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Photography Abreviations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by olshroom, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. A
    A: Nikon's original manual focus bayonet lens type
    AD: Tamron's anomalous dispersion technology
    A-DEP: Automatic depth of field – A mode on Canon cameras which lets the camera automatically put everything covered by focus points in focus - Learn More
    AdobeRGB: A popular color space with a wider color gamut than sRGB, originally designed to encompass most of the colors achievable with CMYK printers, yet displayable on RGB monitors - Learn More
    AE: Automatic exposure
    AEB: Automatic exposure bracketing
    AEL: Auto-exposure lock – allows a user to lock exposure settings and reorient the camera without changing exposure settings
    AF: Auto focus
    AFD: Arc-form drive – Canon's slow, inexpensive, and noisy focusing system
    AF-I: Nikon's lenses with the focusing motor built into the lens barrel itself - Learn More
    AF-S: Nikon's silent-wave focusing motors, similar to Canon's USM motors - Learn More
    AI: Aperture indexing – Nikon's lenses which can communicate lens aperture to camera body via mechanical coupling - Learn More
    AI-S: Nikon's AI lenses which also transmit linear aperture information - Learn More
    AIS: Sony's proprietary hot shoe that can accept a variety of accessories such as a microphone and light
    AL: Aspherical lens
    A-TTL: Canon's older Advanced through-the-lens flash metering technology which uses a brief preflash to determine subject reflectivity and thereby estimate subject distance - Learn More
    APO: Apochromatic – Technology which minimizes color aberration
    APS-C: Canon's 1.6x crop sensor like in the Canon Digital Rebel XTi and Canon 30D
    APS-H: Canon's 1.3x crop sensor like in the Canon 1D Mark III
    ASA: American Standards Association - now ISO
    ASL: Aspherical – allows for high quality, yet compact and lightweight lenses
    ASP: Aspherical
    ATX: Advanced Technology-Extra by Tokina
    Av: Aperture Priority exposure mode - the user selects the desired aperture and the camera chooses the shutter speed to give you the appropriate exposure
    AWB: Automatic white balance

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    B: Bulb mode – allows for the shutter to be open as long as the shutter button is pressed
    BG: Background - what's behind the foreground subject in a photo
    BMP: Bitmap – a type of image format
    Bokeh: Creamy background

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    C: A lens coating type for Nikon's pre-AI lenses
    CA: Chromatic abberation - Color fringing seen at high contrast areas - Learn More
    CCD: Charged coupled device, the digital sensor typically used in Nikon cameras - Learn More
    CF: Compact Flash - A common type of memory card physically larger than SD - Learn More
    CMOS: Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor – pronounced “see-moss” - the type of digital sensor typically used in Canon cameras - Learn More
    CMYK: Cyan-magenta-yellow-black – The four colors in subtractive color systems commonly used when printing images - Learn More
    CoC: Circle of Confusion - An estimated calculation of the depth of field necessary to produce a clean image - Learn More
    CPL: Circular polarizer - Learn More
    CPP: Certified Professional Photographer
    CRC: Close range correction - Lens designed for superior focusing at close distances
    CRW: Canon Raw format
    CR2: Canon Raw format

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    D: Nikon's lenses which send distance information from the lens to the camera - Learn More
    DAM: Digital asset management – A term describing the tools, methods, and techniques used to keep track of digital files - Learn More
    DC: Defocus control - Allows the photographer to control the degree of out-of-focus area for better looking bokeh
    DF: Sigma's dual focus system which separates internal focusing mechanism with focusing ring so the focusing ring doesn't spin while automatically focusing
    DG: Sigma lenses with special coatings to help minimize reflections from digital sensors
    Di: Tamron lenses with optics designed to combat the increased reflectivity of digital sensors
    Di-II: Tamron's lenses for small-sensor digital cameras
    DIN: Abbreviation for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization). For film speed the DIN scale changes 3 units per stop. The relationship between ASA and DIN ratings is DIN = 21 + 3* LOG(ASA/100) where the LOG is base 2.
    DL: Deluxe. Sigma's lower end lenses
    DNG: Digital Negative, an open Raw format - Learn More
    DO: Diffractive optics – Technology which allows lenses to be physically smaller and shorter in length - Learn More
    DOF: Depth of Field - The range of sharp focus in a picture - Learn More
    DPI: Dots per square inch - A measure of printing resolution - Learn More
    DPR: DPReview
    DSLR: Digital Single Lens Reflex camera - Learn More
    DTTL: Nikon flash control
    DX: Lens which is only compatible with a cropped sensor

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    ECF: Eye Controlled Focus - Learn More
    ED: Extra-low Dispersion glass elements which help correct chromatic abberations - Learn More
    EF: Electronic Focusing, Canon's autofocus lens mount - Learn More
    EF-s: Electronic Focus Short Backfocus, Canon lens which only works on 1.6x bodies - Learn More
    EOS: Canon's electronic optical system - Learn More
    E-TTL: Canon's evaluative through-the-lens flash metering - Learn More
    E-TTL II: Canon's second generation through-the-lens flash metering technology - Learn More
    EV: Exposure value – A method of quantifying brightness values. EV1 is defined as ISO 100, f/1.4, 1 second shutter. Camera EV ranges are typically about EV0-EV20 (+/-) - Learn More
    EV: Electronic Viewfinder
    EX: Excellence. Sigma's higher end lenses
    EXIF: Extended Information built into digital images that contains information such as the Aperture and Shutter speed used to create the photo

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    F-stop: Aperture
    FD: Canon's older lens mount system which preceeded autofocus and the current EF mount - Learn More
    FE: Fisheye lens such as the Nikon 10.5 f/2.8 Fisheye
    FEB: Flash exposure bracketing - Learn More
    FEC: Flash exposure compensation - Learn More
    FEL: Flash exposure lock - Learn More
    FF: Full frame - A digital sensor that is 24mm x 36mm, the size of 35mm film, such as in the Canon 5D
    FG: Foreground
    FL: Focal length - Learn More
    FLM: Focal length monitor
    FM: Fred Miranda
    FP: Focal Plane - A flash mode which allows you to take a flashed photo at any shutter speed by pulsing the flash extremely quickly - Learn More
    FPS: Frames per second - how many pictures per second the camera can capture
    FX: Introduced in 2007, refers to a full frame sensor (approximately the same size as 35mm film). This term isn't explicitly used to identify Nikon Lenses, however FX is occasionally used to describe a lens that will work with an FX sensor (and 35mm film).

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    G: Nikon's electronically controlled lenses which lack aperture rings on the lens barrel - Learn More
    GB: Gigabyte – 1,000 Megabytes
    GIF: Graphics interchange format, a proprietary image format with animation and transparency capabilities, but only 256 colors - Learn More
    GN: Guide number - a measure of the maximum distance range of a flash - Learn More
    GND: Graduated neutral density filter - A type of filter where the top is dark and the bottom is clear, with a transition in the middle. These are useful for shooting landscapes with bright skies. - Learn More
    GPS: Global positioning system - a series of satellites in the sky which allow you to preciesly locate where you are and where photos were taken - Learn More

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    HDR: High dynamic range - A technology to compress a scene with a very large dynamic range (dark darks and bright lights) to fit into a single photo - Learn More
    HH: Handheld
    HLS: Another name for HSL (see below)
    HSM: Sigma's quiet, fast focusing motor similar to Canon's USM
    HSB: Another name for HSV (see below)
    HSI: Another name for HSL (see below)
    HSL: A color space where Hue is the color, Saturation is the intensity, and Luminance is the brightness - Learn More
    HSS: High speed sync - Another name for FP sync which allows for high speed flash photography - Learn More
    HSV: A color space where Hue is the color, Saturation is the intensity, and Value is the brightness - Learn More
    HZ: Hyperzoom
    Hz: Hertz - A measure of frequency in units of cycles per second

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    ICC: International Color Consortium - ICC Profiles are numeric representations of the color reproduction abilities of devices, often used to calibrate monitors and printers
    IF: Rear or Internal focusing
    IR: Infrared - Light below the visible spectrum when photographed, produces some very unique looks - Learn More
    IF: Internal focusing lenses which do not change length over the focusing range
    IP: Intellectual Property - Any work which is the creation of the human mind, such as a photograph
    IS: Image Stabilization built into Canon lenses
    ISO: International Standards Organization - speed or digital camera's (or film's) light-sensitivity - Learn More
    iTTL: Intelligence thru the lens (Nikon)
    IQ: Image Quality. Refers to the quality of a picture on a monitor or print out.

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    J: Pentax lenses without an external aperture ring
    JPEG or JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group - A very commonly used image format

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    K: Kelvin - A scale used to measure color temperature - Learn More
    KB: Kilobyte - 1,024 bytes

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    L: Denotes Canon's Luxury (high end) lenses
    LAB: A powerful color space which allows for manipulation that would be otherwise impossible in other color spaces - Learn More
    LCD: Liquid crystal display
    LED: Light emitting diode
    Li-ion: Lithium ion - A type of rechargable battery with very high energy density, compact size, finite number of recharge cycles, finite lifespan, no memory effect, slow loss of charge when not in use, and an expensive cost - Learn More
    LF: Large format - Learn More

    ; compression results in lost data and quality from the original version. Lossy compression is typically associated with image files, such as JPEGs, but can also be used for audio files, like MP3s or AAC files. .

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    M: Manual exposure - the user manually selects both the aperture and shutter speed
    MB: Megabyte
    MF: Medium format - Learn More
    MF: Manual focus
    MFD: Minimum Focal Distance
    MLU: Mirror lock-up - A technique to flip up the SLR mirror before exposure and minimize vibrations due to mirror slap - Learn More
    MMC: Multimedia card - A type of memory card - Learn More
    MP: Megapixel - Learn More
    MP-E: Canon's macro-only lenses such as the MP-E 65mm f/2.8
    MRC: Multi resistant coating - Special coating used on lens filters to help reduce flare
    MTF: Modulation transfer function - A way for people to quantitatively measure lens sharpness - Learn More

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    N: Nana crystal coat
    NC: Nikon Cafe
    ND: Neutral density filter - Dark filter which blocks light and allows for slower shutter speeds
    NEF: Nikon Electronic File - Nikon's proprietary Raw format
    NiCD: Nickel-cadmium - A common type of rechargable battery used where long life, high discharge rate, and extended temperature range is important - Learn More
    NiMH: Nickel metal hydride - A common type and affordable type of rechargable battery that has a higher energy density compared to nickel-cadmium at the expense of reduced cycle life - Learn More

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    OIS: Optical Image Stabilization built into Sigma lenses

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    P: Program mode - An automatic exposure mode where the camera selects both the aperture and shutter speed
    P&S: Point & Shoot camera - Small pocket-sized cameras commonly carried by many people
    Pano: Panorama - Learn More
    PC: Perspective control - Lenses which have the ability to tilt, shift, rise, and fall to remedy issues such as keystoning - Learn More
    PJ: Photojournalist - A photographer who reports on news stories visually, typically working for newspapers, magazines, or wire agencies
    PNG: Portable network graphics - A non-proprietary lossless image format that improves upon GIF - Learn More
    PPI: Pixels per inch
    ProPhoto RGB: A large color space featuring a color gamut larger than that of sRGB and AdobeRGB - Learn More
    PS: Adobe Photoshop
    PSD: Photoshop Document - Adobe Photoshop's native file format with support for layers, color spaces, and more - Learn More
    PW: PocketWizard - A device that allows for remote camera and flash firings - Learn More

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    QR: Quick release - A system featuring both a clamp and a plate that allows for quick attachment and removal of cameras and lenses to tripods and other other accessories - Learn More
    QT: Quicktime - Apple's movie system with support for both video and sound
    QTVR: Quicktime Virtual Reality - Software which allows for the display of interactive and immersive panoramas - Learn More

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    RAW: An image format captured straight from the sensor featuring raw, unprocessed data, allowing for large amounts of control and high quality images
    RF: Rear focus- Sigma lens equipped with a system that moves the rear lens group for high speed, silent focusing
    RG: Rob Galbraith
    RGB: Red-green-blue - The three primary colors in additive color theory and the most commonly used color space - Learn More
    RIP: Raster image processor - A piece of equipment or software which converts a computer file into a bitmap image that a printer can output

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    SD: Secure Digital - A common type of memory card physically smaller than compact flash - Learn More
    SDHC: Secure Digital High Capacity - A new standard allowing SD cards > 2 GB - Learn More
    SE: Save energy mode in flashes - Learn More
    SI: Sports Illustrated - A magazine and website dedicated to sports (and swimsuits!) - Learn More
    SLR: Single lens reflex - A popular type of camera with one lens that allows through-the-lens (TTL) viewing
    sRGB: Standard RGB - A common color space used with monitors and the internet, despite the limited color gamut - Learn More
    SS: Shutter speed
    SWM: Silent Wave Motor. Servo assisted focusing using a small electric motor inside the lens. Allows for fast and quiet focusing bypassing the focus motor (screwdriver) in the body.

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    T: A camera setting that holds the shutter open. It differs from "B" bulb mode in that it doesn't require the shutter button to be held down during the exposure. Instead, the shutter opens on the first press and remains open until the button is pressed a second time
    T*: Transparency - A famous lens coating process developed by Zeiss and renowned for its high quality. This process is used on Zeiss and Contax/Yashica lenses
    TC: Teleconverter - A lens accessory that fits between the lens and camera body and extends the focal length of the lens, often by 1.4x or 2x, at the cost of reduced light, decreased image quality, and slower autofocus - Learn More
    TIFF or TIF: Tagged image file format - A popular uncompressed image file format - Learn More
    TLR: Twin-lens reflex - A type of camera in which the viewfinder lens and the taking lens are separate optical systems. These cameras have been rendered obsolete by single-lens reflex cameras - Learn More
    T-mount: A threaded lens mount system often used to mount cameras to telescopes for astrophotography
    TS-E: Tilt-Shift lenses such as the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 - Learn More
    TTL: Through the lens - A metering system, either ambient or flash, which works through the lens
    Tv: Shutter priority exposure mode - the user selects the shutter speed and the camera selects the appropriate aperture

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    UD: Ultra-low dispersion glass - Canon lens elements made from UD glass have a lower index of refraction than regular glass so they're used to correct chromatic abberation
    USM: UltraSonic Motor - Canon's fast and quiet focusing motor
    UV Filter: Ultraviolet filter - Despite the name, they're typically used simply for physical protection against the elements and impacts - Learn More
    UW: Underwater
    UWA: Ultra-wide angle - Usually a lens with an angle of view greater than 90°. For 35mm system, this applies to lenses with focal lengths shorter than about 24mm

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    VC: Vibration Compensation / Tamron
    VF: Viewfinder
    VR: Vibration Reduction built into Nikon lenses

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    WA: Wide-angle lens - A lens with a shorter focal length and wider field of view than a 50mm lens
    WB: White balance
    WiFi: Wireless technology which allows you to remotely control cameras and transmit images using devices such as the Canon WFT-E2A
    WS: Watt per second - A measurement of electrical energy in a flash

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    xD: Extreme Digital - A type of memory card - Learn More
    XR: Tamron's extra refractive index glass
    X-sync: The flash sync speed indicating the fastest shutter speed that can be used with a flash - Learn More
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  2. I recently read that the "P" is for Panic mode:tongue:

    thanks for sharing!
  3. Thanks for sharing. Missing FX.
  4. OOPS !!

    FX: Introduced in 2007, refers to a full frame sensor (approximately the same size as 35mm film). This term isn't explicitly used to identify Nikon Lenses, however FX is occasionally used to describe a lens that will work with an FX sensor (and 35mm film).
  5. What about IQ?
  6. IQ definition

    IQ Image Quality. Refers to the quality of a picture on a monitor or print out.
  7. There's a few missing. DIN, N (for Nano Coating), iTTL, dTTL, SWM and it's also a very Canon biased list as 'Aperture Priority' and 'Shutter Priority' are listed as 'Av' and Tv' instead of 'A' and 'S'.

    It's wrong about G lenses in that I don't think they are 'electronically controlled' in that the stop down mechanism is still mechanical. The AI-S description is also wrong in that these lenses only 'stop down' linearly, their aperture indication mechanism is the same as AI lenses. Oh, and Kelvin is used to measure absolute temperature and is only used indirectly for colour temperature.

  8. A few more:

    NC = Nikon Cafe
    LL = Lens Lust
  9. Joves


    Feb 10, 2009
    Well that is one comprehensive list you got going there.
  10. Where did you dig all of that up? Great list!
  11. I spent a lot of time searching the Internet for acronyms, plus I was also able to copy what a member had done a couple of years ago. I think what I am going to do as new acronyms are posted I will add them to the master list in blue letters so members know it is something new.
  12. Thanks Jim. This should be made into a sticky.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2010
  13. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. OK, I have added all the acronyms to the list that were suggested.If you think of any more please let me know.
  15. User


    Mar 23, 2009
    If you'll notice, he called them abbreviations. I think that would be a more suitable title for your list as well considering how few actual acronyms are on it. An acronym is not a simple abbreviation, it must be pronounceable.

    NiMH, NIC, TIFF, etc are acronyms.

    HDR, SD, AF, etc are not.

    That's my only recommendation. Otherwise, great list.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  16. User
    I would not know an acronym or an abbreviation from a ham sandwich. Unfortunately I can not change the title of my post. I tried but I could not do it. Sorry :>(
  17. Coot

    Coot Guest

    I just found this ......very helpful

    Thank you
  18. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Whoa, thanks
  19. JusPlainCrayzee

    JusPlainCrayzee Administrator Administrator


    To change the title of your post, all you'll need to do is click on 'Edit'. Once you've done that, you'll notice an option that says, 'Go Advanced'. Click on that, and scroll to the top of your post. You'll then be able to make changes to your title. Just don't forget to also click on the 'Save' button to apply your changes! :smile:
  20. Rob Zijlstra

    Rob Zijlstra A Koffie Drinker

    Nov 5, 2008
    Thankfully there's no NAS mentioned.
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