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Reputable and arguable 50mm as normal

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Reputable and arguable 50mm as normal
    Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:17
Actually, I never understand, why 50mm FF lens is named normal.
I think it is too narrow for having so reputable position. 40...45mm is much more normal!?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:24
My understanding is that the 50mm focal length is approximately that of the human eye, in 35mm photography. So it renders a photo taken with it which resembles a person’s “normal” view.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:37
Rangefinders were often 40-45 mm. As our eyes can scan and we have a large area of periferal vision I think it is hard to assign a field of view to the human eye, making this an interesting discussion, but one without much chance of consensus.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:40
Originally posted by Snegren Snegren wrote:

I think it is hard to assign a field of view to the human eye, making this an interesting discussion, but one without much chance of consensus.


Ah; where would we be in life if there was consensus from everyone (speaking as a member of a country where there is little of that at the moment... )
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:50
I have once read (don't know if that was a consensus opinion) that what was called a "normal" focal length was approximately the diagonal of the frame size. This definition already seemed to be in use before the 35 mm format and came from the time of large plate cameras.

If true that would mean that "normal" for 35 mm format would be ~43 mm and ~29 mm for APS-C.

I also don't know how much influence it had that Oscar Barnack used a 50 mm lens on his experimental "Ur-Leica", maybe at that time it was judged close enough to "normal", especially since 35 mm is quite "elongated" vs. older plate camera formats, which had a more square aspect ratio..

Edited by pegelli - 18 January 2019 at 13:53
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:50
Just predicting the result Neil, not the road towards it...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:50
:)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:53
My eyes can see over 180 degrees, so maybe my 190 degree fisheye is a normal lens. The center sharp area of attention of my eyes is pretty narrow. A 200mm might be close. Relating anything else to eyesight seems arbitrary.

I am still getting used to how wide 50 mm is on 135 format. I am so used to the much narrower view of APS-C.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 13:58
Pieter, I just stumbled across a quote from the honorable mr. Ken Rockwell stating the same. It all feels a bit arbitrary to me. Perhaps it is a personal thing, one person being wider than the other if that makes sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 14:02
Originally posted by Snegren Snegren wrote:

Just predicting the result Neil, not the road towards it...


"The road to Hell is paved with good intention". I can keep this going all day you know....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2manycamera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 15:10
Here's how I describe it: put a 50mm on a camera, FF or APS-C, makes no difference. Hold the camera vertically and look through the eyepiece with your right eye. Open both eyes. Left eye and right eye see the same thing, but right eye has a box around the view. Try it with a wider or longer focal length, and the right eye view isn't the same anymore. 50mm isn't perfect, but is very close to get this equal view with both eyes.

I don't really like 50mm all that much, but I found the ability to shoot with both eyes open to be a real advantage when shooting action like basketball and soccer. I was aware of what was happening outside the frame of the viewfinder. When I did that with other focal lengths, I'd wind up with a headache.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 15:19
Originally posted by 2manycamera 2manycamera wrote:

Here's how I describe it: put a 50mm on a camera, FF or APS-C, makes no difference. Hold the camera vertically and look through the eyepiece with your right eye. Open both eyes. Left eye and right eye see the same thing, but right eye has a box around the view. Try it with a wider or longer focal length, and the right eye view isn't the same anymore. 50mm isn't perfect, but is very close to get this equal view with both eyes.


I think this depends on your viewfinder magnification.

What you describe works perfectly on my A700 (magnification 0,9x), but the image in the viewfinder of my KM5D (magnification 0,83x) is smaller than what my other eye sees.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 15:21
Originally posted by 2manycamera 2manycamera wrote:

Here's how I describe it: put a 50mm on a camera, FF or APS-C, makes no difference. Hold the camera vertically and look through the eyepiece with your right eye. Open both eyes. Left eye and right eye see the same thing, but right eye has a box around the view. Try it with a wider or longer focal length, and the right eye view isn't the same anymore. 50mm isn't perfect, but is very close to get this equal view with both eyes.

I don't really like 50mm all that much, but I found the ability to shoot with both eyes open to be a real advantage when shooting action like basketball and soccer. I was aware of what was happening outside the frame of the viewfinder. When I did that with other focal lengths, I'd wind up with a headache.

Actually I am shooting sometimes with left eye opened too, but to find here 50mm issue is something new
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 15:21
Originally posted by 2manycamera 2manycamera wrote:

I don't really like 50mm all that much, but I found the ability to shoot with both eyes open to be a real advantage when shooting action like basketball and soccer. I was aware of what was happening outside the frame of the viewfinder. When I did that with other focal lengths, I'd wind up with a headache.


I suspect that might be the same effect a 'peep sight' has on a Compound Bow - I managed to finally master how to target shoot a compound bow with both eyes open using the peep sight for the primary target aim. The benefit was that you could maintain the position of the bow for the arrow release but then follow it's trajectory to the target (hopefully...). Strange things, eyes and the way they (and the brain) work.

Best regards, Neil.
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