How To Win Any Photography Trivia Face Off With A Simple Question


Have you ever sat down with a group of photographer and gotten into a trivia face off. You know those kinds of discussion where one would go “Oh yea? So what is the F-stop that comes after F/64?”* Or “So, what is hyperfocal distance?”** or “what’s the fastest sync speed on a D70?”***

Those can sometimes get quite frustrating. Especially if all participants are quite knowledgeable.

Before you learn how I lost that contest, see if you can identify what the following lenses have in common:

Here is how I lost my last trivia photography trivia face off. After getting a few rounds with Roie Galitz (of Galitz phototeva photography expeditions) he asked me to name 3 parfocal lenses.

He won

First, I had no idea what para-focal lenses are, and secondly, I had no idea which lenses are para-focal.

What are para-focal lenses

A Parfocal lens is a zoom lens that does not shift focus as it is zoomed in and out. While modern lenses can have the lens’s CPU adjust focus as the lens zooms in and out, a true parfocal lens will retain its focus distance even if there was no CPU at the lens at all. It is it’s optical quality.

There aren’t that many of those, but the top of the post holds a few from Nikon, Canon and Tokina.

*hyperfocal distance is a distance beyond which all objects can be brought into an “acceptable” focus

[Thanks for kicking my tush, Roie]

  • Jus Tin

    who has photography trivia face offs?

    • Shachar Weis

      Absolutely no one, ever.

    • Michael Dunmire

      I like your question better than the one in the article. :)

    • ajfudge

      Seriously? It’s a thing? Is it the shoot-out version for people w/ severe GAS?

  • ziplock9000

    No, my photographer friends are not immature.

    • johnhs

      sorry to hear that…

  • Reubal Studios

    . Has the state of photography degenerated so much that “photographers” dont even know what parfocal is anymore? MEGAPIXELS!

    • Mike


  • AB

    Many, if not most, older manual focus zooms had this property. In fact, back in the early 80s we were taught to zoom in to get a good, tight focus and then carefully zoom out to where you want to shoot.

  • jagged angel

    I honestly thought the ‘one question’ would be ‘who cares?’ Who has these face-offs?

  • Michael D

    You all lose. It’s a trick question, folks–the type where they provide a bunch of irrelevant info (the different zoom lenses illustrated, in this case).That’s what a PARfocal lens is, sure, but the headline specifically says a PARAfocal lens, which is a lens used for shooting pictures of ghosts. Used by a paraphotographer, any lens can be a parafocal lens.

  • joe_average

    thanks udi, I didn’t know what the word was for that.
    and to the rest of you…what a bunch of ingrates…open your mind instead of your mouth. if you don’t think an article is interesting, skip it; don’t leave a bunch of troll comments.

    • OnTay Johnson

      Agreed. Everyone is a know-it-all these days. Humility, like hip-hop, is dead.