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Thread: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

  1. #1

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    Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    For most of us, objectives are something found at the front end of microscopes or telescopes (in contrast with occulars, that are found at the other end!). Yet, in the 19th. Century, camera lenses were called objectives (or occasionally, objective lenses). The function of non-camera objectives and camera "lenses" are exactly the same and all European languages I know use their local variant of "objective" for lenses. Is it just because the word is shorter or has it something to do with the mass popularisation of photography in the 1890's?
    Using the word as it used to be used would help an awful lot with descriptions ( objective - cell - groups - individual lenses)!

  2. #2

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    As I put on my spectacles, and loosen my cravat, to better read your message...

  3. #3

    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    Why do we say hood rather then bonnet? Umbrella rather then brolley? Trunk rather then boot? American English rather then British English? Or Australian English or Canadian English?

  4. #4
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    Why do we say garbage truck instead of refuse collection and compaction vehicle?

  5. #5

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    And then what about lift, escalator and elevator?

  6. #6

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    In Danish Objektiv is used instead of lens, a lens is part of an Objektiv.
    In English an objective is a target or a goal one set in order to accomplish something.
    I have never heard the word Objective used as a term instead of a lens.

  7. #7

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    No - this isn't an english/american english thing! Both in the USA and the UK they used to be called ( and written as) objectives.

  8. #8

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    I would like to contribute to this discussion but wouldn't be giving an objective opinion.

  9. #9

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    here in the US, objectives are something like goals.

    Sometimes we refer to a camera lens as an optic....which seems more proper to me than lens but it isn't heard often enough in the everyday vernacular to be considered common...or probably even correct.

  10. #10

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    Re: Why do we call them lenses instead of objectives?

    Bob, you forgot New Jersey English.

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