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

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Not the 50mm myth again. That one is tough to kill!

ljfinger wrote:

mgd43 wrote:

OK, but there aren't a lot of 43mm lenses on the market. The closest prime lens readily available was the 50mm so by default it became the "normal" lens, although a lot of us older photographers considered the 35mm lens a better choice.

Which had to do only with what was easiest to build (widest without going retrofocus), and had nothing to do with your eye's field of view. And it's only "natural" for a particular viewing distance relative to print size. In other words, it's basically meaningless.

Yes. Lee is correct, (as is usual).

It means that if we choose a different viewing distance for the image, then a different focal length will appear to be the more normal one.

Or, put another way, we can impose the appearance of wider or more tele lenses having been used to shoot with, merely by holding the picture at different distances..

  • Viewing the picture from CLOSER (than nominal "normal") creates the compressed perspective associated with having shot with a telephoto lens.
  • Viewing the picture from FURTHER (than nominal "normal") creates the expanded perspective associated with having shot with a wide-angle lens.


WHY is the line-space I put between bulleted points irradicated when posted?
BOY am I sick of this damned editor!

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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