How do I know the parameters of a lens?

Each manufacturer has its own definition. Take this Nikon lens as an example:

DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 GII ED

DX: Nikon’s format for its “non-full-frame cameras” corresponds to cameras with smaller sensors, making lenses smaller and lighter. This lens on a full-frame camera (such as D3) will cause black corners.

AF-S: Silent Wave Moter developed by Nikon for AF drive makes focusing faster and quieter.

NIKKOR: the name of the Nikon lens

18-55mm: The widest and furthest focal length, 18-55 is the standard lens; because there are two numbers, it also means that this is a zoom lens.

1: 3.5-5.6: The most wide-angle maximum when the farthest and most aperture ZOOM maximum aperture, pay attention to the novice often mistakenly think that this is the biggest and the smallest aperture, it is not.

GII: Nikon’s second-generation G-type lens.

ED: It means that this lens contains ED lens, which minimizes the chromatic aberration of the lens, so as to ensure the excellent optical performance of the lens.

For more explanation of Nikon label, please click here, Canon’s please click here.

What does the word Macro stand for?

Macro represents that this lens is a “macro lens”, which is suitable for shooting small things (such as flowers, small insects, etc.). Generally, the shortest focusing distance of such lenses is relatively short, and the magnification can reach 1: 1 or 1: 2 .

What does VR / IS stand for?

Optical image stabilization technology (please refer to the article Optical image stabilization vs electronic image stabilization)-VR (Vibration Reduction) is NIKON’s image stabilization technology and IS (Image Stabilization) is CANON’s image stabilization technology, which means that this lens can withstand a certain degree of vibration To keep the image sharp.

What is a wide-angle lens / standard lens / telephoto lens?

At a constant distance, the wide-angle lens can be used to make the photo contain more scenes, such as a group photo of 5 people. The non-wide-angle lens only captures 2-3 people in the middle. The wide-angle lens can contain all five people. Because of this, some DCs now also claim to have “wider wide-angle”, attracting friends who often take photos in party / restaurants!

The standard lens in the film era generally refers to the 50mm lens, the resulting image is the image closest to the human eye.

The telephoto lens is very simple, that is, it can zoom very far. However, the lens is usually larger, longer and heavier.

Aperture value is large or small, which one is better?

If you mean “the maximum aperture you can open,” of course, the larger the better, because the more aperture you can use, the better. If it refers to whether you should use a large aperture or a small aperture when shooting, then there is no “correct” answer. For details, see the article on the relationship between aperture and depth of field.

What is a lens combination?

The lens combination refers to what lens combination this lens is made of. The quality, function, and quantity of the lens will also affect the weight, size, and photo quality of the lens. For example, the use of ED (Extra-Low Dispersion Glass) can effectively correct the chromatic aberration of the image and provide better Photo imaging.

What is “Built-in Silent Wave Moter“?

The lens motor is driven by the ultrasonic vibration force, which makes the operation and focus faster and quieter.

What is a “Fisheye Lens”?

The fisheye lens is actually an ultra-wide-angle lens. The characteristics will distort the image and can shoot the effect like a “big dog”. Now the fisheye lens can cover 180 degrees!

Use of Lens Hood


Block the light that directly enters the lens, avoid the influence of light, and avoid splashing water on the lens surface or lens damage. There are mainly lotus shape and circle. The circle is mainly used for those styles where the lens will rotate when focusing.

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Author: Alex Tam