Lens abbreviations

Each lens manufacturer uses different abbreviations to describe the features or aspects of a lens. This post lists all abbreviations of Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina. Some general terms such as AF (auto-focus) and MF (manual-focus) are not listed.

Canon

AbbreviationMeaningDescription
AFDArc-Form DriveAn older type of auto focus motor, generally slower and noisier than USM
DODiffractive OpticsA technology used to make lenses with long focal lengths without the normal increase in physical size
EDExtra-low DispersionPrevents chromatic aberration because it concentrates and directs the wavelength of the light more effectively onto the camera's sensor
EFElectro FocusStandard lens mount, compatible with all EOS bodies
EF-SElectro Focus - Short back focusLens mount for APS-C sensor DSLRs
IFInner FocusTo ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length
ISImage StabiliserA family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera. Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt of a camera
LLuxuryProfessional lenses; good optical performance and a solid construction
MP-EMacro Photo ElectronicThese lenses are designed for macro photography and do not have autofocus, the "electronic" refers to the electronic aperture control
TS-ETilt-Shift lensControl of perspective and depth of field
USMUltra Sonic MotorAuto focus motor that offers fast and silent focusing powered by the ultrasonic vibration of a component, the stator, placed against another component

Nikon (Nikkor)

AbbreviationMeaningDescription
AF-IInternal auto-focusAF-D/G with auto-focus motor built into the lens barrel itself
AF-SSilent-wave auto-focusAF-D/G with ultrasonic AF motor
ASPASPherical lens elementsA type of lenses that virtually eliminates the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration. The are particularly good at correcting distortion in wide-angle lenses as well as contributing to a lighter and smaller lens design
CRCClose Range CorrectionProvides superior image quality at close focusing distances and increases the focusing range
D (AF-D)Lens equipped with a chip which allows the body to assess the distance to the object being photographed and exposes for that object correctly
DCDefocus-image ControlA creative feature for photographers; control the degree of spherical aberration
DXDigital eXpandedLenses for DSLRs with a smaller sensor than 35mm
EDExtra-low DispersionPrevents chromatic aberration because it concentrates and directs the wavelength of the light more effectively onto the camera's sensor
G (AF-G)Same as AF-D, but without an aperture ring
IFInternal FocusTo ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length
NNano coatingNon-reflective coating for clearer images with increased detail by reducing reflection from inside the lens
RFRear FocusThis lens is equipped with a system that moves the rear lens group for focusing
SICSuper Integrated CoatingMultilayer coating of the optical elements in lenses
SWMSilent Wave MotorUltrasonic AF motor
VRVibration ReductionA family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera. Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt of a camera

Sigma

AbbreviationMeaningDescription
ASPAsphericalA type of lenses that virtually eliminates the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration. The are particularly good at correcting distortion in wide-angle lenses as well as contributing to a lighter and smaller lens design
APOApochromatic lens elementsIn order to attain the highest quality images, the APO lens has been made using special low-dispersion (SLD) glass and is designed to minimize color aberration
CONVConverter usableThis lens can be used with the APO Teleconverter EX. It can increase the focal length and will interface with the camera's AE (automatic exposure) function
DCDigital CropLenses for DSLRs featuring APS-C size sensors only
DFDual FocusLens features clutch to disengage focus ring when in AF mode
DGCoatings optimized for full-frame / 35mm DSLRs
EXExtra Quality/ExcellenceThe exterior of this lens is EX-finished to denote the superior build and optical quality, and to enhance its appearance
HFHelical FocusingFront element of lens does not rotate
HSMHyper Sonic MotorThis lens uses a motor driven by ultrasonic waves to provide a quiet, highspeed AF
IFInner FocusTo ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length
RFRear FocusThis lens is equipped with a system that moves the rear lens group for highspeed , silent focusing
OSOptical StabiliserA family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera. Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt of a camera
UCUltra Compact

Tamron

AbbreviationMeaningDescription
ADAnomalous DispersionSpecial optical glass which delivers large partial dispersion ratios relative to a specific light wavelength zone
ASLAspherical Lens elementsA type of lenses that virtually eliminates the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration. They are particularly good at correcting distortion in wide-angle lenses as well as contributing to a lighter and smaller lens design
DiDigitally integrated designOptical system designed to meet the performance characteristics of DSLR cameras as well as film cameras
Di IIDigitally integrated designLenses made exclusively for DSLR cameras with APS-C sensors
HIDHigh Index High Dispersion glassMinimises on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations
IFInternal FocusTo ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length
LDLow DispersionLow Dispersion elements which effectively compensate for chromatic aberration that is a problem at the telephoto end and lateral aberration at the wide angle end
SPSuper PerformanceThe first priority in producing these lenses have been superior specifications and outstanding performance free from cost restraints
USDUltraSonic Silent DriveUltrasonic AF motor
VCVibration CompensationA family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera. Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt of a camera
XReXtra RefractiveHi Refraction index glass elements resulting in minimum aberration. Allows smaller lens diameters while maintaining aperture values for overall compactness
ZLZoom LockPrevents undesired barrel extension

Tokina

AbbreviationMeaningDescription
ASAsphericalA type of lenses that virtually eliminates the problem of coma and other types of lens aberration. The are particularly good at correcting distortion in wide-angle lenses as well as contributing to a lighter and smaller lens design
AT-XAdvanced Technology eXtraLenses that are manufactured without compromises, using the most advanced design and fabrication technologies available
DDigitally optimized coatings
DXOnly compatible with a cropped sensor (APS-C)
F&RFront and Rear asphericalAspherical molded glass element in the front and in the rear
FCFocus ClutchOne-touch focus clutch allows the focus to be moved quickly from the AF position back into the MF position
FEFloating Element
HLDHigh Refraction, Low Dispersion
IFInternal FocusTo ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens' physical length
IRFInternal Rear FocusThis lens is equipped with a system that moves the rear lens group for focusing
PROLenses that have hardened Alumite (Armalite) finish to increase durability
SDSuper Low DispersionPrevents chromatic aberration because it concentrates and directs the wavelength of the light more effectively onto the camera's sensor

References

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