Why does nikon....

Started May 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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JSees Regular Member • Posts: 207
Re: Because they are the same

seventhdr wrote:

Things would be a lot easier if we labelled lenses by their FIELD OF VIEW.

I don't think so. As you have pointed out, the FOV is dependent on the focal length AND the size of the sensor. The sensor is not a component of the lens, and, indeed, any lens may be mounted on cameras with different sized sensors. Adaptors allowing DX or FX DSLR lenses to be mounted 4/3 cameras are common. Then the FOV of the recorded image changes, even though the lens is still the same.

The only thing that is consistent is the focal length, because it is a physical property of the lens. Even the terms DX and FX are Nikon marketing terms, and don't meet any kind of defined industry standard.

The reason 50mm is often thought of as a "normal" lens is that the FOV, when combined with a standard 35mm film frame, approximates that of an unmoving human eye. This changes, of course, with different film formats or sensor sizes. The focal length required to cover the so-called "normal" FOV decreases with decreasing sensor size.

I suppose the marketing people could start labelling 35mm focal length lenses as "normal on APS-C cameras and mild wide angle on full-format cameras and mild telephoto or portrait on 4/3 cameras ," but that starts to get rather bulky. To say the least.

It's a fact of life that the FOV decreases with sensor size. If you use a camera with an APS-C sensor, why do you care that a 35mm focal length lens doesn't give you the same image that it gives you on a full frame camera? Why are you even comparing it to a full frame camera? You have what you have. The 35mm lens is a 35mm lens. Period. Of course it produces a different image when mounted on a camera with a different sized sensor. So what? Learn what it does on your camera. The concept of "full-frame equivalent" is historical anyway. It's sometimes used as some kind of common reference because of the previous prevalence of 35mm film cameras, but if it confuses you, ignore it. Learn that 35mm is "normal" for your APS-C camera and longer than 35mm moves toward telephoto and shorter toward wide angle and 300mm gives you lots of reach.

Would the OP prefer that APS-C DSLR lenses start to use the nomenclature commonly used on compact cameras? That is, no reference to actual focal length at all - just 12X or 30X optical zoom? We're not too bright here, but we'd like to think we can understand a bit more than that!

No, I'm fine with focal length, even though I used to use film (in several different sizes) and now use APS-C.

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