What do these Olympus lens acronyms actually mean?

Started Mar 28, 2018 | Questions thread
Alex Ethridge
Alex Ethridge Veteran Member • Posts: 3,749
Most complete list of acronyms I know of:

I have compiled a more complete list of acronyms than any I have seen available on the 'net anywhere. You might want to copy and paste in in a document for your convenience:

1-inch = Nominal sensor size, actually much smaller (13.2mm x 8.8mm). Aspect ratio 3:2, CF 2.7

4K = Video with approx 4,000 (usually 4096) pixels in horizontal resolution

A mode = Aperture priority auto-exposure mode

Av mode = Aperture value, Canon's and Pentax's version of A mode

AA = Anti Aliasing

ACR = Adobe Camera RAW

AEB - Automatic Exposure Bracketing

AF = Autofocus

AF-C = Autofocus continuous

AF Case = A Canon term that refers to custom autofocus presets

AF-F = Autofocus Flexible

AF On = A control button on the back of a camera, while pressed AF continues to adjust.

AF-S = Autofocus, single shot

AF-S = Nikon's designation for autofocus lenses with SWM (silent-wave motor).

AoV = Angle of View

AP = Associated Press; I saw it used once in place of Astronomical Photography.

APS = Advanced Photo System, a discontinued film format that has given rise to designators for two digital sensor sizes. Sometimes used incorrectly to mean APS-C

APS-C = APS Classic, in film, 25.1mm x 16.7mm. In digital sensors, nominally 24mm x 16mm, In practice most makes are slightly smaller than that, Canon's, significantly so. Aspect ratio 3:2, Nominal CF (crop factor) is 1.5, 1.6 for Canon.

APS-H = APS High definition. In film, 30.2mm x 16.7 mm, 16:9 aspect ratio. Canon APS-H digital sensors are 3:2 aspect ratio with a similar diagonal.

APS-P = APS (advanced photo system) Panoramic. A film-only format, 30.2mm x 9.5mm.

Auto exposure mode = A shooting mode on a camera which lets the user adjust one of aperture, ISO or shutter speed, in response to which the camera adjusts one or both of the other two settings to maintain the same image brightness.

AWB = Automatic White Balance

AR = Augmented Reality

B&H = B&H Photo and Video, a giant New York retailer.

BB = Best Buy (a retailer)

BBF = Back Button Focus - uses the AF-On button to control focus.

BBIF = Big Birds in Flight (condors? planes? passenger jets? Who knows?)

BCL = Body Cap Lens A body cap that incorporates a single-element lens, typically of low quality.

BG = Black Glass, a term applied to very-high-value neutral-density filters

BI = See BSI

BIF = Birds in Flight

BoB = Bird on Branch (not in flight)

Blinkies = A user-selectable (on/off) setting in many digital cameras that flash the LCD preview display in the over-exposed (aka blown-out) and under-exposed (aka blacked-out) areas of a scene. Some photographers consider blinkies to have an advantage over the histogram in that it shows exactly which areas in a scene may be above or below the sensor's range for the current settings.

Blinkies and the histogram are not an either-or setting; they can be used simultaneously in most cameras.

Note: Blinkies are conservative in most cameras in that, usually, some detail can be brought out in post processing.

BSI = refers to Back-illuminated Sensor or BI sensor

B+W = A registered brand, usually used in reference to photographic filters of the B+W brand.

C1 = See C1Pro

C1Pro aka C1 = Capture One (also known as Capture One Pro by users) is a professional raw converter and image editing software developed by Phase One. It is designed for professional photographers who need to process large volumes of high quality images in a fast and efficient workflow.

Canikon = Canon & Nikon, interchangeably (often as opposed to mirrorless)

C-AF = Continuous Autofocus

C&C = Comments and Criticism

CA = Chromatic Aberration

CAF = Continuous Autofocus

CCD = Charge-couple Device

CDAF = Contrast Detection Autofocus

CES = Consumer Electronics Show

CF = Crop Factor

CF = Compact Flash, a type of memory card used in some older cameras but is now slowly falling in popularity due to the more convenient, smaller SD card.

CH = Continuous High

CIC = Cambridge in Color, an instructional website, not a school per se. Not affiliated with Cambridge University. Very good at some things, very wrong at others. Use with care and check other sources.

CIPA = Camera & Imaging Products Association, a committee that sets specification guidelines

CL = Continuous Low

CMYK = CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).

CNS = see C/N/S

C/N/S = Canon Nikon Sony

COMA = Coma is a shortcoming in a camera lens where light rays, bumping into the objective far from it's optical axis do not come to focus within the identical image plane. This results in star images near the outer edge of the viewing field seeming to have comet-style tails scattering radially away from it's optical axis (called negative coma) or toward it's axis (called positive coma). COMA is caused when oblique rays of light from an object point pass through different zones of the lens and come to focus at different distances behind the lens, thereby forming a comet-shaped image at the film plane ... Coma, like spherical aberration, can be reduced by stopping down the lens, and the linear size of the image of an object point varies inversely with the f-number squared.

CPL = Circular Polarizer (a filter attached to the front of a lens)

CR = (was used as "including CR on reviews" meaning unknown, possibly Consumer Reports)

CoC = Circle of Confusion. Takes into account many of the factors used in computing DoF (depth of field)

COC = (was used as "requires a smaller COC to produce the theoretical 10x8 print" meaning unknown)

DC = Defocus Control, an adjustable feature on some Nikkor portrait lenses.

DCI = Digital Cinema Initiatives -- In the movie projection industry, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI 4K) is the dominant 4K standard.

DFD = Panasonic's Depth From Defocus technology for speeding autofocus.

DiF = Saw it used as Dragonfly in Flight

Diffraction = Loss of Sharpness due to photographing through small hole(s) -- apertures, screens etc.

DMF = Direct Manual Focus

DPR = Digital Photo Recovery

DPR = Digital Photography Review (www.DPReview.com)

DoF = Depth Of Field

DPI = Dots Per Inch (applies to printing output)

DPP = Digital Photo Professional, a free Canon software application that allows users to post process, organize and analyze RAW image files. http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/galleries/galleries/tutorials/dpp4_tutorials.shtml

To download, you will need to input a serial number from a compatible Canon camera.

DR = Dynamic Range

DSC = Digital Still Camera

dSLR = Digital single Lens Reflex (camera)

DSNU = Dark Signal Non-Uniformity

DTC = Digital Teleconverter

E-mount, Sony's MIlC lens mount. and APS-C lenses for it.

EAoV = Equivalent Angle of View. When comparing lenses used on cameras with different sensor sizes, this equivalence to the angle of view equivalence is helpful to the user who is already familiar with the angle of coverage of lenses for 35mm cameras.

EC = Exposure Compensation, tells the camera how much brighter or darker the metered area should be than middle grey.

EF = Canon's current full-frame (FF) lens mount

EFC = Electronic Front Curtain Shutter

EFCS = same as EFC, Electronic Front Curtain Shutter

EFL = Equivalent Focal Length (to 35mm)

EF-S = Canon's current APS-C lens mount. EF-S lenses cannot be used on full-frame bodies.

EFoV = Extended Field of View

EFoV = (35mm) Equivalent Field of View

ELVF = Eye-level Viewfinder

EQ = Equivalent

ES = Electronic Shutter

ETC = Extra Table Conversion (video term?)

ETTR = Exposure to the Right

EV = Exposure Value

EVF = Eye-level Viewfinder, sometimes Electronic Viewfinder, depends on context but the latter is more common.

EVIL = Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (refers those two characteristics as a camera type)

FAS = Saw it used once in place of "fully articulated screen".

FCPX = Final Cut Pro X (pronounced "Final Cut Pro Ten") is a professional non-linear video editing application published by Apple Inc. as part of their Pro Apps family of software programs.

F-mount = Nikon's lens mount for both full-frame (FF) and half-frame (DX) DX is Nikon's designation for APS-C

FE = Sony full-frame (FF) lenses for E-mount

FF = Full Frame (usually 35mm film or sensors the same size as the 35mm negative, 24mm x 36mm)

FFL - Fixed Focal Length

FHD = 1080p (1920×1080 px; also known as Full HD or FHD and BT.709) is a set of HDTV high-definition video modes characterized by 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution; the p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced.

FL = Focal Length

FL-600 = a particular model of flash

FL-LM2 = a particular model of flash

FoV = Field of View

How to calculate camera-to-subject distance to maintain same field of view on the subject:

500mm at 500 feet

400mm at 400 feet

200mm at 200 feet

100mm at 100 feet

and so on

Note: A lens's designated focal length is accurate only at infinity focus and is slightly longer at lesser focus points.

FP = Focal Plane

FP = Focus Peaking

FPN = Fixed-pattern Noise

FPS = Focal Plane Shutter

FPS = Frames per second

FT = Four Thirds

FW = Firmware

GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a "psychosis" of people who can't stop wanting and/or buying more gear

Half-frame = refers to film or sensor sizes approximately half the area of full frame.

HDR = High Dynamic Range

HG = High Grade (usually referring to lenses, see SHG)

HLG = Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is a high dynamic range (HDR) standard that was jointly developed by the BBC and NHK. The HLG standard is royalty-free and was approved as ARIB STD-B67 by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). HLG is compatible with standard dynamic range (SDR) displays.

HSL = Hue, Saturation and Luminance

HSS = High Speed Sync

HSV = Hue, Saturation and Value (brightness Value)

HTP = Highlight Tone Priority

Hyperfocal Distance = the distance of closest object that is in focus when the lens is focused at infinity

IBIS = In Body Image Stabilization

ILC = Interchangeable Lens Camera

IR = Infra-Red

Keystoning = Converging-line distortion caused by tilting camera back with lack of perspective control

IQ = Image Quality

IS = Image Stabilization

IV =

ISO = the International Organization for Standardization ( no, the initials don't match - it's a brand not an acronym)

ISO = one of the three main brightness controls on a camera, maps analog sensor read-out values onto digital pixel values, with a higher ISO giving a proportionally higher digital pixel value for a given sensor read-out value.

JCIA = Japan Camera Industry Association, the predecessor of CIPA, before June 2002. CIPA inherits, maintains and promotes the JCIA Standards.

LB (unknown)

LC =

LCC Lens Cast Correction, a post processing technique used to correct commonly-found issues in some lenses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xsOzYKXg04

LCD = Liquid Crystal Display

LCP = Live Control Panel (on the live screen maybe?)

LENR = Long Exposure Noise Reduction (can be toggled on or off in some cameras)

LF = Large Format (usually referring to view cameras using 4" by 5" or larger film)

LOCA = Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration

LR = Light Room, a post-processing software developed by Adobe (different versions LR5, LR6, etc.)

LT =

LUT = Lookup Table is essentially the modifier between two images, the original image and the displayed image, based on a mathematical formula. There are different types of LUTS – viewing, transform, calibration, 1D and 3D. The three colorists go into a lot of detail on all them.

LV = Live View

LVAF = Live View Auto Focus


M mode = Manual mode, a shooting mode in which the user may adjust aperture or shutter speed without the camera making a compensating adjustment to the other

Macro lens = a lens that can focus at least as close as its focal length, thus giving a magnification of 1:1 or more. Often incorrectly used for close-focus lenses that don't reach 1:1

m4/3 = Micro Four Thirds

MBP = CPU The writer seemed to be referring to the computer's "Central Processing Unit" as the "Main Board Processor". Saw this use once in a forum.

micro = Nikon's term for macro

MF = Manual Focus or Medium Format (refers to formats larger than 35mm or full frame up to 6cm wide)

MFD = Minimum Focusing Distance

MFT = Micro Four Thirds

MILC = Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

MLU = Mirror Lock Up, a technique used to minimize vibration when the shutter is released

MP = Megapixel

MSC = Movie and Still Compatible

MTF = Modulation Transfer Function, The MTF is a lens performance indicator that represents how faithfully a lens can reproduce the contrast of the subject.

ND = Neutral Density, usually used as an adjective for filters - "Neutral Density filter" Also see VND.

NFC = Near-field communication

NR = Noise Reduction

OCF = Off-camera Flash

OI Share = Olympus Image Share

OIS = Optical Image Stabilization, implies in-lens stabilization

OLED = An organic light-emitting diode is a light-emitting diode in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current, superior to LED in that it is capable of blacker blacks and whiter whites.

OLPF = Optical Low Pass Filter (same as AA (anti-aliasing) filter)

ON1 = A post-processing / retouching program.

OOB = Out of (the) Box

OOC = Out of Camera, usually interchangeable with SOOC (Straight Out of Camera)

OOF = Out of Focus

OV3 = Olympus Viewer 3, free post processing software from Olympus, optimized for Olympus RAW files

OVF = Optical Viewfinder

OIS = Optical Image Stabilization

OS = Optical Stabilization, Sigma's OIS

OSPDAF = On-sensor Phase Detection Automatic Focus

OSS = Optical Steady Shot, Sony's term for optical image stabilization

OTOH = On The Other Hand

P mode = Program mode or Program Shift mode. An auto exposure mode in which the camera first sets the aperture and shutter and then allows the user to adjust either.

PAS = the three auto exposure modes, Program, Aperture priority and Shutter priority

PASM = the four usual shooting modes, implies not Auto or SCN (SCN = Scene)

PC = Perspective Control, Nikon's version of T/S or Tilt/Shift (sometimes misused as TS)

PDAF = Phase Detection Autofocus

Pixel Binning = Combining of two or more pixels into one pixel by averaging their values

PF = Phase Fresnel (a lens design engineering term)

PF = Purple Fringing, think Chromatic Aberration

PL = Prime Lens

PP = Post Processing (also) Pixel Peeping

PPI = Pixels Per Inch (applies to printing input)

PQ = Picture Quality

PRNU = Photo-Response Non-Uniformity

PSD = A .PSD file is a layered image file used in Adobe PhotoShop. PSD, which stands for Photoshop Document, is the default format that Photoshop uses for saving data. PSD is a proprietary file that allows the user to work with the images' individual layers even after the file has been saved.

QC = Quality Control

QE = Quantum Efficiency, property of a sensor - essentially the portion of photons hitting the sensor which are successfully converted to a charge.

QR = Quick Release (tripod quick-release plate)

QR = Quick Release

QT = (unknown)

Quarter-frame = refers to film or sensor frame size one-quarter the size of full frame a.k.a micro four thirds, m43, mFT, etc.

RC = Radio Control

RC = Remote Control (could be infrared (IR) instead of radio)

RIs = (how it was used: "set Half Way RIs with IS to On" meaning unknown)

RTFM = Leaving off the vulgarity, it means Read The Manual

S Mode = Shutter priority mode. an auto exposure mode

SCN = (SCN mode) SCN stands for Scene

SCP = Super Control Panel (menus used to control camera settings, see also LCP)

SD = Secure Digital, a small flash memory card format.

SHG = Super High Grade (usually referring to lenses)

SLR = Single Lens Reflex (camera) can imply non-digital, or include both digital and film

SLT = Single Lens Translucent is a Sony proprietary designation for Sony Alpha cameras which employ a pellicle mirror, electronic viewfinder, and phase-detection autofocus system. They employ the same Minolta A-mount as Sony Alpha DSLR cameras.

S-OVF = Simulated Optical Viewfinder

SHG = Super High Grade

SNR = Signal to Noise Ratio

SOOC = Straight Out of Camera, usually interchangeable with OOC (Out of Camera)

SS = Shutter Speed

SSWF = Super Sonic Wave Filter, a dust reduction system for the sensor or lens

STM = a Canon term for STepping Motor (a kind of silent-focusing motor that is replacing the Ultrasonic Motor (USM))

SWD - Supersonic Wave Drive

SWM - Silent Wave Motor. Usual AF motor in AF lenses, now being replaced by STM and other types.

TC = TeleConverter

TLR = Twin Lens Reflex (I've never seen a digital twin-lens reflex; but, I've see the term used in a digital forum.)

TS = see T/S

T/S = Tilt/Shift

TTL = Through The Lens - an approach to flash metering and control.

Tv mode = Time Value, Canon's and Pentax' version of S mode.

TTL A Mode = Auto Thyristor Metering within the flash, itself; ignores input from camera. Think Vivitar 283/5.

UBS = Ugly Bokeh Syndrome

UHD = Ultra-high Definition

UI = User Interface

USM = Canon's term for Ultrasonic Motor

VC = Vibration Control, Tamron's term for optical image stabilization (OIS)

VF = Viewfinder

VLog = a blog in which the postings are primarily in video form

V-LOG = Log encoding which allows for a wider dynamic range of luminance information that is more in line with how the human eye sees things.

VND = Variable Neutral Density (filter)

VR = Vibration Reduction, Nikon's term for optical image stabilization (OIS).

VSCO = short for Visual Supply Co

#VSCO stands for the photo editing app VSCO Cam (short for Visual Supply Co) When people use this hashtag it's because they edited their photo using this app before posting it on Instagram. You might often see #VSCO along with #VSCOcam or #VSCOgram.

WB = White Balance

"X factor" or "X effect"= A color-cast issue characteristic of variable neutral-density (VND) filters when used at high settings on non-telephoto lenses. The longer the lens focal length, the less the "X effect".


https://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/an-in-depth-comparison-of-two-variable-neutral-density-filters--photo-8983 Scroll down to the section entitled "X Marks the Spot"

YT = YouTube

Zebra Function = a camera feature that overlays some stripes into the image that indicates exposure levels. It is a function that aids exposure by showing a striped pattern into the areas that are close to overexposure.

Zebra Stripes = camera functions that help you judge exposure by superimposing vibrating diagonal stripes on the overexposed part of the image. These stripes are only seen on your camera's viewfinder or LCD screen and are never recorded to tape or even seen on an external monitor.

 Alex Ethridge's gear list:Alex Ethridge's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Nikon D800E Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic GH5 +15 more
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