About the 50mm "Normal" Lens

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by VidThreeNorth, May 17, 2018.

  1. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    "How the 50-mm Lens Became 'Normal'"
    Allain Daigle, May 13, 2018
    "How the 50-mm Lens Became ‘Normal’"


     
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  2. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    This article seems a bit tightly "focussed" on the 50mm and its equivalents. A fuller coverage of the topic should show that there have been other opinions about what is a "normal" lens.

    Just after the SLR took over from the range finder cameras (around the time of the Pentax Spotmatic II) the range finder manufacturers found a market for smaller 35mm zone focus and range finder cameras. I mentioned this in another topic. The main brands were Konica, Minolta, Canon, and maybe Miranda and Ricoh. I think the lower priced zone focus cameras were mainly around 38mm, F2.8 and the more expensive range finder versions tended to be around "40mm, F2.0"-ish. I wrote before that the range finders were 38mm, F2.8, but I am fairly sure now that those lenses were more often on the zone focus versions.

    But the point is that there was some discussion about whether the 38mm - 40mm lenses better represented what the human eye saw. If you study the human eye and perception it is hard to say.

    The retina is very wide, maybe like a 20mm lens coverage, but what we are mainly "looking at" is around the coverage of the "fovea" which is very narrow. So the counter argument was that because we are really mainly looking at this narrow are, that a short telephoto is a better "normal" lens.

    My Panasonic Lumix GF-3 came with a 14mm F2.8 lens and many people felt that it was a good viable day to day lens.

    When the Yi-M1 (Micro 4:3 format) came out the lens selection was either a 12-40mm zoom (35mm camera equivalent 24 - 80mm) or a 42.5mm (35mm camera equivalent 85mm) F1.8 "portrait - macro" lens. I have used the 42.5mm quite often and I find that for me, it is a viable "normal" lens.

    I think the Apple iPhones have generally been 35mm camera equivalent 28mm lenses (someone might correct me on that?). Other phones have other focal length lenses. I never really checked, but it seemed to me that they looked closer to that "moderate" wide angle field of view.

    GoPro action cameras have tended to have "170 degree fish-eye" lenses. Do people using those cameras consider that a "normal" lens?
     

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