Nikon Lens Abbreviations
Nikon 70-200mm AF-S f/2.8G ED VR II
Nikon 17-55mm AF-S f/2.8G IF-ED DX
Nikon 85mm PC f/2.8D Micro Tilt/Shift
....What do all of those letters mean at the end of the name of the lens? Will it work with my camera?
There are multiple names/letters that Nikon uses to describe the features of its lenses. These abbreviations can be really confusing. Its important to know what they mean so that you can choose the right lens that is compatible with your camera and for your specific situation.
Below will explain what all these letters mean
AF- Auto focus. Through the camera, the lens can automatically focus.
AFS- Auto focus with silent wave motor in the lens as opposed to having the focusing motor in the camera
ASP: Aspherical lens elements. Aspherical lenses correct for coma and other types of lens aberrations. An ‘ASP’ or ‘AS’ lens contains at least one aspherical lens element.
CRC – Close Range Correction lenses that are optimized for close focusing distances.
D-D-type AF lenses relay subject-to-camera distance information
DC – Defocus Control lenses let you control the amount of spherical aberration or bokeh, which works really well with portrait photography.
ED: Extra-Low Dispersion glass. Most of the newer Nikon lenses use ED glass. It corrects for chromatic aberration (light rays of different wavelengths that come through the glass and done converge at the same point), and delivers better sharpness and contrast.
G: The G lenses have no aperture ring and are designed to be used with cameras that allow setting the aperture from the camera body. G lenses also relay distance information to the camera.
IF-Internal focus Lenses with internal focus utilize movement of internal elements and don’t affect the outside length of a lens. Lenses with IF focus faster than lenses without.
Micro- Same as macro. A lens that focuses down to short distances and provides 1:1 magnification.
N - Nano Crystal Coat: A glass coating which guides light rays into the lens without them reflecting at all.
PC-E – Perspective Control with Electronic Diaphragm. Tilt-shift, Electronic aperture control- lenses that can be shifted and tilted to control the plane of focus and correct perspective distortion.
RF- Rear focusing. This is focusing done by moving the rear lens group. This design makes autofocusing smoother and faster
SIC –Super Integrated Coated lenses have better color performance and deal better with flare and ghosting
VR: Vibration reduction minimizes image blur caused by camera shake. Motion sensors detect when a photographer is panning while shooting a moving subject and stabilize the lens in the opposite direction.
FX – this means “full-frame”, as in 35mm film equivalent. Abbreviations like FX, and DX indicate format size (size of the digital sensor). FX isn’t in the descriptions of lenses, because unless indicated otherwise, all lenses are full-frame by default
DX – If a lens says “DX”, it means that it is specifically designed for APS-C DX camera bodies. DX lenses do work on FX bodies (they will mount), but will operate at half the resolution.
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