Monthly Archives: May 2018

Explanations of 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.


AFD Arc-Form Drive An older type of auto focus motor, generally slower and noisier than USM
DO Diffractive Optics A technology used to make lenses with long focal lengths without the normal increase in physical size
ED Extra-low Dispersion Prevents chromatic aberration because it concentrates and directs the wavelength of the light more effectively onto the camera’s sensor
EF Electro Focus Standard lens mount, compatible with all EOS bodies
EF-S Electro Focus – Short back focus Lens mount for APS-C sensor DSLRs
IF Inner Focus To ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens group or groups without changing the lens’ physical length
IS Image Stabiliser A family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera. Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt of a camera
L Luxury Professional lenses; good optical performance and a solid construction
MP-E Macro Photo Electronic These lenses are designed for macro photography and do not have autofocus, the “electronic” refers to the electronic aperture control
TS-E Tilt-Shift lens Control of perspective and depth of field
USM Ultra Sonic Motor Auto focus motor that offers fast and silent focusing powered by the ultrasonic vibration of a component, the stator, placed against another component