Vintage Camera Lens Numbers, Symbols, and Markings Explained


What’s up everybody! Today we’re going to explain the markings and numbers on this vintage lens Ok, so today we’re going to look at some of the common markings, numbers, and symbols on these vintage lenses that are there to aide us in our photography ok, so lets turn this lens around, we’ll start with the front of the lens the first thing we see is the diameter of the lens this symbol represents the diameter and then it’s followed by a number and then the millimeters as well so you know how big it is across the front of your lens this is importing to know for filters, for caps I have a few screw on lens hoods you need to know that filter size, where thats where you’ll get it moving around the front of the lens we also have the focal length listed there and that’s represented in millimeters as well this is a 28mm prime and then next to that is the maximum aperture for the lens ok, moving down the barrel of the lens we run into our focusing ring and this one is represented in meters and feet and as we turn down from our maximum to our minimum focus here we reach .4 meters on this lens that is our minimum focus that is as close as we can get to a subject and still be in focus and on the other side of the focusing ring you have this infinity symbol which represents your furthest focusing distance ok, next i want to jump to the aperture ring and this controls how much light is allowed into your camera and this is usually represented in numbers I have seen some aperture rings that are totally smooth they don’t have any numbers listed on them at all just remember your minimum aperture is going to be your larger number your max is going to be your smaller number ok, finally in-between your focus ring and aperture ring is your hyperlocal distance scale and while this looks really complicated it isn’t that complicated and once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to shoot images without the lcd or viewfinder and still get them in focus ok, let me give you a quick example of how this scale works first you choose an aperture we chose f2.5 then you find the corresponding aperture in the hyperlocal distance scale and those have lines above them carry those lines up into the focusing ring and you get your rough idea of what your focus is going to be you can see in this case it’s about 7 feet to about 10 feet finally we have this mounting dot and this would have been used to align with its original film camera but we’re going to use it to align it with the adapter to adapt it to our new mirrorless camera now not every lens will look the same as mine and these numbers, markings, and symbols can be confusing but they really are there to aide us:) now I always like to leave you with a little better fish bokeh and if you guys liked this video go ahead and hit that like button if you want to see more like it go ahead and subscribe and I always like hearing the comments so leave a comment down below and we’ll see you next time

21 thoughts on “Vintage Camera Lens Numbers, Symbols, and Markings Explained

  1. Great video as usual! I hope the fish has much more space (and a more stimulating life) when you're not making these short bokeh clips, though. If not, what a horrible life. They're not the most intelligent creatures on the planet, for sure, but this unbelievably boring life can't even take care of their most basic needs.

    Anyways, keep up the good work. I love your quality content and always look forward to new videos!

  2. Very useful information. I still don't quite comprehend the focusing numbers. Would it be possible to do a more detailed video on that subject?
    Thanks for sharing 👍👍👍👍

  3. Really enjoying your short sharp videos and the explanations you give. I'd like to see a little more examples (like video and photographs) and more in depth views of the vintage lenses your testing. Great stuff, keep up the good work.

  4. So many videos that drone on about it and still end up confusing me and many others. This was a great, concise video that helped me understand exactly how to use it. I'm excited to couple this knowledge with my rangefinder!

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