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

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,529
Re: Not the 50mm myth again. That one is tough to kill!

Barrie Davis wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

jon404 wrote:

Basically meaningless... true. But we DO get used to visual conventions... and that gets to your 43mm on a full-frame as the best answer to 'what's a normal lens.' I think Pentax made one, maybe still does.

Beyond that, it's immediately personal. I like a 35mm lens on my old Nikon FG... the view feels 'normal' to me for street photography. But I also like my old 85mm lens for portraits, and an even older 20mm for landscapes. What's interesting is that for each application, what I see in each of the lenses looks 'normal.'

The way I used to gauge whether the lens I was using with a 35mm camera was this. Hold the camera, with a zoom lens on covering the 30-70 typical range, in the portrait position looking through the viewfinder with the left eye. With both eyes open and the camera focus on a subject quite far ahead, zoom the lens in and outuntil you can see the subject ahead in 3D with no distortion in the left (camera) eye. In other words as though the view through the camera was as though looking through plain glass. You can try this with your DSLR. When your view is balanced and normal, check to see what focal length your camera is set to.

That is just a novel quirk of the viewfinding system, Jules. It's intriguing the first time you do it, and much easier now we have zooms we can tweak for the bestest possible size match ...

.. but nothing to do with which focal lengths might be considered "normal" or natural, I'm afraid.

See latest postings below.. from Leonard and I.
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

I sort of have to disagree with you here. If what you are seeing through your lens (and hence are photographing) is exactly the same as you see with your eyes, then I think that IS as standard as you can get.

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