PhotoBanter.com

PhotoBanter.com (http://www.photobanter.com/index.php)
-   Digital SLR Cameras (http://www.photobanter.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21)
-   -   Are primes brighter and sharper than wide open zooms (http://www.photobanter.com/showthread.php?t=49519)

Paul J Gans September 30th 05 08:52 PM

In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Eugene wrote:
Isn't that what's refered to as a "standard" lens?


Yes. That too.

---- Paul J. Gans


I dimly recall the term "prime lens" as being the
lens whose focal length was equal (at least roughly)
to the diagonal of the film frame. That made a 50mm
(or 45mm) lens "prime" for 35mm film.

A 135mm lens was then a "telephoto" and a 35mm lens
was a "wideangle".

Zoom hadn't been invented yet.

By the way I find acronyms very hard to remember (VHR).
I much prefer a pronoucible name. Most acronym
users seem to as well, since they often make the
acronym pronouncible.

---- Paul J. Gans


Paul J Gans September 30th 05 08:58 PM

In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Peter wrote:

Chris Brown wrote:


I know this may give you apoplexy, but my nice shiny EOS 5D which I bought
yesterday includes, in the box, an accessories catalogue from Canon, which
amongst other things features a complete list of their current EF lens
range. They split it up into the following categories (from memory):

Zoom
Macro
Tilt and Shift
and, yes, Prime, which lists all of their fixed-focal length lenses (apart
from the Macros and T&S).

So at least one manufacturer is using the term to mean fixed-focal length.


I am willing to bet that some (possibly all) of the "macro" lenses
in the brochure are not really macro lenses intended primarily for
1:1 and greater magnification.


I would not be even slightly surprised if the word "telephoto" were
used more than once in the brochure to describe something that is
not actually a telephoto lens.


If you get your terminology from advertising literature, you are
probably going to get it wrong.


Again, that's probably right. But when you walk into a
store to buy one of those Canon lenses, would it not help
to call it what the manufacturer calls it?

----- Paul J. Gans

Nostrobino September 30th 05 10:31 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
I hardly think it can be blamed solely on the internet.


You're right there. I first saw it misused in this way on the old Fidonet,
some time before I had access to the Internet per se. That was back in my
386 days, so probably 1991 or so.


So, along with the correct meaning of words being fixed in time
by when you first understood them, the Internet didn't exist
until *you* discovered it too, eh?


I have no idea how you derive that from what I said. Perhaps you have your
monitor upside down.

N.



Nostrobino September 30th 05 10:49 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:

I've been saying the misusage is ignorant. It is. I haven't said that the
people misusing the term are ignorant. On the contrary, I presume that
most
of them are folks of at least ordinary intelligence who have innocently
picked the misusage up from Usenet and elsewhere. To be ignorant of some
particular state of affairs before one has the facts is hardly a shameful
thing. To try to DEFEND that ignorance after being apprised of the facts,
however, is stupid. Please note that I am making a careful distinction
between ignorance and stupidity. The former is often only temporary; the
latter tends to be lasting.


Your entire diatribe about language and word usage is then,
according to the above, *stupid*.

Language *is* dynamic.


Again, that is the eternal argument of the semi-literate and those whose
grasp of language is feeble. Every error is followed by the excuse,
"language is dynamic." Since these people cannot be made to understand their
mistakes, they never improve.


Dictionaries are *not* an authoritative
source of *correct* word usage, and this abjectly silly
suggestion that any jargon not found in a dictionary is
therefore wrong is a demonstration that you are ignorant about
this topic. Dictionaries are a compilation of current usage,
and have very little to do with what is or is not "correct".


Try to organize your argument such that it supports one side or the other.
If dictionaries "are a compilation of current usage," and "language *is*
dynamic," then dictionaries must reflect that dynamism according to your own
assertion and can hardly be "*not* an authoritative source of *correct* word
usage" as you claim in the same paragraph.

Make up your mind which side of the argument you're taking. You cannot take
both sides simultaneously, unless you're John Kerry.

N.



Peter September 30th 05 11:26 PM

Paul J Gans wrote:

Again, that's probably right. But when you walk into a
store to buy one of those Canon lenses, would it not help
to call it what the manufacturer calls it?

----- Paul J. Gans


Of course you do. I think you may somehow be confounding me with
Neil H. I ain't him. I've got nothing against using slang, or
whatever you want to call improper terminology if it gets the
job done. I do think it is important to make a distinction between
proper technical terminology and slang so that when you have
a technical discussion you can communicate efficiently and with
precision.

For instance, the statement:

"In macro work the depth of focus is as large or larger than the
depth of field."

is a rather concise statement of an important fact. If we did not
have precise technical language, it would take considerably longer
to say the same thing and it still might not be as clear.

Another example:

"When doing closeups with a telephoto lens you need to include
pupil magnification in your bellows-factor calculations"

This is something worth knowing. If you have ever used a
retrofocus lens reverse mounted on a bellows on a camera
without a built-in light meter (I have) you might think
it a vital piece of information.

Try to say the same thing without using technical terms with
well defined meanings. There is good reason why telephoto
is not a synonym for long-focus lens, macro starts when the
image size is at least equal to object size, and close-up
photography starts at 1/10th life size when bellows factor
starts to be significant. The reason is that the terms are
defined as they are for the convenience of people discussing
photography in a technical way. The idea that the meanings
should change with fashion makes nonsense of the reasons for
having technical vocabulary in the first place.

Peter.
--



no_name October 1st 05 12:21 AM

Nostrobino wrote:

"Chris Brown" wrote in message
...

In article ,
Tony Polson wrote:


Since there is no accepted definition of a "prime" lens we should just
drop the term, as it serves only to confuse.


Feel free to go ahead. The rest of the world will carry on using it.



"The rest of the world" is defined as the few dozen people who post in a
couple of newsgroups?


Well, if you include some of the more common photo magazines. That's
where I got it from.

no_name October 1st 05 12:26 AM

Nostrobino wrote:

"no_name" wrote in message
om...

Nostrobino wrote:


[ . . . ]

Just because "popular usage" may not appear in a particular dictionary
does not constitute "misuse".

If you speak of a prime lens to photographers, they know what you're
talking about.



The problem is, they may not. I do sometimes have occasion to mention "prime
lens" and I assure you I use it correctly. People who think it means fixed
focal length will, therefore, not understand what I am saying.

N.


Oh-ho, so that's it. Anyone who doesn't instantly understand your
feverish babble is an ignorant, "semi-literate ... whose
grasp of language is feeble"

Thank you for playing. You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye.

Floyd Davidson October 1st 05 02:45 AM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote:
"Nostrobino" wrote:

I've been saying the misusage is ignorant. It is. I haven't said that the
people misusing the term are ignorant. On the contrary, I presume that
most
of them are folks of at least ordinary intelligence who have innocently
picked the misusage up from Usenet and elsewhere. To be ignorant of some
particular state of affairs before one has the facts is hardly a shameful
thing. To try to DEFEND that ignorance after being apprised of the facts,
however, is stupid. Please note that I am making a careful distinction
between ignorance and stupidity. The former is often only temporary; the
latter tends to be lasting.


Your entire diatribe about language and word usage is then,
according to the above, *stupid*.

Language *is* dynamic.


Again, that is the eternal argument of the semi-literate and those whose
grasp of language is feeble. Every error is followed by the excuse,
"language is dynamic." Since these people cannot be made to understand their
mistakes, they never improve.


Hogwash. You are suggesting we should all be speaking Chaucer's
English. Patently, and we would hope obviously to anyone with
half a thimble full, *stooopid*. And I don't mean ignorant, I
mean stupid.

Dictionaries are *not* an authoritative
source of *correct* word usage, and this abjectly silly
suggestion that any jargon not found in a dictionary is
therefore wrong is a demonstration that you are ignorant about
this topic. Dictionaries are a compilation of current usage,
and have very little to do with what is or is not "correct".


Try to organize your argument such that it supports one side or the other.
If dictionaries "are a compilation of current usage," and "language *is*
dynamic," then dictionaries must reflect that dynamism according to your own
assertion and can hardly be "*not* an authoritative source of *correct* word
usage" as you claim in the same paragraph.


You have real difficulty with understanding English, don't you?

Dictionaries are a *history* of past usage that has become
common enough to be recorded as such. But you cannot 1) find a
current dictionary that includes correct usage *as* *it*
*exists* *today*, or 2) find one that predicts what will be
correct tomorrow, or 3) find one that lists the jargon for all
fields. Which says, simply put, that a dictionary is *not*
the authority on "correct" word usage.

Make up your mind which side of the argument you're taking. You cannot take
both sides simultaneously, unless you're John Kerry.


Learn to read the English language. You'll do a *lot* better
yourself.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Floyd Davidson October 1st 05 02:52 AM

no_name wrote:
Nostrobino wrote:
"no_name" wrote:
Nostrobino wrote:


Just because "popular usage" may not appear in a particular
dictionary does not constitute "misuse".

If you speak of a prime lens to photographers, they know what
you're talking about.

The problem is, they may not. I do sometimes have occasion to
mention "prime lens" and I assure you I use it
correctly. People who think it means fixed focal length will,
therefore, not understand what I am saying.
N.


Oh-ho, so that's it. Anyone who doesn't instantly understand your
feverish babble is an ignorant, "semi-literate ... whose
grasp of language is feeble"

Thank you for playing. You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye.


Isn't that a fascinating demonstration of how asinine humans can
be? The purpose of language is to communicate, but what
Nostrobino communicates is not what he thinks, but rather *how*
he thinks... people don't walk off with knowledge of what he
meant to say, only with an understanding that he won't say it.
Strange...

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Jeff R October 1st 05 03:28 AM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...

Hogwash. You are suggesting we should all be speaking Chaucer's
English. Patently, and we would hope obviously to anyone with
half a thimble full, *stooopid*. And I don't mean ignorant, I
mean stupid.


Yo da man bro! wassamatta dat gay mofo huh?



Jeremy Nixon October 1st 05 08:51 AM

Nostrobino wrote:

Your sources are in error. Anyone can set up a web page which says anything,
and in this case you have pages repeating misinformation the authors
presumably obtained from other sources on the Internet, such as the
newsgroups where this misusage occurs. Doubtless there are web pages about
kidnappings by flying saucer which are about as reliable as the ones you
list.


Indeed, you can find a large number of supposedly-authoritative sources
about photography repeating the tale about light meters being calibrated
to 18% gray -- the fact that they aren't and never have been doesn't seem
to stop people from believing it.

--
Jeremy |

Chris Brown October 1st 05 11:12 AM

In article ,
Jeff R wrote:

"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...

Hogwash. You are suggesting we should all be speaking Chaucer's
English. Patently, and we would hope obviously to anyone with
half a thimble full, *stooopid*. And I don't mean ignorant, I
mean stupid.


Yo da man bro! wassamatta dat gay mofo huh?


And he answerde and seyde thus, "Madame,
I pray yow that ye take it nat agrief.
By God, me thoughte I was in swich meschief
Right now, that yet myn herte is soore afright.
Now God," quod he, "my swevene recche aright,
And kepe my body out of foul prisoun.
Me mette how that I romed up and doun
Withinne our yeerd, wheer as I saugh a beest
Was lyk an hound, and wolde han maad areest
Upon my body, and han had me deed.
His colour was bitwixe yelow and reed

Skip M October 1st 05 02:14 PM

"Eugene" wrote in message
...
OK, I stand corrected. This does make sense. Actually now that I think
about it I don't tend to use the terms "prime" and "zoom" much anyway. I'd
nearly always just refer to the specific lens type. Like I'd just say 50mm
f1.4 rather than 50mm prime. Adding "prime" is kind of redundant. If only
one focal length lens is given then it's obvious I'm not talking about
variable focal length.


When I was a kid, my dad and his photographer friends referred to a 50mm
lens as the "prime" lens. It was the lens around which they all built their
systems, if they were working in 35mm. For medium format, the prime would
be in the neighborhood of 80mm. The use of the work "prime" for any fixed
focal length lens I find more than a little jarring.
On the other hand, these were guys who made the distinction between a "zoom"
lens, which held focus as focal length was changed, and "varifocal," which
did not. Most of the zoom lenses we have now are varifocal.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com



Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:01 PM


"no_name" wrote in message
om...
Nostrobino wrote:

"Chris Brown" wrote in message
...

In article ,
Tony Polson wrote:


Since there is no accepted definition of a "prime" lens we should just
drop the term, as it serves only to confuse.

Feel free to go ahead. The rest of the world will carry on using it.



"The rest of the world" is defined as the few dozen people who post in a
couple of newsgroups?


Well, if you include some of the more common photo magazines. That's where
I got it from.


I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. As I mentioned recently in this thread,
Pop Photo has on two or three occasions misused "prime" in this way in their
captions, including at least once on a cover caption. As far as I know, they
have never called fixed focal length lenses "primes" in any of the articles
or columns themselves, so I presume those occurrences were the work of some
less punctilious caption writer.

N.



Jeff R October 1st 05 03:18 PM


"Chris Brown" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Jeff R wrote:

"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...

Hogwash. You are suggesting we should all be speaking Chaucer's
English. Patently, and we would hope obviously to anyone with
half a thimble full, *stooopid*. And I don't mean ignorant, I
mean stupid.


Yo da man bro! wassamatta dat gay mofo huh?


And he answerde and seyde thus, "Madame,
I pray yow that ye take it nat agrief.
By God, me thoughte I was in swich meschief
Right now, that yet myn herte is soore afright.
Now God," quod he, "my swevene recche aright,
And kepe my body out of foul prisoun.
Me mette how that I romed up and doun
Withinne our yeerd, wheer as I saugh a beest
Was lyk an hound, and wolde han maad areest
Upon my body, and han had me deed.
His colour was bitwixe yelow and reed


But first I make a protestacioun
That I am dronke, I knowe it by my soun;
And therfore, if that I mysspeke or seye,
Wyte it the ale of Southwerk I you preye,
Wottthefork's goin' down here todeye?




Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:23 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote:
"Nostrobino" wrote:

I've been saying the misusage is ignorant. It is. I haven't said that
the
people misusing the term are ignorant. On the contrary, I presume that
most
of them are folks of at least ordinary intelligence who have innocently
picked the misusage up from Usenet and elsewhere. To be ignorant of some
particular state of affairs before one has the facts is hardly a
shameful
thing. To try to DEFEND that ignorance after being apprised of the
facts,
however, is stupid. Please note that I am making a careful distinction
between ignorance and stupidity. The former is often only temporary; the
latter tends to be lasting.

Your entire diatribe about language and word usage is then,
according to the above, *stupid*.

Language *is* dynamic.


Again, that is the eternal argument of the semi-literate and those whose
grasp of language is feeble. Every error is followed by the excuse,
"language is dynamic." Since these people cannot be made to understand
their
mistakes, they never improve.


Hogwash. You are suggesting we should all be speaking Chaucer's
English.


No. We speak Modern English. Chaucer wrote, and presumably spoke, Middle
English. Even Modern English has changed since Shakespeare's time, but
that's over a period of 400 years. Evolution of language is inevitable and
natural up to a point, but it's not evolution when a perfectly sensible
technical term is, through misunderstanding and/or ignorance, redefined in a
nonsensical manner. Evolution implies improvement, not deterioration.

N.



Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:26 PM


"no_name" wrote in message
om...
Nostrobino wrote:

"no_name" wrote in message
om...

Nostrobino wrote:


[ . . . ]

Just because "popular usage" may not appear in a particular dictionary
does not constitute "misuse".

If you speak of a prime lens to photographers, they know what you're
talking about.



The problem is, they may not. I do sometimes have occasion to mention
"prime lens" and I assure you I use it correctly. People who think it
means fixed focal length will, therefore, not understand what I am
saying.

N.


Oh-ho, so that's it. Anyone who doesn't instantly understand your feverish
babble is an ignorant, "semi-literate ... whose
grasp of language is feeble"

Thank you for playing. You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye.


GUFFAW!

Your taste in TV shows explains a lot!

N.



Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:27 PM


"David Littlewood" wrote in message
...
In article , Nostrobino
writes

"David Littlewood" wrote in message
...

I agree with the first part of the above. The only point in which my
understanding differs is that the traditional use of the term "prime"
was
in the sense of "primary" as opposed to secondary or auxiliary optical
components such as tele-converters, wide angle attachments, close up
lenses and the like. Thus prime as in the Latin "primus", first or
primary.

This is the interpretation given in the more rigorous works on
photography
I consulted on this issue when the point was debated here (ad nauseam)
several years ago. (Anyone remember Neil Harrington?)


I do!

I see him every time I shave. :-)

N.

Oh, Hi Neil!

David
--
David Littlewood


Hi David!

N.



Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:34 PM


"Jeremy Nixon" wrote in message
...
Nostrobino wrote:

Your sources are in error. Anyone can set up a web page which says
anything,
and in this case you have pages repeating misinformation the authors
presumably obtained from other sources on the Internet, such as the
newsgroups where this misusage occurs. Doubtless there are web pages
about
kidnappings by flying saucer which are about as reliable as the ones you
list.


Indeed, you can find a large number of supposedly-authoritative sources
about photography repeating the tale about light meters being calibrated
to 18% gray -- the fact that they aren't and never have been doesn't seem
to stop people from believing it.


Really? That's something I've always just accepted as true myself. Now
you've piqued my curiosity: how is the 18% tale wrong?

Isn't an 18% gray card really 18% gray? (I have one around here somewhere
but never thought to test its eighteen-percentness. :-) )

N.



Nostrobino October 1st 05 03:41 PM


"Peter" wrote in message
ups.com...
[ . . . ]
The reason is that the terms are
defined as they are for the convenience of people discussing
photography in a technical way. The idea that the meanings
should change with fashion makes nonsense of the reasons for
having technical vocabulary in the first place.


Well and truly said.

N.



Jan Böhme October 1st 05 07:40 PM

Nostrobino skrev:

Evolution of language is inevitable and
natural up to a point, but it's not evolution when a perfectly sensible
technical term is, through misunderstanding and/or ignorance, redefined i=

n a
nonsensical manner. Evolution implies improvement, not deterioration.


This is a misconception, both with respect to Darwinian evoloution of
species, and with respect to the evolution of language. Evolution does
_not_ ipmly "improvement", which is a pretty subjective term.
Evolution, both biological and, linguistic, is a combination of
stochastic change - what evolutionary biologists call "neutral drift" -
and adaptation.

And adaptation isn't the same thing as "improvement". One can easily
see the new meaning of "prime lens" as an adaptation to the fact that
today's photogs know less about the history of photography than
photographers uesd to.

Jan B=F6hme


gbuchana(a)rogers(dot)com October 1st 05 10:15 PM

Nostrobino wrote:


You're right there. I first saw it misused in this way on the old Fidonet,
some time before I had access to the Internet per se. That was back in my
386 days, so probably 1991 or so.


Google has a pretty long memory on this sort of thing. Here's what I
could find:

Eric Thomas, Sep 12 1990, 9:21 am

"I have used it once on a Sigma 400/5.6 to make pictures of the moon,
but the results were disappointing; to get good results, you need a
prime or perhaps a "first class" zoom like the 80-200/2.8ED (I don't own
one so I've never tried)."

Eric Thomas, Sep 25 1990, 9:14 pm

"I have a Leitz Colorplan 90, which is supposed to be one of the best,
and I fine-tune the focus for the area of the slide I'm looking at, but
I still can't tell the difference between some of the shots with the
sharpest lenses. However, I can very definitely tell a zoom from a prime
and a bad f-stop from a good one. But be careful, using the lens that
came with the slide projector I can't see much of a difference between
the various slides... "

Wilson Heydt, Jun 26 1991, 2:22 am

"I won't argue the merits of autofocus, but I have found that in
low-light, a fast prime lens will beat a zoom every time."

Peter October 1st 05 10:58 PM


gbuchana(a)rogers(dot)com wrote:

Google has a pretty long memory on this sort of thing. Here's what I
could find:

Eric Thomas, Sep 12 1990, 9:21 am

"I have used it once on a Sigma 400/5.6 to make pictures of the moon,
but the results were disappointing; to get good results, you need a
prime or perhaps a "first class" zoom like the 80-200/2.8ED (I don't own
one so I've never tried)."


There were also people using the term the "correct" way:

Andrew Davidhazy, (Imaging and Photo Technology, RIT)
Apr 13 1991, 11:34 pm

"I believe close up lenses can be very good. They are convenient that
is for sure. The weaker they are the less they affect the performance
of the prime lens. Typically they affect performance most when prime
lens is used at large apertures. They do not cause light loss."

In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.

Peter.
--



Jeremy Nixon October 1st 05 11:44 PM

Nostrobino wrote:

Really? That's something I've always just accepted as true myself.


Well, now you know how things like "prime lens" happen, then. :)

Now you've piqued my curiosity: how is the 18% tale wrong?


It's just wrong; light meters are not, nor have they ever been, calibrated
to 18% gray as a standard. What they really read can vary slightly from
one manufacturer's opinion to another, but it's closer to 12.5%. ISO
sensitivity is of course not based on middle gray at all, which accounts
for the variation.

The 18% myth seems to be based on what Ansel Adams wanted rather than what
actually came to be. Adams lobbied for 18% gray to be the standard. He
was not successful.

Isn't an 18% gray card really 18% gray? (I have one around here somewhere
but never thought to test its eighteen-percentness. :-) )


It really is, yes. Unfortunately, 18% gray is about a half-stop up from
middle gray, and if you meter reflected light from it without somehow
accounting for that (by angling the card, for example) you will be
underexposing by a half stop from what you thought, more or less. With
a Nikon it will be a half stop, but I'm given to understand that Canons
meter a bit higher, so it may be less than that (I have no Canon, so this
is secondhand information).

But the 18% gray myth is so pervasive that even Kodak makes 18% gray cards,
when they most certainly know better.

By now, of course, lots of photographers have over the years been consciously
or unconsciously working around the error in their workflows, to the point
that "18% gray plus workarounds" can actually work. If someone came out
with a 12.5% gray card right now, people wouldn't know what to do with it!

--
Jeremy |

Nostrobino October 2nd 05 04:55 PM


"Peter" wrote in message
oups.com...

gbuchana(a)rogers(dot)com wrote:

Google has a pretty long memory on this sort of thing. Here's what I
could find:

Eric Thomas, Sep 12 1990, 9:21 am

"I have used it once on a Sigma 400/5.6 to make pictures of the moon,
but the results were disappointing; to get good results, you need a
prime or perhaps a "first class" zoom like the 80-200/2.8ED (I don't own
one so I've never tried)."


There were also people using the term the "correct" way:

Andrew Davidhazy, (Imaging and Photo Technology, RIT)
Apr 13 1991, 11:34 pm

"I believe close up lenses can be very good. They are convenient that
is for sure. The weaker they are the less they affect the performance
of the prime lens. Typically they affect performance most when prime
lens is used at large apertures. They do not cause light loss."

In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.


Thanks to both of you. These tend to support my recollection that this
misuse of "prime" first appeared c. 1990, and also that the term was still
in correct use at the same time. I would be very interested to see if anyone
can produce a substantially earlier example of "prime" being used to mean
fixed focal length.

N.



Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 05:18 PM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.


Thanks to both of you. These tend to support my recollection that this
misuse of "prime" first appeared c. 1990, and also that the term was still
in correct use at the same time. I would be very interested to see if anyone
can produce a substantially earlier example of "prime" being used to mean
fixed focal length.


What difference does that make? As long as you want to claim it
means "the term was still in correct use", you are simply wrong
no matter what.

The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
won't regress.

On the other hand, it you rid yourself of this insistance that
whatever the use was at some specific point in time is "correct"
as opposed to all evolution that happened at a later date being
"incorrect", then yes it is interesting to catalog the
evolutionary process to see when it changed and to compare that
to the external factors that guided that evolutionary process
(such as the appearance of higher quality zoom lenses at prices
that made the distinction between fixed focal length lenses and
zoom lenses so important that jargon had to be developed to
easily mark the distinction).

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Nostrobino October 2nd 05 05:19 PM


"Jan Böhme" wrote in message
oups.com...

Nostrobino skrev:

Evolution of language is inevitable and
natural up to a point, but it's not evolution when a perfectly sensible
technical term is, through misunderstanding and/or ignorance, redefined in
a
nonsensical manner. Evolution implies improvement, not deterioration.


This is a misconception, both with respect to Darwinian evoloution of
species, and with respect to the evolution of language. Evolution does
_not_ ipmly "improvement", which is a pretty subjective term.
Evolution, both biological and, linguistic, is a combination of
stochastic change - what evolutionary biologists call "neutral drift" -
and adaptation.

And adaptation isn't the same thing as "improvement". One can easily
see the new meaning of "prime lens" as an adaptation to the fact that
today's photogs know less about the history of photography than
photographers uesd to.


I acknowledge the correction, but adaptation does imply improvement at least
with respect to the situation being adapted to. (Why else adapt?) I don't
see that using a term incorrectly, out of ignorance of that term's actual
meaning, can reasonably be described as "adaptation."

Shortening a term because it no longer needs to be full length to be
understood is a natural form of such adaptation. For example, submarine
boats quickly became "submarines," and automatic pistols became
"automatics." In both cases the adjective became the (and replaced) the
noun. That's evolution. To take "prime lens," a term that already had a
specific technical meaning, and give it an entirely different and unrelated
meaning, is not evolution in any way that I can see.

N.



Nostrobino October 2nd 05 05:27 PM


"Jeremy Nixon" wrote in message
...
Nostrobino wrote:

Really? That's something I've always just accepted as true myself.


Well, now you know how things like "prime lens" happen, then. :)


Oh yes! I've always been convinced that people only misused that innocently,
in the way they had seen it used by others whom they presumed to be
knowledgeable.



Now you've piqued my curiosity: how is the 18% tale wrong?


It's just wrong; light meters are not, nor have they ever been, calibrated
to 18% gray as a standard. What they really read can vary slightly from
one manufacturer's opinion to another, but it's closer to 12.5%. ISO
sensitivity is of course not based on middle gray at all, which accounts
for the variation.

The 18% myth seems to be based on what Ansel Adams wanted rather than what
actually came to be. Adams lobbied for 18% gray to be the standard. He
was not successful.

Isn't an 18% gray card really 18% gray? (I have one around here somewhere
but never thought to test its eighteen-percentness. :-) )


It really is, yes. Unfortunately, 18% gray is about a half-stop up from
middle gray, and if you meter reflected light from it without somehow
accounting for that (by angling the card, for example) you will be
underexposing by a half stop from what you thought, more or less. With
a Nikon it will be a half stop, but I'm given to understand that Canons
meter a bit higher, so it may be less than that (I have no Canon, so this
is secondhand information).

But the 18% gray myth is so pervasive that even Kodak makes 18% gray
cards,
when they most certainly know better.

By now, of course, lots of photographers have over the years been
consciously
or unconsciously working around the error in their workflows, to the point
that "18% gray plus workarounds" can actually work. If someone came out
with a 12.5% gray card right now, people wouldn't know what to do with it!


Very interesting. Thanks!

N.



Peter October 2nd 05 05:58 PM

Floyd Davidson wrote:

The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
won't regress.


The word "evolved" suggests that one use of the term grew out of
the other. This does not appear to be the case. Both uses of
"prime lens" appear to be current and I believe that they are
almost totally unrelated to each other.

For instance in:

http://www.zeiss.de/de/photo/home_e.nsf/1e142195de4e09fac12566fe003b2618/49143eeb494bfa7bc12569770054c1a7/$FILE/ATTBESGB/CLN8.pdf

I read:

"With the Zeiss Mutagon 0.6x there is now a wide-angle converter
available which matches the optical performance level of the Zeiss
Vario-Sonnar 1,7-2,2/3,3-33 lenses used in high quality digital
camcorders from Sony. . . . The Mutagon is threaded to the front
of the prime lens, as distinguished from the well-known Zeiss Mutar
which is inserted between the lens and the camera."

This clearly shows that the term "prime lens" has been in recent
use to describe a zoom lens when used with a supplementary lens.

Peter.
--



Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 06:44 PM

"Peter" wrote:
Floyd Davidson wrote:

The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
won't regress.


The word "evolved" suggests that one use of the term grew out of
the other. This does not appear to be the case. Both uses of
"prime lens" appear to be current and I believe that they are
almost totally unrelated to each other.


It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other. However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.
Rather, it is a logical progression. And the newer meaning
does not necessarily negate correctness of the older meaning
any more than and older meaning makes a new one incorrect.

For instance in:

http://www.zeiss.de/de/photo/home_e.nsf/1e142195de4e09fac12566fe003b2618/49143eeb494bfa7bc12569770054c1a7/$FILE/ATTBESGB/CLN8.pdf

I read:

"With the Zeiss Mutagon 0.6x there is now a wide-angle converter
available which matches the optical performance level of the Zeiss
Vario-Sonnar 1,7-2,2/3,3-33 lenses used in high quality digital
camcorders from Sony. . . . The Mutagon is threaded to the front
of the prime lens, as distinguished from the well-known Zeiss Mutar
which is inserted between the lens and the camera."

This clearly shows that the term "prime lens" has been in recent
use to describe a zoom lens when used with a supplementary lens.


So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime". Does
that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?

Language just doesn't work that way. As the late Steve Allen
used to say on TV about timing being everything in comedy,
context is everything in word usage.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Jeremy Nixon October 2nd 05 07:08 PM

Floyd Davidson wrote:

It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other. However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.
Rather, it is a logical progression.


When you have two terms that mean different things, and you change one of
them to mean the same thing as the other, that's not progression, it's
regression. It's entropy. It's loss of meaning and precision for absolutely
no good reason -- there was no need to change the meaning of the term, since
another perfectly good one already existed.

And now you have what used to be a perfectly good term, "prime lens", that,
having become ambiguous, is now *useless* for *either* of the meanings we
are talking about here. It is a dead term. It can't be used to mean
"fixed focal length" because that's stupid and it doesn't mean that; and
it can't be used with its original meaning because everyone thinks it
means something else.

Not every change in language is "evolution", or anything approaching a good
thing. The changes made by marketing people, for example, are always bad.
Marketing is responsible for more abuses of our language than anything else.
Evolution adds something; all this does is remove.

--
Jeremy |

Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 07:27 PM

Jeremy Nixon wrote:
Floyd Davidson wrote:

It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other. However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.
Rather, it is a logical progression.


When you have two terms that mean different things, and you change one of
them to mean the same thing as the other, that's not progression, it's
regression. It's entropy. It's loss of meaning and precision for absolutely
no good reason -- there was no need to change the meaning of the term, since
another perfectly good one already existed.


Right, but since that is *not* what happened, what's the point?

And now you have what used to be a perfectly good term, "prime lens", that,
having become ambiguous, is now *useless* for *either* of the meanings we
are talking about here. It is a dead term. It can't be used to mean


Why would you say that? Prime had several meanings long before
this happened, and yet you say it was not ambiguous then but is
now???? That's not logical.

"fixed focal length" because that's stupid and it doesn't mean that; and


Clearly it *does* mean that and *is* being commonly used with
that meaning more often than not.

it can't be used with its original meaning because everyone thinks it
means something else.


And just as clearly it *is* still sometimes being used with the
previous meaning (which is *not* "its original meaning"). As
with the other various meanings, context is everything...

Not every change in language is "evolution", or anything approaching a good
thing.


You need to look up the word "evolution" and find out what it
means. And as to whether change is "a good thing", that is
subjective and your opinion that it is not really isn't worth a
plugged nickel. (Neither is mine, so don't be upset that the
world continues to turn even if we don't like it.)

The changes made by marketing people, for example, are always bad.


As a guy who worked my whole life in Operations (and never
stopped making fun of Marketing), even I have to tell you that
you've over stated the case there.

Marketing is responsible for more abuses of our language than anything else.


We can probably agree on that one! But that doesn't mean I'm
not going to accept that those changes are *fact*.

Evolution adds something; all this does is remove.


You can try to justify your bias with false statements like that
one all you like, but the world still turns, and language
evolution continues...

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Nostrobino October 2nd 05 07:40 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.


Thanks to both of you. These tend to support my recollection that this
misuse of "prime" first appeared c. 1990, and also that the term was still
in correct use at the same time. I would be very interested to see if
anyone
can produce a substantially earlier example of "prime" being used to mean
fixed focal length.


What difference does that make? As long as you want to claim it
means "the term was still in correct use", you are simply wrong
no matter what.

The "correct" use has evolved.


No, it has not. As shown repeatedly, it is still in current use and means
the same thing it always meant.

Nor is there any obvious way that "fixed focal length" could evolve into
"prime." You might as well expect a horse to evolve into a cabbage.



On the other hand, it you rid yourself of this insistance that
whatever the use was at some specific point in time is "correct"
as opposed to all evolution that happened at a later date being
"incorrect", then yes it is interesting to catalog the
evolutionary process to see when it changed and to compare that
to the external factors that guided that evolutionary process


Go ahead, outline "that evolutionary process" for me. I'd sure like to see
how you get "fixed focal length" to evolve into "prime." What might the
intermediate steps look like, I wonder?

N.



Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 07:51 PM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
I acknowledge the correction, but adaptation does imply improvement at least
with respect to the situation being adapted to. (Why else adapt?) I don't
see that using a term incorrectly, out of ignorance of that term's actual
meaning, can reasonably be described as "adaptation."


Your definition of "improvement" is highly suspect then.
Likewise, your use of "adaption" is not correct either, because
evolution is a *change*, and that is not necessarily either an
adaption or an improvement. It is just different, and that's
all.

Here's a quote for you:

"From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0[moby-thes]:

41 Moby Thesaurus words for "evolution":
addition, advance, approximation, beautification, change,
developing, development, differentiation, division,
elaboration, embellishment, equation, evolvement, evolving,
extrapolation, flowering, formation, growing, growth,
integration, interpolation, inversion, involution,
maturation, multiplication, notation, perfection,
phylogeny, practice, production, progress, progression,
proportion, reduction, refinement, ripening, seasoning,
subtraction, transformation, unfolding, upgrowth

Do you see any indication that either "adaption" or "improvement"
could be correctly inferred from "evolution"?

Shortening a term because it no longer needs to be full length to be
understood is a natural form of such adaptation. For example, submarine


Fine. What has this or the rest of your discussion got to do with
the entirely different case of the use of "prime" to mean a fixed
focal length lens vs a zoom lens?

boats quickly became "submarines," and automatic pistols became
"automatics." In both cases the adjective became the (and replaced) the
noun. That's evolution.


Yes, that is evolution, but that is *not* the only type of
evolution possible. Just because that paradigm is evolution
does not exclude something different from also being evolution.
That's not valid logic.

To take "prime lens," a term that already had a
specific technical meaning, and give it an entirely different and unrelated
meaning, is not evolution in any way that I can see.


Well, lets apply logic to your statement then, and see what we
get: you can't see.

There is no other logically valid conclusion which your
statement can lead to.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 07:59 PM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.


Thanks to both of you. These tend to support my recollection that this
misuse of "prime" first appeared c. 1990, and also that the term was still
in correct use at the same time. I would be very interested to see if
anyone
can produce a substantially earlier example of "prime" being used to mean
fixed focal length.


What difference does that make? As long as you want to claim it
means "the term was still in correct use", you are simply wrong
no matter what.

The "correct" use has evolved.


No, it has not. As shown repeatedly, it is still in current use and means
the same thing it always meant.


You continue to make logically invalid statements that are
patently absurd.

There is no *one single meaning* for the word "prime". The fact
that there are half a dozen or more previously used and still
commonly used meanings does not even begin to negate the simple
*fact* that you continue to try denying: it has evolved a *new*
meaning, which is now in relatively common use.

Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
evolved. The opposite of that is *your* use of unique definitions
for "adaption" and "evolution", which are incorrect simply because
nobody other than you understands them to have the meanings you
have indicated (in a previous article to which I have just posted
a response).

Nor is there any obvious way that "fixed focal length" could evolve into
"prime." You might as well expect a horse to evolve into a cabbage.


Look, it *exists*, so you can't say that it is impossible. It's
there, and being used. Take you ear plugs out, throw away the
blinders, and get your hands away from your eyes. You are *not*
changing reality by refused to admit it exists.

On the other hand, it you rid yourself of this insistance that
whatever the use was at some specific point in time is "correct"
as opposed to all evolution that happened at a later date being
"incorrect", then yes it is interesting to catalog the
evolutionary process to see when it changed and to compare that
to the external factors that guided that evolutionary process


Go ahead, outline "that evolutionary process" for me. I'd sure like to see
how you get "fixed focal length" to evolve into "prime." What might the
intermediate steps look like, I wonder?


I could care less whether you wonder about it or not. And I'm not
going to catalog it for you. The *fact* that it exists is undeniable,
and therefore it *did* evolve.

Even if you *are* blind.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Nostrobino October 2nd 05 08:14 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Peter" wrote:
Floyd Davidson wrote:

The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
won't regress.


The word "evolved" suggests that one use of the term grew out of
the other. This does not appear to be the case. Both uses of
"prime lens" appear to be current and I believe that they are
almost totally unrelated to each other.


It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other.


It sure does, if it evolved.


However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.
Rather, it is a logical progression.


That's what I want to see: that logical progression from "fixed focal
length" to "prime."



And the newer meaning
does not necessarily negate correctness of the older meaning
any more than and older meaning makes a new one incorrect.

For instance in:

http://www.zeiss.de/de/photo/home_e.nsf/1e142195de4e09fac12566fe003b2618/49143eeb494bfa7bc12569770054c1a7/$FILE/ATTBESGB/CLN8.pdf

I read:

"With the Zeiss Mutagon 0.6x there is now a wide-angle converter
available which matches the optical performance level of the Zeiss
Vario-Sonnar 1,7-2,2/3,3-33 lenses used in high quality digital
camcorders from Sony. . . . The Mutagon is threaded to the front
of the prime lens, as distinguished from the well-known Zeiss Mutar
which is inserted between the lens and the camera."

This clearly shows that the term "prime lens" has been in recent
use to describe a zoom lens when used with a supplementary lens.


So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime". Does
that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?


Like most words in the English language, "prime" has many different
meanings. But not an *infinite* number of meanings; you cannot legitimately
just add new meanings willy-nilly because you happen to like them, or
because you support someone else's usage based on his misunderstanding of
the term in the first place.

Some people misuse words because they misunderstand them, and apparently
think such misuse is perfectly legitimate and the actual meaning is
unimportant. This is a somewhat annoying thing, and many years ago I coined
the term "Humpty-Dumptyism" to describe it. (I must admit I'm somewhat
disappointed that Humpty-Dumptyism has not, after all this time, really
caught on as an expression. :-) )

For those not very familiar with Lewis Carroll, I should explain (much
abridged):
Humpty Dumpty, sitting on his wall, had a conversation with Alice in which
he used a certain word in an incomprehensible way. Alice told him she didn't
understand his use of that word. Humpty then gave her a quite lengthy, and
thoroughly wrong, definition for the word. "But the word doesn't mean that
at all," Alice protested. "The word means," Humpty replied, "what I choose
it to mean."

N.



Nostrobino October 2nd 05 08:43 PM


"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
In this case "prime" is clearly used to ditinguish the main lens
from the supplementary lens.


Thanks to both of you. These tend to support my recollection that this
misuse of "prime" first appeared c. 1990, and also that the term was
still
in correct use at the same time. I would be very interested to see if
anyone
can produce a substantially earlier example of "prime" being used to
mean
fixed focal length.

What difference does that make? As long as you want to claim it
means "the term was still in correct use", you are simply wrong
no matter what.

The "correct" use has evolved.


No, it has not. As shown repeatedly, it is still in current use and means
the same thing it always meant.


You continue to make logically invalid statements that are
patently absurd.

There is no *one single meaning* for the word "prime". The fact
that there are half a dozen or more previously used and still
commonly used meanings does not even begin to negate the simple
*fact* that you continue to try denying: it has evolved a *new*
meaning, which is now in relatively common use.


That's not evolution. That's a misunderstanding which through repetition
(mostly thanks to Usenet) has unfortunately become fairly common.

There have been many other terms which through misunderstanding and
repetition became frequently misused. In fact, several *lists* of misused
words have been compiled over the years.



Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
evolved.


No. The popularity of some misusage does not automatically make it correct,
as you seem to believe. Look in any authoritative dictionary that has usage
notes, and you will find misusages that have enjoyed great popularity for
many, many years and are just still as wrong as they ever were.

N.



Peter October 2nd 05 08:48 PM

Floyd Davidson wrote:

It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other. However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.


Ok, I'll bite. What relationship do you see between the term
"prime lens" used to mean the main lens as opposed to a supplementary
lens or attachment, and the term "prime lens" used to mean a
fixed focal length lens?

Rather, it is a logical progression.


Again, what is the logical connection between the two?


And the newer meaning
does not necessarily negate correctness of the older meaning
any more than and older meaning makes a new one incorrect.


Of course. Though having a word with multiple meanings or
an unclear meaning within a technical lexicon could create
problems. That's part of why I think "prime lens" in the
sense of "fixed focal length" while a useful bit of slang until
someone comes up with something better, shouldn't be regarded
as a part of the proper technical vocabulary of photography.

So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime".


It would be interesting to see such a paragraph in which
at least four out of the five uses had no obvious connection
to the concept of "first" indicated by the word "prime."
I would like to see you try.

Does
that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?


No, but creating additional meanings for an existing technical
term could be a problem. It makes a lot of sense to deprecate
the use of a new meaning for a technical term if it is seen as
beginning to erode the usefulness of the established
technical use of the term.

Language just doesn't work that way. As the late Steve Allen
used to say on TV about timing being everything in comedy,
context is everything in word usage.


Right, if context is not actually everything, it is a lot of it.
I've got no strong objection to "prime lens" as a handy bit
of slang to refer to fixed focal length lenses, but if it starts
to look as if some people are treating it as if it were a proper
part of the technical lexicon then it may be time to object.

Peter.
--



Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 09:22 PM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote:
The "correct" use has evolved.

No, it has not. As shown repeatedly, it is still in current use and means
the same thing it always meant.


You continue to make logically invalid statements that are
patently absurd.

There is no *one single meaning* for the word "prime". The fact
that there are half a dozen or more previously used and still
commonly used meanings does not even begin to negate the simple
*fact* that you continue to try denying: it has evolved a *new*
meaning, which is now in relatively common use.


That's not evolution. That's a misunderstanding which through repetition
(mostly thanks to Usenet) has unfortunately become fairly common.


Well, you can say it isn't evolution from now until the sun
freezes over, but just as you have misused other words, you are
misusing that one too.

*It is evolution.*

There have been many other terms which through misunderstanding and
repetition became frequently misused. In fact, several *lists* of misused
words have been compiled over the years.


When the new usage becomes common enough that virtually everyone
understands what the meaning is, and people use it because it is
understood... that *is* evolution whether you like it or not.

Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
evolved.


No. The popularity of some misusage does not automatically make it correct,
as you seem to believe. Look in any authoritative dictionary that has usage
notes, and you will find misusages that have enjoyed great popularity for
many, many years and are just still as wrong as they ever were.


So just show us examples... ;-)

In fact the dictionary is chock full of examples of words that
now have different meanings than they originally did. Dang near
every word in an English dictionary fits that description! Some
have even come to mean exactly the opposite of what they once
did.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

Floyd Davidson October 2nd 05 09:34 PM

"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote:
So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime". Does
that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?


Like most words in the English language, "prime" has many different
meanings. But not an *infinite* number of meanings; you cannot legitimately
just add new meanings willy-nilly because you happen to like them, or
because you support someone else's usage based on his misunderstanding of
the term in the first place.


You are again abusing facts. *I* have not somehow willy-nilly added a
new meaning. You are just willy-nilly claiming that common usage doesn't
equate to correctness, and that is an absurd statement on its face when
applied to language.

Some people misuse words because they misunderstand them, and apparently
think such misuse is perfectly legitimate and the actual meaning is
unimportant.


Yes. You have misused "adaption", "improvement", and "evolution" in
previous articles. That certainly doesn't make your usage correct, nor
will it make your logic valid.

But in the case of "prime", it is being *widely* used with the meaning
you claim is incorrect.

Hence we just add it to the list of words *you* cannot define correctly.

This is a somewhat annoying thing, and many years ago I coined
the term "Humpty-Dumptyism" to describe it. (I must admit I'm somewhat
disappointed that Humpty-Dumptyism has not, after all this time, really
caught on as an expression. :-) )


So we'll add another...

For those not very familiar with Lewis Carroll, I should explain (much
abridged):
Humpty Dumpty, sitting on his wall, had a conversation with Alice in which
he used a certain word in an incomprehensible way. Alice told him she didn't
understand his use of that word. Humpty then gave her a quite lengthy, and
thoroughly wrong, definition for the word. "But the word doesn't mean that
at all," Alice protested. "The word means," Humpty replied, "what I choose
it to mean."


And there we see exactly what is wrong with your approach to
language.

When the premises for your "logic" are based on words that mean
exactly what you want them to mean, but have a different meaning
to everyone else, your "logic" is invalid.

And I think we've seen enough of this thread to have drawn some
very well defined lines. Hence I see no point in further
discussion at this time. If you do come up with somethingr
rational, I'll respond though.

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:39 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
PhotoBanter.com