Friday, 23 November 2007

Nikon Nomenclature

As if photography wasn't confusing enough what is with all the letters in the names of lenses these days. Now you have nearly the entire alphabet included in a product name. So here is a list to help clear a few things up.

Non – AI Lenses - AI stands for Aperture Indexing (or Automatic maximum aperture Indexing). Non-AI lenses are old bayonet mount lenses that do not offer the ability to meter with the aperture wide open and in fact cannot be fitted to modern (and not so modern) cameras. These lenses can be modified to become…

AI Lenses- AI allows you to perform metering with the lens wide open at it's maximum aperture (so you can see to focus with the screen at it's brightest) - then as the shutter is released, the lens "stops down" to give the correct aperture.

AIS - Automatic Index Shutter. These lenses have a grove in the barrel to tell the body that the aperture is linear so it can be used for Program and Shutter priority modes.

PC - Perspective Control- The first of this type was the 35mm f/3.5 PC introduced in 1963. It allows the camera to stay parallel with the subject. These are non-AI so will not meter with the majority of digital bodies.

AF- Auto Focus. Nikons first series of Auto Focus lens. This is possibly the only nomenclature that is common across all lens manufactures.

AF "D" Lenses take into account Distance into the exposure equation. This works for normal ‘ambient’ exposures as well as calculating flash to subject distance. All recent Nikkor lenses are D series.

AF-S or AFS lenses contain a Servo motor in the lens to drive the focusing. This is instead of the camera body driving them. Having a motor in the lens creates a faster, quieter focusing lens that even uses less power! The D40 lacks a focus drive in the camera and therefore will only accept AF-S lenses.

VR and now VRII is Nikon’s in lens Vibration Reduction system equivalent to Canon’s Image Stabilized (IS) lenses. This helps reduce camera shake allowing sharper images at lower shutter speeds.

G series lenses lack an aperture ring on the lens. The aperture must be controlled with the camera body. These lenses are compatible with all camera from the late 90s onwards only (F5 F100 onwards).

DX lenses are designed with a smaller image circle specifically for smaller sized digital sensors.

DC - Defocus Control - the ability to control what zones are in or out of focus, handy for portraiture and that’s about it.

IF - Internal Focus lenses are self-contained and do not change size when focused.

LD/ED/UD - Low/Extra low/Ultra low Dispersion - Special glass that doesn't disperse the light as it enters the lens. Usually encountered on later model telephoto lenses.

N Nano coated lenses are Nikons newest coating for internal elements to reduce flare and ghosting from light bounced around inside the lens

Micro - What everyone else in the world refers to as macro, a lens capable of focusing to life size without extension tubes.

CRC - Close Range Correction - Lens adapted to reduce distortion when focused at macro lengths.

NOCT - Nocturnal - The Nikkor AIS Noct 58mm f/1.2, a "fast" lens (wide aperture), with aspherical elements, capable of photographs in very low light

UV - Special lenses designed to pass ultra-violet light.

UW - Special lenses designed for the Nikonos underwater camera system

Not all of these codes are in use today but should give you a good idea of what is around especially if you are looking at second hand glass.

And if you are looking for the ultimate lens for wildlife and landscape work that focuses down to life size has internal, fast, focusing, multi coating to reduce flare, and with vibration reduction you would be looking for something with a name like...

AF-S 18-500mm f/2.8G IF-ED Micro Zoom Nikkor VRII N.

Have Fun!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Adobe is working hard with updates

The Adobe Photoshop engineering team has been quite busy over the past few months and has just released a slew of updates:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.3

This is the update you’ve been waiting for if you are on or going to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or if you were in the market for one of the hot new DSLR Cameras. Not only do we get improved Leopard compatibility but we also get native camera RAW support for the following cameras:

Nikon D3
Nikon D300
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
Canon PowerShot G9
Olympus E-3
Olympus SP-560 UZ
Panasonic DMC-L10

Adobe is first to market with support for the Nikon D3 and D300! The applications also support the sRAW format produced by the Canon 1D Mk III, 1Ds Mk III, and 40D.

Also Adobe has released a Preview of the Lightroom Export SDK (available on This will allow developers to create some really cool workflows. Think direct export to Flickr, Smugmug, FTP Hosts, etc.

Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 and the DNG Converter 4.3

Camera RAW getS the same support as Lightroom in these updates.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 10.0.1& Bridge CS3 2.1.1

The most significant fixes in the Photoshop 10.0.1 update include the following:

A crash that could occur when Microsoft Intellipoint software is installed has been fixed.

  • The speed of moving objects contained within multiple layer sets has been improved.
  • The speed of closing large documents has been improved.
  • Converting images to CMYK using certain profiles no longer results in black files.
  • A crash that could occur when saving a 4-bit BMP file with 16 or fewer colors has been fixed.
  • The Save for Web feature now includes an option to “Include XMP” (metadata) in the settings menu within the main Save for Web interface, making the existing capability easier to access.
  • When using Save For Web with “Include XMP” enabled, all XMP data is now included in the optimized file.
  • A problem that could cause the incorrect printer to appear within the print dialog box has been corrected.
  • Images no longer print with odd-sized margins on various Epson printers, or print smaller and off-centered.
  • Printer settings in Windows® are saved with a document while that document is open. If a document has not had Page Setup settings applied to it, the document will get the previous page setup used during the current session of Photoshop.
  • Photoshop now turns off Windows ICM (system color management) when “Photoshop Manages Colors.”
  • Print color matching has been improved.
  • A problem that caused certain laser printers to show distortions when printing to a nonsquare resolution has been fixed.
  • Images saved as DICOM and reopened in Photoshop CS3 are no longer corrupted on PowerPC® based Mac computers.

The Adobe® Bridge CS3 2.1.1 update includes the following fixes and enhancements:

  • A new preference to enable High Quality Preview has been added to Bridge’s Preferences > Advanced panel. When enabled, the preference addresses the problem of a soft or blurry preview appearing in the Preview panel and in Slideshow mode.
  • Data loss that could result from replacing a folder with another folder by the same name has been prevented.
  • Issues that could cause Bridge to crash (for example, when encountering a PDF or AI file) have been corrected.
  • A problem that could cause Bridge to lock up when using arrows to navigate has been fixed.
  • XMP data is now handled correctly when added to CR2 files.
  • A problem that could cause the Loupe tool not to be available after exiting from Slideshow mode has been corrected.
  • Rapid clicks to select multiple files are no longer interpreted as a double-click, so unintended opening of multiple files is now reduced.

All of the updates above are available for download from and should be available through the Adobe Updater.