50mm is normal ??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by fwellers, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    There appears to be general agreement that the 50mm focal length ( on a FF body ), is the closest to "normal" or, what the eye sees.

    Is there any mathematics or science behind this or what ?
    The reason I ask is that I don't understand it. It may be because I'm not experienced in using that focal length primarily ( which would be ~35mm on my DX camera ), but it seems to me that my FOV is much wider than that focal length of a lense provides me.

    Thanks,
    floyd
     
  2. mosu84

    mosu84 TPF Noob!

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    Does a 50mm normal lens really see what the eye sees? « Olympus/Zuiko
     
  3. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    Pretty cool, thanks !
    Unfortunately, I just bought a 35mm lense. what I really should have bought ( for my DX camera ) was a 24mm to give me the "normal" view.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think it's all to do with the angle or Field of View (FOV) of the lens compared to what we see. We have peripheral vision which is much wider than the FOV of most lenses.

    I think it has more to do with the perspective and magnification. Wide angle lenses tend to distort how we see things....so do telephoto lenses, but in a different way. 50mm is close to the same perspective that our eyes see...so the 50mm images look 'normal' to us.
     
  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Put a 50mm lens on a film or FX body and look through it. Notice how there is no magnification one way or the other?

    That's because the viewfinder is smaller. If the viewfinder were magnified to the size of an FX viewfinder, you would see the same FOV at 35mm on DX as 50mm on FX.

    It may be the case on a D300 where the view through the finder is magnified and very large.
     
  6. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    so I guess I don't have to run out and buy a 24mm lens. :lmao:
     
  7. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well said,

    The FOV of human vision can't really be expressed in exact terms.

    I researched this a while back for a project. Optically the maximum FOV for human vision is a whooping 200 degrees horizontally and 135 degrees vertically. HOWEVER, our vision is only 100% accute at 15 degrees, and we can only focus within 46 degrees, which is closely approximated by a 50mm lens
     

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