Article ID : 00095458 / Last Modified : 28/10/2021

What do all the letters and numbers in the lens name mean?

    The letters and numbers in the lens name indicates the focal length, F-value, features of the lens, and so on.

    E-mount lens names

    Image indicating Focal length (1), F-value (2) and the name of an E-mount lens (3) 

    • 1: Focal length: When this value is a range, the lens is a zoom lens. When this value is a single number, the lens is a single focus lens.
    • 2: F-value: This is the speed of the lens.
    • 3: E-mount lenses starts with SEL.

    Typical codes used at the beginning of a lens’ name:

    • E - This denotes a lens for a camera with an APS-C size image sensor. When the lens has been mounted on a camera which is equipped with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor, the angle of view is cropped to APS-C size.

    • PZ - This stands for power zoom.

    • FE - This stands for a lens compatible with a camera with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor.

    • Sonnar T (etc.) - This is inserted at the beginning of a Carl Zeiss lens’ name.

    Typical codes used at the end of a lens’ name:

    • G - Stands for a G lens.
    • ZA - Stands for a Carl Zeiss lens.
    • Macro - Stands for a macro lens.
    • OSS - Stands for in-lens optical camera-shake compensation function.
    • LE - Stands for Light Edition. Lightening and downsizing have been achieved in this edition.

    A-mount lens names

    Image indicating Focal length (1), F-value (2) and the name of an E-mount lens (3)

    • 1: Focal length: When this value is a range, the lens is a zoom lens. When this value is a single number, the lens is a single focus lens.
    • 2: F-value: This is the speed of the lens.
    • 3: A-mount lenses starts with SAL.

    Typical codes used at the beginning of a lens’ name

    • DT - This denotes a lens for a camera with an APS-C size image sensor. A lens whose name has no DT at the beginning is compatible with a camera with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor.

    • Sonnar T (etc.) - This is inserted at the beginning of a Carl Zeiss lens’ name.

    Typical codes used at the end of a lens’ name

    • G - Stands for a G lens.
    • ZA - Stands for a Carl Zeiss lens.
    • Macro - Stands for a macro lens.
    • Fisheye - Stands for a fisheye lens.
    • SSM - Stands for a Super Sonic wave Motor.
    • SAM - Stands for a Smooth Autofocus Motor.

    NOTE: SSM and SAM are types of auto focus drive control system.

    The F-value indicated by the name of a lens is the F-value when the lens is wide open (the minimum F-value). The smaller the value, the faster the lens is. For details, refer to the Aperture (F-number) and A-Mode.

    NOTE: The following depend on the combination of lens and camera body:

    • Firmware of the lens or camera body needs to be updated
    • Some functions may not be available
    • Some precautions or limitations apply when using the products

    Refer to the Lens - Compatibility Information page for additional lens and compatibility information.