Photographic Glossary-M


Macro attachment
These are supplementary elements attached to the front of a normal lens to give an extreme close-up facility.

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", e.g. 105mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor.

Macro lens
Is a lens specially designed to give accurate resolution of a very near subject without the need for supplementary attachments. Sometimes, incorrectly, referred to as a micro lens.

Macro Photography
Close-up Photography is referred to as macro Photography. Photographing anything very close so that it will reproduce on the negative from 1/3 size to 8x the original size. The process of taking photographs of small objects with regular photographic lenses at reproduction ratios of 1X or greater; also referred to as "photomacrography. "

A light tight metal container (cartridge) that holds 135 film (cylindrical magazine) or when apply to medium format, magazine back refer to the inter changeable container that holds the films for mounting on the back of the camera for exposures.

Is a light-tight container holding roll film.

One of the three subtractive primary colours. It is produced by mixing equal amounts of Red and Blue and is the "M" in CMYK.

Magic wand
This selection tool chooses portions of an image based on colour.

Special form of flashtube which is fired by mechanical (not electrical) means. Can be used only on cameras fitted with the appropriate socket.

Magnification ratio
Ratio that express greatest possible on film magnifying power of the lens. Used commonly on the macro setting of the zoom lenses, macro lens or with bellows.

To increase the size of the original image or element. Also to interpolate

Main light
Same as " Key light " the principal source of light, usually in a studio, and generally the brightest light on a subject or scene.

Manual exposure
A mode of camera operation in which all exposure settings are determined and set by the photographer.

Manual flash
Flash output is controlled manually in manual flash mode unlike in auto flash mode, where flash output power varies automatically according to the selected aperture. Some Speedlights, example like the Nikon SB 27, SB 26, SB-25. SB-24 and SB 20, 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.

User selects both shutter speed and aperture, following or ignoring the meter's recommendations to achieve the desired exposure. You have complete creative control in selecting both the shutter and aperture.

Outline of dots created by image editing program to show area selected for manipulation, masking or cropping.

This tool is used to select a portion of an image. This selection can be altered without affecting the other parts of the image.

Matrix Metering system
An exposure metering system using a multi-segment sensor and computer. Available in some Nikon SLRs. With the classic techniques of evaluating for 18% reflectance, factors such as brightness and contrast are primarily used to determine exposure. In addition, it is essential to evaluate each scene's esthetic factors such as color to get the best exposure. Check Nikon's own terms.

Matrix metering
In most new digital cameras there is a matrix metering option which uses 256 areas of the frame to calculate the best overall exposure value. Some of the more advanced SLR cameras rely on a metering system known as Matrix Metering. The camera divides the viewfinder into a grid and meters separately for each square created by the grid. The readings for each square is then compared against a set of preset values to determine the proper aperture and shutter speed settings.

Medium format
Normally, a camera taking roll film (typically 120/220 but also 70mm and a range of obsolete roll film sizes), though there are arguably "medium format" cut film sizes such as 21/4x31/4", 21/2x31/2", 6.5x9cm, and possibly even quarter plate (31/4x41/4"). The most usual formats on 120 films are 645 (15-on or 16-on, around 42x56mm), 6x6cm or 21/4 square (12-on, around 56x56mm), 6x7cm (10-on, around 56x70mm) and 6x9cm or 21/4x31/4" (8-on, around 56x84mm), though nominal 6x8cm, 6x12cm, 6x17cm, and even 6x24cm formats also exist.

Medium Format
Similar to large format, Medium format offers a great improvement in image quality over 35mm. Common MF negative sizes include 6x4.5cm, 6x6cm and 6x7cm. MF film is often referred to 120 (12 exposure) and 220 (24 exposure).

Mega pixels
One million pixels or more. The more pixels that exist in a image the higher the resolution and therefore the greater the quality of the image. Many new Kodak cameras are equipped with mega pixel sensors.

A unit of measure of stored data equaling 1,024 Kilobytes, or 1,048,576 bytes.

Memory cards
These are small memory modules that can be inserted into the camera to hold images. When the card is full it can be removed and another card inserted. The memory on these cards is non-volatile-m that is, they don't lose their images when they are removed from the camera. The image can be later downloaded from the card, and when the images are erased from the card it is ready to be reused. These cards are good for a lot of reuses- one manufacturer just warranted their cards for a minimum of 1,000,000 images.

Putting two or more data files together. Typically used to describe the merging of two channels of a bitmap image.

Data about data, or information known about the image in order to provide access to the image. Usually includes information about the intellectual content of the image, digital representation data, and security or rights management information.

Files that can be shared by more than one application program.

Metamerism ( metamers)
A phenomenon in a scanner in which two colours that appear the same to an observer are registered as different by the scanner, or two colours that look different to an observer are accepted as identical by the scanner. Instrument metamerism is a non-recoverable error, because the input cannot be determined from the output.

MHz ( Megahertz )
A unit of measure for frequency that can relate to the processing speed of a computer . Equal to one million hertz.

Micro lens
A lens for close-up photography; designed to focus continuously from infinity down to a reproduction ratio of 1: 2, or with a matched extension ring or teleconverter down to 1: 1; available in normal or telephoto focal lengths to provide a variety of free working distances; with the exception of Nikon, this type of lens is called a "Micro Nikkor" lens.Also see above, Macro or Makro (Usually for German origin lenses)..

One millionth of a meter also called a micrometer.

Minute glass or plastic structure of multiple prisms set in a viewfinder screen to act as a focusing aid. Breaks up an out-of-focus subject into a shimmer but images a focused subject clearly. Will not work satisfactorily at lens apertures smaller than f5.6.

Mid tones
An area of medium brightness, neither a very dark shadow not a very bright highlight. A medium gray tone in a print.

Mid-roll change
Feature available on the some APS camera that enables users to remove a partially exposed film cassette, insert it again later, and start shooting exactly where they left off.

Also 1 hour colour lab. Photofinishing operation that operates on a retail level, serving consumers directly and processing film on-site.

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 Lockup (MLU)
Photographs involving long exposures often require the camera to be as steady as possible to get a reasonable sharp image. The Mirror Lock Up function flips the mirror to the up position and holds it there while the shutter release is depressed. When using long lenses at slow speeds, the shake caused by the quick motion of the mirror can cause noticeable camera shake. Use of MLU can lessen effects of camera shake, but not completely stop them.

Modeling light
A light built into a flash unit that remains on while the flash is turned or on standby mode, permitting the photographer to assess highlight and shadow areas that will be created when subsequently exposing the film in the brighter light of the flash. Flash heads/Monolights usually incorporate a modeling light into the unit. This light remains on almost constantly and is proportional to the light which will be produced by the flash tube. This allows the photographer to visualize exactly the lighting ratios, shadows, and other lighting effects before the photograph is exposed.

Representation by lighting of the three-dimensional nature of an original in a two-dimensional reproduction.

Moiré pattern
An undesirable screen pattern in colour printing that results from screen angles of overprinting halftone. Moiré usually results when you scan a halftone or when you scan images taken directly from magazines.

Monitor calibration
The process of correcting the colour rendition settings of a monitor to match selected colours of printed output.

Monitor Pre-flash(es)
When performing Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash with TTL Multi Sensor, the Speedlight fires a series of scarcely visible pre-flashes to enable the camera's computer to pre-analyze the scene. The TTL Multi Sensor ins de the camera body reads the amount of reflected light, then the camera's microcomputer determines the area of the TTL sensor to be used for flash output control and adjusts the flash output level. The Monitor Pre-flashes are visible but not recognizable. First adopted by Contax RTS III, now Nikon is using this for its top flagship model, the F5.

Monitor RGB
Same as RGB; monitor RGB simply refers specifically to the colour space that can be achieved by a particular monitor using combinations of red, green, and blue light.

Mono bath
Is a single solution which combines developer and fixer for processing b&w negatives. It is a quick simple system but does not allow for development control.

Single-coloured. An image or medium displaying only black and white or grayscale information. Grayscale information displayed in one colour is also monochrome.

Any flash unit that is self contained, that is the flash head and power supply and all necessary hardware to make the flash work is in the flash head, is referred to as a monolight. Monolights can be used as a standard bulb or with softboxes or umbrellas to diffuse the light.

A one-leg stand for holding the camera steady. A single pole atop which a head or camera is mounted is a monopod. Monopods are lighter to carry and smaller than most tripods but to not have the same qualities as a tripod because the camera is still hand held. Monopods are best used in low light situations where hand holding would not be steady enough but a tripod is unavailable. Monopods are also useful with long lenses to minimize the magnified effects of camera shake.

Large format camera (usually, though there are medium format examples) constructed on an " optical bench " principle with front and rear standards on a rail.

The main circuit board of a computer that contains the microprocessor, coprocessors, memory, BIOS, expansion slots, and interconnecting circuitry. Additional components can be added through the expansion slots. The electronic interface between the motherboard and the cards in the expansion slots is called the bus.

Motor drive
A battery-powered mechanism that advances the film to the next frame and recocks the shutter. Popular for action-sequence photography and for recording images by remote control. A mechanism for advancing the film to the next frame and recocking the shutter, activated by an electric motor usually powered by batteries. Popular for action-sequence photography and for recording images by remote control.

Mounting press
Also called a dry-mounting press. A device that provides both pressure and heat, for mounting a photograph on a support, using a tissue coated with heat-softenable adhesive.

Mounting tissue
Also called mounting tissue. A thin paper coated with adhesive on both sides for permanently adhering a photograph to a support. The adhesive is softened by heat and hardens when it cools.

The adjustments a view camera can make: tilt, shift, swing, rise and fall. Typically used to adjust plane of focus, distortion and perspective.

Motion Pictures Expert Group. A motion picture compression system.

MTF ( modulated transfer function )
The frequency response of an optical system. Also a test that measures the optical frequency response of a scanner or other optical system. See also transfer function. Modulation Transfer Function. The way people (who else, the magazines!) uses to measure a lens's ability to hold diminishing details of a subject. Why MTF ? Because, everything is done electronically and eliminating any errors in human judgment or vision and results can be repeatable to counter check earlier tests. Secondly, a precise comprehensive rating is made possible by incorporating huge amount of data into a single reading, lastly it is very fast and permit its use on just out from production lenses.

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 insure faithful color rendition; in the Nikon Integrated Coating system, the number of layers is determined by the type of optical glass and the position of the element in the lens design.

This involves the combination of two or more media into a single presentation. For example, combining video, audio, photos, graphics and/or animation into a presentation.

Multiple Exposure
As the term implies, multiple exposures involves exposing the same frame of film more than one time. Special effects shots can sometimes only be performed with the aid of multiple exposures. An example is shooting the moon with a long telephoto lens, then switching to a shorter lens to shoot a landscape. This way the moon will appear much larger on the horizon than it would normally. More than one exposure on the same frame of film. Called a " Double-exposure " when there are two exposures on a single film frame.

Multitasking allows multiple tasks to run concurrently, taking turns using the resources of the computer.