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Are primes brighter and sharper than wide open zooms



 
 
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  #21  
Old September 29th 05, 01:59 AM
Jeff R
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"Eugene" wrote in message
...
Just some links you may want to check out...

http://photonotes.org/cgi-bin/entry.pl?id=Primelens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_lens
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/enc...prime_lens.htm

Please stop spreading misinformation. The first usage of a term is not
necessarily the correct one. If you start referring to zooms as "prime"
you're just going to make yourself sound stupid. Whatever you think it
meant originally, is not what it means now.


Totally sick post, bro'! Hectic!
What a gay idea!


  #22  
Old September 29th 05, 03:20 AM
Randall Ainsworth
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In article . com,
Siddhartha Jain wrote:

Given two lenses, one a prime (say 28mm) and the other a zoom (say
28-75mm) and both with an aperture of f2.8 -
- Will the prime be brighter than the zoom because it has fewer lens
elements?
- Will the prime be sharper wide open than the zoom at 28mm?

Ofcourse, a lot will depend on the particular makes and models being
compared but is there a rule of thumb?


F/2.8 lets the same amount of light through regardless of the lens
design. F/2.8 is f/2.8.

Being from the old school, I would expect a fixed focal length lens to
be sharper than a zoom, but you may have to go to laboratory conditions
to prove it.
  #23  
Old September 29th 05, 04:56 AM
Peter
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Eugene wrote:
Just some links you may want to check out...

http://photonotes.org/cgi-bin/entry.pl?id=Primelens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_lens
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/enc...prime_lens.htm

Please stop spreading misinformation. The first usage of a term is not
necessarily the correct one.


No, but it can be good to distinguish between slang terminology
and standard terminology.

For instance, in audio people often talk about "acetate masters"
when they mean "lacquer originals." The slang terminology is
wrong on two counts because the originals of disc recordings
are made on cellulose nitrate lacquer and never acetate and they
are originals, not masters, according to long established terminology.
The use of the slang "acetate master" has caused very little real
confusion over the 70 years in which it has been in common use,
but it is still not correct because the disc is neither made
of acetate nor a master. (Wikipedia gets the definition of
"master recording" wrong, so I don't think it is a very good
source for standard technical vocabulary.)

An example in photography is the use of the word "macro"
as a synonym for "extreme close-up." Photomacrography,
from which we get "macro," has a very well established
technical meaning requiring the image size to be equal to
or larger than the object size. The Wikipedia article
"Macro Photography" starts out with the standard definition
which it calls the "classical definition" and then goes
on to discuss the extended use of the term in photographers'
slang without being particularly clear that the extended
meaning is still non-standard terminology. BTW it is better
to use "photomacrography" than "macro photography" since
"macrophotography" can mean the making of large photographs
by analogy with the difference between "photomicrography"
and "microphotography" which should never be confused with
each other.

The use of "prime lens" for "fixed focal length lens" appears
to originate in cinema where the need for a handy term
for a non-zoom lens was felt long before such a term was
needed in still photography. As a handy bit of slang, it
has much to recommend it: it is easy to say and quickly
understood. As a technical term, it has two major difficulties:
the word "prime" has little connection to what is meant,
and there was a prior use of the term in which the word
"prime" actually made sense.


If you start referring to zooms as "prime" you're just going
to make yourself sound stupid.


No, because you would always also be using an additional term
such as "supplementary lens" or "teleconverter" which would
supply the context which would make the meaning clear.


Whatever you think it meant originally, is not what it means now.


You know, sometimes words have two meanings.

Most of us can live with slang terminology and standard technical
terminology without getting particularly confused. Slang terminology
can be very handy: I'm not going to stop saying "Hypo" when I know
that fixer is actually thiosulphate. It isn't very likely that someone
will think I mean the actual chemical "sodium hyposulphite" AKA
"sodium hydrosulphite" which is AFAIK not used in photography.
But it is still good to distinguish between slang and proper technical
language. If I ordered "sodium hyposulphite" from a chemical supplier
who served dyers it is just possible I might get the wrong chemical.

Peter.
--


  #24  
Old September 29th 05, 05:01 AM
Peter
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Eugene wrote:
Just some links you may want to check out...

http://photonotes.org/cgi-bin/entry.pl?id=Primelens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_lens
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/enc...prime_lens.htm

Please stop spreading misinformation. The first usage of a term is not
necessarily the correct one.


No, but it can be good to distinguish between slang terminology
and standard terminology.

For instance, in audio people often talk about "acetate masters"
when they mean "lacquer originals." The slang terminology is
wrong on two counts because the originals of disc recordings
are made on cellulose nitrate lacquer and never acetate and they
are originals, not masters, according to long established terminology.
The use of the slang "acetate master" has caused very little real
confusion over the 70 years in which it has been in common use,
but it is still not correct because the disc is neither made
of acetate nor a master. (Wikipedia gets the definition of
"master recording" wrong, so I don't think it is a very good
source for standard technical vocabulary.)

An example in photography is the use of the word "macro"
as a synonym for "extreme close-up." Photomacrography,
from which we get "macro," has a very well established
technical meaning requiring the image size to be equal to
or larger than the object size. The Wikipedia article
"Macro Photography" starts out with the standard definition
which it calls the "classical definition" and then goes
on to discuss the extended use of the term in photographers'
slang without being particularly clear that the extended
meaning is still non-standard terminology. BTW it is better
to use "photomacrography" than "macro photography" since
"macrophotography" can mean the making of large photographs
by analogy with the difference between "photomicrography"
and "microphotography" which should never be confused with
each other.

The use of "prime lens" for "fixed focal length lens" appears
to originate in cinema where the need for a handy term
for a non-zoom lens was felt long before such a term was
needed in still photography. As a handy bit of slang, it
has much to recommend it: it is easy to say and quickly
understood. As a technical term, it has two major difficulties:
the word "prime" has little connection to what is meant,
and there was a prior use of the term in which the word
"prime" actually made sense.


If you start referring to zooms as "prime" you're just going
to make yourself sound stupid.


No, because you would always also be using an additional term
such as "supplementary lens" or "teleconverter" which would
supply the context which would make the meaning clear.


Whatever you think it meant originally, is not what it means now.


You know, sometimes words have two meanings.

Most of us can live with slang terminology and standard technical
terminology without getting particularly confused. Slang terminology
can be very handy: I'm not going to stop saying "Hypo" when I know
that fixer is actually thiosulphate. It isn't very likely that someone
will think I mean the actual chemical "sodium hyposulphite" AKA
"sodium hydrosulphite" which is AFAIK not used in photography.
But it is still good to distinguish between slang and proper technical
language. If I ordered "sodium hyposulphite" from a chemical supplier
who served dyers it is just possible I might get the wrong chemical.

Peter.
--


  #25  
Old September 29th 05, 06:17 AM
Brion K. Lienhart
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Eugene wrote:
You make it sound like it's some kind of disease. In the grand scheme of
things, does it really matter? Languages are dynamic, and the meanings
of words are constantly changing. The original meaning of "prime" in the
photographic sense is just an invention anyway. Referring to the
dictionary I find no mention of lenses as related to the meaning of the
word "prime". Who is therefore to decide which usage is correct? You
apparently!


It's pretty much established jargon in the photo industry. I've seen it
used in this sense since the mid-70s (when I started paying attention to
photo stuff). I hardly think it can be blamed solely on the internet.
  #26  
Old September 29th 05, 06:19 AM
Brion K. Lienhart
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Peter wrote:

You know, sometimes words have two meanings.

Most of us can live with slang terminology and standard technical
terminology without getting particularly confused. Slang terminology
can be very handy: I'm not going to stop saying "Hypo" when I know
that fixer is actually thiosulphate. It isn't very likely that someone


Not to be pedantic, but I think you mean "Jargon" not "Slang".
  #27  
Old September 29th 05, 06:23 AM
Brion K. Lienhart
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Default

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:

Given two lenses, one a prime (say 28mm) and the other a zoom (say
28-75mm) and both with an aperture of f2.8 -
- Will the prime be brighter than the zoom because it has fewer lens
elements?



No. f/2.8 tells you exactly how bright the lens is. (It's almost
like the old question about a pound of lead and a pound of feathers -
they do both weigh the same.)


Well, no. The F-stop is the ratio of the aperature to the focal length,
which is constant regardless of the actual material(s) of the glass. In
the extreme case of spraying black paint on the lens, you could have an
F:2.8 lens with 0% light transmission.
  #28  
Old September 29th 05, 06:29 AM
Brion K. Lienhart
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Default

Randall Ainsworth wrote:

In article . com,
Siddhartha Jain wrote:


Given two lenses, one a prime (say 28mm) and the other a zoom (say
28-75mm) and both with an aperture of f2.8 -
- Will the prime be brighter than the zoom because it has fewer lens
elements?
- Will the prime be sharper wide open than the zoom at 28mm?

Ofcourse, a lot will depend on the particular makes and models being
compared but is there a rule of thumb?



F/2.8 lets the same amount of light through regardless of the lens
design. F/2.8 is f/2.8.


Nope. F:2.8 is solely based on the size of the lens. Obsidian is glass,
you can grind it into a lens shape, but if you use it as an element in a
lens, you're going to get some reallllllly slow shutter speeds. Of
course that's an extreme case, the difference between plain old glass
glass, and exotic flouro-silicates is only a few fractions of a percent.
  #29  
Old September 29th 05, 07:38 AM
Eugene
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I don't think it has anything to do with the internet really. They've
been called prime lenses for as long as I can remember, and yes I do
pre-date the Internet ;-)

I certainly don't think it's some kind of fad. I suspect it would have
originated about the same time as zoom lenses. People needed a handy
term to distinguish their FFL lenses from the new zooms. FFL may be easy
and quick to write, but 'prime' is quicker to say. Also if we're going
to get pedantic about linguistics then why not take offence to the term
"zoom lens". Surely they should be called Variable Focal Length Lenses,
or VFL lenses. That's much better... Now we just have to re-educate all
the millions of poor ignorant fools using the incorrect terminology ;-)



It's pretty much established jargon in the photo industry. I've seen it
used in this sense since the mid-70s (when I started paying attention to
photo stuff). I hardly think it can be blamed solely on the internet.

  #30  
Old September 29th 05, 08:17 AM
Eugene
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Posts: n/a
Default



The use of "prime lens" for "fixed focal length lens" appears
to originate in cinema where the need for a handy term
for a non-zoom lens was felt long before such a term was
needed in still photography. As a handy bit of slang, it
has much to recommend it: it is easy to say and quickly
understood. As a technical term, it has two major difficulties:
the word "prime" has little connection to what is meant,
and there was a prior use of the term in which the word
"prime" actually made sense.


OK, fair enough. You make a valid point, but in the case of "prime
lens", given the definition of the word, I don't think it's nescessarily
incorrect or ambiguous. Shortening complex expressions is just how
language works. Just a few other slang photographic terms I could think
of would be "film", or "sensor", or "flash", or even "lens". Everyone
knows what these terms mean, although none of them is strictly correct
or complete.



If you start referring to zooms as "prime" you're just going
to make yourself sound stupid.



No, because you would always also be using an additional term
such as "supplementary lens" or "teleconverter" which would
supply the context which would make the meaning clear.


Perhaps my comments were a bit harsh. I just took offense to the
suggestion that it was ignorant to use the widely accepted and
understood term "prime lens". It seemed clear that the Nostrobino was
just being undully pedantic and argumentative, and his comments added
nothing to the thread.



Whatever you think it meant originally, is not what it means now.



You know, sometimes words have two meanings.

Most of us can live with slang terminology and standard technical
terminology without getting particularly confused. Slang terminology
can be very handy: I'm not going to stop saying "Hypo" when I know
that fixer is actually thiosulphate. It isn't very likely that someone
will think I mean the actual chemical "sodium hyposulphite" AKA
"sodium hydrosulphite" which is AFAIK not used in photography.
But it is still good to distinguish between slang and proper technical
language. If I ordered "sodium hyposulphite" from a chemical supplier
who served dyers it is just possible I might get the wrong chemical.


As an Australian I certainly have no problem with slang ;-) Mind you
when I'm writing things for an international audience I'm careful to
avoid terms that will confuse people in other parts of the world. If I
wrote the way I would typically talk to other Aussies then a lot of
people wouldn't know what I was talking about. I hardly think though
that "prime lens" is one of those confusing obscure slang expressions.
Everyone knows what it means.
 




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