Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2016/09/22

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Subject: [Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:46:14 -0400

Frank! I think the trick to wide wides is to crawl right up into your
subjects personal space so your are right "up their nose".  That's when you
get a shot form their belt up. If you ever get your hands on an 18-35mm lens
it may give you a whole new outlook. Amazing what you can do with that lens
or the 1.5x crop version a 12-24mm. I shot most my 24 cars with one one a
month when I did those cars for the NYTimes. But you gotta get right on top
of your subject. Inches away. I always brushed my teeth twice.

On 9/22/16 5:46 AM, "Frank Dernie" <Frank.Dernie at> wrote:

> I quite agree Mark.
If you look at an object straight ahead then with arms
> outstretched move your index finger in an arc from in front of you until 
> you
> just stop being aware of them you see that your visual field is about 180
> degrees, mine is anyway. On the other hand, as you say, the bit one
> concentrates on is quite small. My preference of lens to represent the view
> "as I see it" needs a 85/90mm lens. A 35 is on the limit for me as a 
> maximum
> wide angle for observational pictures. OTOH one can get really good visual
> effects with wider, it is just that the resulting picture bears no 
> resemblance
> to what I see naturally, for me.
So for me I use 35mm or longer for normal
> photography. I find 28mm neither one thing nor the other, and don?t 
> remember
> when I last used mine, and wider for special effects and fun or if I can?t 
> get
> far enough away from my subject for a natural perspective.
Frank D.

> On 21
> Sep 2016, at 23:03, Mark Rabiner <mark at> wrote:
> Its just
> that the unaided eye does not really have a frame it looks through.
> Its sees
> the whole room but is only concentrated on a small object in it.
> Its a tele
> mounted in a super wide.
> So its darned hard to impossible to state what the
> angle of the unaided eye
> is.  Its a sharp 180mm in a bokeh infused 12mm. I
> don't think we can round
> these two numbers off and come up with something.
> As I understand it some
> people use their peripheral vision differently.
> On 9/21/16 4:58 PM, "Lew Schwartz" <lew1716 at> wrote:
>> I
> believe that Bill C. is correct. It's relative to what you see with your
> unaided eye.
>> -Lew Schwartz
>> On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 3:13 PM,
> Mark Rabiner <mark at> wrote:
>>> The normal camera
> lens now if you want to define normal as "most used by
>>> the
>>> most
> photogs most often for most stuff" is the wide angle zoom. Which has
>>> come
> to be the 18 to 35 zoom. This for photojournalists as well as
>>> commercial
> photogs and probably fine art dudes too. It started out being a
>>> 20 to 35.
> But time flew.
>>> I had a 12-24 for my cropped Nikons which translates to
> that.
>>> Not sure if I'm going to get a 20mm 1.8 to go with my new 35 1.8 and
> 50 1.8
>>> and do some quick back and forth running or go with the zoom.
>>> --
>>> Mark William Rabiner
>>> Photographer
> _______________________________________________
>>> Leica Users Group.
>>> See
> for more information
> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See
> for more information
> -- 
> Mark William Rabiner
> Photographer
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See
> for more
> information

Leica Users
> Group.
See for more information

Mark William Rabiner

In reply to: Message from Frank.Dernie at (Frank Dernie) ([Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras?)