PetaPixel

Translucent Is Not the Same as Pellicle

Mike Johnston of TOP explains why Sony shouldn’t call its pellicle mirror “translucent”:

[...] “translucent” is just entirely—egregiously, blatantly—the wrong word. Translucent materials pass some of the light that falls on them and diffuse the rest. Muslin curtains, tracing paper, or frosted glass windowpanes in a bathroom are all translucent. An indistinct, fuzzy, or veiled image that’s hard to see is actually part of the definition of “translucent.” A pellicle mirror is a beam-splitter. That is, it passes some of the light transparently and reflects the remaining amount. There’s no translucency involved anywhere. Wrong word—and a bad connotation. Marketing fail? Heck, English language fail.

Wikipedia also notes that a “camera with a translucent mirror would produce an indistinct blob of light at the image plane.” A better word for people who might not know what “pellicle” means might be “semi-transparent”.

Sony’s Big Risks with the A77 [The Online Photographer]


 
  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Actually, the correct term would be “partially reflective”, as semi-translucent would imply a percentage passes and  the remainder is blocked.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Actually, the correct term would be “partially reflective”, as semi-translucent would imply a percentage passes and  the remainder is blocked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=821223738 Masharno Wolfe

    Translucent is easier to understand in my opinion, and sounds cooler than pellice.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Yeah, I agree :) If only it were correct…

  • zf

    This kind of article is just like arguing that you shouldnt use the term ‘smartphone’. As we know, smart should only describe a person. It should be ‘phone with more features’ or there shouldnt be any kind of vague term anyways and yet it is widely used.

    Pellicle is not a common word. Translucent on the other hand is not entirely wrong. Your explaination is right if you are talking about smoked translucent glass. But it is translucent mirror, it is mirror before it is translucent. Where is the mirror part in your translucent glass pic there?

    And most importantly slt is a damn good marketing brand. It makes you think slr is old news. Slp? Dont even think about it. Just like smartphone, terms only need familiarities to succed. And this translucent is bound to succes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xavierdjx Xavier Djx

    some people are so stupid, they spend time for that… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliancgibbs Julian Gibbs

    Call it Pellicle and even my spell checker won’t know what the hell you’re taliking about.

  • Rick Bennett

    Wait! The “SL” in SLT stand for Single Lens! That’s a marketing fail too! There are lots of lenses that will fit the A77, not just one. How could they have failed to grasp that people would hear “Single Lens Translucent” and think “Jeez, it only has one lens? That’s stoopid.”

    /snark

  • Rick Bennett

    Wait! The “SL” in SLT stand for Single Lens! That’s a marketing fail too! There are lots of lenses that will fit the A77, not just one. How could they have failed to grasp that people would hear “Single Lens Translucent” and think “Jeez, it only has one lens? That’s stoopid.”

    /snark

  • Kiyamamura

    Like DSLR means Digital Single Lens Reflex or that SLR is Single Lens Reflex? Yeah, that does sound “stoopid” man photographers have been perpetuating “stoopid” terms for decades!

  • Kiyamamura

    Like DSLR means Digital Single Lens Reflex or that SLR is Single Lens Reflex? Yeah, that does sound “stoopid” man photographers have been perpetuating “stoopid” terms for decades!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OXUYPXQGQWB52DRKPDTGO46EDE Alfred

    “Pellicle” is not a common word, but it it not new either. And, translucent is not really applicable for photography as it implies an image blur. Actually, “semi-transparent” may be more acurate. But, looking at “pellicle” in dictionaries is confusing as it seems to refer to a thin film or membrane that allows light to pass through.
    Anyway, pellicle systems are not new. The Canon Pellix was developed and sold in the 1960s. While Canon kept the camera on the market for several years, it would be hard to argue it was a success. The more standard type SLRs with the fold up mirror systems won out. So, will Sony have any better success here??? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OXUYPXQGQWB52DRKPDTGO46EDE Alfred

    “Pellicle” is not a common word, but it it not new either. And, translucent is not really applicable for photography as it implies an image blur. Actually, “semi-transparent” may be more acurate. But, looking at “pellicle” in dictionaries is confusing as it seems to refer to a thin film or membrane that allows light to pass through.
    Anyway, pellicle systems are not new. The Canon Pellix was developed and sold in the 1960s. While Canon kept the camera on the market for several years, it would be hard to argue it was a success. The more standard type SLRs with the fold up mirror systems won out. So, will Sony have any better success here???