View Single Post
Old September 29th 05, 01:50 PM
external usenet poster
Posts: n/a

Nostrobino wrote:

"Siddhartha Jain" wrote in message

Nostrobino wrote:

Zoom lenses ARE prime lenses, notwithstanding the now-popular misusage of

A prime lens is the camera lens as distinct from some other lens or
lenticular device (close-up lens, tele converter, etc.) used with it. It
meant that since long before zoom lenses became commonplace, and
no need to use another term to mean "non-zoom."

"Prime" is properly used in the sense of primary, main, chief or
original--all dictionary definitions for "prime."

There is NO dictionary definition for "prime" which means fixed focal
or single focal length, or fixed or single anything else.

It would be nice if this nonsensical misusage, which obviously is based
someone's misunderstanding of the term some years ago (and then spread
cancer through the power of the Internet) could be stamped out. Surely
is at least as easy to type as "prime" anyway, and there never was any
reason other than shortness to replace "fixed focal length" with the
incorrect term.

I am aware of the mis-usage of the term *prime* and so guilty of
propogating the mis-usage but I feel its time the FFL camp realised
that there is no turning back.

Well, not necessarily, though of course the more people who misuse the term,
the harder it will be to correct it.

Most people do not want to use wrong terminology since it makes them look
ignorant. In the case of "prime" being used to mean FFL, this has only
spread because readers who have not seen the term before, and then see it
used by people they assume are knowledgeable, naturally adopt it themselves.
Thus newbies are caught up in the misusage and (perhaps partly because they
feel using jargon will make them look knowledgeable too), contribute to the

Some will continue to use it anyway, but others will drop it (and some have
dropped it) when the error is pointed out to them.


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.

Perhaps this should be continued in rec.english.language.anal.purists