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Old October 2nd 05, 04:55 PM
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"Peter" wrote in message

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.