Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Equivalent Focal Lengths
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 23:08:34 -0500

on 3/26/01 9:58 PM, Dave Jenkins at wrote:

> Yes, Doug, that's exactly what I'm saying. Forget the math. You can see
> it with your own eyes. Just set up your 2-1/4 camera with 75mm lens on a
> tripod and look through it. Note exactly what you can see on each side
> of the frame. Then hold a 35mm camera with 50mm lens exactly above it
> and see what you can see side to side in the viewfinder.
> I also have experienced that an equivalent lens on a square format
> camera somehow "feels" wider, but no matter how it "feels," it isn't
> actually wider. The side to side angle of view of your 75mm lens is 40
> degrees, and a 49mm lens on 35 covers that same 40 degrees.
> Dave Jenkins

Yeah, but, duh, the reason it feels wider is that VERTICALLY the same lens
encompasses more on the 6x6 negative, ie you SEE more. That's a good
definition of 'wider'. This is the whole point of this thread. It is hard to
compare focal lengths on different aspect ratios. There are three distinct
ways to make the equivalence. Horizontal, vertical and diagonal. You're just
prioritizing the horizontal (which may be great for you but doesn't answer
the qyestion at all).

Whenever anyone says 'forget the math' you should beware.
- -- 
Johnny Deadman