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 in when you press T

I want to know what do these letters, W and T mean.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd vote to close as a too-basic/look-in-the-manual question, except when I did a quick search, it looks like there's a lot of people asking it, so I don't think it hurts for us to have an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I tell PPl its T for towards it W for way from it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user46701
    Nov 29, 2015 at 0:38

3 Answers 3


These letters refers to zooming depth as follows:

  • W = Wide angle
  • T = Telephoto

Read more about and in the tags.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The name "telephoto" includes "tele", which means "far off" or "over a distance" so it literally means "long distance photography" \$\endgroup\$ Dec 1, 2015 at 2:46

The W stands for Wide angle. The T stands for Telephoto.

This has been asked around the web, for example here:

Yahoo! Answers: What does W T button (zoom) stands for in zoom lens cameras?
Tech-Recipes: Why are Camera Zoom Buttons Labelled W and T?


W = Withdraw

T = Towards

These are one way to remember.

  • \$\begingroup\$ First of all, welcome. But referring to your answer... No... They are not either easy or accurate. Wide angle + Telephoto is a commonly used term. Even in non-English speaking countries, they are recognized. When zooming you are changing the field of view, so you should use terms that refer to the field of view. The words you are using could be dolly in and dolly out, which are changes in position, not field of view. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Apr 1 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ so is the aspect ratio of the W and T settings for field of view different? I thought it was just zoom in / zoom out, I never noticed any widening of the view but im no camera guy. I've never heard of telephoto, is that like 16:9 -> 4:3 or something? the language is too technical on anything i could find \$\endgroup\$
    – yarns
    Apr 3 at 23:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. The aspect ratio refers to the relation of sizes, horizontal vs vertical of the sensor. Normally all digital cameras have an aspect ratio of 3:2 and video cameras of 16:9. Please, feel free to ask this as a formal question so we can expand the topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Apr 3 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ i thought so but because i don't know the terms i might not be able to find if its already been answered @Rafael \$\endgroup\$
    – yarns
    Apr 4 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't worry! Start typing "Aspect ratio" and some already-made questions will pop up. Then choose to read them or be specific on your question and post it. This site is more "forgiving" on duplicate questions than Stack Overflow. (I can assure you that) n_n \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Apr 4 at 14:05

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