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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-22-2012

Lens Designations

What is the significance of the letter designations which appear on Canon lenses:  EF vs EFS   IS vs IS II   USM vs STM      L?

Do some of these designations indicate features that are only operational on some Canon cameras but not others?

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens Designations

[ Edited ]

SEE

 

http://www.mylensdb.com/dslr-camera-lenses-and-abbreviations-what-is-usm-hsm-swm-os-is-vr/

 

IS ll is a newer & better (IS) Image Stabilizing system, which helps cancel out camera shake

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Lens Designations

EF = a lens that will work on any EOS camera with a full frame, APS-H or APS-C sensor.

EF-S = a lens that will only work on an EOS camera with an APS-C sensor.

IS = image stabilization - an electro mechanical system in the lens that counteracts camera shake.

IS II = an improved version of IS.

USM = Ultrasonic Motor - refers to the focusing motor in the lens. USM lenses focus faster.

L = Canon's designation for "pro" quality lenses. L lenses have excellent optical quality, are mechanically rugged and many are weather sealed.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-25-2012

Re: Lens Designations

So an L lens is going to be better than a non L lens. Also if you are going to get a Full Frame camera in the future then it would be best not to buy EF-S lenses as they will not work on Full Frame body.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Lens Designations

It is difficult to agree with the statement that "an L lens will be better than a non-L lens" unless you define "better" precisely. There are several non-L lenses that are universaly recognized as being of L quality optically including the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8, the EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 and the 100mm f2.8 macro. It is interesting to note that Canon has never given the L designation to any EF-S lens. Some L lenses are weather sealed but many are not so you cannot make a general statement that L lenses are better in this regard. The closest you can come to making a generaization about L lenses is that they are more rugged mechanically than most other lenses.

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens Designations

I have to agree with that last message. L's are usually considered more rugged & of better quality IQ wise compared to a similar consumer grade lens, but that doesn't always mean we could see an IQ difference short of in a lab test.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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