When looking at a lens name, there are a lot acronyms describing its features (often specific to the manufacturer).

Examples, Nikon:
Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
Nikon AF-I 600mm f/4D IF-ED
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Examples, Canon:
Canon EF 85mm f1.2L USM Mark II
Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-f/5.6 DO IS

Examples, Sigma:
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX APO DG HSM Macro
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II

How do I decipher these lens codes from different manufacturers?

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ I have made this thread a CW thread. The answers here are extensive and very useful, but could still use enhancement and updates. I encourage the community to add to the answers below if they notice anything is missing. Please conform to the format of each existing post, and do not heavily modify the existing format of each one. Additions and corrections to the existing contents are encouraged. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Aug 6, 2010 at 7:06

15 Answers 15


Note: Because of the community-wiki nature of this question, this accepted answer became really long, and difficult to edit and keep current as lens designations evolved. The historical answer has been broken up into individual answers per lens brand, with links to each of the lens brand answers below.

Descriptions by Lens Make

Brand Lenses

All major camera manufacturers offer their own line of lenses. Such lenses tend to follow the most stringent quality guidelines, and often come with a price premium.

Off-Brand Lenses

Most off-brand lens manufacturers make lenses that fit many types of bodies, including Canon, Nikon, etc.

Descriptions by Lens Features

If you know what feature you're looking for in a lens (cropped-frame designation ultrasonic motor, low-dispersion elements, image stabilization, etc.), and want to know what each of the brands call that feature, the following answers are organized by lens feature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the difference between Mark I and Mark II versions in Canon? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lazer
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 8:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lazer: That would generally be specific to each lens. A lot of the time, differences between a I and a II or a II and a III are subtle, but important. Other times they are significant. I recommend reading the-digital-picture.com/Reviews for details on lenses. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 9:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the Nikon section you forgot as well the PC and PC-E features for Perspective Control and E for Electornic diaphragm (to be confirmed) \$\endgroup\$
    – рüффп
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 15:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lazer In the Canon world, Mark II (III, etc.) versions of a lens must have the same aperture, IS, and focus motor specs as the original. If any one of those changes, then the new lens is not called Mark II (e.g. 50mm f/1.8 micro-motor Mk II vs. 50mm f/1.8 STM). Therefore, usually a Mark II lens signifies an upgrade in sharpness or weather sealing. However, the exact changes vary from lens to lens, and some Mark II's have no real benefits (such as the 24-105mm f/4 L IS). \$\endgroup\$
    – Nayuki
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's no such thing as a "Mark I" camera or lens in Canon nomenclature. There's the original "XYZ f/1.2.3" lens and then a later "XYZ f/1.2.3 II" lens if the lens has the same focal length(s), maximum aperture(s), and AF type. There's the original EOS xxxxD camera body and then a subsequent xxxxD Mark II camera body. The word "Mark" in front of the roman numeral II, III, or IV is only used with camera bodies. It is not used at all in the names of Canon lenses. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 23:13

The top answer covers the decoding of the letters very well. Here are a few comments as to what some of the features actually mean in terms of consequences of the features.

Lenses only for reduced frame DSLRs

Most low- to mid-range DSLRs have a sensor that is smaller than a 35mm film frame — sometimes called "reduced frame" or "cropped sensor". So using a "full frame" lens will mean lots of extra light around the sensor that isn't used. You can makes lenses smaller and lighter by reducing the projected image size to fit the sensor size. However using these lenses on a full frame camera would result in the corners of the image being dark — and mostly these lenses won't fit on a full frame camera.

The "less than full frame" codes are:

  • Canon EOS dSLRs: EF-S (EF for full frame)
  • Canon EOS R mirrorless: RF-S (RF for full frame)
  • Canon EOS M mirrorless: EF-M
  • Nikon: DX (FX for full frame)
  • Pentax: DA (FA or D FA for full frame)
  • Sigma: DC (DG for full frame)
  • Sony/Minolta: DT
  • Tamron: Di II (Di for full frame)
  • Tokina: CF or [older lenses], DX (FX for full frame)

Lenses only for mirrorless cameras

Many brands made/make both dSLR and mirrorless cameras and lenses. Typically, dSLR lenses can be adapted to mirrorless, but mirrorless lenses cannot be used on dSLRs.

  • Canon: EF-M (EOS M system); or RF and RF-S (EF/EF-S for dSLR)
  • Nikon: Z
  • Sony: SEL (SAL for dSLR)
  • Olympus: M.Zuiko
  • Panasonic: Lumix G or DG (D for dSLR)
  • Sigma: DN
  • Tamron: Di III

Image Stabilisation/Vibration Reduction

Image Stabilisation is also called Optical Stabilisation, Optical Image Stabilisation, Optical Steady Shot, Vibration Compensation and Vibration Reduction. Does what it says on the tin basically. (Some camera bodies — notably, Olympus and Pentax — have a form of vibration reduction in the body and so don't have it in the lens).

  • Canon: IS
  • Fujifilm: OIS
  • Nikon: VR
  • Panasonic: OIS
  • Sigma: OS
  • Sony/Minolta: OSS
  • Tamron: VC

Fast and Quiet Focussing Motors

The focussing motors in some lower end lenses can be quite noisy. The higher end lenses are able to focus more quickly (the movements can be more accurately controlled) and are quieter and use less battery. The acronym for it usually includes "Sonic":

  • Canon: USM Ultrasonic Motor
  • Nikon: SWM Silent Wave Motor
  • Olympus/Zuiko: SWD Supersonic Wave Drive
  • Pentax: SDM Supersonic Drive Motor or newer DC Direct Current
  • Sigma: HSM Hyper-Sonic Motor
  • Sony/Minolta: SSM Super-Sonic Motor
  • Tamron: USD Ultrasonic Silent Drive

Weather Sealing

  • Pentax: WR Weather Resistant or higher-level, AW All Weather (also found on ★ lenses).
  • All Olympus PRO lenses are weather sealed.
  • Nikon: Nikkor AW lenses (Nikon 1 system) are waterproof to 15 or 20m

Lens Features

There are a variety of lens features to reduce chromatic abberations (where different colours don't exactly converge) and other imperfections in lens performance. In particular

  • aspherical lens elements have a more complex surface profile that allows for better image quality in exchange for increased cost.

  • low dispersion glass is more free of chromatic aberration.

  • apochromatic denotes a lens which is highly corrected for color, bringing three colors (usually red, green, and blue) into equal focus.

  • Canon: DO Diffractive Optics (Canon does not include information in a lens' name regarding any fluorite, aspherical, low dispersion, or apochromatic lens elements that may be included in the lens' optical formula.)

  • Nikon: ED Extra-low Dispersion Glass, ASP Aspherical Lens Element

  • Olympus/Zuiko: ED Extra-low dispersion glass

  • Pentax: ED Extra-low dispersion glass, AL Aspherical Lens Element

  • Sigma: ASP Aspherical lens element, APO Aphochromatic (low-dispersion) lens element

  • Sony/Minolta: AD Anomalous Dispersion, APO Apochromatic correction using AD elements, HS-APO High-Speed APO

  • Tamron: Aspherical or ASL aspherical lens element, AD Anomalous Dispersion, ADH AD + ASL hybrid lens element, HID High Index, High Dispersion Glass, LD Low Dispersion, LAH LD + ASL hybrid lens element, XLD Extra Low Dispersion, XR Extra Refractive Index Glass

  • Tokina: AS Aspherical lens element, F&R Advanced Aspherical lens element, HLD High-Refraction, Low Dispersion, SD Super Low Dispersion

Lens Coatings

There are a variety of lens coatings used to reduce internal reflections and other possible problems. Internal reflections can end up producing ghost images or adding to lens flare. Not all lens manufacturers specify the lens coatings they use.

  • Nikon: NIC Nikon Integrated Coating, SIC Super Integrated Coating
  • Fujifilm: EBC Electron Beam Coating, Nano GI Nanotechnology Gradient Index
  • Pentax: SMC Super Multi Coating, SP Special Protect, HD High Definition
  • Zeiss: T* (pronounced "T-Star") High-performance Coating
  • Tokina: MC Multi-Coating
  • Yashica: DSB Single-Coating, ML (later MC) Multi-Layer (later Multi-coating)


Macro lenses can focus very close to the end of the lens, providing (at least) a 1:1 ratio between the size of the object and the size of the image on the sensor. In plain English, you can take very close-up shots of flowers, insects and so on. They are just called Macro (or occasionally Micro), making life easy for once.


This includes Internal/Inner Focusing (IF) and (Internal) Rear Focusing (RF or IRF). Both of these reduce the number of individual lenses moving inside the lens. They also mean that the front of the lens will not move in or out, or rotate, during focusing. The lack of rotation can be important if, say, you have a circular polarizing filter, or a graduated ND filter fitted to the lens. And the front not moving in or out can be important if the lens is very close to the subject.

Aperture Control Ring

Now that most camera bodies can control the lens's aperture, some manufacturers have a special designation for whether a particular lens has an aperture control ring:

  • Nikon: G lenses (having the letter "G" immediately after the maximum aperture designation) do not have an aperture control ring on the lens.
  • Fujifilm: R lenses (having the letter "R" immediately after the maximum aperture designation) have an aperture control ring on the lens.

High-End Lenses

Some manufacturers have a code to indicate their high-end lenses:

  • Canon: L Luxury
  • Fujifilm: XF with red badge
  • Pentax: ★ and Limited
  • Sigma: EX Professional EXternal lens body finishing. "Global Vision" lenses are badged A (Art), S (Sport), or C (Contemporary). A and S lenses are considered premium.
  • Sony/Minolta: G Gold Series, GM G-Master Series – a newer (Sony-only) higher-end series
  • Tamron: SP Super Performance
  • Olympus: a PRO label next to the aperture marking

Apodization filters

Some manufacturers include an apodization filter in the lens to improve bokeh:

  • Minolta/Sony: STF (lit., Smooth Transition Focus)
  • Fujifilm: APD


Other codes might indicate the mount type (which will indicate whether it will fit your body), whether it will work with a Teleconverter or whether the lens needs the camera body to provide the motor for auto-focussing.


Nikon Lenses

Nikon has two current lines of lens mount systems, F-mount and Z-mount. The 1 NIKKOR (Nikon 1-series) system was discontinued in 2018.


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • f/x.y: Maximum aperture (or f/a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)

Nikon F-Mount Lenses

Nikon SLR/DSLR lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:

Lens System

  • DX: Digital, Short Back, for 23.6mm x 15.6mm sensor.
  • FX: Full Frame (film or digital), for 36mm x 24mm sensor.

Lens Mount

  • AI: Automatic Indexing mount (includes metering sensor)
  • AI-S: Improved Automatic Indexing mount
  • IX: Lenses designed specially for APS film SLRs; their rear end protrudes too much to allow using them on a 35mm film camera or a DSLR
  • Series E A cheaper series of AI-S where plastic replaced some metal parts. Not designated as Nikkor but "Nikon Lens Series E"

Focusing System

  • AF: Auto Focus, requires focusing motor in camera
  • AF-I: Auto Focus, Internal motor; older design, originally for long telephoto lenses (compatible with bodies without focus motor)
  • AF-N: Auto Focus, (improved version, rare) (requires focusing motor in camera)
  • AF-S: Auto Focus Silent (Silent Wave Motor) (compatible with bodies without focus motor)
  • AF-P: Auto Focus, Pulse (stepper) motor (compatible with some DX bodies introduced since 2013 without focus motor as well as with some older DX and FX bodies using updated firmware).

Nikon lists the extent of AI, AF, AF-S, AF-P, and E-Type lens compatibility by camera in this chart which is even ocassionally updated to include new models.


  • Reflex: Catadioptric (mirror) lens.
  • D: Distance, communicates focus distance for 3D Matrix metering mode and also for flash autoexposure. All AF-I, AF-S, and G-type lenses are also D-type. (Indicated after the f-number in the name, sometimes designated as AF-D).
  • SWM: Silent Wave Motor
  • N: Nano-Crystal Coating
  • NIC: Nikon Integrated Coating (multicoated lenses)
  • SIC: Super Integrated Coating (multicoated lenses)
  • VR: Vibration Reduction
  • ED: Extra-low Dispersion Glass
  • FL: Fluorite. Designated a lens with some element in fluorite instead glass.
  • ASP: Aspherical Lens Element
  • IF: Internal Focusing
  • RF: Rear Focusing
  • RD: Rounded diaphragm
  • Micro: Enable high reproduction ratio. Typically at 1:1 or 1:2.
  • G: No aperture ring (automatic aperture only)
  • DC: Defocus Control
  • PC: Perspective Control. Lenses with shift feature (older) and newer with tilt as well. Manual aperture control
  • PC-E: Perspective Control lens with Electronically-controlled aperture. Feature both shift and tilt control.
  • PF: Phase Fresnel Lens Elements. Lenses which provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance when combined with a normal glass lens.
  • E: Electronic diaphragm. Some lenses with an electronic diaphragm. Only supported by bodies from D3100/D5000/D7000/D300/D3/Df and after.
  • P: CPU enabled version of AI-S lenses (Sometimes designated as AI-P)


  • Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8
  • Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8D
  • Nikon AI 500mm f/4.0 P
  • Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
  • Nikon AF-I 600mm f/4D IF-ED
  • Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Nikon Z-Mount Lenses

These lenses are used on Nikon Z-mount mirrorless cameras. The lenses are marked "NIKKOR Z".

While there are both full-frame (FX) and crop-sensor (DX) Z-mount bodies, all of the Z lenses are full-frame compatible; no Z lenses are specific to crop sensor bodies.

Lens Series

  • S: S-Line lenses have a nano-crystal coating, and are fully sealed for dust and water resistance.

Lens Speed

  • Noct: fast lens with a maximum aperture around f/1.0


  • NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S
  • NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S
  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
  • Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

Nikon 1 NIKKOR Lenses

These lenses are used on Nikon 1-series compact systems cameras. The lenses are marked "Nikon 1 NIKKOR". Terms used in names are mostly the same as for F-mount.

Lens System

  • CX: For use with 1" sensor (13.2mm x 18.8mm).


  • AW: Water-proof to 15m or 20m.
  • PD-Zoom: Power drive zoom (primarily for movies, no zoom ring, sometimes designated PD)
  • VR: Vibration Reduction.
  • IF: Internal Focus.
  • RF: Rear Focus (or Rapid Focus? Marked on 18.5mm f/1.8 lens which has lightweight/fast AF.)
  • ED: Extra-low Dispersion glass.

The last three terms (IF, RF, ED) are marked on lenses but may not appear in Nikon's description of the lens. Many of these lenses incorporate aspherical elements and will be marked "Aspherical".


  • 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30MM F/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300MM F/4.5-5.6
  • 1 NIKKOR AW 10MM F/2.8
  • 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5MM F/3.5-5.6
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100MM F/4.0-5.6
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13MM F/3.5-5.6
  • 1 NIKKOR 32MM F/1.2
  • 1 NIKKOR 18.5MM F/1.8

Canon Lenses

Canon lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • f/x.y: Maximum aperture (or f/a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms) (designated "Fx.y" on RF lenses)

Focus/Mount Type

  • EF: Electro-Focus
  • EF-S: Electro-Focus, Short back-focus
  • EF-M: Electro-Focus, Mirrorless (EOS M)
  • RF: EOS R mount (mirrorless, 20mm flange focal distance, 54mm throat diameter)
  • TS: Tilt-Shift (manual focus)
  • TS-E: Tilt-Shift, Electronic aperture control
  • MP-E: Macro-Photography, Electronic aperture control (manual focus)
  • PE: Prohibitively Expensive (?)


  • IS: Image Stabilization
  • USM: Auto Focus Type: Ultrasonic Motor
  • STM: Auto Focus Type: Stepping Motor
  • (Roman numeral) N: Version of lens (II = v2, III = v3, etc.) (The word Mark is not present in lens names, only in camera body names)
  • DO: Diffractive Optics
  • L: Luxury series
  • Macro: close focusing, but not necessarily 1:1 magnification
  • Softfocus ability to use soft focusing for smooth dreamy look
  • PF Power Focus (PF isn't included in the official lens name published by Canon for lenses that include this feature)


  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens
  • Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
  • Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM

Nikon: Thom Hogan's acronyms page - look at "The Dictionary" box on the right.

Pentax: Bojidar Dimitrov's terminology page

Sigma explain a few terms on their FAQ

  • \$\begingroup\$ A couple of Pentax ones that Dimitrov missed (moved from separate answer): Lens Coating - SMC : Super Multi Coat Quiet Focusing Motors - SDM : Supersonic Drive Motor \$\endgroup\$
    – Adrian B
    Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 15:28

Sigma Lenses

Sigma lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens. They differ slightly in how they denote aperture:


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • Fx.y: Maximum aperture (or Fa.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)

Lens Lines:

Most Older Sigma lenses aren't designated by a model line. Lenses with 'EX' in the model name are generally considered "pro grade." From Sigma's website: "The exterior of this lens is EX-finished to denote the superior build and optical quality, and to enhance its appearance."

The Global Vision Series are newer Sigma lenses that are compatible with the Sigma USB Dock that allows the end user to update firmware and adjust autofocus calibration. There are three basic categories of Global Vision lenses:

  • Art: Fast primes, wide angle lenses, etc., designed for optical performance with little compromise (except where it comes to price)
  • Contemporary: Compact and lower-cost lenses (with the corresponding compromises in optical design)
  • Sports: High-performance telephoto lenses with rugged build quality

Compatible Body Brands

  • Sigma
  • Nikon
  • Canon
  • Minolta/Sony
  • Pentax
  • Kodak (extremely limited)
  • Fujifilm
  • Olympus (limited)
  • Panasonic (very limited)
  • Leica (very limited)


  • HSM: Hyper-Sonic Motor
  • ASP: Aspherical lens element
  • APO: Apochromatic (low-dispersion) lens element
  • A: 'Art' category of the Global Vision Series
  • S: 'Sports' category of the Global Vision Series
  • C: 'Contemporary' category of the Global Vision Series
  • OS: Optical Stabilizer
  • RF: Rear focusing
  • IF: Inner focusing
  • CONV: Teleconverter compatible (APO Teleconverter EX), not usually part of the lens name but mentioned in the product description
  • EX: Professional lens body finishing and construction
  • DG: Supports full-frame cameras (newer lenses only, implicit on older models)
  • DC: Supports cropped-frame cameras (lightweight construction, smaller image circle)
  • DN: For mirrorless cameras
  • DF: Dual Focus, can switch AF and MF on the lens.
  • Macro: close focusing, but not necessarily 1:1 magnification


  • Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
  • Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Fujifilm Lenses


  • XYZmm: Focal length (written as f=XYZmm on some lenses)
  • Fx.y: Maximum aperture (written as 1:x.y on the lens front)

Lens Mount

  • X-mount: The modern, fully-electronic lens mount used in Fujifilm's X-series cameras.
  • G-mount: Fujifilm's similar lens mount used for its medium format GFX-series digital cameras.
  • Fujinon: Fujifilm's blanket term for its lenses which use these mounts.

Lens Construction

  • XC: "Compact and casual" lower-cost lenses, generally with plastic barrels and bayonet mount
  • XF: Higher-end lenses with metal body and mount construction, usually faster maximum aperture, and often exotic lens elements (these are not usually called out by other designators in the lens name).
  • "Red Badge" or "Red Label": XF lenses with the label in red; reserved for higher-end zoom lenses.

  • GF: Currently the designation for all current and announced G-mount lenses. These cannot be used on X-mount cameras.


  • APD: Apodization filter for improved bokeh
  • LM: Linear Motor (faster than the standard motor)
  • Macro: Not necessarily "true" 1:1 macro; also found on lenses with 1:2 (0.5×) magnification.
  • OIS: Optical Image Stabilization
  • R: Aperture ring control on the lens
  • WR: Weather Resistant (when matched with weather resistant body)
  • PZ: Power Zoom

Lens Coatings

  • EBC Electron Beam Coating (a multicoating)
  • HT-EBC High-Transmission Electron Beam Coating (not currently found in Fujifilm X lenses)
  • Nano GI Nanotechnology Gradient Index


  • Fujinon XF23mmF1.4 R
  • Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD
  • Fujinon XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ
  • Fujinon XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Note that Fujifilm styles these names with no space separating the mount designation, focal length, and aperture. That convention is usually disregarded by others (stores, reviewers, etc.).


Sony/Minolta Lenses

Minolta introduced an autofocus SLR system in 1985 using the so-called "A-mount". The system used different brands depending on region – Maxxum in North America, Dynax in Europe and α (Alpha) in Asia.

In 2003, Minolta and Konica jointly announced the "Integration of Management between Konica Corporation and Minolta Co., Ltd.", following which Minolta became Konica Minolta. In 2005, it was announced that "Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras", and in 2006, Sony announced the "Partial Transfer of Certain Assets Related to Digital SLR cameras", buying the assets of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging.

Sony continued to develop interchangeable-lens cameras and lenses under the α (Alpha) brand, using the same "A-mount" that Minolta had introduced in 1985. Sony later introduced the "E-mount" alongside the "A-mount", and there are both A-mount and E-mount cameras and lenses in Sony's α (Alpha) system, with both full-frame and APS-C bodies and lenses available for each mount.

A-mount lenses can be used on E-mount bodies via an adapter, but the coverage (APS-C vs full-frame) of the lens+adapter combination needs to be taken into account. E-mount lenses can not be used on A-mount bodies.

Sony's point-and-shoot cameras fall under the separate Cyber-shot brand.


  • XYZ/x.y: Focal length/Maximum Aperture (or XYZ/a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)

Lens Mount Type

  • A: A Type Mount (introduced by Minolta in 1985 and carried over to Sony)
  • E: E Type Mount (introduced by Sony in 2010)

Lens Coverage

  • DT: Digital Technology (optimized for digital cameras). The DT designation was introduced because of a need to indicate new A-mount lenses with coverage only for APS-C digital cameras. A-mount lenses without the DT designation have full-frame coverage. DT lenses can be mounted on full-frame digital cameras, but used only in "crop mode".
  • FE: E-mount lens with Full-frame coverage. The E-mount system was originally an APS-C system. When full-frame bodies and lenses were introduced, the FE label was used to distinguish those lenses that had full-frame coverage. Lenses with APS-C-only coverage are labelled E instead of FE. They can be mounted on full-frame cameras, but used only in "crop mode".

Focusing System


  • G: Gold Series (high quality)
  • GM: G-Master Series (highest quality)
  • (D): Distance Encoding (supports ADI feature of some Sony bodies)
  • APO: Apochromatic correction using AD elements
    • HS-APO: High-Speed APO
  • AD: Anomalous Dispersion
  • OSS: Optical Steady Shot (E-mount only)
  • M: 1:1 magnification
  • Z: optical engineering by Zeiss
  • T*: High-performance Coating (only on Zeiss-designed lenses)
  • STF: smooth transmission focus (apodisation element)


  • Sony Alpha 70-200/2.8 G
  • Sony Alpha 28-75/2.8 SAM
  • Sony Alpha DT 18-250/3.5-6.3
  • Sony E 18-200/3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony Alpha 100/2.8 Macro

Samyang Lenses

Samyang (also sold as Pro-Optic, Rokinon, Bower) lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:


Compatible Body Brands

  • Nikon
  • Canon
  • Minolta/Sony
  • Pentax/Samsung
  • Olympus
  • Panasonic


  • AE: contains electronic chip to allow Automatic Exposure and iTTL flash metering on a Nikon body
  • AS: contains Aspherical element(s)
  • Aspherical: contains Aspherical element(s)
  • ED: contains extra-low dispersion element(s)
  • IF: Internal Focusing
  • VDSLR: designed for video use (smooth aperture selection with T-number scale, toothed aperture and focus rings); can be used for still photography, too
  • DH: detachable hood (indicated only if a similar focal length model with fixed hood exists)
  • T-S: tilt-shift
  • MC: Multi Coating
  • UMC: Ultra Multi Coating
  • NCS: nano crystal anti-reflection coating
  • CS: crop sensor coverage
  • MFT: designed for Micro Four Thirds systems
  • VG10 - custom design for Sony Nex-VG10
  • Preset: Aperture preset (so you can quickly flick aperture ring between maximum aperture for focusing and desired aperture for shooting; there's no aperture linkage on a preset lens)
  • Mirror: a mirror lens


  • Samyang AE 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC
  • Samyang 35 mm f/1.4 AS UMC
  • Pro-Optic AE 85 mm f/1.4 Aspherical IF

Tamron Lenses

Tamron lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens. Tamron offers a considerable degree of functional features and lens types, particularly lens types that affect chromatic aberration:


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • F/x.y: Maximum aperture (or F/a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)
  • AF: Auto-Focus

Compatible Body Brands

  • Nikon
  • Canon
  • Minolta/Sony
  • Pentax

Lens Elements

  • XR: Extra Refractive Index Glass (lighter, smaller lenses)
  • LD: Low Dispersion (chromatic aberration reduction)
  • XLD: Extra Low Dispersion (advanced chromatic aberration reduction)
  • ASL: Aspherical (improved focal plane convergence)
  • LAH: LD + ASL hybrid lens element
  • AD: Anomalous Dispersion (improved control over chromatic aberration)
  • ADH: AD + ASL hybrid lens element
  • HID: High Index, High Dispersion Glass (minimizes lateral chromatic aberration)

Functional Features

  • VC: Vibration Compensation
  • USD: Ultrasonic Silent Drive
  • SP: Super Performance (professional line)
  • IF: Internal Focusing System
  • Di: Digitally Integrated (optimized for use with full-frame digital cameras)
  • Di II: Digitally Integrated (optimized for use with APS-C digital cameras)
  • Di III: Digitally Integrated (optimized for mirrorless cameras with shorter flange focal distances)
  • ZL: Zoom Lock (prevents undesired zoom lens barrel extension)
  • A/M: Auto-focus/Manual-focus Switch Mechanism
  • FEC: Filter Effect Control (controls filter direction when lens hood attached, i.e. for Polarizing filters)
  • 1:1 Macro: 1:1 Magnification


  • Tamron SP AF17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)
  • Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
  • Tamron SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di LD (IF) 1:1 Macro

Panasonic Lenses


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • Fx.y: Maximum aperture

Mount and Design Type

  • Lumix: Panasonic design
  • Leica: Leica design
  • Lumix G, Leica DG: micro four-thirds mount
  • Leica D: four-thirds mount

Leica Nomenclature

  • Vario: Zoom lens
  • Lens Speed (see also Leica Rangefinder and SLR, above)
    • Nocticron: f/1.2
    • Summilux: f/1.4 or f/1.7
  • Features
  • O.I.S: Optical Image Stabilization
  • X: "Pro grade" high-end line
  • ASPH.: Aspherical elements
  • PZ: Power zoom
  • HD: HD video features: tracking silent AF
  • 3D: 3D lens


  • Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.
  • Panasonic Leica D 25mm F1.4
  • Panasonic Leica DG 25mm F1.4
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S.
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH O.I.S.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Confusingly, a Lumix (without the G) with a M4/3 logo is also compatible with the micro-four thirds mount. Also, the Prime lenses have very little labelling. They just show a number (e.g. "25"). See the H-H025 for an example. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 12:26

Olympus 4/3 & M4/3 Lenses

Olympus lenses are branded "Olympus Zuiko" (for the 4/3" image sensor cameras) or "Olympus M.Zuiko"/"Olympus DIGITAL" (for the Micro-4/3 mirrorless 4/3" image sensor cameras).


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • 1:x.y: Maximum aperture (or 1:a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)


  • ED: Extra-low dispersion glass elements
  • EZ: Electronic zoom
  • SWD: Auto Focus Type: Supersonic Wave Drive Motor
  • N: Version of lens (II = v2, III = v3, etc.)
  • MSC: Movie & Stills Compatible, which denotes fast and quiet AF
  • R: Re-styled; a small cosmetic change over the previous version
  • PRO: Professional level, weather-sealed, with improved IQ & AF, and often have a manual focus clutch


  • Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD
  • Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R ED MSC
  • \$\begingroup\$ They also show the filter thread size. e.g. the 60mm macro lens says "OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 ⌀46" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 12:38

Leica Rangefinder and SLR Lenses

Leica RF and SLR lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • f/x.y: Maximum aperture

Lens Mount

  • xxx-R: Lens for the R (35mm SLR) system
  • xxx-M: Lens for the M (rangefinder) system
  • xxx-S: Lens for the S (MF DSLR) system

Lens Speed

  • Noctilux: Fastest lenses with max aperture around 1.0
  • Summilux: f/1.4 lens
  • Summicron: f/2 lens
  • Summarit: f/2.4 or f/2.5 lens
  • Elmarit: f/2.8 lens
  • Super Elmar, Elmar, Tele-Elmar: f/3.4+ lens
  • Telyt: f/3.4 telephoto lens
  • Vario-Elmar: Zoom version of Elmar (see above)


  • ASPH: Lens with aspherical elements
  • APO: Lens with apochromatic correction

Note: There are sometimes small numbers engraved next to the infinity symbol (∞) on the focusing scale. These numbers indicate a difference of the actual focal length of the lens compared to the nominal value in tenths of millimeter. For example, if the number is 14 and the lens is 50mm, the actual focal length is 51.4.


Tokina Lenses

Tokina lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:


  • VW~XYZmm: Focal length
  • f/x.y: Maximum aperture (or f/a.b-c.d for variable aperture zooms)
  • AF: Auto-Focus

Compatible Body Brands

  • Nikon
  • Canon
  • Minolta/Sony
  • Pentax


  • AT-X Pro professional line (primes and constant aperture zooms)
  • AT-X consumer line (variable aperture zooms)
  • AS: Aspherical Optics
  • F&R: Advanced Aspherical Optics
  • SD: Super Low Dispersion
  • HLD: High-Refraction, Low Dispersion
  • MC: Multi-Coating
  • FE: Floating Element System
  • IF: Internal Focus System
  • IRF: Internal Rear Focus System
  • FC: Focus Clutch Mechanism (allows switching between auto & manual focus)
  • One Touch FC: One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism
  • FX: Full frame
  • DX: Digital (cropped frame)

Pentax Lenses


  • XYZmm: Focal length
  • 1:x.y: Maximum aperture

Focus/Mount Type

  • K, M: Manual Focus, Manual/Aperture priority metering
  • 645: Medium Format mount
  • AF: Early AF system with AF motor and electronics in lens that works only with ME-F body.
  • A: Manual Focus, supports Shutter priority and Program exposure metering
  • F: Adds Auto Focus to capabilities of A lenses
  • FA: Adds ability to communicate MTF to body to capabilities of F lenses
  • FAJ: Removes aperture ring from capabilities of FA lenses
  • DA: Same capabilities as FAJ, but with reduced imaging circle for digital cameras with APS-C sized sensor
  • DA L: Same capabilities as DA lenses, Lighter construction
  • D FA: Same capabilities as FA lenses, usable on both film and digital cameras


  • AL: Aspherical elements
  • ED: Extra-low dispersion glass elements
  • SMC: Super multi coating lens coating
  • HD: Newer "high grade" multi-layer lens coating
  • PZ: Power Zoom
  • SDM: Auto Focus Type: Supersonic Drive Motor
  • DC: Auto Focus Type: direct current motor
  • IF: Internal focusing
  • WR: Weather Resistant (when matched with weather resistant body)
  • AW: All Weather (dust-proof and weather resistant; higher-level than WR)
  • ★: High performance, including weather and dust sealing
  • Limited: High quality, compact design (primes)
  • Macro: 1:1 magnification
  • XS: Extra slim, even more compact than Limited
  • RE: retractable (compact size in standby mode)
  • SR: Shake Reduction (image stabilization)


  • Pentax D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW
  • HD Pentax DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
  • HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR
  • Pentax smc DA★ 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM

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