This guide will teach you how to ask questions in a way more likely to get you a satisfactory answer.Now that use of open source has become widespread, you can often get as good answers from other, more experienced users as from hackers.It's OK to be ignorant; it's not OK to play stupid.So, while it isn't necessary to already be technically competent to get attention from us, it necessary to demonstrate the kind of attitude that leads to competence — alert, thoughtful, observant, willing to be an active partner in developing a solution.
Still, treating experienced users like hackers in the ways we recommend here will generally be the most effective way to get useful answers out of them, too.I'm curious, while you had the lenses on the bench, did you measure *actual* focal lengths and transmission values?(it's not entirely unknown for some manufacturers to err on the side of optimism, shall we say?Many project websites link to this document in their sections on how to get help.That's fine, it's the use we intended — but if you are a webmaster creating such a link for your project page, please display prominently near the link notice that We have learned the hard way that without such a notice, we will repeatedly be pestered by idiots who think having published this document makes it our job to solve all the world's technical problems.Nevertheless, our style of answering questions is tuned for people who take such an interest and are willing to be active participants in problem-solving. Nor should it; if it did, we would become less effective at the things we do best. We take time out of busy lives to answer questions, and at times we're overwhelmed with them. In particular, we throw away questions from people who appear to be losers in order to spend our question-answering time more efficiently, on winners.If you find this attitude obnoxious, condescending, or arrogant, check your assumptions.Better yet, display what you have from doing these things.We like answering questions for people who have demonstrated they can learn from the answers.Even if it doesn't, saying is a good thing to do in e-mail or news postings requesting help, if only because it records what searches won't help.It will also help to direct other people with similar problems to your thread by linking the search terms to what will hopefully be your problem and resolution thread. Do not expect to be able to solve a complicated problem with a few seconds of Googling.