en    fr   


A ~ Abc ~


Lens flaw that causes unsharp images. There are six types of aberrations: spherical, coma, astigmatism, curvature of field, distortion and chromatic. These faults can be reduced by compound lens constructions, and the use of small apertures.

Occurs when light is absorbed by a surface it hits and gets converted into heat waves.

Accessory shoe
Fitting to install accessories to a camera body; typically on top of the viewfinder, to attach a speedlight, a bubble level or any other accessory like a Nikon SC-17 or SC-19 flash cable.

A lens system designed to reduce chromatic aberration, i.e. to render the same focal length for red and blue light wavelengths at the focal plane.

Action Finder (Action Viewfinder
An eye-level viewfinder allowing for complete view of the view field from a 2 to 3 inches distance; most convenient for fast moving objects and sports photography, as well as for detail copy work, making it less tiring.

A measure of the sharpness with which the edge of an object can be depicted by a film or digital sensor.

AE (Auto Exposure)
A system through which either the shutter speed or the lens aperture (semi-auto) or both (fully auto) are set automatically from the light meter. In high-end Nikon systems it is highly sophisticated; aided by a large data bank of different scenes to which the actual scene data is compared for highly improved accuracy, AE is virtually foolproof. Three types are available: Programmed Auto Exposure (P mode), where the camera sets both aperture and shutter speed; Aperture Priority AE, (A mode) when the user sets the aperture and the camera finds the most appropriate shutter speed; Shutter Priority AE (S mode), when the speed of the shutter is set by the user and the aperture by the camera.

AE Lock
A device to lock an Auto Exposure determined by the camera while the user recomposes.

AF (Autofocus)
When applied to a lens, it is the ability of a lens to focus automatically on an object within its focusing sensors. AF Nikkor lenses were introduced in 1986. When on Auto bodies, there is no need to use the aperture ring in auto modes. They are AI-S lenses with a built-in CPU and motor for AF operation. When applied to a camera it means it is equipped with autofocus capability (a CAM module) to perform with an autofocus lens.

AF (Autofocus) Assist Illuminator
A device to provide additional illumination into a subject where there is total darkness or dim light or not enough contrast in it to perform Auto Focus. It can be set to automatically turn itself on when needed for fast operation.

AF-D lens
Nikkor lenses introduced in 1992. AF lenses with a CPU to relay distance information to the camera, most useful for ultra-precise TTL flash. Among the first were the 35-70mm f/2.8D AF and 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF.

AF-I lens
Auto Focusing Internal Nikkor lenses. Introduced in 1992, the AF coreless integrated motor is inside the lens itself and not on the camera body, making for faster autofocusing in large high-end telephoto lenses. The first were the 300mm f/2.8 and the 600mm f/4, both D ED IF AF-I. These lenses are the predecessors of the AF-S type versions.

AF Lock
Used to prevent autofocus operation once the subject is in focus, useful when recomposing an image maintaining the previously selected plane in focus.

AF Sensor
The sensor used to detect focus in cameras equipped with autofocus operation.

AF-S lens
Only applicable to Nikkor lenses that came to market in 1996 and after. These lenses focus witth their own built-in auto focusing ultrasonic Silent Wave engine, instead of the focus drive motor in the camera, making for lightning speed focus acquisition. Most useful for fast moving subjects. The first were the 300mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4, all D ED IF AF-S lenses. AF-S lenses with a "II" designation weight less and are generally smaller than their equivalent predecessors.

AI lens
Manual Nikkor lenses, produced from 1977 until mid 80s, introduced Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing, designed to let the camera body know what is the maximum aperture of the mounted lens for metering. Non-AI lenses coupled to the camera's meter through a system that required a pin on the camera to be mated to a slotted prong on the lens before the lens was mounted, then the aperture ring on the lens had to be turned from one extreme to the other to index the meter to the maximum aperture of the lens. AI eliminates this entire procedure because meter coupling and indexing occur automatically when the lens is mounted on the camera. Most AI lenses made until a few years ago were also supplied with the coupling prong so they would be compatible with either metering system. With all-black barrel, rubber focusing ring and multicoated elements.

AI'd lens
Non-AI or pre-AI manual Nikkor lenses, modified to make them AI lenses. The AI'ing process usually only involves replacing the aperture ring with an AI aperture ring that allows for coupling to the "meter coupling lever" found on some early bodies. Nikonians have reported some services also adding the "lens speed indexing post" as a further step.

AI-P lens
Manual AI-S Nikkor lenses with a CPU that sends the lens information to the camera body for metering, allowing all AF bodies with CPU contacts in the mount to use these lenses in Program mode. The latest is the ultra compact Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 P "pancake", made to celebrate the FM3A and proving Nikon's loyalty to film and manual body users. Some services can add the chip to AI-S lenses to convert them into AI-P.

AI-S lens
Manual Nikkor lenses introduced in late 1981, early 1982, with Aperture Indexing Shutter system for refinded meter coupling. Smallest aperture is orange (if not, then the lens is either AI or pre-AI). Most of these lenses have extraordinary optics, like the legendary 105mm f/2.5 AI-S. The diaphragm action in an AI-S lens is compatible with Nikon cameras that allow the aperture to be controlled from the camera, as is required for P programmed and S shutter-priority automatic exposure control. All AF-Nikkor lenses, as well as most manual-focus Nikkor lenses made since 1982, are AI-S.

Angle of View
It is the extent of the view taken in by a lens. It is determined by the focal length of a lens and film format. A “standard” 50mm lens for 35mm film has an angle of view equal to the diagonal of the film, which is 70° horizontally and 58° vertically. A 135mm "short telephoto" lens has a reduced angle of view of 29° horizontally and 23° vertically.

Angle of Flash coverage
The angle of coverage for even, uniform, edge-to-edge illumination by a speedlight. Usually expressed in terms of focal length. To accomplish such evenness it should always be of a focal length smaller or equal to that of the lens mounted on the camera body while using the flash. When the necessary angle of flash coverage cannot be accomplished through zooming of the head of the speedlight, it is increased with a built-in wide angle adapter that pulls out and flips down in front of the flash head, or with a dome diffuser.

The adjustable opening in a camera lens that -like an eye's iris- controls the amount of light that reaches the film or digital sensor. The size of such aperture is called the f-stop, like f/2.8

Aperture Priority
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure, (A mode) when the user sets the aperture and the auto camera sets the most appropriate shutter speed. Most used mode as it is the appropriate for accurate depth of field control. Since the exposure decision is not entirely left to the camera's onboard computer, this is referred to as a semi-auto mode.

Refers to lenses designed to correct for chromatic (color) aberrations. Usually used in telephoto lenses that have large maximum apertures.

The ability of a material, including some printing papers and inks as well as digital compact and video discs, to last for many years.

conjunction with a number, e.g., ASA 400, refers to film or sensor "speed" or sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive the film/sensor, allowing for faster shutter speeds and/or smaller f/stops. The ASA scale has been replaced by the one from ISO (International Organization for Standardization), the scale numbers remain the same; e.g. ASA 100 = ISO 100 (See ISO for further explanation.

Aspherical (ASP)
Not a continuous curve. Refers to non-spherical elements in lenses designed to compensate for distortion by having different curves on individual elements. Nikon introduced the first photographic lens with aspherical lens elements in 1968. Allows for more compact wide angle lenses, lighter and better performing than others with only spherical elements. When applied to Nikkor lenses the term implies excellent performance with absence of coma and other aberrations, even at their widest aperture.

Causes light rays from an off-axis point to form images at different positions.

Auto Flash
Electronic speedlight that automatically adjusts flash duration based on flash-to-subject distance relayed to it by the camera body.

Auto Lens
A lens with an automatic aperture diaphragm that can be kept wide open, at its widest aperture, until the shutter is released, regardless of the aperture setting for the exposure. Such a lens makes for a brighter viewfinder view and eases focusing with through-the-lens cameras. When the shutter is released, the aperture automatically stops down to its pre-set opening so that proper exposure is made, and instantaneously returns to its widest aperture. This lenses also allow for metering when wide open with a compatible camera with metering capability.

Available Light
Existing light surrounding a subject; whether natural or artificial, but not added by the photographer, like with strobes or speedlights.

B ~ Abc ~

B (Bulb)
Setting for (long) time exposures beyond the normal shutter speeds. Under this setting the shutter will remain open for as long as the shutter release button is depressed.

The background in a studio, usually made of cloth or paper.

The area behind a subject.

Light coming from behind the photo subject. Can cause underexposure of the main subject with auto exposure systems. Situation lending itself to the use of fill-flash and/or spot metering.

An array of binary data representing a pixel by pixel (bit-mapped) image or display; also the image or display itself.

Bounce Light
Light bounced into a reflective surface (a wall, a ceiling, a studio umbrella, a card) to illuminate a subject with softer light, reducing harsh shadows. The color of the reflective surface will determine the color of the light bounced into the subject.

Japanese term, pronounced BO-KEH in English, used to describe the out of focus quality of a lens. Noun derived from the active verb "bokasu" which means to befog, to gradate, to render opaque, to smudge or render out of focus. It is usually the out of focus portions of the picture which distinguish the "look and feel" or "signature" of different types of lenses. The ideal boke for portraiture is a soft edged rounded blur with the brighter part towards the center of the blur disk.
Classic boke is that of legendary lenses like the 105mm f/2.5 (click on image above) and 85mm f/1.4 Nikkor.

Unsharp. Caused by excessive movement of the camera, a zoom lens or the subject. Also, excessive UV (ultra-violet) light that causes a bluish haze and loss of definition on distance objects, especially on B&W film. Blur is often intentional in creative photography to convey the feeling of motion.

Device that attaches to the camera tripod socket for accessories or to separate a speedlight from the camera, out of the hot shoe. Most useful for shadow control and red-eye elimination as it increases the angle between that of the flash beam axis and that of the lens.

Practice of making additional images varying exposure to insure accurate exposure of a given subject; e.g., additionally exposing "one stop under" and "one stop over." Automated feature in recent camera models.

(1) The amount of light reflected by a surface. 
(2) The intensity or amount of light emitted by a light source. 
(3) The luminance of a color.

Temporary memory area that stores data before it is written into a permanent area. In digital cameras, the memory where images are stored before they are written to the memory card.

Shutter speed setting where the shutter stays open as long as the shutter release is depressed. Usually indicated by a B on the shutter speed selector.

Selectively darkening part of areas in a photo while in traditional printing or with an image editing program.

C ~ Abc ~

Cable Release
A flexible cable device for releasing the shutter. Usually used for slow shutter speeds when the camera must remain absolutely still. A must for ultra sharp images.

A light-proof film container, usually made of metal. It is often called "magazine" or "cassette".

The reflection of a light source in the eyes of a subject. It makes for more pleasing portraits. Usually provided by the use of fill-flash.

CCD (Charged Coupled Device)
A semiconductor device that is used especially as an optical sensor and that stores charge and transfers it sequentially to an amplifier and detector; also called CCD, used in digital cameras to capture an image.

CC (Color Compensating) Filter
Enables fine adjustments to color tone or color density in color photography. Most CC filters are made of gel and come in six colors: C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow), B (Blue), G (Green) and R (red).

Chromatic Aberration
Caused by the differences in refraction of the colored rays of the spectrum. It is "axial" when light rays pass through a lens cause the lens to focus at different points, depending on the light wavelength. It is "lateral" or "transverse" when the magnification varies depending on the light wavelength. It creates blur.

Unique color printing system, directly from color transparencies, not from an internegative, developed by Ciba-Geigy Photochemie of Switzerland and Ilford of the UK in the early 60s. With stunning sharpness, color intensity, clean whites, and critical accuracy to the original slide, Cibachrome prints made on a dimensionally stable tri-acetate polyester base, not paper; are archival, will not fade, discolor or deteriorate for a very long time. When Ilford was acquired by International Paper in 1989, Ciba-Geigy required the name changed. So it is now officially called Ilfochrome, but its fans keep calling it Cibachrome.

Circle of Confusion
The circle of confusion has nothing to do with other camera brand users. It is the largest on-film/sensor circle that you can see as a well defined point on an 8×10 print when viewed at from a "normal" viewing distance of 2 to 3 feet. Anything larger is seen as a small circle, not a point and is therefore perceived as out of focus. For 35mm film format the diameter of such point or circle is 0.02501mm, commonly rounded to 0.03mm for hyperfocal distance computations. For APS-C (DX) digital cameras sensors, the CoC is 0.020.

Circular Polarizer
A photographic filter designed to eliminate reflections from glass and water, including water in foliage, to intensify the color of the sky and color saturation in general. A circular polarizer does not interfere with the AF or the Metering systems of auto cameras like a linear polarizer would typically do.

A photograph or video or movie shot taken at close range filling the frame. Magnification ratios of a close-up typically vary from 1:10 to 1:1 (life-size).

Close-up Attachment Lens
A convenient and economical way to enter close-up photography. Attached to the front of a lens its magnification ratio ability is increased by shortening the focusing distance. 0, 1, 2, 3T, 4T for 52mm diameter lenses; and 5T & 6T for 62mm, are the Nikon close-up lenses available. Also called close-up "filters".

Acronym for Cyan (process Blue), Magenta (process Red), Yellow and Black, the primary colors of ink used in professional printing process to which Black is added for enhancement or for true Black. Not to be confused with the primary colors of light which are Red, Green and Blue (RGB).

Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in photography, videography, publishing and other fields. The color temperature of a light source is determined by comparing its chromaticity with a theoretical, heated black-body radiator. The temperature (in kelvin) at which the heated black-body radiator matches the color of the light source is that source's color temperature; for a black body source, it is directly related to Planck's law.

Because it is the standard against which other light sources are compared, the color temperature of the thermal radiation from an ideal black-body radiator is defined as equal to its surface temperature in kelvin. For bodies other than ideal black bodies, the color temperature of the thermal radiation emitted from it may differ from its actual surface temperature. In an incandescent light bulb the light is of thermal origin and is very close to that of an ideal black-body radiator.

However, many other light sources, such as fluorescent lamps, do not primarily emit light because of the temperature of the source and the emitted radiation do not follow the form of a black-body spectrum, and are assigned what is known as a correlated color temperature (CCT). CCT is the color temperature of a black body radiator which in the perception of the human eye most closely matches the light from the lamp. Because such an approximation is not required for incandescent light, the CCT for an incandescent light is simply its unadjusted temperature, derived from the comparison to a black-body radiator.

As the sun crosses the sky, it may appear to be red, orange, yellow or white depending on its position. The changing color of the sun over the course of the day is mainly a result of refraction and, to a lesser extent, scattering of light, and is unrelated to black body radiation.

Even when the sun is low over the horizon, we can estimate its apparent color temperature and correct it to compute its effective temperature. So, even if the sun looks red, and showing an apparent color temperature of 2500 K, a calculation can demonstrate that its effective temperature is in reality close to 5770 K.

The blue color of the sky is not due to black-body radiation, but rather to Rayleigh scattering of the sunlight from the atmosphere, which tends to scatter blue light more than red. This phenomenon has nothing to do with the properties of a black body.
Some common examples.

1700 K: Match flame
1850 K: Candle
2800 K: Tungsten lamp (incandescent lightbulb)
3350 K: Studio "CP" light
3400 K: Studio lamps, photofloods, etc...
4100 K: Moonlight
5000 K: Typical warm daylight
5500–6000 K: Typical cool daylight, electronic flash (can vary between manufacturers)
6420 K: Xenon arc lamp
6500 K: Daylight°
9300 K: TV screen (analog)
The colors of 5000 K and 6500 K black bodies are close to the colors of the standard illumininants called respectively D50 and D65, which are used in professions working with color reproduction (photographers, publishers, etc.).

For colors based on the black body, blue is the "hotter" color, while red is actually the "cooler" color. This is the opposite of the cultural associations that colors have taken on, with "red" as "hot", and "blue" as "cold". The traditional associations come from a variety of sources, such as water and ice appearing blue, while heated metal and fire are of a reddish hue. However, the redness of these heat sources comes precisely from the fact that red is the coolest of the visible colors: the first color emitted as heat increases. To see this, observe that while incandescent bulbs glow a reddish to yellowish color throughout their lifetimes, when one blows out, the flash of light is noticeably bluish - the filament is hotter when it burns out, as evidenced by the scorch mark often left on the glass.

"Color temperature" is sometimes used loosely to mean "white balance" or "white point". Notice that color temperature has only one degree of freedom, whereas white balance has two (R-Y and B-Y).

In photography, an alternative numerical measure used is the mired (micro reciprocal degrees). Color temperatures and mireds are convertible to each other via a simple formula (see the mired page for details of the computations, and the reasons for the use of the alternative unit).

They are also called colour gamuts. It is the range of colors that can be recreated by a system of color representation or of color acquisition. Adobe RGB and sRGB are color spaces, like those described by ICC profiles of cameras, screens or printers (Also refer to Gamut).

Color (Temperature) Conversion Filter
Converts the color temperature of the light source as it goes through it to fit the film in use. For example, the dark blue B12 Nikon filter makes it possible to use daylight balanced film with tungsten studio lamps, changing the light temperature from 3200K to 5500K. In digital photography the light color conversion filters effect can be added via software.

Compact Camera
A Point-and-Shoot camera (P&S). Convenient in size, smaller than a SLR camera, lacking advanced features.

CompactFlash™ Card
Trademark name for one type of digital camera's re-usable memory card on which images taken by the camera are stored. Available in a wide range of storage capacity and recording speeds.

Continuous Servo AF
Used to allow the camera to continue focusing as long as the shutter release is slightly pressed. This allows an AF camera to take a picture even if the picture is not in focus. Used for making images of fast moving subjects. AF mode "C".

Contrast Control Filter
Filters used in black and white photography to emphasize contrast in various degrees. There are six major types: Y (Yellow), Y/G (Yellow/Green), G (Green), O (Orange), R (Red) and the not so frequently used B (Blue), for portraits, to strengthen skin tones and bring out more detail in faces. Contrast filters improve the separation of tones. The deeper colored the filter the more pronounced the contrast effect.

The apparent difference in brightness between lightest and darkest areas of an image. Usually refers to the gradation between black and white. Fewer gray values are described as "high contrast." Many shades of gray is low contrast.

An Adobe Photoshop functionality that allows to adjust the tonal range of a digitized image. From basic adjustments in shadows, highlights and mid tones, to sophisticated adjustments at any point within a 256 (from 0 to 255) tonal range of the entire image or precise adjustments to the individual color channels of an image.

CRC (Close Range Correction System)
One of the many pioneering efforts from Nikon, system that provides superior picture quality at close focusing distances and increases the focusing range of a lens.  Through “Floating Element” designs -wherein each lens group moves independently to achieve focusing- CRC enables selected Nikkor lenses to provide comparable performance at both very near and very far focusing distances. For fisheye and wide angle lenses, CRC allows for most interesting perspectives. A most impressive example of a lens with this feature is the AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D ED IF Zoom Nikkor.


D ~ Abc ~

Factual piece of information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation. Information output by a sensing device or organ, it includes both useful and irrelevant or redundant pieces of information that must be processed to be meaningful in a decision making process. Information in numerical form that can be digitally transmitted and/or processed. "Don't confuse me with the data, give me information to make decisions.

Ambient light with a color temperature of 5500K. Direct sunlight on a bright day, at noon time, combined with the reflected light from the sky, produce natural ambient light.

Daylight-Type film
A film designed to render a natural, correct color balance when exposed in daylight.

D chip
Relays distance information from a Nikkor or Nikon-D-compatible lens into a Nikon camera body that features 3D Color Matrix Metering, 3D Matrix Metering, and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash, body which in turns relays it -after processing it with metering data- to a Nikon speedlight for ultra-precise fill-flash.

DC (Defocus Control)
Unique ability of a Nikkor lens to alter the shape of its out of focus areas, both foreground and background via aberration management, like in the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D DC AF and 135mm f/2D DC AF. This feature creates splendid boke. When the DC control ring is set to 0, the lens functions as a non-DC lens.

Sharpness of an image (as seen by the clarity of detail) formed by an optical system.

D-Type Lenses
Designation used by Nikon Corporation to identify a Nikkor lens that supplies distance to subject information to a Nikon AF camera, most useful for ultra-precise TTL and Balanced TTL flash. AF lenses with a D chip. These Nikkor lenses were introduced in 1992. Among the first were the 35-70mm f/2.8D AF and 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF. Nikkor G-Type lenses are D-Type lenses too.

Dark material used to cover the photographer's head and the ground-glass-viewing screen on large format cameras.

Dark," light-tight space for processing and printing photographic materials.

Thin, flat piece of metal or plastic, which protects unprocessed film from light exposure.

Dedicated Flash
Electronic flash designed to work with the meter and exposure system of a specific camera.

The amount or "density" of silver on an exposed and processed piece of film.

Depth of Field (DOF)
When actioned, it closes down the aperture of an auto lens to that of the selected exposure, allowing (a darkened) view of the depth of field through the viewfinder.

Another word for aperture. Can also be a type of shutter. Refer to Leaf Shutter.

Bounced light. Light "refracts" off opaque materials softening and blurring an image.

Material that softens and "diffuses" light in order to soften the edges in an image.

A device or system which can be stored and processed, where the use and representation of on/off impulses translates into 0/1 data called bits.

Digital Camera
A camera that captures an image through the lens but instead of on film, it does it on an an electronic image sensor, a CCD (Charged Coupled Device); then temporarily transferred into a FlashCard™ for eventual download into a computer.

Transformation of analog data into digital data for computer storage and processing.

Stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German Institute for Standardization. Founded in 1917, since 1975 it has been recognized by the German government as the national standards body and represents German interests at international and European standards circles. DIN is a logarithmic expression while ASA is an arithmetic one. An ISO 100 film has a DIN rating of 21; an ISO 200 film has a DIN rating of 24. The DIN number is equal to 10 times log ISO + 1 and the ISO number is equal to antilog of (DIN - 1 divided by 10), e.g. for ISO 200, log 200 equals 2.3, times 10 = 23, 23 + 1 = 24 DIN.

An optical unit of measure of the refractive power of a lens, the reciprocal of its focal length.

Where light rays deviate by different wavelengths, causing a light spectrum, or rainbow.

Distance Information
As provided by the D chip on D-type lenses, relayed to the camera for processing for ultra-precise speedlight exposures on AF Nikon auto bodies.

Where straight lines are not rendered perfectly straight in a photograph. Two types of distortion exist: barrel and pincushion.

Selectively lightening part of a photo, either on an enlarger for traditional film printing or with an image editing program. The opposite to "Burning".

Dots per Inch. As applicable to the resolution of a printer, the number of dots it can print per inch. Erroneously it is also applied to scanners and digital cameras instead of PPI (Pixels Per Inch), as if a dot would be equivalent to a pixel. The higher the number, the higher the resolution.

DX lenses
Introduced in 2003. Nikkor G, slightly lighter and smaller lenses, designed to fill the smaller frame of the DX (APS-C) Format sensor size used in the Nikon Digital series SLR cameras. The first was the AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED. Ideal for landscape photographers.

Dynamic AF
Nikon advanced feature mode, intended to be used with Continuous (C) Servo AF and Continuous film advance for tracking moving subjects in advanced camera models. As soon as you half depress the shutter release button the AF locks onto the subject within the primary (pre-selected) focusing area. Even if the subject moves out of the selected focusing area, the AF will continue to lock on it as the nearest focusing area takes over since the camera has been not just focusing but also computing the subject's speed and motion direction. Even if the subject gets obscured by some other object, the F5 will not loose track as it is anticipating the subject's location. This feature has been rated to follow up to 20mm per second across the film plane, the equivalent of this with a 300mm lens is a subject moving at 300 kmph (186.5 mph) up to a distance of approximately 20 meters (61 feet). As Gunther Richter wrote in the Magic Lantern Guide for the F5: "Now, try that with any other camera!".

E ~ Abc ~

ED (Extra Low Dispersion) Glass
A glass developed and trademarked by Nikon Corporation, used in telephoto lenses to offer superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing chromatic aberration. These lenses are resistant to temperature changes, preventing focus shift problems in lenses that use calcium fluorite crystal elements. Fluorite cracks easily and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens’ refractive index. Super ED glass is a new type, used together with ED glass in some lenses achieves an even higher degree of freedom from chromatic aberration.

ED lens
A Nikkor lens having at least one ED element in its optical formula, improving sharpness.

The light sensitive, chemically active surface on photographic film and paper.

Exposure Value. A number representing equivalent shutter speeds and lens apertures combinations for the same exposure, given a scene brightness. At ISO 100, 0 represents (f/1.0 at 1 sec); 1 = (f/1.4 at 1 sec) or (f/1.0 at 1/2 sec); 2 = (f/2.0 at 1 sec) or (f/1.4 at 1/2 sec) or (f/1.0 at 1/4 sec) and so on. For a fixed aperture, as the EV increases 1, the shutter speed increases one step; for fixed shutters speeds, as the EV increases 1, aperture decreases one f/stop. Long exposures are for (or have) negative EV. A light meter sensitivity is usually defined as having the capacity to read an EV range for a given ISO speed.

Exchangeable Image File: the file format used by most digital cameras. For example, when a typical camera is set to record a JPEG, it’s actually recording an EXIF file that uses JPEG compression to compress the photo data within the file.

The amount of light that reaches a film frame or a digital sensor or the combination of f-stop (light intensity) and shutter speed (duration) that controls the amount of light reaching the film or sensor. Also used to describe an exposed piece of film.

Exposure Compensation
Deliberately changing the exposure settings recommended by a light meter in order to obtain a different exposure to better fit personal preferences, create special effects or meet special requirements.

Exposure Factor
A multiplier for the exposure increase required when the light reaching the film is decreased from either increasing the distance between the lens and the film (as with extension tubes and bellows) or when a filter is attached. Users with cameras with TTL meters need not to be concerned about correction for filters.

Extension Rings
Rings used to extend the distance between lens and film/sensor for macro or close-up work (One or several for various magnification ratios). Current Nikon extension rings are the PK11A (8mm), PK12A (14mm), PK13A (27.5mm). Sometimes also called Extension Tubes.

External Flash
A supplementary flash unit (speedlight) that connects to the camera via the hotshoe or a cable, or is triggered by the light from the camera’s internal built-in flash. For fun, creative effects and better lighting, usually with longer reach than a built-in unit.

Eyepiece Correction Lens
Attaches to the viewfinder eyepiece to correct for eyesight deficiencies. High-end cameras have a built-in diopter correction.

Eyepiece shutter
A blind that blocks the eyepiece to prevent light to come into the viewfinder, altering correct measurements of the light meter when using the self-timer or at any time when the photographer is not there to block such light.

F ~ Abc ~

Fast Film
A film with high sensitivity to light, needing less light for proper exposure. Recommended for action and low-light light photography. Term normally applied to films with ISO 400 and higher.

Fast Lens
A lens with a maximum wide aperture (f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8) allowing it to gather more light than a "slow lens" which has a less wide maximum aperture (f/3.5, f/4 and smaller.

File Format
A program or data file type such as JPEG, PSD, TIFF, PDF, PICT, EPS.

Film/Frame Advance Mode
Found in cameras with a built-in motor drive. It is Single-frame when a single frame is advanced, one at the time, each time the shutter is released. It is Continuous-framing when the film/sensor frame continuously advances as long as the shutter button is depressed, taking pictures until the button is not any longer depressed or the film roll reaches its end or the digital camera buffer is full, or the memory card is full.

Flash that is used to supplement ambient light to fill shadow areas in a subject with light, thereby reducing contrast. Technique also known as “flash fill” and “fill-in flash.” To make it look natural, Nikon offers Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash, where ambient light and flash light are in complete balance.

Transparent lens attachment used to modify the light coming into a lens, to change the color, or other characteristics of an image. They are used both on the camera and in the darkroom.

Filter Adapter Ring
Used to accommodate larger diameter filters on a smaller diameter lens. Also known as step-up rings. Useful to reduce the number of filter sets needed when using different diameter lenses.

Fast data transfer bus developed by Apple, capable of transmitting data at 400Mbps, also known as IEEE 1394.

Fisheye Lens
Super wide angle lens. Angle of view can approach 180 degrees. Nearly infinite depth-of-field.

Fixed Focal Length
A camera with a non-removable, non-zoom lens with unchangeable focal length. 
A prime lens.

Reflected light; from lens elements, sun, metal, etc. Appears as non-uniform haze or bright spots on the film or digital frame, often taking the shape of the aperture, generally caused from shooting towards the light source. The use of uncoated filters makes a lens more prone to flare; often results in an overall reduction of image contrast. The always-on use of a lens shade is also recommended.

Artificial light source. Usually camera-mounted speedlights (like the SB-28, SB-80DX) but also larger studio models called strobes.

Flash Bracketing
Feature available in TTL Auto Flash shooting, allowing for bracketed exposures varying flash output without changing aperture nor shutter speed.

Flash Card
Memory device capable of holding data after the system is turned off.

Flash Compensation
A control on a speedlight and a method to reduce or augment the flash output from a flash to lighten or darken the flash effect.

Flash Duration
The duration of a flash burst from a speedlight, used to vary flash output, typically from 1/1000 to 1/20,000 of a second in contemporary units under auto flash modes.

Flash Range
The distance range within which a flash is capable of rendering well illuminated subjects for proper exposure. The range is a function of both the maximum and minimum flash output capability of the unit and the aperture selected, whether automatically or manually, in turn also affected by the ISO speed in use.

Flash Sync (Synchronization)
The shutter speed that corresponds to the proper timing of the flash. Any faster and the shutter won't be open for the duration of the flash. Any shorter and subject movement might cause blur.

Flexible Program
A function enabling the possible change of equivalent correct exposure values under Programmed Auto Exposure Mode, to either increase/decrease shutter speed or aperture.

Flood Lamp
Photo lamps used for wider areas. The industry standards are of a color temperature of around 3400K, and cooler lamps with a temperature around 3200K.

F Numbers
Numbers on the outside of the lens corresponding to the aperture opening. The larger the number (e.g., f/22 also expressed as F 22), the smaller the opening of the lens; the smaller the number (e.g., f/2.8) the larger the opening of the lens.

Focal Length
The distance between the back lens element and the focal plane. In 35mm format, lenses with a focal length of approximately 50mm are called normal (standard), lenses with approximately 35mm or less are called wide-angle, and lenses with a focal length of more than approximately 70mm are called telephoto lenses.

Focal Plane
The area of the camera where the lens focuses on the film or digital sensor.

Focal Plane Shutter
A shutter placed just off the surface of the focal plane. Typical shutter type for 35mm SLR cameras.

Focal Point
The point on the optical axis where light rays form a sharp image of a subject. An ideal lens would allow light rays to diverge from a subject parallel to the optical axis and converge to a point when they pass through the lens.

To move the lens, or film or digital sensor, in relation to the focal plane in order to record a sharp image on the film/sensor. (Can't forget Contax where the film actually moves for AF operation versus the lens).

Focus Mode
Three basic types of focus modes exist for Nikon AF cameras: Single servo AF (S), Continuous servo AF (C) and Manual AF (M).

Focus Priority
A mode where the shutter cannot be released until the subject is in focus, as when using Single servo AF (S).

Focusing Screen
Refers to Ground Glass. Usually on large format cameras, a piece of frosted glass at the focal plane where the lens projects an image that can be used for focusing and composition.

Focusing Stage
A camera mount that allows it to slide along a rail for critical macro photography focusing. Like the Nikon PG-2. Use it on a solid tripod.

Focus Tracking
Advanced feature through which a camera's microprocessor (computer) analyzes a moving subject's speed, anticipates the position of the subject at the exact moment of exposure, and focuses the lens based on this information.

The area before the subject, in between the camera and the subject.

Can mean either the size of the camera or the size of the film or sensor. For camera, sizes there are APS, 35mm, medium and large format. For film format there is APS, 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc. In digital photography, DX, 35mm size, 645 and 6x6.

A scale used to express the relative area of the aperture of a lens, simply the result of dividing the focal length of a lens by the effective aperture of the lens opening (the apparent size of the diaphragm seen from the front of the lens). The f-number increases by the multiple of the square root of 2, or 1.4142, from 1.0, 1.4, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 and so on, allowing each to pass half the light of the aperture below and twice the light of the aperture above in the scale.

FP High Speed Sync
Feature allowing for flash photography at sync speeds higher than the maximum sync speed under normal flash use. Accomplished by multiple flash bursts with moderate output, but uniformly on the film or sensor frame as the shutter travels in front of the frame. Recommended for action photography where high shutter speeds are required or for fill-flash images outdoors at wide apertures.

Front Curtain Sync
Standard sync mode where the flash fires immediately after the shutter's front curtain begins its travel across the film/sensor plane. The opposite is Rear Curtain Sync.


G ~ Abc ~

G-type lenses
Nikkor AF-D lenses introduced in 2000. They don't have an aperture ring. Aperture setting is made through a "Sub-Command Dial" on modern auto bodies. G lenses were designed to weight less and be less expensive than their counterparts with an aperture ring. AF bodies without a "Sub-Command Dial" can use G-type lenses in Program and Shutter priority modes only. The first was the 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF. A G lens, being an AF-D lens, provides Distance information to the camera body.

The values produced by a monitor from black to white are nonlinear. If you graph the values, they form a curve, not a straight line. Gamma defines the slope of that curve at halfway between black and white. Gamma adjustment compensates for the nonlinear tonal reproduction of output devices such as monitor tubes. Gray Gamma 1.8 matches the default grayscale display of Mac OS computers. Gray Gamma 2.2 matches the default grayscale display of Windows computers.

A gamut is a whole set of colors which accurately represents the whole range of colors that  some types of equipment can recreate (a screen, a printer etc.). So each peripheral has its own gamut, of a determined number of colors it can print. The gamut of a LCD screen is different from that of a printer. That is why there are differences between a picture displayed (on the screen) and the same printed one.
The calibration and the use of ICC profiles can make the gamut on the screen coincide with that of the printer. These methods consist in limiting the gamut used at the intersection between the gamut of the printer and that of the screen so that there will not be colors on the screen which cannot be printed on the printer configured in the profile. The colors which are said to be "non printable" are converted to the closest printable color (refer to perceptive mode in Photoshop™).
Note that nowadays  the gamuts of some printing systems are higher than that of some CRT or LCD screens. Most screens display a color space equivalent to the sRGB one at least. Some perfectionnate screens can display all the colors of the Adobe98 space (Lacie™, Eizo™).
The best printers use several basic colors to recompose the initial picture. Six colors, or even more, are used on those printers. For instance, besides  the 4 colors .. for 6 colors a light cyan and a light magenta are added up, for seven colors a grey is added up,  etc. This makes the gamut larger.

CompuServe Graphics Image Format. A raster-oriented file type for image sharing across multiple platforms, either 1-bit or 8-bit, rendering from 2 to 256 colors or shades of gray.

The tonal contrast range of an image. Also the range of light and dark tones in a scene that a film or digital sensor is capable of registering, and gradual changing of one tint or shade into another in very small degrees.

Refers to the contrast rating of black and white enlargement papers. Zero is the lowest contrast and 5 is the maximum contrast.

Graduated Filter
Or “Gradated” Filter. A filter that is not uniformly dense, but that gradually changes its density across the filter’s field. A Graduated neutral density filter is clear from one edge to approximately the middle of the filter, then gradually increase in density towards the opposite edge. Colored gradated filters gradually change color density across the filter’s field. Used to balance the light of a scene with overly bright highlights.

Exposed and processed silver halides on the film emulsion that turn black and form miniature "grain" that make up the image on a piece of film. The equivalent efect at high ISO in digital photography -which is grainless- is "noise.

Gray Scale
An image made up of varying tones of black and white. Grayscale images are distinct from black-and-white images, which in the context of computer imaging are images with only two colors, black and white; grayscale images have many shades of gray in between. The 256 gray levels system divides the gray scale into 256 sections with black at 0 and white at 255.

Guide Number
A number used to describe the output capacity of a flash. Usually measured using an ISO sensitivity or speed of 100. Divided by the distance from flash to subject it yields aperture.


H ~ Abc ~

Atmospheric condition characterized by fine particles of dust, smoke or moisture in the air, causing loss of contrast in an image because of light scattering.

High Eye point
Applied to a viewfinder that allows a user to see the entire frame in the viewfinder from a close distance from the eyepiece, for eyeglass-wearing photographers.

High Key
High contrast with mostly highlights and little shadow detail.

The bright to white parts of an image.

A representation of a frequency distribution by means of rectangles whose widths represent class intervals and whose areas are proportional to the corresponding frequencies. A graph defining the contrast and dynamic range of an image.

Hot Shoe
Accessory holder usually built on top of the camera to mount a flash and other accessories. It has the necessary electric contacts to communicate with a dedicated speedlight.

Color. Gradation of color. Also, the attribute of colors that permits them to be classed as red, yellow, green, blue, or an intermediate between any contiguous pair of these colors.

Hyperfocal Distance
The closest point at which a camera can be focused where the depth of field includes infinity, starting at half the hyperfocal distance.


I ~ Abc ~

The ICC Target is a group of colored patches. This group is printed on a sheet of paper to be measured and compared with a reference chart afterwards. Then, this measure is use to edit an ICC profile.

IF (Internal Focusing) System
A system used where the internal elements in the lens are the only parts that move during focusing, i.e. This prevents the physical length of the lens from changing, or the lens barrel rotating; allows for faster focus, reduces aberrations, and facilitates use of filters that require specific alignment such as polarizers and graduated neutral density.

Image Editor
A computer program that enables adjustments to a photo to improve its appearance. With image editing software, it is possible to darken or lighten a photo, rotate it, adjust its contrast, colors hue and saturation, crop out extraneous detail, remove red-eye and more. Adobe® Photoshop®, is the professional image-editing standard.

Image Plane
The area at which a lens forms an image, i.e. the film plane if, and when focused correctly.

Image Resolution
The number of pixels in a digital photo is commonly referred to as its image resolution.

Incident Light
Light as measured as it falls on a surface, rather than light reflected from a surface.

In relation to camera focus: the horizon.

Light not visible with the human eye. Measured at the red end of the spectrum. Can be photographed with special film.

Inkjet printers operate by propelling various size (mostly tiny) droplets of liquid or molten material (ink) onto almost any media. They are the most common type of computer printer for the general consumer[citation needed] due to their low cost, high quality of output, capability of printing in vivid color, and ease of use.

Like most modern technologies, the present-day inkjet has built on the progress made by many earlier versions. Among many contributors, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Canon can claim a substantial share of credit for the development of the modern inkjet. In the worldwide consumer market, four manufacturers account for the majority of inkjet printer sales: Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Epson, and Lexmark.

The emerging Ink jet material deposition market also uses ink jet technologies, typically piezoelectric ink jets, to deposit materials directly on substrates.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based in Geneva, is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 150 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1946. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. ISO's work results in international agreements, which are published as International Standards. "ISO" is not an acronym, it is a word, derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal", which is the etymological root of the prefix "iso-" that occurs in a host of terms, such as "isometric" (of equal measure or dimensions) and "isonomy" (equality of laws, or of people before the law).  As applied to photographic film or digital sensors, it refers to its speed or sensitivity in conjunction with a number, like ISO 100, twice as "fast" as ISO 50.


J ~ Abc ~

Acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group that describes a digital image file format standard in which the size of the file is reduced by compression. A JPEG image file name carries the extension "jpg". JPEG compression is "loosy", meaning it looses some image information as opposed to other formats like TIFF. A "high quality" JPEG file looses less than a "low quality" JPEG file.

The placement of two objects close together or side by side for comparison or contrast. At times to illustrate the scale in an image, or to contrast old and new, old and young, tall and short, etc.


K ~ Abc ~

K (Kelvin)
Thermodynamic temperature scale measurement. In 1933, the International Committee of Weights and Measures adopted the temperature at which water, ice, and water vapor coexist in equilibrium as a fixed point, the "triple point of water"; its value was set as 273.16. The unit of temperature on this scale is called the Kelvin, after William Thompson Lord Kelvin, and its symbol is K (no degree symbol used). In photography it is used to measure the color temperature of light at different wavelengths.

Key Light
When lighting a photographic subject, the main light source.

Distortion of a projected image when the projector is not directed perpendicular to the screen. Also applied to the convergence of vertical lines in tall buildings when not photographed with a Perspective Control (PC) lens.

L ~ Abc ~

L.a.b. (L.a.b. space)
Unlike the RGB and CMYK color models, Lab color is designed to approximate human vision. It aspires to perceptual uniformity, and its L component closely matches human perception of lightness. It can thus be used to make accurate color balance corrections by modifying output curves in the a and b components, or to adjust the lightness contrast using the L component. These transformations are difficult or impossible in the RGB or CMYK spaces, which model the output of physical devices, rather than human visual perception.

Because Lab space is much larger than the gamut of computer displays, printers, or even human vision, a bitmap image represented as Lab requires more data per pixel to obtain the same precision as an RGB or CMYK bitmap. In the 1990s, when computer hardware and software was mostly limited to storing and manipulating 8 bit/channel bitmaps, converting an RGB image to Lab and back was a lossy operation. With 16 bit/channel support now common, this is no longer such a problem.

Additionally, many of the “colors” within Lab space fall outside the gamut of human vision, and are therefore purely imaginary; these “colors” cannot be reproduced in the physical world. Though color management software, such as that built in to image editing applications, will pick the closest in-gamut approximation, changing lightness, colorfulness, and sometimes hue in the process, author Dan Margulis claims that this access to imaginary colors is useful going between several steps in the manipulation of a picture.

How much variation an emulsion allows while still delivering acceptable exposures, i.e. how "forgiving" a film is to exposure error or deliberate under and over exposure. Also applied to the range of brightness, including shadow detail, that a film can record in a single image before the highlights are washed out or the shadows become muddy.

Liquid Crystal Display. An information display method. Usually used for external Displays on cameras, speedlights or other electronic devices like flat screen computer monitors.

Leaf Shutter
Camera shutter located in the lens. Utilizes a spring with the aperture control device to control the exposure time. Useful because it can be synched with a flash at any speed.

Light Emitting Diode. An information display method. Usually used for viewfinder displays since it can be seen in the dark.

An optical device used to control and focus light.

Lens Coatings
Thin anti-reflective materials applied to the surface of a lens in one or multiple layers, to help reduce light reflection and increase amount of transmitted light. Nikon Integrated Coating (NIC) has been improved to Nikon Super Integrated Coating (NSIC) to further enhance the performance of its optical lens elements. This new multi-layer lens coating helps to reduce ghosting and flare to a negligible level, minimizes reflection in the wider wavelength range and achieves superior color balance and reproduction. Especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors.

Lens Drive Systems
There are two different types of AF lens drive systems offered: One system utilizes a motor located inside the camera, which autofocuses the lens via a drive shaft. The other system, utilizes a motor inside the lens.

Lens Hood/Shade
A lens addition, ring or tube in front of the lens used to minimize lens "flare" or unwanted light from reaching the lens.

Lens Speed
Refers to the maximum aperture of a lens. One with a wide aperture is called "fast". e.g. a f/1.4 lens, transmitting more light than a "slow" lens, e.g. a f/5.6 lens.

(Visible) Light
Radiated energy which forms that portion of the spectrum visible to the human eye, from 400 nanometers in the ultraviolet frontier to 700 in the infra-red boundary.

Light Box
A device for viewing film. Constructed of a light source (usually sunlight balanced fluorescent) behind a glass or plastic surface on which the film is placed for viewing.

Light Meter
A light sensitive device used for evaluating the amount of light in a scene for exposure. There are four types: Incidental meter, reflective meter, flash meter and spot meter.

A small magnifying glass for viewing slides, negatives and contact sheets. Commonly 8X to 10X.

Low Key
As applied to an image, it refers to one with overall dark tones. A good low key image nevertheless shows detail and contrast.

The brightness of a surface determined by the amount of light it emits or reflects.


M ~ Abc ~

Focusing mode on some AF-Nikkor lenses allowing for switching from automatic to manual focusing with virtually no lag time by simply turning the focusing ring on the lens.

Macro photography
Commonly, close up photography. Specifically, any photography where the level of magnification is 1:1 (life-size) or larger. A Nikkor lens capable of this magnification or thereabout has a "Micro" designation. When the magnification is still considerable but smaller than 1:2, e.g. 1:4, it is said to have "Macro" capability.

Manual Camera
A camera without autofocus capability. AF lenses can be used on them but will required to be focused by hand.

Manual Mode
Mode by which the Auto capabilities of an Auto body are disabled and the user is free to manually set both aperture and shutter speed by himself, guided by the meter if he chooses to do so.

The size of an image relative to that of the subject as expressed in a ratio.

Matte Field
A textured surface that disperses light to form a clear image, and is used in viewfinder optical systems.

Matrix Metering
Advanced camera exposure metering system. Nikons with this metering mode use a multi segment sensor a computer and an extensive scene data bank. A great method to insure a high success probability to correct exposure under most lighting situations. Contrary to popular belief, this includes backlit subjects and tricky scenes with the sun in them.

Material that information is written to and stored on. Digital photography storage media includes CompactFlash cards and CDs.

One million pixels.

Metamerism is the situation where two color samples with different spectral power distributions appear to be the same color when viewed side by side. A spectral power distribution describes the proportion of total light emitted, transmitted or reflected by a color sample at every visible wavelength; it precisely defines the light from any physical stimulus. However, the human eye contains only three color receptors (cones), which means all colors are reduced to three sensory quantities, called the tristimulus values. Metamerism occurs because each type of cone responds to the cumulative energy from a broad range of wavelengths, so that different combinations of light across all wavelengths can produce an equivalent receptor response and the same tristimulus values or color sensation. Two spectrally different color samples that visually match are metamers.

Any measuring device. In photography it usually refers to a light meter although it could refer to a color meter.

A small number of prisms located on the focusing screens. The microprisms break down out-of-focus images into small segments and appears fuzzy, allowing focusing on subjects without distinct lines.

Micro Nikkor Lens
A Nikkor lens specifically designed for high magnification macro photography, distortion free, capable of a ratio between 1:1 (life size) and 1:2, unaided by other accessories.

Mirror Lens
A lens, which uses mirrors, as well as lens optics to control and focus an image. Usually a telephoto lens. These catadioptric lenses were designed to allow for shorter barrels.

Mirror Lockup
A function to manually bring the reflex mirror up to further reduce camera shake or vibration, eliminating the "slap" of the mirror at the time of exposure.

Type of exposure method used by a camera, e.g., Manual mode (M), Aperture Priority mode (A), picture mode, flash mode, etc.

Tending towards one color.

Single legged camera support. Good substitution for handholding, never for a tripod.

Motor Drive
A device for automatically wind and rewind the film in a camera. Most contemporary Nikon cameras have them built-in. Also called motor winders or speed winders.

Modulation Transfer Function. Basically the comparison between a graph with a set of lines, gradually increasing in width and spacing, and the reproduced image made with the lens tested for performance. One of standard tests made by lens manufacturers.


N ~ Abc ~

Nikon acquisition Syndrome, It is manifested by a feverish desire to own everything and anything which has a Nikon logo. Five decades of research have found no cure, not even acute pauperism, a heavy handed spouse, or hypnosis work. Post-hypnotic suggestions such as "Will it make you a better photographer?" get soon discarded as irrelevant when not idiotic, making the victim inmune to common vaccines such as logic, some strong home remedies and whitchcraft.

Neutral Density. Term used to describe filters that absorb all visible light to a given degree. Not having a color effect, they can be used both in color and B&W photography

Nikon Electronic Format. C'est l'extension donnée aux fichiers Raw chez Nikon.

A processed piece of film where the image is reversed so that the shadows are light and the highlights are dark

Neutral Density Filter
A dark filter that attaches to a lens in order to control the amount of light reaching the film.

Newton Rings
Colored, ring-shaped patterns that appear between two transparent tightly pressed surfaces like glass or film. Caused by moisture between the surfaces refracting the light.

Nickel-Cadmium, or Ni-Cad, rechargeable battery that should be completely discharged before it is recharged.

Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable battery that does not need to be completely discharged before it can be recharged.

Normal Lens
A lens where the focal length is approximately equal to the diagonal of the film size it's being used for. This is also representative of the field of view of human sight. In 35mm format it is approximately 50mm, in medium format approximately 90mm, in 4x5 approximately 200mm.


O ~ Abc ~


Relating to, or producing tone values of light and shade in a photograph that correspond to natural tones. Also, sensitive to all colors except red.

Off-the-Film meter reading that measures light reflected from the surface of the film during exposure.

Light sensitive material that has been exposed to more light than desirable for a good image.

Light sensitive material that has been exposed to more light than desirable for a good image.

P ~ Abc ~

Photo material that is sensitive to all colors that the human eye can perceive.

The act of following a moving subject with the camera while releasing the shutter.

In photography, an image proportionally more rectangular than a 35mm film frame. Also, a type of camera for exposing film in a panoramic format.

In rangefinder cameras, the difference between the image seen by the lens and the viewfinder. The discrepancy increases as the subject moves closer to the camera. This does not occur in SLR cameras.

PC Nikkor Lens
A specialized lens for architectural photography, with perspective control through barrel lateral shifting relative to the film or sensor plane, eliminating the need for the camera to be tilted, to maintain vertical lines parallel, without converging or Keystoning.

A prism in an SLR camera that allows the photographer to view the image while it is being focused.

The visual representation of three-dimensional space in a two dimensional medium. Three dimensions are implied by converging lines and a focal point.

Tungsten light source with a metal reflector. Typically either 5500K or 3200K.

From the Greek Photos and Graphos, light writing or writing with light. The mix of art, craft and science for the creation of images on a light sensitive surface (such as film or a CCD).

A Macintosh graphic imaging file format using a pct extension (*.pct). May contain object-oriented and bitmapped graphics.

Pinhole Camera
A camera with a fixed aperture made by poking a hole in a piece of metal. Usually made from a small enclosed container such as an oatmeal box or small tin.

Contraction of Picture and Element. Any of the small discrete elements that together constitute an image (as on a computer or television screen or CRT), or any of the detecting elements of a charge-coupled device used as an optical sensor in a digital camera. Each one has a specific color and is contiguous to the next to form a color image.

An imaginary line, flat area or field which lies perpendicular to the optical axis.

Use of polarizing filters to control the direction light travels. The effects are minimizing glare and reflections and saturation of colors, especially in landscapes.

Polarizing Filter
Two pieces of polarizing material which rotate on an axis so that the polarizing effect can be increased or decreased.

Portrait Lens
Usually a lens with a moderately long focal length (80 to 135mm in 35mm cameras). Sometimes they have slight diffusing glass.

A photo image in which the light areas correspond to light areas in the subject, and the dark areas correspond to the shadow areas in the subject. Also called a slide, transparency or color reversal.

Banding or lack of continuous tones in an image. Can be a deliberate effect or, more commonly, a result of over-manipulation or compression in a digital image.

Pixels per square inch. The greater the number, the better the image quality.

Preset Focus
The act of focusing at a predetermined distance to shoot a moving subject as it goes by the focus point. A technique employed with both manual lenses and when locking focus with auto lenses in anticipation of fast moving subjects. Freeze Focus is a feature by which the shutter is automatically actuated when the subject reaches the preset focus point.

Primary Colors
Red, yellow and blue, the three colors which combined make white light.

Prime Lens
A lens with a single, fixed focal length; not a zoom lens.

Principal Point
A point from where the focal length of the lens is measured. Normally located at the center of the lens. However, compound lenses have two principal points, and the location of these principal points cannot be determined by appearance.

A piece of transparent material (i.e., glass or plastic) that is capable of bending light.

In photography, chemical process where a latent photographic image is converted to a stable visible image.

A device used to enlarge images by focusing light through them onto a flat surface.

To overexpose and underdevelop film to effectively reduce its speed.

To underexpose and overdevelop film it to effectively increase its speed.

R ~ Abc ~

A raw image file (sometimes written RAW image file) contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of a digital camera or image scanner. Raw files are so named because they are not yet processed and ready to be used with a bitmap graphics editor or printed. Normally, the image will be processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to an RGB file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation.

Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as film negatives in traditional chemical photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image. In addition to raw files from cameras, raw data from film scanners can also be referred to as digital negatives. Likewise, the process of converting a raw image file into a viewable format is sometimes called developing a raw image, by analogy with the film development.

Like a photographic negative, a digital negative may have a wider dynamic range or color gamut than the eventual final image format. The selection of the final choice of image rendering is part of the process of white balancing and color grading.

A camera with a viewfinder separate from the lens. Not a SLR. Also, the usually built-in adjustable optical device for focusing a camera that automatically indicates the correct focus (as when two parts of a split image are brought together).

Images made of dots. Each individual one contains specific information as to its size, color and position within the image.

Rear Focus
The focused area behind the subject.

Rear Focusing System
When focusing, only the rear lens group moves. This eliminates the changing of the physical length of the lens during focusing and allows for faster focusing. (Refer also to Internal Focusing).

Rear Sync
In this mode, the flash fires when the second curtain starts to move across the frame, not the first one. When used in conjunction with slow shutter speeds a trail of light is left giving by blur effect the sensation of movement of a subject frozen by the flash.

Recycling Time
The time it takes for a strobe or battery-pack to recharge so that it can power a flash burst. Shorter with fresh batteries and when shooting in power saving mode P.

Red Eye
The effect of red colored irises from subjects. It is caused by a combination of factors, low ambient light asking the irises to open more than regularly and small angle between the angles of both the lens axis and that of the flash light. The light bouncing from the back of the retinas brings back into the image the red of the blood vessels. Big eyes don't help either. Red eye can be reduced and even eliminated in several ways: by increasing the ambient light, increasing the angle between the lens and the flash beam with a bracket, having the subject look into a direction other than the camera, or into a bright light, or simply by using a flash with a red-eye system which pre-flashes to close down the irises of the subject.

Reflected Light Reading
Light meter reading made by pointing the meter towards the subject. It will vary depending on the subject as different materials reflect different amounts of light.

A tool for redirecting light. Usually white or metallic, a cloth or any light-reflecting board.

Reflex Camera
A camera that uses a mirror to reflect light onto a ground glass for viewing and focusing.

Relative Aperture
Diameter of the aperture divided by the focal length of the lens. Expressed numerically as an f-stop.

Release-Priority AF
In release-priority autofocus operation, the shutter can be released at anytime whether the subject is in focus or not. Used in fast-moving situations where you don't want to lose any of the action.

Repeating Flash
A feature available in some units to make multiple flash bursts during exposure. Useful for motion study in single frame multiple exposure. Best used in dark studios in Bulb setting.

Reproduction Ratio
The size of the subject in an image compared to its actual size. As a general rule, for subjects farther away than in macro photography, the focal length of the lens used, divided by the camera to subject distance yields the reproduction ratio. e.g. a 180mm lens focused at 1.8 meters (18000mm) will have a 1:10 reproduction ratio.

(Also known as Resolving Power) The ability to reproduce small details in a photograph. Resolving power is used to measure lens performance using line pairs per millimeter (1/mm), and indicates how many black pairs of lines placed at equal intervals within 1mm can be resolved by a lens.

To alter a finished print, digital image or piece of film in order to cover up undesirable marks or elements.

Red, Green and Blue. The three colors to which the human visual system, digital cameras and many other devices are sensitive; the colors used in displays and input devices. They represent the additive color model, where 0% of each component yields black and 100% of each component yields white.

Ring Flash
A circular-shaped electronic flash unit that fits around a lens providing shadowless, uniform frontal lighting; especially useful in close-up photography.

A raster image processor (RIP) is a component used in a printing system which produces a bitmap. The bitmap is then sent to a printing device for output. The input may be a page description in a high-level page description language such as PostScript, Portable Document Format, XPS or another bitmap of higher or lower resolution than the output device. In the latter case, the RIP applies either smoothing or interpolation algorithms to the input bitmap to generate the output bitmap.

Raster image processing is the process and the means of turning vector digital information such as a PostScript file into a high-resolution raster image.

Originally RIPs were a rack of electronic hardware which received the page description via some interface (eg RS232) and generated a "hardware bitmap output" which was used to enable or disable each pixel on a real-time output device such as an optical film scanner.

A RIP can be implemented either as a software component of an operating system or as a firmware program executed on a microprocessor inside a printer, though for high-end typesetting, standalone hardware RIPs are sometimes used. Ghostscript and GhostPCL are examples of software RIPs. Every PostScript printer contains a RIP in its firmware.

Earlier RIPs retained backward compatibility with photosetters so they supported the older languages. So, for example Linotype RIPs supported CORA (RIP30).

Stages of RIP

1. Interpretation: This is the stage where the supported PDLs (Page description languages) are translated into a private internal representation of each page. Most RIPs process pages serially so the current machine state is only for the current page; i.e one page at once. Once a page has been output the page state is discarded to ready it for the next page.

2. Rendering: A process through which the private internal representation is turned into a continuous tone bitmap. Note that in practical RIPs interpretation and rendering are frequently done together. Simple languages (mostly the most ancient) were designed to work on minimal hardware so tend to "directly drive" the renderer.

3. Screening: In order to print, a continuous-tone bitmap is converted into a halftone (pattern of dots). Two screening methods or types are Amplitude Modification (AM) screening and stochastic or Frequency Modulation (FM) screening. In AM screening, dot size varies depending on object density -- tonal values; dots are placed in a fixed grid. In FM screening, dot size remains constant and dots are placed in random order to create darker or lighter areas of the image; dot placement is precisely controlled by sophisticated mathematical algorithms.

Rising Front
The ability on a camera to raise the lens in relation to the film to control focus and distortion. Usually only on large format cameras

Non-sheet film. Film that comes in a roll and can be exposed in multiple "frames".

Roll-Film Adapter
An attachment for sheet film cameras that allows the use of roll film.


S ~ Abc ~

A red or orange darkroom light that black and white photo papers aren't sensitive to.

Relative richness of colors in a color image.

Selective Focus
Employing wide apertures to produce shallow depth of field so that the subject is isolated from its surroundings as they will not be in focus.

Self Timer
Mechanism that delays the shutter action after being actioned. Useful both to allow for the photographer to be included in the image and as means to reduce camera shake from shutter button jerking.

Black and white negatives that separate the continuous colors of an image into two to four colors for offset printing. The most common separations are for CMYK, or cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

The amount of detail that can be perceived in an image. Definition of an image in terms of focus and contrast. The combination of resolution  -typically measured in terms of the number of distinguishable line pairs per millimeter-  and acutance  -the power to resolve detail in the transition of edges.

The mechanical device in a camera that controls the amount of time light is allowed to reach the film or digital sensor.

Shutter Priority
A camera exposure mode that allows the photographer to choose a shutter speed while an electronic processor in the camera sets a corresponding aperture for best exposure.

Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Camera
A camera that uses a mirror and prism to allow the photographer to see through its single lens.

Skylight Filter
Filter used to remove more UV light (and therefore excessive blue) than a UV filter, adding a slight warming tone in two grades: 1A and 1B, where be is the warmer one.

A light sensitive trigger device used to synch strobes and flashes without an electronic synch cord.

Slow Sync
Setting allowing for slower shutter speeds while using flash, usually for more illuminated backgrounds.

A quick casual image, typically taken handheld by an amateur with a Point & Shoot camera.

An effect achieved by diffusing an image either in the camera or printing stage. Can be done with special lenses or by placing diffusion devices or materials between the light source and the light-sensitive material. Mostly used for portraits but not exclusively.

Soft Lighting
Low contrast illumination, allowing for more pleasing portraits; without harsh contrast.

Also known as the Sabbatier effect. Usually achieved by exposing a developing image to white light during the development process. The effect is a partial reversal of the image.

The visible separation of light into colored bands as white light passes through a prism.

In photography, the sensitivity of a photosensitive material or a digital sensor. This was expressed as either an ASA or DIN number, currently as an ISO number.

Spherical Aberration
A lens fault which results in degraded image quality at the film plane. It is caused by light rays passing through the lens from a single point on the optical axis focused at different points according to incident height. Spherical aberration can be reduced by stopping down the lens.

Spot Meter
A light meter, which takes it's reading at an angle of 1 to 8 degrees. Used for the zone system or to find the values of specific elements in a scene.

Retouching dust spots or other fine blemishes in a photographic image with a small brush. Usually only done on prints. In digital imaging, retouching of a digital image file.

Standard Lens
Refer to "Normal Lens." Term usually applied to 50mm lenses in 35mm film format photography.

Photography that uses two images taken from slightly different angles to produce the illusion of three dimensions when seen through a special viewing device.

Stopping Down
To decrease the size of aperture in a lens, e.g., to stop down from f/3.5 to f/16. Increases depth of field, requires longer exposure (shutter speeds).

A view camera movement used to control depth-of-field and perspective. Allows the angle relation of the film plane and lens to be changed from side-to-side.

T ~ Abc ~

An optical device, used to increase the effective focal length of a lens, consisting of optical glass. It is mounted between the camera and the lens and usually comes in three different sizes: 1.4X, 1.7X and 2.0X. A 1.4X teleconverter increases focal length by 1.4 times, while a 2.0X increases focal length by 2.0 times. The aperture of the lens is also increased by the same amount as the focal length is increased. For example, a 2.0X teleconverter increases focal length of a 200mm lens to 400mm; however, the aperture of f/2.8 is decreased to f/5.6.

Telephoto Lens
A lens with a long focal length - longer than the diagonal of the film format used. In 35mm photography, under most conventions, "Short" telephoto lenses are of 85mm, 90mm, 100mm, 105mm and 135mm focal lenghth; "Medium" telephotos are 180mm, 200mm and 300mm; "Long" or "Super" telephotos are the 400mm, 500mm and 600mm; "Ultra" long denominated telephotos are 1,000mm focal length lenses.

A small version of a digitized image. Image browsers and image editors commonly display thumbnails of several photos at a time. In Windows XP’s My Pictures, one can view thumbnails of photos in both the Thumbnails and Filmstrip view modes.

Tagged Image File Format. An uncompressed non loosy image format.

In photography, usually refers to the gray values in an image.

A processed and stabilized positive film image created on a transparent base using photochemical means; i.e., a slide is a transparency. Also, it is the property of allowing transmission of light through a material. In digital imaging it is used to denominate overlay and translucency properties in PNG, GIF, and TIFF files.

"Through the Lens." Refers to flash or exposure metering which is read "through the lens," at the film or sensor plane. Nikon has further refined it into i-TTL.

A metal filament used in most light bulbs. Makes a reddish/yellow colored light. There are special films and filters for correcting the color cast from this light.

A metal filament used in most light bulbs. Makes a reddish/yellow colored light. There are special films and filters for correcting the color cast from this light.


U ~ Abc ~

Allowing too little light to reach a photosensitive material. Results in a "thin" or light image with negative material and a dark or "dense" image with reversal material or a digital sensor.

Universal Serial Bus. A protocol for data transfer to and from digital devices. Many digital cameras and memory card readers connect to a computer via USB ports. USB card readers are typically faster than cameras or readers that connect to a serial port, but slower than those that connect via FireWire.

UV Filter
Filter used to reduce ultraviolet light exposure of film. Ultraviolet light can cause an image to appear hazy. Most modern color film and digital sensors are not sensitive to UV light.


V ~ Abc ~

Variable Focus Lens
Or Variable Focal Length Lens. A zoom lens. e.g., 28-100mm; meaning a lens with a focal length capable of varying from 28mm all the way to 100mm, from landscapes to portraits.

View Camera
A camera, usually large format that has a ground glass back for viewing the subject.

An optical device for framing and focusing an image in a camera.

The effect from blocking the light at the edge of an image. Can be caused accidentally by a combination of wide-angle lens and filters, or on purpose as a deliberate effect.

VR lenses
Introduced by Nikon in 2000. Have a Vibration Reduction gyroscopic system allowing for stabilized crisp images handheld at very slow shutter speeds, minimizing blur caused by camera shake. The system even detects panning. The first of these lenses was the 80-400mm f/4-5.6D ED VR AF Nikkor. VR was first introduced by Nikon in a compact P&S camera body in 1994.


W ~ Abc ~

Waist-Level Viewfinder
A viewfinder allowing to view from the top of the camera body. Good for candid shots at waist level, for photography at ground level and for copy stand or microscope work; also used by photojournalists to shoot from above. e.g. Nikon DW-30, DW-3.

White Balance
A function on digital camera to compensate for different colors of light being emitted by different light sources.

Wide-Angle Lens
A lens with a focal length less than the diagonal of the film format it's being used for. For 35mm format usually wider (shorter focal length) than 45mm. For medium format, wider than 75mm.

Working Distance
The distance from the front of the lens to the subject. Usually applied to close-up and macro photography. Not to be confused with "Shooting Distance" as this is that between the subject and the film or sensor plane.

What You See Is What You Get" as applied to TTL (through the lens) Single Lens Reflex camera systems. In terms of viewfinders, it is applied to those with 100% frame coverage, as in the film pro series bodies: F, F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6.


Z ~ Abc ~

Founded as a workshop for precision mechanics and optics in the German city of Jena in 1846, Carl Zeiss is today a global leader in the optical and opto-electronic industries. With offices in over 30 countries and represented in more than 100 countries, it has production centers in Europe, North America, Central America and Asia. The company’s headquarters are located in Oberkochen, Germany, in northeastern Baden-Wuerttemberg. Carl Zeiss Jena optics have a legendary high quality status, recently reminded with the introduction of new photographic lenses with Nikon mount.

Zone System
Methodology introduced by photographer Ansel Adams for determining optimal exposure and appropriate development for an individual photograph.

Zoom Flash
A flash with the capability to adjust the width of its light beam to best fit the angle of view of the lens in use.

Zoom Lens
A lens, which has a variable focal length e.g. 70-200mm,  allowing for a closer or farther view of a subject, without changing perspective, only magnification.



" All Rights Reserved Profil ICC.com © 2007-2015 "