Group of elements in a Camera
Basic Photography
Amit Kumar Srivastava
October 3, 2016

One of the fields that never exhausts me or makes me feel bored is photography. Well, the technicalities can be a bit disgruntling but I believe there is no one out there who does not like ‘photographs or images’. A photograph is worth 1000 words. So while the photographers continue to mesmerize the viewers spreading warmth and positivity with brilliant shots, here is a blog about elements in a camera especially for beginners.

Group of elements in a camera- what does it mean?

A lens in simple sense is a glass piece having convex or concave surface. The function of a lens is to bend light rays by refraction. A modern photographic lens contains an ordered set of carefully chosen lenses. This group of lenses are known as ‘group of elements’ encased in the camera’s barrel to create ‘compound lens.’  

There is nothing like a perfect lens. Manufactures and designers use multiple elements or set of lenses to correct irregularities that spoil the final image.

The photographic optic also has an ‘iris or sensor’ that has adjustable opening through with light pierces the camera assisting in producing high quality images. The iris lies between two of the lens elements.

For example,



This is Nikon’s 50 mm f/1.8 lens displaying its compound lens construction.  This optic contains 6 elements in 5 groups where element is a single piece of glass and ‘group’ is one or multiple elements grouped together to form a compound lens.

Which factors determine the number of group of elements in a camera?

Multiple factors determine whether a camera has ‘n’ number of elements in ‘o’ number of groups. These factors also determine whether camera A has better elements than camera B or not. The factors are lens or glass quality, lens diameter, and quality of sensor and lens barrel.

Elements of lens in a camera

Lens that contain single piece of glass is known as simple lens. Examples include magnifying glass and pair of spectacles.

Cameras like DSLRs contains multiple glass pieces that form what are known as ‘compound’ lenses. The purpose of multiple elements or glass pieces in a camera lens is to unite all light wavelengths to one point on the film. A lens that performs this process appropriately is called ‘achromatic’ lens. When a lens is not able to perform this, it leads to widening of color bands around the edge of inflated contrast between two colors. This supersedes the ability of a camera to capture high quality and sharp photographs. There are other types of aberrations that occur like coma and astigmatism when a lens is not achromatic. 


Summing it up, an element in a camera is a piece of glass within the camera lens. More than one type of glass can be grouped into elements where front side of one glass piece matches the rear side of another. These are lined together thus creating a group of elements within the camera lens. A single element not linked to any other is also called a group.

Basic Photography
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About Author
Amit Kumar Srivastava
A Photography Enthusiast motivated to empower individuals in photography
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