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View Poll Results: What is your normal focal length?
My norm is 50mm 2328.75%
I tend to 35mm 5163.75%
A short tele around 85mm - that's how I see the world around 67.50%
My normal lens is something like 18-135mm 1417.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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12-29-2015, 03:51 PM   #1
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Are you 50mm or 35mm fella?

What focal length is normal for you, giving you the naked eye perspective and field-of-view? As there are two main genders - like males and females, 35mm and 50mm in FF/135/36x24mm terms - I decided to add a couple of extra variants to keep this poll tolerant as they do these days. Please remember to apply appropriate multiplier should you be APS-C/PentaxQ/645Z/whatever shooter:
  1. choose 50mm variant if you shoot APC-S camera and find 30-35mm lens to give you normal perspective and field-of-view
  2. choose 35mm variant if you shoot APC-S camera and find 20-24mm lens to give you normal perspective and field-of-view
  3. choose 85mm variant if you shoot APC-S camera and find 50-55mm lens to give you normal perspective and field-of-view
  4. the last variant is intended mostly for fun and for those who are uncertain or do not quite know what this all is about

Last edited by Siegfried; 12-29-2015 at 04:25 PM. Reason: popular misunderstanding of the FL in question
12-29-2015, 03:59 PM   #2
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35mm, at least on APSC. Haven't really shot film in years. So I'd directly vote for DA 35mm f2.4, as that is the 35mm I use the most. I also have Flektogon 35mm, and a bunch of 50mm lenses, but I don't use those as much lately. I am more for wide angles than telephoto, to put it simply. Though telephoto definitely has its uses
Of course, there are lenses like DA 40mm ltd and FA 43mm ltd. Both very popular, each with its own specifics. One a sharp super pancake, the other sharp with delightful character and faster aperture.
12-29-2015, 04:03 PM   #3
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Okay, my bad. I didn't read your terms until after I punched my ticket. I'm a 75mm guy on a 645 MF which is equivalent to about 50mm on a 24x36mm FF. On APS-C it gets complicated as I would tend to the 35, 40, or 43mm range, but I love the bokeh on my 50mm f/1.4. And for zooms, my go to norm is a 16-85mm.
12-29-2015, 04:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
35mm, at least on APSC.
Na Horuk,
thanks a lot for your vote, but you had to choose 50mm since the focal length in question is the FF(full frame aka 135 format)-equivalent: 35mm lens on APS-C behaves like 50mm on 36x24mm format. I dunno if this site gives you ability to revert and replay (re-enter) your vote.


12-29-2015, 04:07 PM   #5
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Depends on what I'm shooting. For people pictures(PP) I prefer the 50mm. For landscapes, scenery and street-photography I go with the 35mm.
12-29-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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I am most comfortable with the 85-90mm Range on APS-C. Don't have to get super in your face to take good shots usually.
12-29-2015, 05:03 PM   #7
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I tend to 50mm "normal" on APS-C because until I got into digital, the vast majority of film SLR shooting I did was with a zoom lens, where I didn't care what focal length I was shooting at so long as I could get the composition I wanted. So when I slapped a 50mm "normal" lens on my APS-C DSLR, I was still ignorant of crop factor and I still mostly think in 50mm (75mm equivalent film FOV) terms as "normal". Only now that I am getting back into film in a big way does the conversion factor even matter to me.
12-29-2015, 05:06 PM   #8
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This is a difficult choice... Initially i was a 50mm type of person then i started to open my eyes and take in more of my surroundings. Soooo put me down as a 35mm lens type of person. On a apcs camera i do prefer the 16-18 mm range.

12-29-2015, 05:25 PM   #9
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Opted for 35mm, thinking of the APS-C format, but the common notion that a normal or standard lens would even remotely mimic what the human eye sees, or rather how the brain processes the stimuli provided by our eyes, is quite misleading to begin with. Basically, from what I recall having read, normal or standard lenses came into existence because they were comparatively easy to design and manufacture in reasonable quality, and, well, were neither wideangle nor telephoto. In other words, calling them that way provided a reference point for lens nomenclature that was both arbitrary - in deciding on the format diagonal - and pragmatic - see above - but had little to do with human vision.

As a starting point for digging a little deeper into the matter, the following short (if not exactly scientific) article serves pretty well, I guess: Does a 50mm Equivalent Lens Really See the Same as a Human? - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 12-29-2015 at 05:30 PM.
12-29-2015, 05:27 PM   #10
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I'm split. Outdoors the DA21 provides a FOV that feels most natural. But indoors, the DA35 seems more in line with what I generally see.
12-29-2015, 06:30 PM   #11
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I voted 35 as I prefer it to 50 on APS-C, but I have an A and an F 50/1.7 and use them because they are such nice lenses. It all depends on what you are shooting.
12-29-2015, 06:58 PM   #12
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I use the da21 and da35 almost exclusively. However, the results from the da35 are on the whole more pleasing. It is just must easier to compose with the 35. One of the reasons is the da21 is a wide angle even on a crop sensor.This means it is more difficult to get really good results with unless you are particularly skilled. I find there is often just too much in the picture; you have to be very close to the subject or have some fore ground object. Composition on the 35mm always looks just right - so for this poll I guess that makes me a 50mm kind of a guy.
12-29-2015, 07:09 PM   #13
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the last variant is intended mostly for fun and for those who are uncertain or do not quite know what this all is about
Or for those who know exactly what it's about but can't imagine walking around with a prime as the first choice.

I check my 18-135 to see where I am, If I'm close to 21-35-40-50 or 70, I may switch to the prime, if I feel the images warrants it. I take the image with the zoom, if I have time, and it's a close focal eight, I might switch to a prime. Beyond that it's the 60-250. Where I go, walking around with a prime on is going to cost you a lot of shots, or a lot of time. If I feel energetic, it's the 60-250 on the K-3 and the 21 or 40XS on the K-01. That gives me a lot of options. I simply wouldn't go anywhere, with one prime. I walked around with a 55mm lens on a 35mm film camera for years. Been there done that.

Last edited by normhead; 12-30-2015 at 08:01 AM.
12-29-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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40mm-e, or 28mm on APS-C is my "most natural feeling" focal length. But I guess I'll just have to suffer with the 31 on my K-5II until I can afford to put my 40XS/43 Ltd on the upcoming FF body!
12-29-2015, 09:49 PM - 1 Like   #15
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You know, I actually had to get out my kit lens to answer this question. Just looking around my computer room, it turned out that the 24mm setting seemed to agree best with how I naturally saw things, so I guess my answer would be "35mm". That also means I have an excuse to keep cursing Pentax's lack of affordable primes between 21 and 35...

However, though I know this isn't what the poll was asking, I think that closer to 40-45mm feels more natural sometimes, because it means that what my left eye sees through the viewfinder is close to the same size as when I take the camera away.
And if we're talking about how natural I perceive the final results to be, I'd probably be okay with anything in the 30-50mm range. The 21 strikes me as clearly wide angle, the 28 is just barely trying too hard to get more into the frame, but on the long end sometimes even the 50 doesn't jump out at me as looking compressed.

But honestly, I'd never really thought about it before. I just know what lenses I like: if the result grabs me in some way, I don't particularly care how close to my naked eye the FoV comes. Of all the normal-ish-on-APS-C lenses I have, most of them I didn't get for their particular focal lengths:
  • I got the A 50/1.7 because it was cheap
  • I got the M 28/3.5 because it was cheap and the A 50/1.7 wasn't wide enough for landscape
  • I got the Rokinon 35/1.4 because I discovered the A 50/1.7 was too tight for most indoor uses
  • I got the FA 43 Ltd mainly to see what all the fuss was about (and now it's pretty much completely supplanted my A 50/1.7)
  • Same with the CZ Distagon 28/2.8 and CZ Planar 50/1.7 -- and I had no particular preference at the time between the 28 and 35 Distagons; the 28 was just what I managed to get first on Ebay

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