Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2016/09/17

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Subject: [Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras? -> Philippe
From: lluisripollphotography at (lluisripollphotography)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2016 02:19:51 +0200
References: <> <>

Oui, mon cher ami!

I think you should believe the best lens is the one you have on your camera 
when you have shoot the photo, beside this IMHO the differences are 
noticeable under a stop of f4 or less, if more I honesty think nobody can 
say which one is better?.


> El 17 set 2016, a les 22:29, Philippe <photo.philippe.amard at> 
> va escriure:
> Just remembered a conversation heard years ago between M enthusiasts here, 
> they were debating on the actual FL of varied Leica 50mm - and got out 
> impressive differences between luxes, crons, elmars, etc 
> Anyone knows more about this?
> Ph
> Le 17 sept. 2016 ? 19:46, Bryk Oliver <oliverbryk at> a ?crit :
>> In 1953 I was a student in the US Army Signal Corps Photography School in 
>> Ft. Monmouth, NJ. After passing still photo school (4x5 Speed Graphic) I 
>> was selected for ?Combat Cameraman? class (35mm b&w cinematography) using 
>> the Bell & Howell ?Eyemo? handheld newsreel cameras well as Mitchell and 
>> Maurer studio cameras. 50mm was the normal lens for these 35mm cameras.
>> A booklet ?Instructions for the use of the Leica Camera Models c, f & g? 
>> (referring to the Leica III series) published by Hove Books Ltd. states 
>> that ?THE STANDARD LENS OF THE LEICA is the world famous ELMAR having a 
>> maximum aperture of f/3.5 and a focal length of 50mm?.
>> In the book ?Leica M Advanced Photo School? by G?nther Osterloh, 2nd 
>> English ed., published by Lark Books in 2005 (the original German edition 
>> was published in 2002) is a section ?Normal focal lengths?:
>> "Lenses with focal lengths that correspond approximately to the diagonal 
>> of the negative format are called normal lenses. In the 35mm format of 24 
>> x 36 mm the diagonal measures about 43 mm. For practical reasons and for 
>> reasons of better quality, however, more than 75 years ago Leitz decided 
>> to use a standard focal length that is nearly 10 mm longer. And that is 
>> still the case today; standard lenses for Leica cameras have a focal 
>> length of 52 mm. This holds true even when the engraving around the front 
>> element of the lens reads only 50 mm.?
>> ?For the novice, taking pictures with this lens is easy because its angle 
>> of view of about 45 degrees most closely corresponds to the natural 
>> coverage of the human eye.? 
>> Respectfully submitted,
>> Oliver
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information
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In reply to: Message from oliverbryk at (Bryk Oliver) ([Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras?)
Message from photo.philippe.amard at (Philippe) ([Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras?)