50mm "Normal" Lens... Ok, but "Normal" on FF or APS-C Sensor?

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 53,209
Re: Not the 50mm myth again. That one is tough to kill!

mgd43 wrote:

50mm is considered normal with 35mm cameras or FF digital cameras. If I remember my ancient history, it is considered normal because it had more or less normal perspective, ie the perspective that our eyes see.

Yeah...that's the myth.  It's entirely, completely bunk, but there's a tiny shred of truth deep down there that might have led to that horrible-to-kill myth.

If you view the final print at a viewing distance equal to the diagonal of the print, the focal length at which your angle of view of the print would match the original angle of view of the camera is equal to the diagonal size of the sensor (similar triangles).  The diagonal of a 35mm full-frame camera sensor is 43mm (not 50mm, by the way).  Of course, this same argument can be made of any viewing distance and any matching focal length.

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Lee Jay
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