Why is a 50mm FF lens 'normal'?

Started Feb 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,412
Re: Viewing distance

Morris Sullivan wrote:  Personally, viewing distance is entirely dictated by image subject. I'd hold a portrait at arms length, same for an abstract or general photo of an object or activity. But I will always get close up to landscapes, macros, or busy street shots and look at all the details. A landscape shot should mostly fill my vision so a wide angle lens will always look more natural to me for shots like that.

Interesting.  Viewing distance as a function of picture content could make an interesting study.  For me, viewing distance has also become related to whether I have my bifocals with me or not.

I can't find the reference right now, but I'd read an article by a photographer (Keith Cooper, I think) who observed that, at least with reasonably large printes in a gallery, most people tended to view from between 1 and 1.5 times the diagonal of the print size.

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