Save 15% On Excire Foto Software With Code: EXCIRE-EP

The Meaning Of f

collinf 18 1.2k
18 Sep 2003 2:53PM
Ok. Started the C&G last night. :o)

First question that the tutor didn't know the answer to:

What does the F in F stop stand for?

Thought I'd ask you lot 'cos someone is gonna know :o)


railton 19 304
18 Sep 2003 3:00PM
Which begs the question what does the f in collinf stand for?
In photography probably focal but It's a guess.
If you are waiting for a bus and it goes past full, something completely different!
ken j. 18 374
18 Sep 2003 3:00PM
Something recalled from the dim and distant past tells me it's from 'fenestra' - Latin for 'window' but I'm sure someone will correct me if wrong!! Smile)
Batties 19 87
18 Sep 2003 3:14PM
This is from Ansel Adams, A Biography by Mary Street Alinder. I highly recommend this book as it is that rare thing: informative and a good read:
"...Willard (Van Dyke) remembered that he proposed "U.S.256," the old system name for f/64. He said that Ansel responded, "U.S. 256 is not good, it sounds like a highwat." Willard continued, "He then took a pencil and made a a curving 'f' followed by the dot and 64. The graphics were beautiful and that was that." At first, it was written "Group f.64" in the style of the old aperture notation, but that was soon updated to the new notation with its slash, "Group f/64." To those familiar with Ansel's handwriting, the f in the Group f/64 exhibition invitation appears nearly identical to his own typical, very musical looking f."
So it appears the notation f goes back to around 1932. I suspect the "f" itself is derived from a mathmatical notation but happens to work well in a photographic context.
collinf 18 1.2k
18 Sep 2003 3:21PM
therefore one wouldn't be too far out by saying that F Stop comes from "F."

Thanks for the info peeps!

BTW The f in Collinf stands for French. :o)
Nyx 18 533
18 Sep 2003 3:33PM
How are you enjoying the course so far collin?I started mine this week too.Did you get any work to do at home?
Regards Michelle
collinf 18 1.2k
18 Sep 2003 3:38PM
First night last night. 25 people, 9 blokes. 1 doesn't own a camera, 1 has a compact, the rest have SLR except one nutter that's got a Bronica Medium Format. Damn that bag's heavy!

After doing the intros to each other and the course we went for a break! Got back and we went through the "Focussing ring", Aperture and shutter speed and how the two relate to each other. Also covered Depth Of Field. We have no "homework", but some recommended reading (books to buy). Next week we go into a studio setup to put the DoF into practice :o) Looking forward to the whole course!

What did you reckon?

User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2003 3:45PM
I believe the 'F' refers to FACTOR as the aperture of a lens is truly represented as a ratio. If you look at the maximum aperture of a lens as is usually engraved near the filter ring or wherever it is always represented as a ratio i.e. 1:2.8 or 1:3.5 or whatever. Over time this has been contracted so that the '1:' part of the ratio is omitted

collinf 18 1.2k
18 Sep 2003 3:53PM
Thanks Barrie

So we have a few variations, all sound pretty good. :o)

Any more? I would like to get as many (not rude) as possible before next Wednesday.

Nyx 18 533
18 Sep 2003 3:56PM
There were about 20 people,i think it was more or less half men half women and the best part for me in the way of people was that the age range was fantastic from 18-50ish so i didnt feel like the odd one out which was my biggest worry!There were no intros apart from the tutor indroducing herself which i found a little strange.She told us what we would be doing for the next year we had a little break then we viewed some photos on a projecter and discussed them.We also had a tour.Next week we're dicussing all the different kinds of film make speed etc.We got homework,we got a list of 7 famous photographers and have to find a photo by each one that we dislike or like photocopy it stick it to A4 paper and write underneath why we feel the way we do about that photo.I really enjoyed it and am really looking forward to next week SmileIf id known it would have been this much fun i think i would of signed up last year.

Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
18 Sep 2003 3:59PM
What books have been suggested? Well get them in and review them. Also maybe F words could be the theme for tomorrow's fun Friday? If either of you want to document the stages of the course, with a few photos as you go along we could run it as a useful article for future students.
collinf 18 1.2k
18 Sep 2003 4:09PM
Michelle: The first thing our tutor did was write his name and HOME phone No on the board! We didn't "introduce" ourselves, but we did an icebreaker which was quite fun :o)

Pete: That would be fantastic! I was thinking about doing that anyway, I might email you to discuss exactly what you would like.

I'll grab the name of the author tonight, the book is simply called "Basic Photography".

I believe that it's part of a set, called Starting photography and Advanced Photography. Michael Somebody I think.

digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2003 4:30PM
I think Ken is right with his 'Fenestra' theory. After all the F stop represents the size of the 'window', or aperture.

Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
18 Sep 2003 4:36PM
Michael Langford yes they are both standard revision material. I wonder if they've been rewritten to include digital information. I've got old copies of each. I'll get the up-to-date ones.
edz2001 18 513
18 Sep 2003 4:37PM
Well I'm jealous as our C&G has been put back two weeks, so I won't be starting until the 30th! Sad

I'll let you know how our one goes as we actually get started!


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.