Why I DON'T care about equivalence, and you shouldn't either!

Started Jul 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Mike_PEAT Forum Pro • Posts: 12,111
Why I DON'T care about equivalence, and you shouldn't either!
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Over the decades I've been around MANY film formats, 110, 126, 6cm x 6cm, 8"x10", 24"x36" (that's 2 feet by 3 feet sheet film), and of course 35mm/135 aka "full frame" (I REALLY HATE THAT TERM). Not once did I stop to think, "I wonder what the equivalence is on another format."

When I used medium format and I had an 85mm lens on the camera I didn't think, "I wonder what the equivalent 135 format lens would be?" When I started using medium format I learned that 85mm is a "normal" lens on my medium format camera and what the depth of field is. When I started shooting FourThirds format I learned that 25mm is "normal" for that format and what the DOF is. Anything with a higher number than "normal" is telephoto, and anything with a lower number than "normal" is wide angle.

You shoot for the limitations, AND benefits of the format YOU ARE USING…no point thinking about some other format you're not currently using.

I live in a country that uses metric for speed limits, and if I travel to the US and the speed limit says 55 miles per hour I don't pull over to try and calculate how many km/h that is...I just keep pushing the accelerator until the speedometer says 55mph and not worry about the other unit of measurement. I then drive for the current traffic and road conditions using visual references. I don't put little stickers on the speedometer so I know the km/h equivalence.

Worrying about equivalence all the time is like being married but always trying to make your spouse up to be something she isn't, like a supermodel.

Love the camera YOU HAVE and learn to get the best out of it, not some other camera you DON'T!

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