a-z of Nikon lens jargon
for its full-frame mirrorless Z system cameras, ‘S’ stands for superior, and S-line lenses feature outstanding optical quality. All the Z-fit lenses announced to date have the S badge, but Nikon has confirmed that at some point in the future there will be lower-cost non-s-line lenses for its range Z system cameras.
Supersonic Wave Motor, a type of autofocusing system that’s used in many of Nikon’s current lenses. It moves the focusing elements with ultrasonic vibrations, rather than a conventional electric motor. Nikon lenses that include SWM technology have AF-S in their titles, and SWM inscribed on barrel.
TC and TC-E
TC stands for teleconverter, so it’s only on these where the term is used.
This indicates that a lens employs a Vibration Reduction system, which is Nikon’s name for its image stabilization technology. This promises somewhere between 3-4.5 stops of correction, although the benefit you actually see in your photographs depends on several additional factors, such as camera-tosubject distance.
This is where things get a little confusing. Nikon uses the term VR II on its website and in marketing materials to show that a lens features its second-generation Vibration Reduction technology. The term ‘VR II’ on the lens barrel when it’s written on a lens itself, however, actually indicates that the lens has VR and is the second generation version of that particular lens, rather than it having this second-generation VR system. There appears to no way of determining whether a lens has a first or secondgeneration system from looking at the lens itself, so the only way it to check marketing materials or an instruction manual. Likewise, the benefits ascribed to second-generation VR lenses are in some cases bettered by ones that do not claim to have second-generation VR.
The Z prefix means that the lens is designed exclusively for Nikon’s range of full-frame mirrorless Z system cameras, which have a larger-diameter mount than F-mount lenses designed for DSLRS. While F-mount lenses can be used on a Z-mount camera by using Nikon’s FTZ mount adaptor, Z-system lenses cannot be used on Nikon DSLR bodies.