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

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 52,489
Re: Not the 50mm myth again. That one is tough to kill!

tkbslc wrote:

If you want to debate "normal" should we also try to debunk "wide angle" and "telephoto"?

Telephoto has a specific meaning - the lens' physical length is shorter than its focal length.

40-60mm lens on FF is typically said to be "normal" because in typical shooting and viewing conditions it results in a perspective that is similar to what our eyes would see. You can come up with scenarios where it is wrong, but in most scenarios it works out that way.

It never works out that way.  Your eyes are 180 degree fisheye lenses.  The "natural" conditions is when the final image subtends the same angle to your eyes as did the original scene to the camera.  That depends on final viewing condition.  Those IMAX 360 degree domes that project an image onto the inside of a hemisphere with the viewers in the middle use a circular fisheye as the "natural" lens.

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