” My Dad Had A 35 Milly Meter Camera…”

” My Dad Had A 35 Milly Meter Camera…”

” So I want one too – but his had a 50 milly meter lens so none of the pictures came out good. I want a 50 milly meter camera so mine will be better. And I want a 50 milly meter zoom. ”

You can only hold your breath so long before sparkly lights flash and the world sort of greys out. Then you have to breathe and come back to consciousness, and if you’re a salesperson in a camera store you’ve got to start unravelling the knotted ball of informational string. It’s no good fainting and falling to the floor as someone will just revive you and you’ll have to start over again.

I blame the manufacturers. If they had not decided to turn 35mm motion picture film sideaways and start to make still pictures none of this would have been a problem. Even then, they could have used Imperial or Russian or Andaman Island units of measurement for the focal length of the lens and it would have made it easier. When the film makers started to refer to the 35mm film cartridge as 135 film the bicycle went over the cliff. When the makers of the camera introduced 35mm interchangable lenses for 35mm cameras shooting 135 film…and it was a wide angle instead of a standard lens…


Of course it got better with the introduction of digital imaging. No problemo at all with the idea of explaining the 1/2 inch sensor to people who have not seen an inch since Harold Holt went swimming. And APS-C versus full frame? And the fact that full frame is the same as the 35mm camera? Would you care to slip into the back of the store where we’ll show you a secret cache of 4/3 cameras, 2/3 sensors, micro 4/3 and something that has four different layers of electronics on the one chip…

If cricket, golf, or football was as confusing as this we’d all spend the weekend knitting.


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