Floyd Davidson wrote:
The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
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:
"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)