Can someone share a history or origin of why 35mm FL was the "chosen one" in the first place?

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Mike Fewster
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Re: Can someone share a history or origin of why 35mm FL was the "chosen one" in the first place?
In reply to DistantView, Jul 25, 2013

DistantView wrote:

As an old time film user - mainly 35mm - I understood that 35mm focal length was, as someone else has mentioned, the approximate "view" of the human eye looking at a scene & that was certainly my opinion, it always seemed a very natural perspective.

I don't share the view that 50mm was the "natural" view, but others do - who knows, I'm not sure why it became the "standard" lens, maybe the usual compromise between w/angle & telephoto !

But almost all the point & shoot 35mm film cameras that popularised photography in the 70's & 80's used lenses in (or starting from) 35 -38mm FL range

Hope you find an answer in all this !


On lower end cameras, the slightly wider angle tended to favor the sorts of shots the P&S shooters generally liked but more importantly, there was more margin for error with focussing. Street photographers also tend to like a bit wider than 50mm for this reason as well.

"maybe the usual compromise between w/angle & telephoto" Exactly. shorter tends to look a bit wa and longer a bit tele because 45-50 on a 35mm camera is about what we are used to seeing with our eyes. (or 80mm on a 2 1/4 square camera)

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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