Canon lens acronyms naming and abbreviations with their meaning.

Canon acronym naming and lens abbreviation meaning
Canon acronym naming and lens abbreviation meaning

When we are looking for the meaning of a naming abbreviation or some acronyms written/marked on a Canon lens, it might be confusing to find out what these letters and terminology stand for, especially when we have just switched from another lens manufacturer.

Example of naming acronym with the Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS II USM : This lens is designed for full frame camera (EF), it is a zoom lens which can zoom between 70 and 200 millimeters with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 (1:2.8), it's a professional lens (L = Luxury) with an incorporated system against shaking (IS), it's a second generation lens or a second version because of the “II” and this lens has an ultrasonic motor (USM) for focusing.

Below is a list of the Canon lens abbreviation naming and acronyms with their meaning and for what these letters and numbers stand for.
The deprecated naming and acronyms are not listed, because if you got an old lens, i am sure that you know the exact meaning of the acronym, and this list of naming is mostly made to help the beginner.

  • DO: This abbreviation means Diffractive Optics, it is a specific glass which bend the light more than other lenses.
  • EF: This acronym stand for Electronic Focus, it means this lens is compatible with all EOS cameras, and is designed for Full frame (35 millimetres) sensor.
  • EF-M: This abbreviation means Mirrorless Electronic Focus, these kind of lenses are specifically made for mirror-less Canon camera.
  • EF-S: This naming means Short-back Electronic Focus, these lenses are made for APS-C sensors (sensor size ratio of 1.6 in the Canon designation or nomenclature convention).
  • IS: In the Canon naming acronym this abbreviation means Image Stabilization, the lens can detect and compensate your hands motion (like shaking hands) and allow to take sharp picture with a slow shutter speed.
  • TS: Tilt-Shift.
  • TS-E: Tilt-Shift-Electronic aperture control.
  • MP-E: Macro Photography-Electronic aperture control.
  • H-IS: Hybrid Image Stabilization.
  • USM: UltraSonic Motor (for the auto-focus).
  • STM: STepping Motor (for the auto-focus, more compatible with videofocus).
  • (Mark) II: Version of the lens (II = v2, III = v3, etc., the word “Mark” might not be printed).
  • UD : Ultra-low Dispersion.
  • L: Luxury.
  • Macro: Can be very closed to the subject, usually less than 45 cm, but the magnification is not necessary at a ratio of 1:1 .
  • Softfocus : Soft focus effect.

 You might also be interested with the last entry in the blog:

Photophone: How to do great pictures with a smartphone or a tablet.

How to take great pictures with a smartphone
How to take great pictures with a smartphone?

Nowadays our smartphones have more computer power than a 10 years old desktop computer. Technology is evolving fast and with it, the language acquiring new words like  smartphone or selfie.

We are doing everything with our phone, from a GPS assistant to photograph or record a movie in full 1080p HD, even post processing those images, and i don't even speak about playing 3D games, read some news on internet and so on...


At the end, when we compare how we use our phone the most, in percentage, I can say safely that we barely use it to call someone, and this is why i call mine a photophone.

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