NSL Photography's™ Glossary of Photographic Terms - M

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M

Macro Lens
A lens that provides continuous focusing from infinity to extreme close-ups, often to a reproduction ratio of 1:2 (half life-size) or 1:1 (life-size). Nikon's version for their "macro" is "micro."

Macro photography (Close-up Photography)
The process of taking photographs of small objects with regular photographic lenses at reproduction ratios of 1X or greater; also referred to as "photomacrography. "

The setting on the camera in which the photographer selects both shutter speed and aperture.

Manual Flash
Flash output is controlled manually unlike in auto flash mode, where flash output power varies automatically according to the selected aperture. Some flash units provide selectable manual outputs (full, 1/2, l/4, 1/8, l/16 etc.), while others provide full manual output only.

Manual Iris
Diaphragm controlled directly by a calibrated ring on the lens barrel.

Matrix Metering System
An exposure metering system using a multi-segment sensor and computer. Along with the classic techniques of evaluating for 18% reflectance, factors such as brightness and contrast are primarily used to determine exposure. In color matrix metering systems the meter also evaluates the colors in the photo to get the best exposure.

Metadata is data about data, but while straightforward and correct that definition isn't nearly clear enough.

In digital photography, metadata specifically refers to the attributes of a digital photo. It differs from other types of metadata as it is embedded within the photograph which is describes, and is embedded in such a way that it is independent of the application or environment in which the photograph and the metadata are displayed.

Metadata includes the EXIF data created at the making of photographs in the camera, as well as other data added later by editing software and manually added by the photographer/editor. Photo descriptions, keywords, photographer information, and other data such as IPTC information can be included in a photograph's metadata

A Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera is a digital camera that has a single, removable lens and uses a digital display viewfinder rather than an optical viewfinder which are characteristic of single lens reflex and digital single lens reflex cameras. It uses an electronic viewfinder because it's
“mirrorless,” meaning it doesn't have an optical mirror like a conventional single-lens reflex (SLR) or digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, so the camera is unable to transmit the view from the lens to the viewfinder optically.

Mirror Lens (Reflex Lens)
Lens in which some (usually two) of the elements are curved mirrors. This construction produces comparatively lightweight short fat long focus lenses. They cannot be fitted with a normal diaphragm.

Mirror Lock
A mechanical function to bring an SLR or DSLR's reflex mirror locked up to reduce camera shake or vibration, eliminating the "slap" of the mirror at the time of exposure.

Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones and shades) of a single hue.

Monopod (Unipod)
A one-legged support used to hold the camera steady.

Motor Drive
A mechanism for advancing the film to the next frame and recocking the shutter, activated by an electric motor usually powered by batteries, primarily used for action or sequence photography and for recording images by remote control in an SLR camera.

Multilayer Coating
The depositing of multiple coats of anti-reflective materials on a lens surface to reduce ghost images and flare produced by internal reflections and to insure faithful color rendition.

If you have any suggested additions or corrections to the Glossary, please contact us.