A Glossary of Photographic Terms: U-Z

A condition in which too little light reaches the film, producing a thin negative, a dark slide, or a muddy-looking print.

A one-legged support used to hold the camera steady.

Variable-Contrast Paper
Photographic paper that provides different grades of contrast when exposed through special filters.

Video Noise
More commonly called "luminence signal-to-noise ratio." This is a measure of how pure the video signal is (the monochrome or black-and-white portion of the picture). Tape with good luminence signal-to-noise ratios has a sharper, clearer image. This property has even greater importance on multiple generation copies.

(See Finder)

A fall-off in brightness at the edges of an image, slide, or print. Can be caused by poor lens design, using a lens hood not matched to the lens, or attaching too many filters to the front of the lens.

Vignetting example

Wide-Angle Lens
A lens that has a shorter focal length and a wider field of view (includes more subject area) than a normal lens.
Fisheye lens- view of beach chair and water A wide-angle lens takes in a greater angle of view than a normal lens. This image was made with an ultra-wide 16 mm fisheye lens. Notice the curved horizon.

Zoom Lens
A lens in which you adjust the focal length over a wide range. In effect, this gives you lenses of many focal lengths.

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