Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/18

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Subject: [Leica] 50mm lens
From: "Gib Robinson" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 07:22:16 -0800

[Eric wrote]

> The pictures I have that are taken with 50mm or 55 or 60 mm lenses
> have a classic look to them. Kind of like what pictures looked like in the

Yes. Various LUGers seem to have eliminated the 50mm from their bags and I
don't understand why. While I use the 35mm outdoors more than the 50mm, I
find the 50mm an ideal short "portrait" lens. If I want to capture a person
doing something or with some related items around him/her, a 50mm seems
ideal to me. I just looked through a set of photos I took a long while ago
of Tibetan refugees in Northern India. Mostly 50mm indoors for individuals,
35mm outside. With a 75mm I have to back off too far; 35mm takes me too
close. And then there is the issue of frame lines on an M body. The 50mm is
about the easiest frame to use: It's the Goldilocks frame -- not too large,
not too small. And the lenses are easy to get, cheap (if one can avoid Nocti
fever), and very good! I don't worry much about classic look, but
functionally the 50mm is a great tool for me even at f/2 and smaller.
Obviously, as with every lens, the 50mm has its limitations and specific
uses; but for me the lens produces proportions in photos of individuals in
their environments that most nearly match the way we see generally see
people -- not the more intimate view of the longer focal length but more

- --Gib