers
46k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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.
7
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

What is “hybrid AF”, and how does it compare to other autofocus technologies?

I've heard of some new cameras — particularly mirrorless cameras — with a feature called "hybrid autofocus". What does this mean, and how does it relate to the traditional approaches of contrast and ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views
39
votes
8answers
81k 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?
18
votes
2answers
12k 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
8answers
2k views

What is Snapsort's “true resolution” score?

On Snapsort I found this explanation: True resolution Manufacturers advertise high megapixels to sell their cameras, Snapsort calculates the true resolution of each camera based on the ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

What is the “airy disc”, in simple language?

In my understanding, this is relevant to photography because if you are shooting light of a certain wavelength (or primarily so, and such as: a blue scene), your aperture size can affect the sharpness ...
5
votes
2answers
272 views

What is the style of photography called where the objects in the photo are not relevant?

I'm taking many photos where I'm mostly interested in lighting, color, forms. What makes up the image, in terms of objects, is largely irrelevant. An apple could just as well be a red ball, a bush ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

What is the difference between “dual aperture camera” and “dual camera” on a phone?

What is the difference between a "dual aperture camera" and a "dual camera"? As far as I know, a dual aperture camera has two 2 apertures (IR sensor) and 2 cameras.
2
votes
3answers
255 views

What is the style of photography employed by Ka Xiaoxi?

The photos by Chinese pro photographer Ka Xiaoxi in this article seem to all have a very bright harsh flash going off. (More work by the same artist for Nike; also see his web site.) Typically for my ...
34
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What does it mean when a TV “supports HDR”?

I am a bit confused about how HDR (on TV) works. The way I see it, multiple images of the same frame are used to create one image which shows better details in low-light and high-light areas of the ...
3
votes
1answer
149 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 ...