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    A comprehensive alphabetical list of photographic terms and meanings.

Mackie line:- is an effect sometime found on a negative or print, in which a light line forms along the boundaries of the darkest image areas. It may also be caused during processing by the diffusion of exhausted developer, lack of agitation, or by solarization.

 

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

 

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.

 

Macrophotography:- is photography which produces an image larger than the original subject size without the use of a microscope.

 

Magazine:- is a light-tight container holding roll film.

 

Magenta:- is the complimentary color to green. It is composed of blue and red light.

 

Magnification:- is the size of the image relative to the size of the subject used to produce it. It is an expression of the ratio of the subject-lens distance to the image-lens distance. When object distance = image distance, magnification = 1.

 

Magnification ratio:- see Magnification.

Main light:- see Key light.

 

Mask:- is an opaque material used to cover the edges of the printing paper, and thus produce borders when the paper is exposed to light.

 

Masking:- is a system of controlling negative density ranges or color saturation through the use of unsharp masks.

 

Masking frame:- is an adjustable frame used to hold printing paper in position under the enlarger, also referred to as an enlarging easel.

 

Mastic:- varnish is varnish used for negatives.

 

Mat:- is an alternative term used for matte. Also describes the cardboard surround in a picture frame.

 

Matte:- field is a granular textured surface that disperses light in order to form a clear image. Used in the viewfinder optical system.

 

Matrix:- is a relief image, usually made from gelatin and used for processes such as dye transfer printing.

 

Matte:- is a term used to describe a non reflective, non-textured surface.

 

Matte:- box is a mask used to make images suitable for wide-screen projection.

 

Meniscus:- lens is a simple lens consisting of a single piece off glass, thicker at the center than at the edges. It has one concave and one convex face.

 

Mercuric chloride:- is a chemical used in certain types of intensifiers.

 

Mercury:- vapor lamp is an artificial light source produced by passing current through mercury vapor in a tube.

 

Metal print:- is a photographic print made on a sensitized metal surface.

 

Methyl alcohol:- is a volatile, poisonous spirit commonly known as wood alcohol. Used as a substitute for pure alcohol in some photographic processes.

 

Metol:- is a reducing agent which is soft working, especially in the presence of a weak alkali.

 

Metolquinone:- is a combination of metol and hydroquinone, used as a developing agent (MQ developer).

 

Microfiche:- is a sheet of microfilm usually forming part of a filing system.

 

Microfilm:- is a film used to produce a microscopic record of a document and intended for projection.

 

Microflash:- is an electronic flash of very short duration used to illuminate subjects traveling at a very high rate of speed.

 

Micro lens:- is a lens for microscopic photography. Not to be confused with a Macro lens.

 

Micron (µ):- is one millionth of a meter.

 

Microphotograph:- is a photograph produced to a very small size which can be viewed with a microfilm reader.

 

Microprism collar:- is a grid type ring found in the center of a camera focusing screen, usually surrounding a split image screen.

 

Midtone:- is an area in a print or scene that contains average values.

 

Millimicron (mµ):- is one thousandth part of a micron.

 

Miniature camera:- is a term commonly applied to cameras with a format size of less than 35mm.

 

Mired:- is an abbreviation for the term micro reciprocal degrees, a scale of measurement of color temperature. The mired value of a light source is calculated by dividing 1,000,000 by its color temperature in Kelvins.

 

Mirror box:- is a box containing one or more mirrors, usually angled to the light beam, as in the main body of an SLR camera.

 

Mirror lens:- is a lens system which uses mirrors within its internal construction. Most lenses of this type have a mixture of reflecting and refracting optics and are known as catadioptric lenses.

 

Microfiche:- is a sheet of microfilm usually forming part of a filing system.

 

Mode:- is the prime operating function of SLR cameras, e.g. manual mode, aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode, etc.

 

Modeling:- light is a light used to create a three dimensional effect achieved through the perception of form and depth.

 

Modelscope:- is a device employing a short rigid endoscope fitted with a right angle mirror at its tip, used to photograph scale models from a seemingly eye-level viewpoint.

 

Modular:- enlarger is an enlarger with interchangeable filtration heads and illuminations systems.

 

Monobath:- 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.

 

Monochromatic:- are light rays of a single wavelength.

 

Monochrome:- is single colored. It is most frequently applied to black and white photographs, but can also describe sepia and other toned images.

 

Monopack:- is an outdated term describing a film carrying system.

 

Monorail:- camera is a sheet film camera, of modular construction, mounted on a rail system to give maximum camera movements.

 

Montage:- is a composite picture made from a number of photographs.

 

Mordant:- is a colorless dye absorbing substance used in some forms of toning. The silver image is converted into a mordant then soaked in dye.

 

Mosaic:- is a composite made up from a patchwork of partly overlapping photographs.

 

Motor drive:- is an automatic film wind-on mechanism which can be attached to some cameras. While the shutter remains depressed the film will keep winding on after exposure.

 

Mottle:- is a processing fault characterized by random print density differences.

 

Mount:- is a frame and/or backing used to support and protect prints and transparencies.

 

MQ/PQ:- developers are developing solutions containing the reducing agents metol and hydroquinone or phenidone and hydroquinone.

 

M-synch:- is a flash setting or socket which synchronizes the firing of the shutter with the peak light output of a flash bulb.

 

MTF (Modulation transfer function):- A comparison of contrast between a test chart and the reproduced image. One of the measurements of lens performance used in the manufacturing process.

 

Multi-band photography:- is a method of aerial photography using cameras and scanners which are sensitive to different wavelengths in the spectrum to record different subject characteristics.

 

Multimode camera:- is a 35mm camera that will operate in several modes.

 

Multiple exposure:- is the technique of making more than one exposure on the same film frame, normally so that the images are superimposed.

Multiple flash:- is the use of more than one flash unit, usually operating simultaneously to light a subject.

 

Munsell system:- is a method of precise color description, based on comparison with comprehensive hue and saturation charts. Has closest application to pigments, whereas the CIE system relates directly to light.