Definition: Front element
In a photographic lens there are a number of individual elements. Together these work to produce the final image on the digital sensor.
The front element is the one exposed to the scene when the photographic lens is mounted in the camera. It is the most visible (and vulnerable) element. It is the first element in the series of elements in the lens. It is the first to receive light entering the lens from the scene.
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Generalised photographic lens layout showing showing the principle features.
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