Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

Telephoto zoom

E The lens features electromagnetic aperture control.
AF-S The lens is equipped with ultrasonic motor to provide very fast and virtually silent autofocus. Learn more
G The lens has no aperture control ring and only supports electronic aperture control from the camera. G lenses provide distance information to the camera as D-type lenses.
ED The lens incorporates low dispersion elements to minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture.
IF The lens has internal focusing. Learn more
VR The lens is equipped with optical image stabilizer. The stabilizer allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without stabilizer you will have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.
Position in the lineup
Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Aug 2006
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6G Aug 2000
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D ED Mar 1998
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D

Sample photos:

270 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/14
185 mm F/8
300 mm F/5.6
220 mm F/8
70 mm F/9
300 mm F/9
300 mm F/9
70 mm F/4.5
70 mm F/8
110 mm F/8
135 mm F/8
300 mm F/8
78 mm F/4.5
70 mm F/4.5
70 mm F/4.5
220 mm F/8
300 mm F/8
300 mm F/14
220 mm F/8
180 mm F/8
185 mm F/8
110 mm F/8
300 mm F/11
300 mm F/11
300 mm F/11
210 mm F/8
270 mm F/9
185 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
220 mm F/6.3
240 mm F/6.3
260 mm F/6.3
300 mm F/11
300 mm F/11
240 mm F/6.3
300 mm F/7.1
170 mm F/9
300 mm F/7.1
240 mm F/9
300 mm F/9
300 mm F/9
240 mm F/9
260 mm F/9
270 mm F/5.6
200 mm F/5.3
240 mm F/5.3
240 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
230 mm F/5.3
300 mm F/5.6
240 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/8
210 mm F/7.1
165 mm F/7.1
300 mm F/7.1
230 mm F/6.3
300 mm F/7.1
70 mm F/7.1
280 mm F/8
300 mm F/8
300 mm F/8
270 mm F/8
70 mm F/4.5
70 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/6.3
300 mm F/8
170 mm F/9
122 mm F/9
300 mm F/6.3
300 mm F/7.1
300 mm F/5.6
260 mm F/5.6
240 mm F/5.3
300 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
80 mm F/4.5
230 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/5.6
270 mm F/5.6
300 mm F/8
300 mm F/8
300 mm F/5.6
145 mm F/4.8
98 mm F/8
170 mm F/5

Sample photos uploaded by users:

180 mm F/6.3
210 mm F/5.6
145 mm F/16
230 mm F/5.6
220 mm F/5.6

Upload your photos

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Specification

Announced: August 2006
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Mount: Nikon F
Optical design
Diagonal angle of view: 34.3°-8.2° (35mm full frame)
22.8°-5.4° (Nikon APS-C)
Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups, including:
2 ED
Internal focusing: Yes
Floating system: No
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades: 9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance: 150 cm
Type of autofocus motor: Ultrasonic (Nikon F)
Full-Time Manual Focus: Yes
Image stabilizer
Image stabilizer: Yes
Stabilizer features: VR ACTIVE
VR NORMAL
Stabilizer efficiency: up to 4 stops
Physical characteristics
Zooming method: Rotary
Weight: 745 g
Maximum diameter x Length: Ø80 x 143.5 mm
Materials: Plastic barrel
Metallic mount
Weather sealing: No
Fluorine coating: No
Filter size: 67 mm
Hood type: HB-36

Design and Features

The lens barrel is heavy, made of plastic. The lens mount is metallic.

The lens features M/A - M focus mode switch.

M/AAutofocus mode that allows switching to manual focus with virtually no time lag - even during autofocus servo operation and regardless of autofocus mode in use.
MManual focus mode.

The lens uses front filters with standard size of 67 mm which are easy to find. They are also inexpensive.

The filter thread does not rotate during focusing which allows convenient use of different types of filters (including but not limited to polarizing and gradient).

The lens features optical image stabilizer, which, according to the manufacturer, compensates up to 4 stops of shutter speed. Theoretically it allows to capture sharp images of static subjects at shutter speeds down to 1/19 second at focal length of 300 mm(*).

* without the need to increase ISO sensitivity and/or use a tripod, at the same lighting conditions and at the same aperture

At the choice of the photographer the image stabilizer can operate in one of the following modes:

VR NORMALCorrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.
VR ACTIVECorrects vertical and horizontal camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle, or some other unstable position. Panning is not detected.
  • You can use the image stabilizer in AF or MF mode.
  • When image stabilizer is active, the image in the viewfinder may be blurred after the shutter is released. This does not indicate a malfunction.
  • The image stabilizer operates for about two seconds after the exposure. Do not turn off the camera or remove the lens while the image stabilizer is in operation - this will cause a malfunction.
  • Turn off the image stabilizer when you are taking pictures using the Bulb setting (long exposures).

Test Results

photozone.de
Camera: Nikon D3X
Sensor size: 35.9×24 mm
Megapixels: 24.4
Distortion at 70 mm: -0.81 %
Distortion at 300 mm: +1.38 %
Vignetting at 70 mm F/4.5: -0.72 EV
Vignetting at 300 mm F/5.6: -0.68 EV
×

  1. Put camera on a tripod
  2. Disable image stabilization function
  3. Switch camera to aperture-priority automatic exposure mode (A/Av)
  4. Select at least aperture value F/8 to obtain as large depth of field as possible
  5. Use as low ISO as possible (f.e. 100 or 200) to achieve the widest dynamic range of sensor
  6. Use remote shutter control or self-timer (to set a delay before the shutter's firing) to avoid image blur due to camera shake at relatively slow shutter speeds

Typical Application

Landscape photography1)
Wild nature photography

1) Distant landscapes with perspective compression effect

See also

User Manual. Multilingual, Adobe PDF, 1 MB

Alternatives (AF, 61-336 mm)

Nikon AF Nikkor 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 1989
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D ED 1998
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6G 2000
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3G ED 2016
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3G ED VR 2016
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro 2005
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro 2005
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG OS 2009
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 A17 2006
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD A005 2010
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD A030 2017

Comments:

гость - 13.11.2012 в 13:35

После тщательного изучения отзывов о всевозможных объективах Никон, решил познакомиться с этой моделью поближе. Возможно это не самый лучший телезум, но он неплохо дополняет мой старый китовый Никон 18-70 мм. Изначально смотрел на Никон 18-200, но его цена меня отпугнула и подтолкнула к покупке 70-300.

КАЧЕСТВО/ВЕС:

качество сборки дешевое… Корпус более-менее прочный, пластиковый, легкий… Байонет металлический и имеет защиту от брызг. Объектив недешев благодаря сложной оптической схеме (внутри оправы аж 17 элементов). Я не ронял свой объектив, но читал отзывы такого плана, что падений он не боится (впрочем, экспериментировать не рекомендую).

ФОКУСИРОВКА/ФУНКЦИИ:

Фокусировка быстрая… иногда… На максимальном фокусном (300 мм) объектив иногда фокусируется с трудом или вообще не ловит фокус, а иногда фокусируется довольно быстро. Помочь автофокусу можно, если сначала сфокусироваться на предмете вручную, а потом дать автофокусу завершить дело. В целом такое поведение автофокуса, однако, разочаровывает, учитывая немаленькую цену объектива.

СТАБИЛИЗАТОР:

Все,что я могу про него сказать, так это то, что он. работает…и иногда полезен. Со включенным стабилизатором можно выиграть 2-3 (а иногда и 4) ступени по выдержки.

ВАЖНОЕ ЗАМЕЧАНИЕ:

Несмотря на то, что это телезум с фокусными расстояниеми 70-300 мм, разработанный для полноформатных камер НИкон, большинство камер Никон все таки неполноформатные (кроп-фактор 1.5x) и сними у объектива будет эквивалентное фокусное расстояние 105-450 мм. То есть, с неполноформатными камерами у этого объектива больше увеличение и меньше виньетирование, что неплохо.

ПЛЮСЫ:
красивое размытие заднего плана
быстрый автофокус
минимальное виньетирование
Стабилизатор
устойчив к засветкам
красивые цвета

МИНУСЫ:
пластиковая оправа
практически неспособен нормально автофокусироваться на 300 мм
цена (даже при том, что он дешевле, чем Никон 18-200)
хотелось бы светосилу получше

Это не самый светосильный телезум для Никон, но у него удобный размер, хорошая оптика, качество изображения и стабилизатор. Рекомендую для покупки!

гость - 02.01.2013 в 05:43

Обожаю этот объектив. При своей цене он нисколько не уступает профессиональной линейке оптики Nikon. Да, за свои деньги вы получаете пластиковый объектив (хотя и высокого качества), а не металлический, и переменную, а не постоянную светосилу, но, по большому счету, на этом вся разница и заканчивается. Объектив невероятно резок с 70 до примерно 200 мм, у него скругленная 9-ти лепестковая диафрагма, обеспечивающая приятное боке. Для сравнения, у Nikon 17-55 2.8 всего 7 скругленных лепестков. Это, конечно, не совсем подходящее сравнение, но оно дает понять, за что вы платите.

Как и все телеобъективы, 70-300 крупный и тяжелый (745 г), а при надетой бленде избежать внимания окружающих будет сложно.

Реальным преимуществом объектива является стабилизатор VR второго поколения, способный обеспечить 4 дополнительных ступени по выдержке по сравнению с 3 ступениями у 70-200 VR. Я снимал этим объективом на выдержках до 1/10 секунды и получал достаточно годные кадры. Несмотря на то, что это не особенно вам поможет при съемке спорта, поскольку вам придется все равно снимать на относительно коротких выдержках, большинство ваших снимков благодаря стабилизатору станут только лучше.

Объектив очень удачен для съемки природы, а также спорта на улице. Также он подойдет в качестве портретного объектива в условиях студийного освещения и в диапазоне фокусных 70-105 мм. Из-за малой светосилы он не особенно полезен при съемке в спортзале — 70-200 2.8 покажет себя лучше. Виньетирования не заметно, но есть ХА в конце теледиапазона, которые можно исправить в Фотошопе.

В целом, вы получаете стабилизатор VR второго поколения, 9-ти лепестковую диафрагму для красивого размытия фона, резкую полнокадровую (!) оптику и относительно неплохой конструктив. Из недостатков можно отметить заметный вес, непостоянную светосилу, мягкое изображение на 200 мм и больше и ХА в конце диапазона фокусных. Так или иначе, но расставаться с этим объективом я не собираюсь и могу смело порекомендовать его кому-угодно.

петрович - 26.05.2013 в 19:54

Отличный объектив. VR работает бесподобно (со штативом больше не снимаю). По сравнению с Nikon 18-200 VR объектив 70-300 VR намного резче и контрастней на 200 мм. 18-200 VR удобен для съемки в путешествиях, но не может сравниться по резкости с 70-300 VR.

Но есть и негативный момент — у объектива определенные проблемы с фокусировкой при недостаточном освещении в помещении. Приходится фокусироваться вручную, а потом при помощи полунажатия кнопки спуска активировать автофокус.

Качество сборки лучше, чем ожидаешь от объектива такого уровня — точно лучше, чем у Nikon 18-200 VR. Несмотря даже на то, что корпус у него из пластика, собран объектив очень хорошо, ничего не люфтит в отличие от дешевых пластиковых моделек Nikon. Кольцо зума вращается с равномерным сопротивлением по всему диапазону фокусных расстояний.

До этого объектива у меня был 70-300 ED без VR. После того, как я протестировал его на штативе и сравнил с другими объективами которые у меня были — не колеблясь возвратил продавцу, качество изображения вызвало одно только разочарование. К счастью, у 70-300 VR совсем другая оптическая формула.

макс - 28.06.2013 в 09:16

По 5-балльной шкале я поставил бы этому объективу оценку 4 за не впечатляющую светосилу f/4.5-5.6, пластиковый корпус, фильтры 67 диаметра и отсутствие адаптера под штатив. Приобрел этот объектив потому, что был недоволен качеством изображения с Никон 18-200 VR — диапазон фокусных расстояний у него удачный, но приходится много времени тратить на постобработку снимков с этого объектива — больше, чем с другими моими стеклами Никон. 18-200 VR я продал решил в дополнение к 18-70 взять этот великолепный телезум. VR II работает без сучка и задоринки, что помогает получать достойные кадры в условиях слабого освещения. Изображение с объектива очень резкое. Корпус из пластика и для объектива с таким диапазоном фокусных он немного тяжеловат (неплохо было бы иметь адаптер для штатива — VR II эффективен, но штатив в темное время суток он точно не заменит). Автофокус реально медленный — но не забывайте, что это несветосильный телезум. Из любительских зумов Никон VR 70-300, пожалуй, самый лучший. Пригоден для съемки портретов (боке по факту вполне себе приятное). Моя рекомендация — берите!

aquarius - 18.08.2013 в 01:28

У объектива имеется несколько «родимых пятен», присущих только любительской оптике, к тому же, это не особенно светосильный объектив — максимальная апертура f/4.5-5.6. Но объектив, пожалуй, нельзя было бы сделать более светосильным без увеличения его диаметра и веса.

Качество сборки хорошее, типичное для любительского объектива — металл только там, где это реально требуется, а в остальных местах пластик. Пылевлагозащиты нет. Но это нормально, потому как позволило уменьшить размер, вес и цену объектива. Кольцо зума при вращении заедает. Но еще хуже, на мой взгляд, то, что кольцо фокусировки у объектива узкое и расположено не в передней, а ближе к задней части корпуса. Обратите внимание на то, что у профессиональных телезумов кольцо фокусировки расположено именно в передней части корпуса, перед кольцом зума, и оно к тому же обычно шире, чем кольцо зума позволяет выполнять аккуратную подстройку фокуса небольшим вращением. Что до кольца фокусировки у этого объектива, то вряд ли вы будете его использовать (за исключением того случая, если вы снимаете со штатива).

Впрочем, с этим можно смириться, поскольку объектив 70-300 VR — практически один из лучших любительских телезумов Nikon, когда речь заходит о качестве изображения. Он неплох даже по сравнению с некоторыми из профессиональных объективов, с которыми я имел дело. Не думаю, что в диапазоне 70-200 мм есть какой-нибудь другой объектив, который способен сравниться с ним по резкости. Снимки на этих фокусных расстояниях вы не сможете отличить от тех, что сделаны на профессиональный телезум Никон со светосилой 2.8. Ближе к 300 мм качество немного падает, но все равно очень хорошее — я не только не стесняюсь снимать этим объективом на 300 мм, но и делаю это при любой возможности, поскольку уверен, что снимки будут выглядеть так же хорошо, как и на других фокусных.

Объектив вполне заслуживает оценки ПЯТЬ. Несмотря на ряд небольших недостатков в плане удобства работы и эргономики, он обеспечивает настолько хорошие результаты и превосходит аналогичную оптику с такими же фокусными, что меньше ПЯТЕРКИ поставить невозможно. Для меня это один из тех объективов, наряду с 16-86, 85 1.4 и некоторыми другими, которым я всегда рад снимать и уверен в том, что мои снимки, сделанные с его помощью, будут первоклассными, бескомпромиссными в плане качества изображения.

Мои примечания:

У этого объектива имеется оптический стабилизатор изображения (VR) и он очень хороший. Несмотря на то, что это первая версия стабилизатора, мне показалось, что она заметно лучше той, что имеется у объективов Nikon 55-200 VR и 18-105 VR. Даже не пытайтесь приобретать объектив с таким диапазоном фокусных расстояний и без стабилизатора, если, конечно, вы не снимаете всегда только со штатива. Стабилизатор позволяет без проблем снимать вручную при нормальном освещении и с определенной степенью аккуратности снимать вручную при слабом освещении. Любой, кто снимал преимущественно телезумами без стабилизатора, знает, что зачастую только один снимок из четырех в таких условиях не страдает от размытия, вызванного тряской камеры. Стабилизатор исправляет эту ситуацию полностью.

Фокусировка у объектива быстрая и точная. Профессиональные AF-S объективы Nikon обладают невероятно быстрым и цепким автофокусом, и 70-300 не способен, конечно, с ними соперничать, но находится, что называется, на шаг позади них и фокусируется быстро — гораздо быстрее, чем прочие любительские объективы AF-S и даже быстрее, чем старые отверточные профессиональные объективы. Но на фокусном расстоянии 200 мм или больше эффективность автофокуса падает, поскольку на датчики автофокуса поступает меньше света. При слежении за движущимся объектом на фокусных 200 мм и более этот объектив не способен соревноваться с профессиональными объективами.

Боке у объектива достаточно хорошее, что удивительно по сравнению с большинством любительских телезумов Nikon. На мой взгляд оно лучше, чем у любого из объективов, упомянутых ниже, за исключением 70-200 VR и 300 мм. Для такого объектива, как этот, боке — это важная характеристика, поскольку на фокусном расстоянии 300 мм, даже при максимальном относительном отверстии 5.6, размытие фона организовать легко. Боке у 70-300 VR плавное, приятное — вот почему этот объектив можно рекомендовать даже по сравнению с более дорогостоящими профессиональными зумами.

Теперь немного сравнений.

80-400 VR — отличный объектив, но технологически он на одно поколение старее, чем 70-300 VR. Это профессиональный объектив в части качества сборки, он удобнее в использовании, выдает красивые, резкие, контрастные снимки, которые сложно отличить от снимков с 70-300 VR. Если рассмотреть снимки под увеличением, то становится понятно, что 70-300 VR несущественно резче. К тому же, он легче и не такой тяжелый, также обладает более доступной ценой и более эффективным автофокусом благодаря системе фокусировки AF-S. На мой взгляд, 80-400 VR не уступает 70-300 VR в части цветопередачи и контрастности (ну, или, по крайней мере, разница не заметна).

70-200/2.8 (80-200/2.8) — у 70-300 VR стабилизатор лучше, чем у 70-200 VR. 70-200 VR ОЧЕНЬ хороший объектив, по крайней мере, на неполнокадровой камере, но если вам не нужна светосила 2.8 и вы не хотите таскать этот не самый легкий объектив, то по части качества изображения 70-300 VR равен ему. Что до старых моделей — 80-200 AF-S и 80-200 AF-D, то это тоже отличные объективы, но у них нет VR, они не резче 70-300 VR, к тому же тяжелее и дороже. Но суть в том, что эти объективы — это единственный способ получить светосилу 2.8, что особенно важно для многих жанров фотографии. Именно это, а также их великолепное качество сборки, является, как мне кажется, их единственным преимуществом.

70-300 AF-D и 70-300G — AF-D — это хороший объектив, стоит вполовину меньше VR, но VR заметно лучше по всем параметрам. Что до 70-300G, то это один из немногих объективов Nikon, которые демонстрируют довольно плохое качество изображения. Если для вас важны цена или размер объектива, то забудьте о них и обратите свое внимание на модель 55-200 VR — это очень хороший объектив, он маленький, резкий и оснащен стабилизатором.

55-200 VR — мне нравится 55-200 VR, и для многих фотографов он будет более удачным выбором, чем 70-300 VR. Но 70-300 однозначно лучше по части автофокуса, работы стабилизатора, резкости (впрочем, 55-200 тоже резкий) и контрастности изображения. Зато 55-200 гораздо меньше, дешевле и достаточно близок к нему по качеству изображения. Если для вас важна разница в цене или вы предпочитаете маленькие необременительные объективы, которые отлично справляются со своими задачами, то возьмите 55-200 VR. Вместе с тем, у 55-200 плохое боке, что для некоторых может иметь значение, к тому же это неполнокадровый объектив.

Maxcps - 21.12.2014 в 15:48

При наличии света и на кропе до 200мм (D5100,D7100) и на D750 (до 280мм) отличные снимки.

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Aperture

The aperture stop is an important element in most optical designs. Its most obvious feature is that it limits the amount of light that can reach the image/film plane. Typically, a fast shutter will require a larger aperture to ensure sufficient light exposure, and a slow shutter will require a smaller aperture to avoid excessive exposure.

A device called a diaphragm usually serves as the aperture stop, and controls the aperture. The diaphragm functions much like the iris of the eye – it controls the effective diameter of the lens opening. Reducing the aperture size increases the depth of field, which describes the extent to which subject matter lying closer than or farther from the actual plane of focus appears to be in focus. In general, the smaller the aperture (the larger the number), the greater the distance from the plane of focus the subject matter may be while still appearing in focus.

The lens aperture is usually specified as an f-number, the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A lens typically has a set of marked "f-stops" that the f-number can be set to. A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture opening which allows more light to reach the film or image sensor.

The specifications for a given lens typically include the maximum and minimum aperture sizes, for example, f/1.4–f/22. In this case f/1.4 is the maximum aperture (the widest opening), and f/22 is the minimum aperture (the smallest opening). The maximum aperture opening tends to be of most interest, and is always included when describing a lens. This value is also known as the lens "speed", as it affects the exposure time. Lenses with apertures opening f/2.8 or wider are referred to as "fast" lenses. Zoom lenses typically have a maximum relative aperture (minimum f-number) of f/2.8 to f/6.3 through their range. High-end lenses will have a constant aperture, such as f/2.8 or f/4, which means that the relative aperture will stay the same throughout the zoom range. A more typical consumer zoom will have a variable maximum relative aperture, since it is harder and more expensive to keep the maximum relative aperture proportional to focal length at long focal lengths; f/3.5 to f/5.6 is an example of a common variable aperture range in a consumer zoom lens.

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Autofocus motor

Micromotors and built-in motors of Nikon, Pentax and Sony digital SLR cameras provide moderately noisy and acceptably fast autofocus.

With ultrasonic, linear or stepping motor it is possible to achieve very fast and virtually silent autofocus. Moreover, the use of linear or stepping motor ensures smooth continuous focusing which makes lenses with such types of motors ideal for video recording.

The accuracy of autofocus does not depend on type of used autofocus motor but depends on focusing method (contrast or phase detection), autofocus algorithms, lighting conditions and other factors.

See also:

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Full-Time Manual Focus

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

See also:

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Full-Time Manual Focus

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Full-Time Manual Focus with lenses equipped with stepping or linear motor is performed in the following way - half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

See also:

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Internal focusing

Only the group(s) of elements in front or behind the diaphragm move during the internal or rear focusing respectively. The filter thread (if available) does not rotate during focusing which makes it easy to use different types of filters (including but not limited to polarizing and gradient). The internal or rear focusing is usually used in large telephoto lenses to provide faster autofocus. The true focal length of the lens is reduced when not focused at infinity.

See also:

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Image stabilizer

Allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

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The performance of older lenses designed for film SLR cameras is less than perfect with full-frame DSLR cameras, especially at the corners of the frame. To get the best results, you need to use lenses announced at least after 2000, since they are optimized for digital cameras.

The optimization typically involves the following measures performed by the lens manufacturer:

Improvement of light distribution to provide more even image illumination from the center to the edges.

The structure of an imaging sensor requires that light should strike the entire surface at the angle of 90 degrees. With conventional lenses designed for 35 mm film cameras, the light strikes an imaging sensor at an increasingly oblique angle as you move toward the edges of the image. This causes decrease in illumination and sharpness at the edges of the image, especially when using (ultra) wide-angle lenses at large apertures.

Improvement of multi-layer coatings to reduce reflections from the imaging sensor to the minimum.

An imaging sensor with its almost mirror-like surface is far more reflective than photographic film. When light reflects from the surface of the imaging sensor, it bounces to the rear lens element and can create flare that degrades image contrast and sharpness.

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Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) minimize spherical aberration, astigmatism, coma and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture.

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Low dispersion elements (AD, ED, LD, HLD, SD, UD etc) and fluorite elements minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture.

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Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) material placed between convex and concave elements made from traditional optical glass provides more efficient correction of lateral chromatic aberrations in comparison with fluorite, UD and even Super UD elements.

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Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

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Extra refractive index elements (XR, UXR, HID, HR, HRI etc) minimize aberrations and allow the development of smaller and lighter lenses.

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Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

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Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

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Efficiency of Image Stabilizer

The efficiency of image stabilizer is measured in stops and each stop corresponds to a two-times increase of shutter speed. For example, if you are shooting at focal length of 80 mm and it is known that the efficiency of image stabilizer is 3 stops, it means that during handheld shooting at such focal length you can use shutter speed of 1/10 second which is exactly 23 times longer than the shutter speed 1/80 second needed to obtain sharp image in sufficient lighting conditions.

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Zooming method

The rotary zooming method means that the change of the focal length is achieved by turning the zoom ring and the manual focusing - by turning the separate focusing ring. The push/pull zooming method means that the change of focal length and the manual focusing is achieved by one and the same ring. The change of focal length is happens when the photographer moves the ring towards the mount or backwards and the rotation of the ring leads to change of focus.

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Lens Hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background The light source itself may be in the lens' angle of view, but it doesn't have to be to cause a lens flare. It is only necessary that stray light from the bright light source enter the lens.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section (much like a lamp shade) to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. These more complex shapes take into account the final image's shape and aspect ratio. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood, thereby reducing the amount of vignetting in the final image.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood (away from the end of the lens) cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods that are supplied by the manufacturer of the lens are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. Rubber lens hoods are flexible and generally collapse for storage. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

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Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Digital sensors are usually smaller than 35mm film, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a constant factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website calculates angles of view of lenses automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

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Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a photographic camera body and a lens. It is confined to cameras where the body allows interchangeable lenses, most usually the rangefinder and SLR cameras.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock (friction lock) type. Modern still camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body. Screw-threaded mounts are fragile and do not align the lens in a reliable rotational position.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different. These incompatibilities are probably due to the desire of manufacturers to lock in consumers to their brand.

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Closest focusing distance

Distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject.

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Closest working distance

Distance from the front of the lens to the subject.

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Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. A magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size". A lens is not considered to be "true" macro unless it can achieve at least life-size magnification.

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Weight

Excluding caps and detachable accessories such as lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.

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Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding caps and detachable accessories such as lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.

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Distortion

A form of optical aberration, a deviation from rectilinear projection in which straight lines in a scene remain straight in an image.

Although distortion can be irregular or follow many patterns, the most commonly encountered distortions are radially symmetric, or approximately so, arising from the symmetry of a photographic lens. These radial distortions can usually be classified as either barrel distortions or pincushion distortions.

In barrel distortion, image magnification decreases with distance from the optical axis. The apparent effect is that of an image which has been mapped around a sphere (or barrel). Fisheye lenses, which take hemispherical views, utilize this type of distortion as a way to map an infinitely wide object plane into a finite image area. In a zoom lens barrel distortion appears in the middle of the lens's focal length range and is worst at the wide-angle end of the range.

In pincushion distortion, image magnification increases with the distance from the optical axis. The visible effect is that lines that do not go through the centre of the image are bowed inwards, towards the centre of the image, like a pincushion.

In photography, distortion is particularly associated with zoom lenses, particularly large-range zooms, but may also be found in prime lenses. Barrel distortion may be found in wide-angle lenses, and is often seen at the wide-angle end of zoom lenses, while pincushion distortion is often seen in older or low-end telephoto lenses.

Correction usually requires cropping out curved edges of the corrected image which can influence the composition. Moreover, correction leads to redistribution of image resolution – the center of the frame will lose some sharpness and the edges become sharper after the correction of pincushion distortion and vice versa, the center of the frame become sharper and the edges will lose some sharpness as the result of correction of barrel distortion. The results of correction could be especially noticeable for wide-angle lenses because most of lenses of such class suffer from resolution drop at the edges and especially at the corners of the frame. Thereby the correction should be performed only for those pictures which contain straight lines (f.e. images of architecture).

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Vignetting

Vignetting is a reduction of an image's brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center. Vignetting is often an unintended and undesired effect caused by camera settings or lens limitations. However, it is sometimes deliberately introduced for creative effect, such as to draw attention to the center of the frame. A photographer may deliberately choose a lens which is known to produce vignetting to obtain the effect, or it may be introduced with the use of special filters or post-processing procedures.

Correction of vignetting requires brightening of the edges and corners of the frame. Such correction however increases digital noise at the corresponding areas of the frame because digitally brightening an image amplifies both the signal and the noise equally. That’s why shooting at the maximum aperture should be avoided whenever possible since the all lenses have the strongest vignetting at their maximum aperture.

In some cases, the optical vignetting can be minimized by closing of the aperture by one or several stops. However even the significant closing of the aperture may not have the noticeable effect with some models of wide-angle lenses.

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Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

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Floating system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance.

See also:

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Spherical aberration

Because of the spherical aberration the parallel light rays passing through the edge of the lens converge at the focal point closer to the lens than the rays passing through the lens center. Large aperture lenses suffer from stronger spherical aberration. Rays of light passing near the optical axis form a sharp point on the image sensor of a camera but under the influence of the peripheral rays of light the point light source receives a uniform halo. Spherical aberration affects the whole image field from the center to the edges and results in a blurred image with lower contrast.

The correction of spherical aberration of spherical lenses is very complex and does not ensure its complete elimination. The residual aberration can be significantly reduced by closing of the aperture, because the edges of the lens are thus blocked. The only effective way to substantially compensate for the spherical aberration at the maximum relative aperture of the large aperture lens is the use of aspherical elements. Uncorrected spherical aberration can cause a focus shift.

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Bokeh

Bokeh is a quite subjective concept as the perception of the image depends on the viewer. Some like "nervous" bokeh with twisted or doubled background. Some prefer out-of-focus highlights to take the form of a polygonal shape. However most of the people like the following characteristics:

  • Gaussian blur - smooth and uniform foreground and background blur without any kind of doubling or twisting;
  • Circular form and uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights with no color outline;
  • There's no longitudinal chromatic aberration (color fringes in the transition zone).
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Filters

There are two basic types of lens filters - circular that screw directly on the filter thread in front of the lens, and square ones, which slot into a filter holder.

Circular screw-on filters protect the surface of the front lens element against dust, moisture, fingerprints, scratches and bumps. Square gelatin filters are dropped into place in slot that keeps it flat and parallel to the focal plane in order to maintain optimal image quality. Drop-in filters are mostly used in super telephoto lenses due to the large size of the front lens element.

The primary function of lens filters is to improve the image quality and/or produce special effects.

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Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

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Weather sealing

Weather sealed lenses contain a rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

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Diaphragm type

SLR cameras require stopping down to the chosen aperture immediately before exposure, in order to permit viewing and focusing at full aperture up to the moment the shutter is released.

Historically, there are four different types of diaphragm:

Manual – the diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring,

Pre-set – the lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value,

Semi-automatic – the lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value,

Automatic – the actuating lever in the camera, operated by the shutter release, closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

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Hybrid IS

The image stabilizer has Hybrid IS technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. Hybrid IS dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

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Dynamic IS

The image stabilizer has Dynamic IS technology which especially effective when shooting while walking because it compensates strong camera shake. Dynamic IS activates automatically when the camera is set to movie shooting.

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Mode 1

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Mainly effective for shooting still subjects.

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Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction. Corrects horizontal camera shake during following shots in a vertical direction.

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Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction.

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Mode 3

Corrects camera shake only during exposure. During panning shots, corrects camera shake during exposure only in one direction the same as Mode 2. Effective for following fast and irregulary moving subjects.

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Panning Detection

The image stabilizer automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction

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Tripod Detection

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.

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VR NORMAL

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

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VR ACTIVE

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle, or some other unstable position. Panning is not detected.

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VR SPORT

Allows a continuous shooting frame rate and release time lag similar to those that are possible when image stabilizer is turned off. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

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VR TRIPOD

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.

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Altix

Designed By: VEB Altissa Camera Werk
Announced: 1956
Discontinued: 1959
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Viewfinder
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 42.5 mm
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Fujifilm X

Designed By: Fujifilm Holdings Corporation
Announced: 2012
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: APS-C
Camera Type: Mirrorless
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 17.7 mm
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Samsung NX

Designed By: Samsung Group
Announced: 2010
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: APS-C
Camera Type: Mirrorless
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 25.5 mm
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Sony E

Designed By: Sony Corporation
Announced: 2010
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Mirrorless
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 18 mm
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Nikon F

Designed By: Nikon Corporation
Announced: 1959
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 46.5 mm
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Pentax K

Designed By: Pentax Corporation
Announced: 1975
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 45.5 mm
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Canon EF

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 1987
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 44 mm
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Canon EF-S

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 2003
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: APS-C
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 44 mm
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Canon EF-M

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 2012
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: APS-C
Camera Type: Mirrorless
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 18 mm
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Canon R

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 1959
Discontinued: 1964
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 42 mm
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Canon FL

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 1964
Discontinued: 1971
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 42 mm
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Canon FD

Designed By: Canon Inc.
Announced: 1971
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 42 mm
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Minolta/Sony A

Designed By: Minolta Corporation
Announced: 1985
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 44.5 mm
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Sigma SA

Designed By: Sigma Corporation
Announced: 1993
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 44 mm
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Leica M

Designed By: Leica Camera AG
Announced: 1954
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Rangefinder
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 27.8 mm
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Leica L

Designed By: Leica Camera AG
Announced: 2014
Discontinued: No
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Mirrorless
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 19 mm
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Leica R

Designed By: Leica Camera AG
Announced: 1964
Discontinued: 2009
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 47 mm
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Contax/Yashica

Designed By: Yashica, Carl Zeiss (Oberkochen)
Announced: 1975
Discontinued: 2005
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 45.5 mm
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Contax G

Designed By: Kyocera
Announced: 1994
Discontinued: 2005
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Rangefinder
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 28.95 mm
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Contax N

Designed By: Kyocera
Announced: 2000
Discontinued: 2005
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: Yes
Flange focal distance: 48 mm
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Fujica X

Designed By: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd
Announced: 1980
Discontinued: 1985
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 43.5 mm
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Rollei QBM

Designed By: Werkstatt für Feinmechanik und Optik, Franke & Heidecke
Announced: 1970
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 44.46 mm
×

Konica AR

Designed By: Konica
Announced: 1965
Discontinued: 1987
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 40.5 mm
×

Konica F

Designed By: Konica
Announced: 1960
Discontinued: 1965
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 40.5 mm
×

Olympus OM

Designed By: Olympus Corporation
Announced: 1972
Discontinued: 2002
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 46 mm
×

Minolta SR

Designed By: Minolta Corporation
Announced: 1958
Discontinued: 2001
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 43.5 mm
×

Mamiya E

Designed By: Mamiya Camera
Announced: 1980
Discontinued: 1984
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 45.5 mm
×

Mamiya ES

Designed By: Mamiya Camera
Announced: 1971
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance:
×

Mamiya CS

Designed By: Mamiya Camera
Announced: 1978
Discontinued: 1980
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 45.5 mm
×

Topcon RE

Designed By: Tokyo Kogaku Kikai K.K.
Announced: 1963
Discontinued: 1981
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 44.7 mm
×

M42

Designed By: Carl Zeiss (Dresden)
Announced: 1949
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Single-Lens Reflex
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 45.5 mm
×

M39

Designed By: Leica Camera AG
Announced: 1930
Discontinued: Yes
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Camera Type: Rangefinder
AF Support: No
Flange focal distance: 28.8 mm