Lens designations Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Canon

Due to the fact that third-party lenses for Nikon and Canon cameras are now quite popular and there is a wide variation in different designations of the same parameters, I created such a summary table of the main characteristics and their designations for Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Canon.

The difficulty is that third-party manufacturers are trying to please several companies and their labels at once, and some simply invent their own designations - the result is a complete mess. Other specific designations can be easily found on the manufacturers' websites, here I have collected only the most vital compatibility parameters.







Mount type


For Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax

For Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, Sigma

For Nikon, Canon, Sony


Full-frame lens designation

None, often talk about FX type

Di may be absent

DG, may be absent

FX may be absent

EF, red attachment mark

Crop camera lens designation





EF-S, white mounting label

Built-in autofocus

AF-S, AF-I, AF-P, SWM (any combination or separately)

PZD, or USD, or BIM, or N II, or there may be no marking

AF + HSM (combination of two designations)

AF for Canon, DX II for Nikon

USM, STM (marking may not be available for modern cameras, as the motor is already integrated in all EF, EF-S lenses)

Autofocus via camera


Labeling may not be available.



There is no marking on modern lenses (all modern EF, EF-S lenses have built-in autofocus)

Ability to manually control the diaphragm

No marking (must not be G or E type)


No marking

No marking

No marking

Image stabilization






Designation of excellent lens quality

None (but they speak of a yellow border near the front lens), such lenses can be found in the NPS list




L (often talking about the red border in front of the lens)

Macro Capability




Macro (or M)



Before buying a lens, you should seriously sit down and figure out if a particular lens can work properly with a particular camera or system.

You can ask compatibility questions in the comments, I will try to answer. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 39, on the subject: Lens designations

  • Mogwaika

    But what about tokens for Sony / Minolta?

    • Arkady Shapoval


  • Send

    What about Olympus?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      As far as I know, Tokina does not produce lenses for Olympus, you can see for yourself at the office. tokina-lens.ru and tokinalens.com sites. If you mean the absence of Olympus in the plate, this is also due to the fact that third-party manufacturers often do not make lenses for Olympus and Panasonic.

  • Crelian

    Thanks for the article I requested in a previous Nikon lens review! Now something has become clearer. If we talk about Sigma and Tamron for Nikon, then there is an opinion about the dispersion in quality of lenses even in one batch, therefore it is better to test the lenses of these companies before buying and not buy on the Internet. And when testing in the store, you can immediately find out if there is built-in focus.

    • Mogwaika

      What is built-in autofocus? + a question for the author, could you write about the BF / FF lenses / carcasses and methods for their compensation / adjustment?

      • Arkady Shapoval

        About the built-in aftofocus is written in the article Nikon Lens Difference. I can write an article, but it just comes down to the fact that it’s better to pass the camera and lens for adjustment for repair.

        • Mogwaika

          Understood, for some reason I was not thinking about mechanics, but about automation. Then the question still remains, if the camera always “thinks” over autofocus, where do the lenses with BF / FF come from?

          I just heard that professional carcasses have the ability to correct a miss, but it's dormouse and not the fact that I understood everything correctly again)))

          • Arkady Shapoval

            Both the camera and the lens are responsible for focus, and the camera and lenses are also responsible for misses. On some cameras there is a fine adjustment of focus, on Nikons too. The question is that zoom lenses often have different miss values ​​at the short and long ends, and it is not always possible to adjust using the camera itself, therefore, repair is the only acceptable option.

          • Mogwaika

            Those. why when miss the faf sensors give a signal about accurate focusing, and do not continue to accurately focus the lens with a decrease in the pitch by a dichotomous approximation?

            • Arkady Shapoval

              It is not the sensor itself that misses, but the camera software kit, the lens alignment failure. Therefore, you need to customize both the camera and the lens. Although, the same lens in Live View mode can provide accurate autofocus.

        • Victor

          Well, let's say, handing over for repair for adjustment is not the easiest and cheapest solution. If you have multiple lenses, after alignment, you may find that the camera is working fine with one lens, but problems with others.

  • Dima

    Good afternoon, tell me please, is there a screwdriver on all Canon cameras, or is it like Nikona only in advanced models?

  • Arkady Shapoval

    Canon has no concept of a “screwdriver” in modern cameras. There, all lenses have a focusing motor, and all cameras have no motor.

  • lena

    good tamron lens?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Which one?

  • Ayrat

    With the main lenses))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Already basic :)

  • lena

    TAMRON AF 18-200 f / 3.5-6.3 Di-II LD for Nikon

  • Konstantin

    A little clarification is possible, for Canon lenses the designation USM means the presence of an ultrasonic motor, which is quieter and faster than a conventional motor and does not show the presence or absence of autofocus. Another distinguishing feature is that most USM lenses allow you to twist the focus manually in automatic mode.

    • Novel

      Clarification, for manual focus adjustment there is an abbreviation - FTM (Full Time Manual), only it is not usually written on glasses, you need to read either the website or the manual ...

  • Oksana

    Great article. Arkady, please tell me your opinion on the “cooperation” Nikon D90 Sigma 70-300 f4-5,6 APO DG Macro. Before ordering it, I read and looked a lot. Due to budget constraints, I cannot afford better glass. But your opinion is very interesting. Thanks!

  • Ruslan

    Is it true that Sigma EX series lenses are close to Canon L series lenses in quality? At prices Sigma is not particularly cheaper than Canon L, does it make sense to spend more on kenon?

  • Valeria

    Forgive me for asking stupid questions - but, I'm a complete layman (
    Nikon D90 camera - the kit lens has died, the service reported that the repair is more expensive than a new one.
    Budget is limited.
    What lens can fully replace the "native" one or is it better to look for a whale one?
    What is in the modern market?

    Here is what is in the access zone:

    Thank you in advance..

  • Tatyana

    good afternoon! How much will it cost to align the Sigma 30mm / 1.4? and another question - the lens is under warranty, will they take it in the service in this case? Is it possible to sell such a lens and how much its price will drop, or is it better to first hand over it for adjustment. I'm waiting for the answer! Thanks!

  • anonym

    Hello! All day I can’t find the exact answer to the question: Is autofocus in budget cenons of type 1100, 450 built into the camera itself?

    And this is not a typo?

    USM (may not be available for modern cameras, as all EF, EF-S are already integrated)
    There is no marking on modern lenses (all modern EF, EF-S lenses have built-in autofocus)

    It turns out in less newer kenons and in the device itself and in the lens there is an autofocus motor?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      All EF, EF-S lenses have a focus motor, Kenon cameras do not have a focus motor, it is not needed there.

  • Sergei

    Hello. Caught up in a dead end :) I can not find the data on the lens- Samyang 16mm T / 2.2 (f / 2.5) Is it for a cropped camera or full frame? Trying on for the NIKON D5000.

  • Mario

    Tokina is best known for its wide-angle lenses. He is developing together with Pentax, and he is launching lenses for Canon and Nikon.

  • Volodya

    Happy New Year everyone, what does “G2” stand for on Tamron 24-70mm glass ... model A032? Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The second version of the lens. G - Generation - 'Generation'

  • Alexey

    Recommend good lenses for the Nikon d90 camera. I notice a bad contrast when photographing. It is possible for any manufacturer. The priority is portraiture and zoom tele macro.

    • Novel

      And on what, in fact, do you notice a bad contrast? For a number of old lenses, this is a given, artificially contrast is lifted up when developing.

  • Gennady

    Hello, good day! I have a somewhat unusual question. Today I have a Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 18-300 and this combination suits me very much, because basically I shoot landscapes, animals ..., in short, I am a wandering landscape photographer. There is also the Sigma 10-20 for a very wide angle. But there is no limit to human ambitions: for the sake of dynamic range, I'm thinking about switching to FF. I decided to do it in stages and start by switching to full frame lenses. As far as I know, they work perfectly with cropped cameras and moreover, sharpness is significantly improved due to the fact that the glass draws with the center, and the image from the edges simply does not fall on the cropped matrix. The problem is, I don't know if there is a full frame lens in roughly the same range as my Nikkor 18-300.
    Yes, and one more thing: in practice, I was convinced that it is best to use Nikon's glasses with Nikon, because after updating the camera, Sigma completely lost autofocus, I had to roll back the firmware.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is Nikon 28-300 and not bad Tamron PZD Di 28-300mm F / 3.5-6.3 Piezo Drive VC Model A010N.
      Of the shiriks - there are a lot of options, the best are native 16-35 / 4, 17-35 / 2.8, 14-24 / 2.8

      • Gennady

        Thank you, I will look. I re-read many articles, but I still did not understand whether it was worth starting with a full shot at all: very contradictory opinions.

        • Trueash

          I am very skeptical of the widespread opinion that, they say, “crop is like kaka, and grown-up boys shoot at FF”, but for a landscape, it’s probably worth it. The larger the frame, the better the detail. Here's a proof: https://youtu.be/MzvCvYWlu78

          And one more, although it is about film: https://youtu.be/FYus_22_Res

          • Gennady

            Thanks for the answer, I watched the proposed videos carefully. Actually, we are talking about the obvious things. Moreover, I have devoted more than a dozen years to film, black and white photography, I even had my own exhibitions, but color came and I could not find myself in it as a photographer. And besides, photography has always been my hobby, but not my specialty, medicine turned out to be closer and more expensive. So, I had a lot of film cameras, I shot mostly with 24x36 and 6x9, but I also had a "Seagull" with a frame, yes, 18x24! That is, I saw the difference clearly. But, it was a film! In digital photography, I'm still a beginner and I thought that in digital, the difference between crop and FF would be leveled out to some specific increase. Now I understand that physics, in the sense of optics, is one. Alas.

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