Nikon lenses (Nikkor) acronyms, marking and naming: The abbreviation meanings.

Nikon lens or Nikkor acronym and naming abbreviation meaning and what they stand for.
Nikon lens or Nikkor acronym and naming abbreviation meaning and what they stand for.

Like each lens manufacturer, Nikon lens naming follow its own convention to identify the different components and attributes inside their lenses.
Like each lens manufacturer, Nikon also use some "standard" abbreviations, letters and numbers, and before to buy a lens we need to know what those acronyms stand for to know the capabilities of a given lens.

An example with Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED : This lens is a 105 millimeters of focal length with the possibility to open at a max aperture of 2.8 (f/2.8) with Macro ability (Micro) an internal motor for non motorized camera body (AF-S) with electronic control of the aperture (G) and, this lens is also featured with an anti shaking system (VR), an internal focus system (IF) and a special glass to reduce the light dispersion (ED).

Below a list of acronym or abbreviations from Nikon / Nikkor lenses with their meaning, not listed: Deprecated Nikon lens abbreviation or acronym and nomenclature or naming convention no longer in use though.

  • AF: This abbreviation means Auto Focus, the lens has the ability to focus electronically.
  • AF-D : This acronym means that the lens can Auto Focus and give the Distance information in the exif.
  • AF-N: This abbreviation stand for Auto-Focus type N.
  • AF-S: This acronym stand for Auto-Focus Silent.
  • ASP: This naming means that the lens have at least one aspherical (ASPherical) element to correct coma and lens aberrations.
  • CRC: This naming means Close Range Correction, it's a lens optimized for close focusing distances.
  • D: This letter stand for Distance, it means that the lens give the distance of the focus point and relay it to the camera.
  • DC: This lens acronym means Defocus Control which is a type of lens that will add more blur to the background (bokeh).
  • DX: This acronym stand for Digital Short Back (the back of the lens can get inside the camera, it is used for sensor with a ratio size of 1.5).
  • E: This naming letter refer to a type of lenses which feature an electronic aperture control.
  • ED: This abbreviation stand for Extra-low Dispersion, this Nikon lens has a special glass inside to reduce the light dispersion as it enter inside the lens and reduce some of the chromatic aberrations (it give also a sharper image).
  • FL: This naming means that the lens has a Fluorite glass inside, these lenses are optically superior.
  • FX: This abbreviation means Full Frame (standard 35 millimeters), if used on a smaller sensor, the focal length won't be anymore what is written on the lens.
  • G: This letter means that the lens has no manual control of the aperture (only automatic), which all modern lenses does not need anymore because nowadays the aperture is controlled from the camera.
  • IF: This naming acronym means Internal Focusing which means that the front barrel element of the lens does not move during focusing (the lens doesn't change in size or extend itself in front).
  • IX: This naming means that this kind of lens is used specifically for APS film.
  • Micro: This naming means that the lens has a ratio of 1:1 magnification (for close-up).
  • N: This letter stand for Nano-Crystal Coating (professional lenses), it's a very high quality lens with a special glass coating to minimize diffraction and chromatic aberrations.
  • NIC: This abbreviation stand for Nikon Integrated Coating, those lenses have received multi coated layers to control light's aberrations.
  • PC-E: This acronym stand for Perspective Control with Electronic aperture. Those kind of lenses are very particular in a way that the lens can tilt and shift to create special effects like the miniature effect.
  • RD or RF: These acronyms stand for Rear Focusing, which means that the back of the lens move during focusing.
  • SIC: This abbreviation means Super Integrated Coating, the lens has received a special multi coated layer to have better colors.
  • SWM: This acronym stand for Silent Wave Motor, which means the lens have an internal silent motor to focus.
  • VR: This naming abbreviation stand for Vibration Reduction, which means that the lens is equipped with an anti shaking detection system to reduce your hand motion when you are not steady.

 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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