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 16:26:12 -0400

If I'm using not a wide and I'm shooting stuff which is wider than my lens I
shoot a number of shots over the area  left to right with the idea  of
merging them probably later. So in effect I'm getting a swing lens pan
though its a stitch.
So its getting wide without  making things look far away.
Like what you get in with a swing lens.
Its may way of thinking outside the box as I'm making my own multi box.

On 9/22/16 3:10 PM, "Henning J. Wulff" <hjwulff at> wrote:

> I agree with that, Mark. But I would also add that circumstances and what 
> you
> see/are looking at changes your personal 'angle of view' significantly. 
> When
> I'm shooting wildlife or something else that is generally small and at a
> distance, due to my concentration I see more 'long focus' at that point 
> with
> 200-400mm being a likely range. Similarly, when I'm shooting architecture, 
> my
> eyes scan a lot and my concentration on that make an 'angle of view' are
> definitely a lot wider, especially with interiors. In fact, one of the 
> cameras
> I used to really like a lot because it 'saw' what I saw was the Noblex 
> series,
> with a 24/28mm equivalent vertical and 130? horizontal view without the 3d 
> to
> 2d distortion in the extreme corners. Then again, when I'm just walking 
> down
> the street, 35mm matches my main area of concentration while 85-105mm 
> matches
> my focus when I'm talking to people one on one. That's what makes that a 
> good
> portrait lens, in conjunction with the ability to get rid of distractions 
> when
> using appropriate apertures. 50mm works with a small (2 or 3) group of 
> people
> or concentrating on a specific event on the street.
> Henning Wulff
> hjwulff at
> On 2016-09-21, at 3:03 PM, 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 hjwulff at (Henning Wulff) ([Leica] How did 50mm become the "normal" lens for 35mm cameras?)