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Decoding Lens Jargon: Image Stabilization, Coatings, and Advanced Focusing Motors

Lens makers love to tout the advanced features of a lens to entice you into buying. They’ll showcase their latest coating, focusing, and stabilization technology to help persuade you to buy the latest edition of a lens you already own. Don’t get tripped up in fancy features; watch this lesson instead!



Here are several key terms that I’ll cover in the video above on features of a camera lens:

  • Image stabilization: Stabilization compensates for the movement of your hand to ensure sharp shots.
  • Lens coatings: the glass on camera lenses are coated with chemicals that affect how the image appears; advanced coatings can often help reduce flare, for example.
  • Focusing motors: the motor helps drive the optical elements in a lens to bring the frame into focus.

But what do these features actually mean, and how do they affect the finished image? How are these different from one lens to the next? Which features should you prioritize, and which ones are more forgettable? Learn more in the video lesson above.

Lens coating comparisons

Watch the Full Course

The best piece of advice that I received when I started photography is that you should really invest more in lenses than a camera body. Lenses can typically be carried forward form one body to the next, as long as you aren’t switching systems.

So, what should you look for when choosing a lens? The perfect complement to that advice is the course What Every Photographer Should Know About Lenses. Not all lenses are created equally, and I’ll teach you what to look for as you begin to build out your own lens lineup.

Check out these other lessons that will help you learn to understand lenses: