From HoloWiki - A Holography FAQ
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Holography Glossary


  • Mackie line - 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.
  • Macrophotography - photography which produces an image larger than the original subject size without the use of a microscope.
  • Magazine - a light-tight container holding roll film.
  • Magnification - 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.
  • Mask - an opaque material used to cover the edges of the printing paper, and thus produce borders when the paper is exposed to light.
  • Masking - a system of controlling negative density ranges or color saturation through the use of unsharp masks.
  • Masking frame - an adjustable frame used to hold printing paper in position under the enlarger, also referred to as an enlarging easel.
  • Mastic varnish - varnish used for negatives.
  • Mat - an alternative term used for matte. Also describes the cardboard surround in a picture frame.
  • Matte field - a granular textured surface that disperses light in order to form a clear image. Used in the viewfinder optical system.
  • Matrix - a relief image, usually made from gelatin and used for processes such as dye transfer printing. Also a pretty good movie.
  • Matte - a term used to describe a non reflective, non-textured surface.
  • Matte box - a mask used to make images suitable for wide-screen projection.
  • Mercury vapor lamp - an artificial light source produced by passing current through mercury vapor in a tube.
  • Metal print - a photographic print made on a sensitized metal surface
  • Microfiche - a sheet of microfilm usually forming part of a filing system.
  • Microfilm - a film used to produce a microscopic record of a document and intended for projection.
  • Microflash - an electronic flash of very short duration used to illuminate subjects traveling at a very high rate of speed.
  • Micron (µ) - is one millionth of a meter.
  • Microphotograph - a photograph produced to a very small size which can be viewed with a microfilm reader.
  • Microprism collar - a grid type ring found in the center of a camera focusing screen, usually surrounding a split image screen.
  • Midtone - an area in a print or scene that contains average values.
  • Millimicron (mµ) - one thousandth part of a micron. (Also one nanometer)
  • Mired - 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 lens - 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 - a sheet of microfilm usually forming part of a filing system.
  • Modeling light is a light used to create a three dimensional effect achieved through the perception of form and depth.
  • Modelscope - 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 -an enlarger with interchangeable filtration heads and illuminations systems.
  • Monobath -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 - 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 - an outdated term describing a film carrying system.
  • Monorail camera - a sheet film camera, of modular construction, mounted on a rail system to give maximum camera movements.
  • Montage - a composite picture made from a number of photographs.
  • Mordant - a colorless dye absorbing substance used in some forms of toning. The silver image is converted into a mordant then soaked in dye.
  • Mosaic - a composite made up from a patchwork of partly overlapping photographs.
  • Motor drive - 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 - a processing fault characterized by random print density differences.
  • Mount - a frame and/or backing used to support and protect prints and transparencies.
  • 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.
  • Mercuric chloride - a chemical used in certain types of intensifiers.
  • Methyl alcohol - a volatile, poisonous spirit commonly known as wood alcohol. Used as a substitute for pure alcohol in some photographic processes.
  • Metolquinone - a combination of metol and hydroquinone, used as a developing agent (MQ developer).
  • Mordant - a colorless dye absorbing substance used in some forms of toning. The silver image is converted into a mordant then soaked in dye.
  • Multi-band photography - a method of aerial photography using cameras and scanners which are sensitive to different wavelengths in the spectrum to record different subject characteristics.
  • Multiple exposure - the technique of making more than one exposure on the same film frame, normally so that the images are superimposed.
  • Multiple flash - the use of more than one flash unit, usually operating simultaneously to light a subject. Can also be multiple modelocked lasers.
  • Munsell system - 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.